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23 Important Maritime Codes Used in the Shipping Industry

The shipping industry is an extremely professional line of work with set rules and guidelines with regard to the personnel that serves on ships as well as the operation of the ship itself.

To have a standardized system of working on board, the presence and implementation of rules and regulations are imperative; it is for this reason that shipboard operations are directly mandated and under the purview of Conventions, Regulations and, for the purposes of the comprehension of this article, codes.

The presence of the aforementioned ensures that all operations pertaining to seafaring are bound by the presence of an agreed upon framework to maintain legal operating condition of ships, shipping operator or company, and the ship’s crew with the intention to upkeep the safety of personnel or property and eliminate and/or minimise pollution or damage to the marine environment.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is responsible to implement and amend different codes as per types of ships, goods or cargoes, Cargo operation, maritime security, shipbuilding, the safety of the crew, training etc. Failure to comply with such Codes renders any shipboard operation to legal liabilities.

Following is a list (indicative and not exhaustive) of maritime codes put forth by IMO and used by ships and companies as per the regulations:

1) IMDG Code(International Maritime Dangerous Goods): Code for carrying dangerous cargo through sea transport. This Code is in place to regulate the carriage of international guideline to the safe transportation or shipment of dangerous goods or hazardous materials by water on the vessel.

2) IMSBC Code(International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargo Code): is a mandatory regulation for carrying solid cargo in bulk form. This replaces the BC Code and ensures safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes.

3) IGC Code(International code for construction and equipment of ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk): This code gives guidelines to gas tankers on operational, construction and safety aspects. As with the other forms of cargo and their respective codes, this code is specific to the carriage of LPG?

4) International Grain Code: This code is applicable to all ships carrying grain in bulk. The term “grain” covers wheat, maize (corn), oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses, seeds and processed forms thereof, whose behavior is similar to that of grain in its natural state.

5) IBC Code(International code for construction and equipment of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk): This code pertains to the carriage of chemicals in bulk and the design, construction, equipment with respect to the ship and the cargo.

6) ISPS Code(International Ship and Port Facility Security code): Springing from the events preceding 9/11, this code lays the minimum security measures for ships and ports.

7) ISM Code(International Safety Management Code): Perhaps one of the most important codes, one that is used in the day to day functioning of the ship, it is in place for the safe operation of the ship for the purposes of pollution prevention.

8) INF Code(International code for Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel): Plutonium and High radioactive waste on board ship is a complete guideline for all ships including cargo ships of 500GT and above carrying INF listed cargo.

9) IS Code(International Code for Intact Stability): gives the construction guidelines to vessels to maintain the stability of the ship at all working conditions.

10) TDC Code(Code of safe practices for ships carrying Timber Deck Cargo): gives complete guidelines for loading, stowage, construction, and equipment. This code came about as a revision to the code adopted in 1991.

11) Casualty Investigation Code: Shipboard can be hazardous and the nature of the work can, under unfortunate circumstances, result in a casualty onboard. This code is used to solve or to study the casualty happened on board with the ship or with its crew.

12) CSS Code(Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and securing): is a guideline for onboard staff to store and secure the cargo as per the requirement.

13) SPS Code(Code for the safety of Special Purpose Ships): which include drilling, cable laying, Flip ship (survey ship) etc, basically for ships that are of unusual construction as compared to the conventional merchant ships. This code elaborates all the safety aspects of such ships from construction to operation.

14) STCW Code(Seafarer’s training, certification and Watch keeping): code is a guideline for producing competent seafarers all over the world. This code has recently been amended in 2010 at Manila and the revised version will enter from 1st Jan 2012. Note that this is one of the most important codes and every aspiring and existing seafarer must be thorough with the provisions of this code

15) OSV Code(Code of safe practices for Offshore Supply Vessel): is a complete guideline for offshore vessels carrying supply cargo and personnel in coastal operations.

16) MODU Code(Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit code): is a requirement for construction and equipment to be used for safe operation in offshore drilling units. This code updates and revises the provisions under the 1989 MODU Code.

17) HSC Code(High-Speed Craft code): This code primarily pertains to, among others, air-cushion vehicles (such as hovercraft) and hydrofoil boats. is used to maintain a safe standard for construction equipment and operation of high-speed vessels used in maritime industry.

18) LSA Code(International Life Saving Appliances Code): comes under SOLAS which deals with the safety equipment in terms of construction, operation and other requirements for well being of crew onboard ship. Note that this code is imperative in the procuring, application and maintenance of all lifesaving appliances on board.

19) FSS Code(International Fire Safety System Code): also comes under SOLAS. It deals with all the fire fighting appliances, measures, and system to be used onboard to detect, notify and extinguish any kind of fire in sea going vessel. Note that this this code is imperative in the procuring, application and maintenance of all fire fighting equipment on board.

