Container and types of code

22 May

Container has a lot of codes and markings following the ISO6346:1995, according to this, these labels are divided into the following main categories:
·                     Identification system
·                     Size and type codes
·                     Operational markings
1. System identification (identification system)
·                                             Container identification system consists of 4 components
·                                             Owner code
·                                             Equipment category identifier / product group code
·                                             Serial number / registration number
                  Check digit

–  Owner code:  Owner code (also known as container prefix) consists of three consistent uppercase letters and registered with the International Registrar through the National Registrar or register directly with the Department of International Container – BIC (Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal). After registration, the owner of this code is recognized on over the world. A company may own one or many different codes, although BIC restricts and gives certain conditions for the registration of many codes.
In Vietnam, at the beginning of 2010, there were 6 companies which had code prefix registered with BIC, as details below.
BIC Code
Company Name
Nam Trieu shipping
Vinalines container
(Note: The container with GMTU prefix managed by GMD; Vinashin-TGC had 2 registration prefix VCLU and VNTU)
Some other companies own and use container with a certain prefix, but have not registered with BIC yet, such as the East Sea with BISU, Vinafco with VFCU … The use of the unregistered prefixes leads to some disadvantages. Firstly, this is contrary to the rules in the Appendix G of ISO 6343, with the rule for owner code registration to be protected ownership of this code by BIC on over the world. Secondly, according to BIC recommendations, container is not registered, in the process of circulation, can be hold and tested by the Customs, and cannot be used freely as in the Customs Convention on Containers regulations. This will adversely affect or even hinder the entire transport process. Third, no registration and no recognition of property rights for the codes and drag the container ownership can easily lead to confusion and complaints, and can lead to the loss of container.
–  Symbol of devices: one of the following three uppercase letters, corresponding to a device type:
U: freight container
J: detachable freight container-related equipment
Z: trailer or chassis
The uses of any letters that do not belong on the three letters (U, J, Z) as a symbol of devices are considered not comply with ISO 6346 standards. – Serial number:this was the number of container, including 6 digits. If the serial number is not enough 6 digits, the digit 0 is added to the beginning for the full 6 digits. For example, if the serial number is 1234, it will add 2 digits 0, and full serial number will be 001 234. Serial number is put out by the container owner, but each number is only used for a single container.
–  Check digit: is a digit (behind the serial number), used to check the accuracy of sequence that came before, including the prefix and serial number. For each string of the prefix and the serial number, applying to checking of the container digit, check digit will be calculated.
The use of the tested digits is to minimize the risk of errors in entering the container. The fact that number of containers was used by many objects (shippers, forwarders, carriers, customs …), many times, on many documents (B / L, Manifest, D / O …), so the ability to enter wrong digits is very much. Each container number (including the prefix and the serial number) will correspond to a check digit. Therefore, most of the import errors will be detected by the check digit different from reality. However, this is not absolutely true, because if the two letters or more are wrong, the check digit can be still correct, and no error was found.
 2. Size and type codes

 – Size code: 2 characters (letters or numbers). The first character indicates the length of container, 4 digits shown in the following example means this container is 40ft in length (12,192 m). The second letter denotes the width and height of the container, 2 digits denote the height is 8ft 6in (2,591 m.)
 – Style code: 2 characters. The first character indicates the type of container, in the following example: G represents freight container. The second letter indicates the main characteristics related to container, number 1 (the following letter G) means the container has the above air vents. 
In summary, 42G1 shown in the picture indicates 20ft long, 8ft 6in high, above ventilation container. 
ISO 6346:1995 Standard details the meaning of size and type codes. 
3. Operational markings
 Operational markings include two categories: mandatory and non-mandatory.
 – Mandatory signs: container load, danger warning electricity, high container.
·                                             Maximum gross mass was recorded on container doors, similar to the data in CSC (Sea safety certification).Some also expressed container tare weight, net weight or payload.
·                                             Sign warning of dangerous electrical power lines above, for all the containers have flying gang.
·                                             Sign on the 2.6 meter high container: the container required for the 8ft 6in tall (2.6 m). For example, the below image shows 9ft 6in high container (2.9 m)
– Signs are not required: max net mass, country code
·                                              Max net mass is pasted on container doors, below the maximum container weight.
·                                             Country code concludes 2 abbreviated letter of the name of the country owning the container. In the below figure, the U.S. stands for United Stated United States.
Besides the three main types of code, the necessary information is also described on the container frame.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Container, Uncategorized


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: