Mode of Shipment
Liner shipping involves two modes of shipment viz., Break-bulk mode and the containerized mode. As the leading shipping company of the country, the SCI has a presence in both Break-bulk and container shipping modes.
Even though the SCI started as a predominant Break-bulk shipping company, the organization has gradually shifted focus towards containerization and is presently a force to reckon with in containerized Liner services, from India to major trade destinations of the world.
In the Break-bulk era, the cargo offered by a customer for shipment was charged on the basis of weight (Metric Tonne) or volume (Cubic Meter) depending on the nature of the cargo. In the containerized era, measurements are predominantly based on the number of containers (measured in TEUs - Twenty foot Equivalent Units) that the cargo would occupy.
What is a Container?
A container is a steel box with the following dimensions:
TEU - Length 20' Breath - 8' Height - 8'6' (overall)
FEU - Length 40' Breadth - 8' Height - 8'6' (overall)
A standard 20' container has an internal volume of approximately 31 Cubic meters and a pay load of 18 Tonnes. Leaving aside the question of stowage factors and packaging, it would appear that any cargo with a density in the vicinity of 0.6 Tonnes/Cubic meter (18 Tonnes/31 Cubic meter) could be containerized. This threshold density will ensure that the load carrying capacity and the space available inside a container is utilized optimally. Any cargo with a density far greater than 0.6 Tonnes/Cubic meter, will reach the weight limit of 18 Tonnes before the container space is fully utilized. On the other hand, cargo with a density very much less than 0.6 Tonnes/Cubic meter, will use the entire space available even before the weight limit is reached. Hence, the density of a material plays an important role in whether the same can be containerized or not.
These are containers specially designed for particular type of cargoes. A few of these include:
1) Unpacked heavy pieces and machinery - Open Top Container or Flat Racks
2) Dry bulk cargoes - Bulk Containers
3) Liquid bulk cargoes - Tank Containers
4) Temperature sensitive cargoes - Reefer Containers
FCL - LCL Containers
Containers passing through a port can be classified as FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL (Less than Container Load). This has nothing to do with the quantity of goods in the container but refers to their origin and destination. An FCL originated container arrives at the port fully loaded ready to ship. An LCL shipment arrives as Break-bulk cargo (possibly from several different consignors) and has to be stuffed in the container in a groupage shed, or Container Freight Station (CFS).
CFS and ICD
A CFS is a groupage shed or storage area which is near a port and where stuffing and de-stuffing of containers is done. On the other hand, ICD (Inland Container Depot) is a port away from the port.
As the name suggests, an ICD is located in an inland area far away from the sea port, but with all the customs facilities of a sea port. Containers for inland locations are transported by land to these ICDs and all clearing formalities are completed here as in any sea port.
SCI's Container fleet
The SCI which is the largest Indian shipping company, has a total fleet of approximately 48,000 TEUs under its command at any point of time. Of this, 5850 TEUs are owned by the SCI and the rest are taken on Master Lease/long-term lease from renowned container lessors around the world.
The SCI can provide its customers any type of containers as per their requirements. These activities are taken care of by the world-wide Agency Network of the SCI.
How to Ship Cargo with SCI?
Customers can plan their shipping schedule based on long-term Shipping Schedules for the various SCI Liner services. For further details regarding ETA/ETD of SCI vessels and booking of cargo, our Agents at the respective ports could be contacted.
If after shipping of cargo, customers would like to know the whereabouts of their containers, this could be checked on this website
U.S. Customs 24-Hour Advance Vessel Manifest Rule
U. S. Custom filed new regulations on October 31, 2002, that has significant documentation implication to clients in the import and export business, relating to shipment information.