20) FTP Code (Fire Test Procedure code): is the guideline for manufacturers and ship builders to construct vessels and fire test parts to be used onboard ships. For obvious reasons, the provisions of this code can be read in conjunction with the FSS Code.

21) Polar Code: This Code came into force on 1st January, 2017. Mandated under SOLAS as well as MARPOL, this code aims to protect the ships and lives of the personnel on ship from the harsh conditions at the poles.

22) Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers: Provides guidance for improving health and safety on board ship which is intended primarily for merchant seafarers.

23) Code of Conduct for the Merchant Navy: This Code aims to provide a system of adherence with regard to personal conduct onboard a merchant ship.

Source: Marine Insight


What are Logistics Risks?

Transportation, warehousing, and inventory management are fraught with risks at all levels. For a successful buy-sell transaction or vice versa, all risk factors must be considered, managed, and countermeasures executed, leaving no room for error.

However, logistics management and execution of its various functions are not easy tasks. Each step has to be handled with care. Achieving zero-error performance might not always be possible, but every step should be taken to aim for this.

Supply chain disruptions happen when logistics management and task execution are not synchronised and, in some cases, when unexpected events occur.

Supply chain disruptions can have far-reaching and disastrous consequences. Besides delays in deliveries, it can affect product quality, create shortages or excess of stocks, and upset warehousing and storage capacities.

Also, projects may often be delayed, their overall costs shoot up, and strategies go off track. Frequent disruptions can affect an organisation’s reputation.

Risks associated with transportation and storage are the most common in logistics. Breakdowns and failures can be prevented to a large extent by proper planning and having backup plans in place.

What are the Main Logistics Risks Faced by Businesses Today?

This can be quite an exhaustive list, but let’s review the main risks that logistics organisations face.

Supply Risks

Relying on a sole supplier might have its benefits, but imagine if they suddenly decide to turn off the supply. Having one or two backup suppliers who can be relied on in such situations can help to a certain extent.

Maintaining good supplier relationships can go a long way toward ensuring uninterrupted supplies. Suitable software with strong forecasting techniques helps produce reliable figures that can, in turn, help the supplier plan production accordingly. This helps prevent stock-outs and overstocks.

Transportation Issues

Transportation is the backbone of the logistics industry. Without it, the physical movement of goods, whether for buying or selling, can never be complete. Arranging the correct type of transport for moving the required quantities is crucial in avoiding transportation risks.

However, transportation depends on many factors, such as cost, the quantity and quality of goods being moved, journey distance, proximity to ports and railway yards, and others.

Goods can spoil or deteriorate with time if mishandled during transport and storage. Temperature-sensitive goods must be transported in the right containers, and refrigerators or temperature-controlled containers help to maintain the quality of the goods transported.

As in warehousing, goods are mainly transported under ambient, chilled, or frozen conditions, depending on the type of goods. Accurate storage temperatures, as the customer prescribes, must be followed during transportation to prevent spoilage and deterioration.

For example, grains are often transported under ambient conditions. Fruits and vegetables are transported over long distances in chilled containers, while meat, fish, and poultry are transported in refrigerated containers.

Most of the transport today involves multimodal containers. Reputed transport operators handle multimodal transport arrangements efficiently. Eventualities such as equipment breakdown, alternate routing, staffing, labour issues, etc., are often considered by these operators while planning the transport of goods.

Handling and Storage Risks

Technologically advanced warehouses for the storage of temperature-sensitive products are common these days. They are designed to store such products at the required temperature, humidity, and other conditions that ensure their quality, texture, etc.

Warehouse operators have to ensure that the vehicles used for transporting goods to customers, containers, Material Handling Equipment (MHEs), and their warehouses are maintained and serviced correctly at the prescribed intervals to avoid breakdown.

Security Risks

Modern multimodal containers are mostly theft- and pilferage-proof. Similarly, modern warehouses are designed to prioritise security. In addition to security personnel, cameras and sensors are installed at critical points to deter pilferage, theft, and unauthorised access.

Cyber Risks

Hackers can compromise an organisation’s information system. This often leads to the organisation’s confidential information finding its way into the open net, leading to considerable cyber risks.

Sensitive data relating to finance, customers, and shipments should never fall into the wrong hands where it can be misused. Hackers often steal data to sabotage operations.

Some ways to minimise cyber risks include using updated and original software with anti-malware, data encryption, and enforcing system access control for employees.

Political Events and Natural Calamities

Wars, conflicts, and significant political upheavals pose considerable logistics and business operations risks. Similarly, forces of nature, such as storms, floods, fires, etc., are natural calamities beyond mankind’s control.

