More than once we have been asked what the codes and symbols on containers mean. The reality is that they play a key role in the logistics and transport of sea containers. Read on and find out what they all mean.
- 1. CONTAINER NUMBER
It is a unique alphanumeric sequence. No two containers in the world have the same number.
They are like this:
OWNER PREFIX: Three capital letters which refer to the company that manufactured them. They are numbers that are registered with the BIC (bureau international des Containers). If you want to know which prefix refers to which company you can look it up.
EQUIPMENT IDENTIFIER: A capital letter as follows:
U for all freight containers,
J for demountable equipment related to freight containers.
Z for trailers and chassis.
SERIAL NUMBER: Six arabic numerals, left to the owner's or operator's choice.
CHECK NUMBER: It is an arabic numeral that provides a means to validate the registration and transmission accuracies of the owner code and serial number. It is super important because it determines whether the complete ID is valid or not.
CONTAINER DIMENSIONS AND PROPERTIES
Four-digit code that is divided into two digits. The first number corresponds to the size or length of the container (2 for 20' and 4 for 40'). The second number describes the height and width (0 to 5) and whether the sea container has a towing tunnel. The third digit indicates the type of container, while the fourth digit (0 to 9) indicates special features on the openings.
- 2. WEIGHT OF CONTAINER
Weight of the empty container. It is given by the manufacturer and must be considered by each ship operator to avoid planning problems and disasters at sea.
- 3. MAX VOL THAN CAN BE PACKED
Volume of the internal capacity of the container, indicated in both cubic metres and cubic feet.
- 4. LR LLOYDS REGISTER QUALITY
Basically it is a validation by an entity dedicated to validate qualities worldwide and certify them after production.
- 5. CSC PLATE
This section contains the details of the container, manufacturer, weight, type, etc.
This is a plaque that refers to the compliance of the container with the structural strength tests.
- 6. ISO CODE
These are standardised two-letter codes assigned to each pas and used by IANA to create higher code power domains.
Have you learned enough about codes and symbols on sea containers? Tell us about it.