Markings on a shipping container (I)

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Before buying, renting or storing your cargo in a container, it is necessary to know what certain markings mean on the outside of the container. We will explain this in this blog post. Take a look at the picture, which shows where each marking can be found.

Container’s number. This is the main sign found on the back door of the container. It consists of seven digits and four letters that are intended to identify each container to its owner. This number is unique to all container owners and is registered by Bureau International des Containers (BIC) in Paris.

For example, the container’s number is ABCD 1234567:

The first three letters (ABC) stand for container’s owner code. The fourth letter D indicates the category of containers. The first six numbers (123456) are container’s serial numbers. Last number 7 is a control number used to confirm whether the owner / product group code and registration number have been accurately transmitted.

The owner’s logo. The shipping line’s or container owner’s logo / name is found on the back door.

ISO code. The container’s ISO code is under the container identification number. This markup provides information about the type of container. For example, GP (general purpose), DV (for a dry van) etc.). This markup also indicates the size of container. For example, if the ISO code is 45 G0, the first number 4 indicates the length of the container (40 feet) and the second number 5 indicates the width. The last letter with a number indicates the container type and subtype.

Weight and payload. You will also find full information about container’s and load’s weight.

Container’s weight: manufacturer’s weight of the empty container after the production process.

Payload: this is the maximum weight of a load that an approved ISO container can have.

Gross weight: total safe container’s and load’s weight.

In the next blog post we will review the remaining important container markings. We hope that this information will be useful when choosing a container!