Both are considered ‘force majeure’ or ‘acts of god’. They interrupt the normal flow of work and often cause damage and destruction of property. Though very little can be done about such instances, arrangements can be made to transport goods by an alternate mode of transport, such as having warehousing arrangements at different locations.

Logistics Risk Assessment

Most modern logistic organisations carry out periodic risk assessments. Such assessments help pinpoint the source of risks and their impact on logistics operations. Risks are analysed, and precautions are taken to minimise or prevent them.

Develop contingency plans that are workable and can be mobilised quickly. Policies and procedures considering such situations should be developed, or existing ones should be updated and enforced by logistics companies.

What Else Can We Do to Minimise Logistics Risks?

It is essential to have robust policies and procedures that are easy to understand while covering all aspects of logistics operations and business. Communication is vital in any operation.

Encourage cross-department and one-to-one communication between employees, and make sure that management communicates well with their employees.

Staff training and motivation are crucial here.

Learn from the competition. They might have a few good note-worthy points to help you run your organisation more efficiently and effectively. Join the local logistics association, where ideas and interests can be shared to help grow the business collectively.

New risks can occasionally arise. Safety protocols should be developed, updated, and enforced to combat such unexpected risks.

Source: Marine Insight


TIPC upgrades container terminals in Kaohsiung

Container Terminal 7 of the port of Kaohsiung, which started operations in May 2023, is expected to increase the annual container handling capacity of the Taiwanese port by 6.5 million TEUs, according to Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC), which is now focussed on the upgrade of two other box terminals.

TIPC has now shifted its attention to Port of Kaohsiung’s 3rd and 5th Container Terminals and adjacent container yard areas aiming to further enhance port competitiveness and realize sustainable growth goals.

TIPC noted that “with shipping companies commissioning increasingly larger container ships, streamlining hub and feeder port operations, and raising overall shipping capabilities, existing port infrastructures, from wharf water depths and support facilities to navigation channels, are increasingly inadequate for industry needs.”

Therefore, beyond constructing the new Container Terminal 7, TIPC has allocated an additional budget of NT$4.469 billion (around US$140 million) to improve and upgrade infrastructures at the port’s 3rd and 5th Container Terminals, which, once completed, will significantly increase the handling capacity and operational efficiencies.

At Container Terminal 3 Wharf No. 70, the water depth will be lowered from -13.5m to -15.2m, and 100 feet (30.48 metres) of new gantry crane track along with new dockside handling equipment will be installed. Additionally, at Container Terminal 5 Wharf Nos. 77~79, the water depth will be lowered from -14.5m to -17.0, and 120 feet (36.60 metres) of new gantry crane track along with new dockside handling equipment will be installed.

Furthermore, in line with ongoing green-port commitments, new onshore power and water supply systems are being installed to move TIPC ports closer to international zero-carbon targets.

The works on the two container terminals began on 21 February 2024 and the project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2027.

TIPC has decided to split the project into several phases in order not to affect the normal operations of the port.

Moreover, TIPC will jointly invest with shipping companies in the Container Terminal 5 improvement work, with TIPC handling wharf improvements and companies upgrading container yard facilities. Once completed, companies may invest in and install state-of-the-art container handling equipment and shipside gantry cranes to handle the world’s largest-class container carriers.

In addition, the deepening of water depths in and around these terminals will improve safe access to modern container ships, increase the advantage to shipping operators, and raise port operating efficiencies, according to the TIPC statement.

Source: Container News


Port of Hong Kong faces severe connectivity loss

Recent service networks released by the container shipping alliances reveal a noticeable trend: Major shipping companies are rapidly scaling back their presence in Hong Kong along East-West shipping routes.

Gemini’s latest network overview reveals no scheduled direct deep-sea calls to Hong Kong. Likewise, the Ocean Alliance’s 2024 network update shows a significant reduction in direct port calls, plummeting from 11 to just six. Additionally, in THE Alliance’s newly published 2025 Transpacific network overview, Hong Kong is notably absent from their Pacific South West and Pacific North West services, leaving only one Asia-US East Coast service remaining.

“Source:, Sunday Spotlight, issue 658”

The latest data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) also underscores a continual decline in connectivity for Hong Kong over the past decade, as depicted in Figure 1. The LSCI for Hong Kong hit its lowest point of 388 in 2023-Q4, with a marginal uptick to 390 in 2024-Q1. Despite slight fluctuations, the overarching pattern indicates a consistent and sharp decline.

“While this does not bode well for the Port of Hong Kong, it should also be seen as a sign that an element of network consolidation is afoot, especially as it relates to transshipment hubs,” said Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence, a Danish maritime data analysis firm.

He pointed out, “Analysis of network design and network efficiency will show that fewer, but larger, hubs are economically more efficient. Hong Kong appears to be the first major ‘victim’ of this. But as the new alliance constellations improve their networks in the coming years, more ports could likely risk the same fate as Hong Kong.”

