|3 Containers - Explanation of terminology|
|3.1 Container design|
|3.1.1 Container design and types|
|22.214.171.124 Part 1|
|126.96.36.199 Part 2|
|188.8.131.52 Part 3|
|3.1.2 CSC & structural and testing regulations|
|3.1.3 Cargo securing equipment|
|3.2 Container dimensions and weights|
|3.3 Identification system|
|3.4 Size and type codes|
|3.5 Operational markings|
|3.6 Other markings|
|3.7 Arrangement of obligatory and optional|
|3.8 Marking of containers carrying hazardous materials|
|This section deals with the technical aspects of CTUs and the cargo securing aspect of containers, but not the general use of containers; nor is it intended to address the economic viability of using containers.
Explanation of terminology
There is some ambiguity in English about the meaning of the word "container" (from the Latin: continere = to enclose), but for the purposes of this Handbook the word should be taken to mean a shipping container, whether large or small.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines a container as a "large reusable receptacle that can accommodate smaller cartons or cases in a single shipment, designed for efficient handling of cargo". In common American parlance, this type of container is often called a "van", although a van is defined in most dictionaries as a motor vehicle or truck or wagon.
In the past, the term container, when used in the field of goods traffic, was taken to mean standardized transport units of different types, whose dimensions were so matched to one another that they could be combined together as "transport modules". This is still generally true today; however, usage of the term has moved more and more towards large or bulky containers, which are transported by road, rail, water and (in modified form) even by air.
This part of the Container Handbook deals in particular with the packing and securing of cargoes in freight containers. However, the packing and securing instructions are equally applicable to CTUs as defined in the CTU guidelines.
The "Guidelines for the packing of cargo, other than bulk cargo, into or onto cargo transport units (CTUs) applicable to transport operations by all surface and water modes of transport", in force since 17th February 1999, define the following terms:
... the "permanent character, sufficient strength and suitability for repeated use" are no use, however, if a container is incorrectly packed and secured.
The term swap-bodies has come to be used in modern German parlance.
A distinction is drawn according to size between:
This handbook deals in particular with cargo securing in large containers, with the main emphasis on those which spend at least part of their journey at sea. In principle, the cargo securing rules set out also apply to other containers. So-called pa containers are medium containers designed especially for rail transport. Small containers are used in groupage traffic and are carried by both road and rail vehicles. Neither of the above-mentioned groups will be dealt with here, however.
Depending on container design and the applicable standard, the following distinctions may be drawn:
An international standard is necessary for the standardization of transport and handling operations, e.g. to ensure uniform practice in the picking up and setting down of containers using lifting gear and ground conveyors or the marking of containers. In addition, a series of other national and international publications, some of which have legal force, cover the widest possible range of characteristics of these special containers for rationalized goods transport or give instructions for their use.
We shall not list the individual standards here, as they are of only limited relevance to packing and cargo securing. Should a particular standard be of relevance, the reader will be referred to it.
Technical Committee 104 (TC 104) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was involved in drawing up many of the ISO standards. German interests were represented with regard to some standards by the ISO Container sub-committee (SC). The international standards are applied in Germany as DIN ISO or these days for the most part as DIN EN ISO.
One important regulation which has legal force has been published in the German federal law gazette as the "Internationales Übereinkommen über sichere Container (CSC)" [International Convention for Safe Containers]. The Convention defines the term container as follows:
For the purpose of the present Convention, unless expressly provided otherwise,
In both DIN ISO 668, entitled "Series 1 ISO containers - Classification, dimensions and ratings" and in DIN ISO 830 "Containers - Vocabulary", containers are defined as follows:
In principle, the only difference between the "International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC)" and the DIN ISO standards is that the former provides for a container surface area of at least 14 m² or 7m², as a function of the corner castings, while the latter deem receptacles with volumes of 1 m³ or more to be containers.
We will not at this point go into the specific definitions of the term container given in hazardous materials legislation, but if the need arises, the relevant references will be cited at the appropriate point.
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