Explanation of symbols on containers

Decoding notationOwner's logoMark of the classification societyRepair recommendationsCombined Data PlateHigh volume warningContainer numberCheck digitMaster code containerEquipment category identifierCode size and typeMaximum gross weightTare weightMax lifting capacityInternal volumeAltitude warningOwner's logo

ISO 6346 is an international standard established by the International Bureau of Containers for the coding, identification and marking of shipping containers that it sets.

  • Identification system for the container:
    • Master code (code BIC)
    • Equipment category identifier
    • The serial number of the container
    • Check digit
  • Code size and type
  • Country code
  • Operational signs

Master code container - The code consists of the first three capital letters of the Latin alphabet, serves to designate the main owner or operator of the sea container. Such a code must be registered in International Bureau of containers Paris's unparalleled in the world.

Equipment category identifier - Equipment category identifier consists of one capital letter of the alphabet which is right at the source of the owner of container:

  • U - for all cargo containers
  • J - for removable equipment related to freight containers
  • Z - for trailers and chassis

Number of container - This is the 6-digit serial number of the container and is used to uniquely identify the container. 

Check digit - A number that is the means to control the reliability of the owner code and serial number. The control number is relevant only to the code of the owner, the category ID and serial number of the equipment container.

Country code (optional) - Country code consists of two uppercase letters of the alphabet, as described in the standard ISO 3166. They point to the country in which the code, not the nationality of the owner or operator of the offshore container.

Operational tags - Internal tags are designed to transmit the requested information for transport containers or give a visual warning.

Operational labels include:

  • Weight of the container
  • Symbol for the container
  • Sign warning of electrical hazards
  • Container height higher than 2,6 m (8 feet 6 inches)

A security table attached to a container and its purpose.

Decoding notationClassification Society RulesContainer modelManufacturer Serial NumberManufacturer NameName and address of the ownerFumigation detailsApproval number of the classification societyDate of manufactureContainer numberMaximum working gross weightPermissible packing weightLoad testACEP number

Since the container is a vehicle for the transport of goods between states, it has not only standard dimensions, but also the necessary security for service personnel during transportation. This is achieved by its design and the material used and strength. In support of these facts, a container is attached to the BCF (Convention for Safe Containers), which is issued by the country's qualification and supervisory authority. 

English is set as the language for filling in the table. Table dimensions - 200 * 100 mm. Made from corrosion-resistant material. Fastened to the left door of the container in its lower part. On the container doors themselves it is also additionally indicated: own weight, maximum weight gross in kilograms and pounds. The KBK plate serves as a guarantor of container safety. 

The container is therefore considered to be safety certified for countries that have signed a CAC. The plate shows the following information:

  • The country that provided the approval and the number of the approval, as shown for example in the 1 line (the country that provided the approval must be indicated by the distinguishing sign used to indicate the country of registration of vehicles in international traffic);
  • Date (month and year) of manufacture;
  • The identification number of the container assigned by the manufacturer or for existing containers for which this number is unknown, the number assigned by the administration;
  • Maximum operating gross weight (kilograms and pounds);
  • Permissible weight on stacking with 1,8 g (kilograms and pounds), where g is the acceleration of gravity;
  • The magnitude of the load in the transverse test for rigidity (kilograms and pounds);
  • The end wall strength is indicated in the plate only if the end walls are designed for a load that is less or more than 0,4 from the maximum allowable payload, i.e. 0,4 P;
  • The strength of the side wall is indicated on the plate only if the side walls are designed for a load that is less or more than 0,6 from the maximum allowable payload, i.e. 0,6 P; 
  • The date (month and year) of the first routine inspection of the new containers and the date (month and year) of the subsequent preventive examinations, if the plate is used for this purpose. The signatories of the CSC mutually recognize containers with signs certified by national qualification authorities. Volumes and methods of mandatory testing of containers are contained in the ISO standard, as well as in national standards (for example, GOST 20260 of the former USSR).

Tables for determining the number and type of container by number on the container  4 | 5 | G1

Container length - first character
First sign Length m Length ft Inches
1 2.991 10  
2 6.068 20  
3 9.125 30  
4 12.192 40  
A 7.150    
B 7.315 24  
C 7.430 24 6
D 7.450    
E 7.820    
F 8.100    
G 12.500 41  
H 13.106 43  
K 13.600    
L 13.716 45  
M 14.630 48  
N 14.935 49  
P 16.154    
The height and width of the container - second sign
Container height The width of the container
SECOND SIGN
м. ft inches 2.438 m. > 2.438 m <2.5 m > 2.5 m.
2.438 8   \(zero)
2.591 8 6 2 C L
2.743 9 4 D M
2.895 9 6 5 E N
> 2.895 >9 6 6 F P
4 3 8      
Container type - third and fourth signs
Sign Container type
GP General Purpose Container without Ventilation
G0 One end or both ends of the open (s)
G1 Passive ventilation at the top of the cargo area
G2 One end (or both ends) open (s) are also open one (or both) sides
G3 One end (or both ends) are open), also one (or both) sides are not open fully
VH General Purpose Container with Ventilation
V0 Non-mechanical system with ventilation holes in the lower and upper parts of the cargo area
V2 A mechanical ventilation system, located inside
V4 A mechanical ventilation system, located outside
RE-RT-RS Refrigerated container
R0 Mechanical refrigerator
R1 Mechanical refrigerator heated
R2 Mechanical refrigerator with its installation
R3 Mechanical refrigerator with its installation and heated
UT Container with opening top
U0 Open one end (or both ends) open (s)
U1 One end (or both ends) open (s) on the end frames are removable upper elements
U2 One end (or both ends) open (s), open one (or both) of the side walls
U3 One end (or both ends) open (s), open one (or both) of the side walls on the end frames are removable upper elements
U4 One end (or both ends) open (s) are not fully open one side and on the other side is completely open
U5 Completely fixed sides and ends (no doors)
TN-TD-TG Tank container
T0 No hazardous liquids, minimum pressure 0,45 bar
T1 No hazardous liquids, minimum pressure 1,50 bar
T2 No hazardous liquids, minimum pressure 2,65 bar
T3 Hazardous liquids, minimum pressure 1,50 bar
T4 Hazardous liquids, minimum pressure 2,65 bar
T5 Hazardous liquids, minimum pressure 4,00 bar
T6 Hazardous liquids, minimum pressure 6,00 bar
T7 Gases, the minimum pressure 9,10 bar
T8 Gases, the minimum pressure 22,00
T9 Gaza, with a certain pressure
HR-HI Thermal container
H0 With cooling or heating, with removable equipment located outside; Heat transfer coefficient K = 0.4W / M2.K
H1 Cooled or heated with removable equipment located inside
H2 Cooled or heated with removable equipment located inside
H5 The heat transfer coefficient K = 0.7W / M2.K
H6 Isothermal. The heat transfer coefficient K = 0.4W / M2.K
BU-BK Container for transportation of dry bulk cargo
B0 Closed container
B1 Airtight container
B3 Horizontal discharge, test pressure bar 1,5
B4 Horizontal discharge, test pressure bar 2,65
B5 Unloading rollover test pressure bar 1.5
B6 Unloading rollover test pressure 2,65
PL-PF-PC-PS Platform
P0 Platform container
P1 The full rigid ends
P2 Rigidly attached to racks, standing racks or racks with movable top member
P3 Foldable
P4 Folding rack, freestanding rack or removable top element
P5 The open top, open ends
SN Special Container
S0 Container for transporting cattle
S1 Container for transport vehicles
S2 Container for transporting live fish
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