Source: Container News


MSC tops reefer rankings too

MSC has developed the largest capacity for refrigerated containers, as the Swiss-Italian liner giant strengthens its status as the largest liner operator.

Alphaliner’s report noted that MSC’s fleet has grown nearly 20% over the past year, and its 815 ships have 583,700 reefer plugs installed, representing an increase of almost 18%.

Only Ocean Network Express (ONE) recorded a bigger growth in the number of reefer plugs, at approximately 23%. The pan-Japanese carrier grew its overall fleet by 17.5%.

Meanwhile, South Korean flagship carrier HMM is the only liner operator which reduced its reefer capacity, which dipped by just over 1%, as it reduced its overall fleet by over 2% after redelivering some chartered ships.

Not surprisingly, the ranking of the top 10 carriers by reefer plugs is generally tied to the ranking by total fleet capacity. The one exception is the 10th-ranked ZIM Line, which is the eighth-largest in terms of reefer plugs. The Israeli carrier can deploy over 22% of its fleet to carry reefers.

Alphaliner’s reefer plug count confirms that European carriers have a larger proportion of their total capacity accessible for reefer cargo. The percentage of slots available for plugged-in reefer boxes ranges from 20% for MSC to 23% for Maersk Line, with CMA CGM (22.5%) and Hapag-Lloyd (21.2%) in between. This compares to 15.7%-17.5% for their Asian counterparts, with ONE at the top end and HMM at the low end.

Source: Container News


ONE announces updated Transpacific network for 2025

Ocean Network Express (ONE) has announced its upgraded Transpacific service network, which will commence in February 2025.

The carrier’s Transpacific product comprises 16 primary services, each tailored to deliver efficient and reliable shipping solutions.

ONE’s Transpacific service network for 2025:

Asia – US West Coast South

FP1 (Far East – Pacific 1):

From Europe, Singapore (Singapore), Kobe (Japan), Nagoya (Japan), Tokyo (Japan), Los Angeles/Long Beach (United States), Oakland (United States), Tokyo (Japan), Shimizu (Japan), Kobe (Japan), Nagoya (Japan), Tokyo (Japan), Singapore (Singapore), to Europe

PS3 (Pacific South 3):

Nhava Sheva (India), Pipavav (India), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Port Kelang (Malaysia), Singapore (Singapore), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Haiphong (Vietnam), Yantian (China), Los Angeles/Long Beach (United States), Oakland (United States), Tokyo (Japan), Pusan (South Korea), Shanghai (China), Ningbo (China), Shekou (China), Singapore (Singapore), Port Kelang (Malaysia), Nhava Sheva (India)

PS4 (Pacific South 4):

Xiamen (China), Yantian (China), Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Keelung (Taiwan), Los Angeles/Long Beach (United States), Oakland (United States), Keelung (Taiwan), Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Xiamen (China)

PS6 (Pacific South 6):

Qingdao (China), Ningbo (China), Los Angeles/Long Beach (United States), Oakland (United States), Kobe (Japan), Qingdao (China)

PS7 (Pacific South 7):

Singapore (Singapore), Laem Chabang (Thailand), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Shanghai (China), Los Angeles/Long Beach (United States), Oakland (United States), Shanghai (China), Singapore (Singapore)

PS8 (Pacific South 8):

Shanghai (China), Ningbo (China), Kwangyang (South Korea), Pusan (South Korea), Los Angeles/Long Beach (United States), Oakland (United States), Pusan (South Korea), Kwangyang (South Korea), Incheon (South Korea), Shanghai (China)

AP1 (Asia Pacific 1):

Haiphong (Vietnam), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Shekou (China), Xiamen (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Ningbo (China), Shanghai (China) (Yangshan), Los Angeles/Long Beach (United States), Oakland (United States), Shekou (China), Haiphong (Vietnam)

AHX (Asia Hawaii Express):

Pusan (South Korea), Yokohama (Japan), Honolulu (United States), Pusan (South Korea)

Asia – US West Coast North

PN1 (Pacific North 1):

Xiamen (China), Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Ningbo (China), Nagoya (Japan), Tokyo (Japan), Tacoma (United States), Vancouver (Canada), Tokyo (Japan), Kobe (Japan), Nagoya (Japan), Xiamen (China)

PN2 (Pacific North 2):

Singapore (Singapore), Laem Chabang (Thailand), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Haiphong (Vietnam), Yantian (China), Vancouver (Canada), Tacoma (United States), Tokyo (Japan), Kobe (Japan), Shanghai (China), Singapore (Singapore)

PN3 (Pacific North 3):

Qingdao (China), Ningbo (China), Shanghai (China), Pusan (South Korea), Vancouver (Canada), Tacoma (United States), Pusan (South Korea), Qingdao (China)

