What do the markings on a container mean..??

markings on a Container Door

The ubiquitous freight or shipping container has become an integral part of our lives not just if you are in the industry handling and moving these containers from point to point, but for all the businesses and industries that use the container..

It has been universally hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the modern world, one that completely changed the way in which business has been done since the 20th century and really and truly made the world a smaller place and the one true architect of Globalisation..

Exporters, importers, traders, packing houses, ports, customs, border authorities, police, clearing agents, freight forwarders, stevedores, hauliers, weighbridges ……………………….. and many more entities involved in a trade transaction may be seeing and handling a container on a daily basis..

But although many of these people see a container not everyone understands the many markings on a container..

The markings on a container play a very significant role in the movement of the container as they provide vital information to all entities in the supply chain relating to the monitoring and safety of the container and cargo during its carriage..

Let us look at each of the markings on a container individually using an example below..

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Don’t be caught out with an unseaworthy container – follow this checklist and avoid cargo damage

unseaworthy container

There are several reasons that cargo inside a container could damaged. It could be due to improper packing of cargo inside a container, incorrect container used for the cargo carried, but one of the main reasons for cargo damage inside a container is the condition of the container itself.

  • Wet damage due water ingress (rain, seawater etc) into the container ;
  • Wet damage due to condensation inside the container when an incorrect type of container is used like using a normal container instead of a ventilated container ;
  • Contamination due to adjacency risk or odor transfer ;
  • Infestation damage

are some of the common types of damages reported on cargoes that are packed in containers.

As a general rule, shipping lines reject these claims confirming that the gate out documents of the containers were clean at the time of release to the shipper. Insurance companies use Unseaworthiness and Unfitness Exclusion Clause stated in ICC (A) not to cover similar claims either, unless the insured can prove that he was not aware of the condition of the container at the time of loading.

Obviously, this situation causes a lot of frustration, feelings of injustice, and could result in absorbed losses among shippers globally.

So should the shipper simply accept this rejection of claims and move on?

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Assess your shipping and freight knowledge – Take this Quiz

Quiz - shipping and freight resource

So, you think you know about Shipping and Freight, huh..!! Well, who better to assess your shipping and freight knowledge than YOURSELF..!! Take this Shipping and Freight Quiz and find out for yourself..

This quiz has 20 questions relating to day to day shipping and freight matters and takes only 10 minutes to complete..

These quizzes are designed to help you :

  • identify gaps in your shipping and freight knowledge
  • expand, enhance or improve your knowledge about all things maritime, shipping, freight, logistics and supply chain
  • promote the improvement of your shipping and freight knowledge in a fun way
  • think about a particular situation from different angles or simply ‘to think out of the box’

So go ahead and take this quiz and see how you fare.. Good luck.. 🙂

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Difference between bulk and break bulk

Bulk and Break bulk are two terms that are being used incorrectly and interchangeably in the course of day to day business..

These terms cannot be used interchangeably because there are distinctive differences between Bulk and Break Bulk in terms of cargo, nature, size, capacity, handling, trade, customers, ports, terminals, equipment, infrastructure…………………………………..

How do you differentiate between the two..?? This article will help you understand clearly..

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Who pays what charges in a sea freight shipment

sea freight charges

In any trade transaction, there are two parties – the buyer and the seller.. When it comes to a sea freight shipment, either one or both of them may end up paying different sets of charges to different entities..

Not just for newcomers to the business of exporting and importing, this question sometimes perplexes many already in the business..

In this article I dissect this process to explain who pays what charges in sea freight shipment..

So who pays what charges in a sea freight shipment..??

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FMC calls for public comment on demurrage and detention

shipping and freight news

Demurrage and Detention has been a bone of contention between shipping lines and customers for several years..

Shipping lines have been charging demurrage and detention costs on containers that the customers do not pick up or turn in on time, a situation that prevents shipping lines from utilising their equipment effectively..

Customers (importers mainly) on the other hand have been complaining about shipping lines using unfair practices when charging demurrage and detention even if the fault is not on their side..

Maybe there is truth on both sides and in terms of this issue, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is not leaving anything to chance..

The FMC has called for public comment on its Interpretive Rule on Demurrage and Detention under the Shipping Act and in assessing just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to demurrage and detention charges..

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Questions related to shipping and freight you always wanted to ask

shipping and freight questions

If you have any questions you have always wanted to ask or things you always wanted to know about Shipping, Freight, Maritime, Logistics, Supply Chain and Trade but never got a chance or didn’t know where and who to ask, here is your opportunity..

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Do you speak Maritime English..??

maritime english

A seafarer is never at the front or the back of a ship; they are at the bow or the stern. They are never on the left or right side, but rather port or starboard. They are never in their bedroom or the kitchen, but they might be in their cabin or in the galley. A ship’s speed is not measured in miles or kilometres per hour, but rather in knots. A ship, of course, is referred often as “she” and not always as “it”.

These are the things we might think of when we hear a phrase like “Maritime English”.

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How to find a qualified Chinese freight forwarder

Shipping and Freight Resource Press Release

China, often termed as “the world’s factory” is unavoidable when it comes to global trade. As of 2017, China accounted for 15% of the world’s GDP. China’s GDP is 64% of that of USA thereby making it the second largest economy in the world.

For majority of the countries around the world, when importing Chinese products, international freight movement is required and you will definitely deal with a variety of freight forwarding companies.

Unverified statistics indicate that in the city of Shanghai China alone, there are more than 10,000 freight forwarders registered. It is conceivable that the total number in China is even more astronomical.

Chinese freight forwarders have also had a bad rap due to a few of them perpetuating fraud and other illegal activities which are affecting many of the legitimate Chinese freight forwarders.

“How can I choose a qualified freight forwarder in China from such a large number?” is a question that might be on the minds of many people.

David Fan gives you some guidance through different perspectives based on many years of industry experience.

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