Asia – US East Coast

EC1 (US East Coast 1):

Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Yantian (China), Shanghai (China), Ningbo (China), Pusan (South Korea), Panama, New York (United States), Norfolk (United States), Savannah (United States), Panama, Balboa (Panama), Kaohsiung (Taiwan)

EC2 (US East Coast 2):

Xiamen (China), Yantian (China), Ningbo (China), Shanghai (China), Pusan (South Korea), Panama, Manzanillo-PA (Panama), Savannah (United States), Charleston (United States), Wilmington (United States), Norfolk (United States), Manzanillo-PA (Panama), Panama, Pusan (South Korea), Xiamen (China)

EC5 (US East Coast 5):

Laem Chabang (Thailand), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Singapore (Singapore), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Suez, Halifax (Canada), New York (United States), Savannah (United States, Jacksonville (United States), Charleston (United States), Norfolk (United States), New York (United States), Halifax (Canada), Suez, Singapore (Singapore), Laem Chabang (Thailand)

EC6 (US East Coast 6):

Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Hong Kong (China), Yantian (China), Ningbo (China), Shanghai (China), Pusan (South Korea), Panama, Houston (United States), Mobile (United States), Panama, Rodman (Panama), Kaohsiung (Taiwan)

WIN (West India North America):

Bin Qasim (Pakistan), Hazira (India), Nhava Sheva (India), Mundra (India), Damietta (Egypt), Algeciras (Spain), New York (United States), Savannah (United States), Jacksonville (United States), Charleston (United States), Norfolk (United States), Damietta (Egypt), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Bin Qasim (Pakistan)

Source: Container News


ONE targets market share with 2030 strategy

Singapore-headquartered Ocean Network Express (ONE) is looking to leapfrog its THE Alliance partner Hapag-Lloyd as the fifth largest carrier with a sustained fleet growth of around 10% per year to the end of this decade.

The company said in its recently released ONE 2030 strategy that it will invest US$25 billion in its fleet to add close to 1.2 million TEUs in capacity, taking its standing fleet to 3 million TEUs.

Stefan Verberckmoes, senior analyst at Alphaliner said, “One of the main reasons explaining the strategy is that they are aware that a carrier needs economies of scale to be profitable to finance decarbonisation.”

However, former research analyst Mark McVicar believes, “The move is an attempt to gain market share, but in order for the market to remain buoyant it relies on the assumption that others will cede market share.”

Fleet growth for the Singapore-based line will increase over the six-year period from around 4%, which is below the level of market growth, to 10% annually, higher than the projected market growth to the end of the decade. Accountants PWC projects annual global GDP growth of around 3-3.5%.

“ONE should realise an annual fleet growth of around 10% until 2030 to reach its goals. That’s indeed a very ambitious plan in a market where moderate growth and overcapacity is expected,” added Verberckmoes.

The ONE 2030 plan includes delivering sustainable solutions for its vessels to meet new regulations and the acquisition of terminals in key regions of the world.

In addition, the company will identify key growth regions, with increasing cargo flows, strengthen its customer service support, meeting customers’ requirements for digitalised services.

Moreover, ONE expects to move into areas within the logistics “value chain”. Dynamar analyst Darron Wadey said the company cites its moves for Atlas and the terminal operations of its Japanese shareholders, MOL, NYK and K Line.

Wadey also points out that “No specific mention of logistics has been made,” and that the company has allocated some US$10 billion to develop these what ONE calls “adjacent” businesses.

He added, “Should ONE make a definitive move into container logistics, this could be facilitated by its shareholders in a similar way to how it entered into container terminal investments, namely taking over stakes held by its parents.

“Buying into its parent’s already well-established and extensive logistics presences would make sense. For starters, ONE would not be burdened by expensive start up from scratch costs. It would also avoid creating a competitor to its shareholders’ existing activities.”

Transforming its fleet and services will mean that the carrier will target US$3.8 billion profits by the end of the implementation period, an aim that McVicar described as “reasonable”.

According to ONE, the initial two years of ONE 2030 are the years during which the industry may be affected by newbuildings. However, due to geographic and political factors such as the ongoing Red Sea crisis, it is rather difficult to predict the profit level in a logical manner, said the company.

Nevertheless, ONE predicts that after these two years, profits will be boosted by a better supply and demand balance and that its returns will also improve as a result of the early benefits of its strategy.

Source: Container News


APM Terminals Moín handles over 6 million TEUs in five years of operation

In just over five years since the launch of its operations in 2018, APM Terminals Moín (TCM) has handled over 6 million TEUs.

Throughout this period, container volumes have shown growth, increasing from 1 million TEUs in 2019 to 1.3 million TEUs in 2023. Moreover, the average monthly number of vessels calling at the terminal has risen from 12 in 2018 to over 89 in 2023, marking a threefold increase compared to other ports in the region.

Approximately 80% to 85% of the Costa Rican terminal operations focus on the efficient and timely handling of export commodities, including bananas, pineapples, coffee, tubers, and melons. These exports not only drive economic activity but also have a positive impact on job creation, benefiting thousands of individuals employed directly and through subcontractors.

“We have focused on lifting the standard of innovation, and efficiency and providing a quality service for our customers, the development and growth of our partners and the country. The time taken to release cargo, less than 4 days, has been recognized by the Logistics and Customs Commission of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce. Now, we are in a solid position to continue being one of the world’s leading terminals and lift the standard of efficiency and reliability even further,” commented José Rueda, general manager of APM Terminals Moín.

Furthermore, the terminal employs advanced technologies for efficiency, including automated gates with OCR systems for container ID verification and appointment scheduling to manage gate traffic. Additionally, OCR technology on ship-to-shore cranes ensures accurate container handling, while high-resolution cameras capture container conditions for visual documentation.

“APM Terminals is a company at the forefront of technology to not only strengthen the security and efficiency of operations but also to significantly improve our customers’ experience. We are committed to continue innovating to keep Costa Rica at the forefront of the best practices in the port industry, contributing to the sustainable development of the global import and export logistics chain,” explained Mehdi Ben Mouloud, deputy director general and chief operating Officer of TCM.

Source: Container News


The Essential Guide to Shipping Container Dimensions – What You Need to Know

Shipping containers are standardized containers used for transporting goods via sea, land, or sometimes air. Understanding their dimensions is crucial for efficient logistics planning and cargo management.

As of today, more than 17 million containers of different dimensions and types are used globally to make container shipping the most efficient method of transportation.

The ISO sets the standard shipping container dimensions. These containers are ISO certified, which means they are brought into business only when manufactured and tested per the specifications provided by the International Organization for Standardisation to ensure that the freight is suitable for multiple transportation modes, i.e. via cargo ship, truck or rail.

The ISO Shipping containers must fit perfectly onto ships and lock into chassis and trailers. They also stack perfectly on railcars, saving space and making the transportation of goods easier and more convenient.

The weight of the container is divided into three types:

  • the tare weight,
  • the gross weight,
  • and the payload.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to shipping container dimensions:

Standard Container Dimensions:

1. 20-foot Container (20ft):

  • External Dimensions: 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet 6 inches tall (6.1 meters long, 2.44 meters wide, and 2.59 meters tall).
  • Internal Dimensions: Approximately 19 feet 4 inches long, 7 feet 8 inches wide, and 7 feet 10 inches tall (5.9 meters long, 2.35 meters wide, and 2.39 meters tall).
  • Capacity: Around 1,170 cubic feet (33.1 cubic meters).
  • Maximum Gross Weight: Approximately 52,910 lbs (24,000 kg).

2. 40-foot Container (40ft):

  • External Dimensions: 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet 6 inches tall (12.19 meters long, 2.44 meters wide, and 2.59 meters tall).
  • Internal Dimensions: Approximately 39 feet 6 inches long, 7 feet 8 inches wide, and 7 feet 10 inches tall (12 meters long, 2.35 meters wide, and 2.39 meters tall).
  • Capacity: About 2,390 cubic feet (67.7 cubic meters).
  • Maximum Gross Weight: Around 67,200 lbs (30,480 kg).

3. 40-foot High Cube Container (40ft HC):

  • External Dimensions: 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet 6 inches tall (12.19 meters long, 2.44 meters wide, and 2.89 meters tall).
  • Internal Dimensions: Approximately 39 feet 6 inches long, 7 feet 8 inches wide, and 8 feet 10 inches tall (12 meters long, 2.35 meters wide, and 2.69 meters tall).
  • Capacity: Approximately 2,694 cubic feet (76.3 cubic meters).
  • Maximum Gross Weight: About 67,200 lbs (30,480 kg).

4. 45-foot Container (45ft):

  • External Dimensions: 45 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet 6 inches tall (13.7 meters long, 2.44 meters wide, and 2.89 meters tall).
  • Internal Dimensions: Approximately 44 feet 6 inches long, 7 feet 8 inches wide, and 8 feet 10 inches tall (13.56 meters long, 2.35 meters wide, and 2.69 meters tall).
  • Capacity: Roughly 3,040 cubic feet (86.1 cubic meters).
  • Maximum Gross Weight: Typically around 65,900 lbs (29,900 kg).

Benefits and Usage:

Increased Capacity: Compared to the standard 40-foot container, the 45-foot container offers additional space, making it suitable for larger cargo volumes or bulkier items.

Efficiency: Utilizing 45-foot containers can enhance efficiency by reducing the number of containers needed for shipping large quantities of goods.

Flexibility: Some transportation routes or terminals may specifically accommodate 45-foot containers, offering greater flexibility in logistics planning.

Cargo Types: These containers are suitable for a wide range of cargo types, including general goods, machinery, equipment, and bulk commodities.


Availability: While 45-foot containers are increasingly common, they might not be as readily available as standard 20-foot and 40-foot containers in certain regions or shipping routes.

Transportation Costs: Due to their larger size and weight, transportation costs for 45-foot containers may be higher compared to standard containers.

Handling Equipment: Ensure that ports, terminals, and transportation providers have the necessary equipment to handle and transport 45-foot containers safely and efficiently.

By considering the dimensions and benefits of a 45-foot container, you can determine whether it’s suitable for your shipping needs and optimize your logistics operations accordingly.

Other Container Types:

Flat Rack Containers: These containers have collapsible sides, enabling easy loading of oversized cargo.

Open Top Containers: Similar to standard containers but with a removable top, facilitating top-loading of cargo.

Refrigerated Containers (Reefers): These containers are equipped with refrigeration units for transporting temperature-sensitive goods.

Tank Containers: Designed for transporting liquids, gases, or powders in bulk.

Specialty Containers: Tailored containers for specific cargo types, such as vehicles, livestock, or hazardous materials.

Considerations for Container Shipping:

Cargo Size and Weight: Ensure your cargo fits within the dimensions and weight limits of the chosen container type.

Container Condition: Inspect containers for any damage or defects before loading to prevent damage to goods during transit.

Loading and Securing: Properly load and secure cargo within containers to prevent shifting or damage during transport.

Regulatory Compliance: Adhere to international shipping regulations and safety standards applicable to your cargo type.

By understanding shipping container dimensions and types, you can effectively plan and manage your logistics operations, ensuring efficient and secure transportation of goods worldwide.

Markings on a shipping container

Shipping containers typically bear various markings that convey important information about their contents, handling, and specifications. These markings are standardized to ensure efficient handling and safe transportation across different logistics networks. Here are some common markings found on shipping containers:

ISO Code and Identification Number: Every shipping container is assigned a unique identification number, typically referred to as the Container Number or Box Number. This alphanumeric code is preceded by an ISO 6346 reporting mark, indicating the country code, owner code, serial number, and check digit. For example, “MSCU 123456 7.”

Tare Weight: The weight of an empty container is indicated near the container’s doors. This allows for easy calculation of the net weight of cargo being loaded.

Max Gross Weight: The maximum gross weight the container can carry, including cargo and container weight, is displayed on the container’s exterior. Exceeding this weight limit is a safety hazard and can lead to penalties.

Payload Capacity: The maximum weight of the cargo the container can safely carry is often specified alongside the maximum gross weight.

Size and Type Designation: The size and type of the container are prominently displayed on the exterior. Common sizes include 20-foot (20′), 40-foot (40′), and 45-foot (45′) containers. Variations such as “High Cube” or specialized containers like refrigerated (reefers) are also labeled accordingly.

Safety and Handling Marks: Symbols indicating handling instructions, such as “This Side Up,” “Handle with Care,” or “Keep Dry,” are often present to guide port workers and freight handlers in the proper handling of the container.

Owner and Operator Information: The name, logo, and contact information of the container’s owner or operator may be displayed on the container’s exterior for identification and tracking purposes.

Approval and Certification Marks: Containers are typically manufactured and certified to international standards such as those set by the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC). Certification marks and approval seals indicate compliance with safety and quality standards.

Hazardous Material Labels: Containers carrying hazardous materials or dangerous goods must display appropriate hazard labels and placards according to international regulations such as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

Ventilation and Refrigeration Markings: Containers equipped with ventilation or refrigeration systems may have corresponding markings indicating airflow requirements, temperature settings, or refrigerant types.

These markings serve to ensure the safe and efficient handling, transportation, and tracking of shipping containers and their contents throughout the global supply chain.

Source: internet


Innovative Ways Business Owners Use Shipping Containers

Shipping containers offer creative solutions for various business needs.

Beyond their traditional role in transportation, can serve a variety of purposes that help entrepreneurs, small business owners, and startups cut back on operational expenses.

In this article, we discuss the many unconventional and ingenious applications of shipping containers, from self-storage facilities and alternative office spaces to coffee shops and nail salons. Discover how business owners worldwide are leveraging the durability, portability, and affordability of shipping containers to unlock new opportunities and enhance their operations.

Keep reading to learn all about the boundless possibilities of using shipping containers for business.

8 Shipping Container Business Ideas

In recent years, shipping containers have gained popularity as a cost-effective alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar business buildings. Their modular design, durability, and mobility make them ideal for creating unique and creative spaces that meet diverse business needs.

Let’s take a look at eight popular business uses for shipping containers:

1. Self Storage Shipping Container

Shipping containers provide an efficient and cost-effective solution for self-storage facilities.

These durable, steel shipping containers ensure the safety and security of stored items, while their modular design allows for scalability to accommodate varying storage needs. Additionally, shipping containers can be customized with features such as climate control, shelving, and security systems to enhance functionality and meet specific requirements.

For businesses in the storage industry, investing in shipping container self-storage facilities offers a lucrative opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand for flexible storage solutions.

2. Container Coffee Shop

Transforming a shipping container into a coffee shop offers an eye-catching venue for serving up delicious brews. With minimal modifications, such as installing windows, doors, and counters, a shipping container can be converted into a cozy and inviting coffee shop.

These compact cafes are perfect for setting up in urban areas, parks, or event venues, providing a trendy and convenient spot for customers to grab their morning coffee or enjoy a leisurely break.

Container coffee shops also offer flexibility, allowing owners to relocate their business easily to capitalize on different foot traffic opportunities.

3. Office Space Shipping Container

Shipping containers are increasingly being used as office spaces due to their versatility and quick deployment capabilities. With the addition of insulation, windows, doors, and electrical wiring, a shipping container can become a comfortable and functional workspace.

Container offices are ideal for startups, remote workers, or businesses looking for affordable and customizable office solutions. These unique office spaces can be set up individually or clustered together to create larger workspaces, making them suitable for coworking environments or temporary office expansions during peak business seasons.

Andrew, the owner of Venango Awnings and GT Watts Awnings says “I often use shipping containers as on-site storage and a make-shift office for large awning projects”

4. Shipping Container Yoga Studio

For fitness enthusiasts and yoga practitioners, a shipping container can serve as a tranquil and intimate space for yoga classes and wellness workshops.

With the addition of flooring, insulation, and ventilation systems, you can convert a shipping container into a serene yoga studio that offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These container studios are portable and can be placed in scenic locations like parks, beaches, or nature reserves, providing a unique setting for yoga enthusiasts to practice mindfulness and connect with nature.

5. Shipping Container Art Gallery

Shipping containers offer a dynamic and customizable space for showcasing artwork and exhibitions.

The sturdy structure of shipping containers makes them a great foundation for modern and sleek galleries that provide a unique backdrop for artistic expression. Container art galleries are versatile and can be easily relocated from urban art districts to outdoor festivals and cultural events.

These innovative galleries offer artists and curators an opportunity to engage with new audiences and create immersive art experiences that captivate and inspire visitors.

6. Recording Studio Shipping Container

For musicians and audio professionals, a shipping container can be converted into a state-of-the-art recording studio that offers a professional and acoustically optimized environment.

With soundproofing, insulation, and interior finishes, a shipping container can provide a controlled and comfortable space for recording music, podcasts, or audio content.

Plus, container recording studios are portable and can be set up in remote locations or urban settings, offering flexibility and convenience for artists on the go. These compact studios also offer cost-effective solutions for independent musicians or small production companies looking to establish a professional recording space.

7. Shipping Container Nail Salon

Transforming a shipping container into a nail salon offers a trendy and modern space for offering manicures, pedicures, and nail art services.

With the addition of plumbing, electrical wiring, and interior finishes, you can convert shipping into stylish and functional salons that provide a comfortable and hygienic environment for clients.

Additionally, you can set up your container nail salon in different locations based on your target clientele, such as shopping malls, markets, or outdoor events. This provides convenience and accessibility for customers, while enabling you to position your business as strategically as possible.

These compact salons offer you a cost-effective and customizable option for launching a nail salon.

8. Container Hotel

Shipping containers have revolutionized the hospitality industry by offering an innovative and sustainable alternative to traditional hotels. Container hotels — constructed from repurposed shipping containers — mark the next step in hotel innovation, offering unique and eco-friendly accommodations for travelers.

With the addition of insulation, windows, doors, and interior finishes, shipping containers can be transformed into stylish and comfortable hotel rooms that offer all the amenities of a traditional hotel.

These innovative hotels appeal to eco-conscious travelers seeking environmentally friendly lodging options that combine comfort, style, and sustainability.

Final Thoughts

The versatility and adaptability of shipping containers make them invaluable assets for a wide range of business ventures. From self-storage facilities to creative retail concepts and hospitality spaces, shipping containers offer endless possibilities for entrepreneurs looking to innovate and stand out.

By harnessing the transformative power of shipping container architecture, business owners can create unique and memorable experiences for their customers while maximizing efficiency, flexibility, and sustainability. Plus, investing in shipping containers is often much more cost-effective than purchasing full-blown commercial buildings or properties, making it easier to get new businesses off the ground.

Discover the possibilities of shipping container business spaces today.

Source: Container News



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