Container Glossary


  • Approved Continuous Examination Programme: the owner’s standard for the container’s condition (at least the same as the CSC).

  • A container sold in its current condition at the time of sale.


  • Bunker Adjustment Factor: a surcharge on shipping charges which may be added on top of basic freight charges to offset price fluctuations in the cost of fuel; generally 0–10%.


  • A container inspector.

  • A standard-sized rectangular box used to transport freight by ship, rail and highway.

  • International Convention for Safe Containers: an international standard for the condition of containers.

  • A container is inspected at the container depot in compliance with a certain standard. When the container passes the inspection, its CSC validity may continue.

  • An adhesive label or a stamp on the CSC plate indicating the period of validity of the CSC plate for the container in question.

  • Cargo worthy; also, Cash With Order (INCOTERM)


  • Dry Cargo: a basic ISO shipping container.

  • Double Door: a container that can be opened at both ends.

  • A designated area for empty containers.


  • A repair report.

  • A term used to indicate the approximate arrival and departure dates of ships (‘estimated date of arrival’).

  • A formerly refrigerated container sold as an insulated container (machinery removed).


  • Flat Rack: a ‘container’ platform without a roof and sides.

  • Free on Truck: an INCOTERM related to goods carried by truck; the seller bears the risk and covers the charges to get the goods onto the truck.

  • An abbreviation for ‘foot’ or ‘feet’; 1 metre = 3.28 ft.


  • High Cube: a container higher than a normal DC container, at 9.5 ft. (9′ 6″).

  • A chassis equipped with a small crane used to lower the container several metres away from the chassis.

  • A lifting lug on the end wall of a container, used to pull the container onto the chassis.

  • High Cube Reefer: a refrigerated/heated container, higher than a normal RC container.


  • An intermediate bulk container.

  • An insulated container.

  • Guide for Container Equipment Inspection, 5th edition, published by the Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL); a guide determining the criteria for container condition and repair requirements. Used for container inspections.

  • A label indicating that the cargo contains harmful or hazardous substances (IMCO = Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organisation).

  • A container built to international standard dimensions (ISO = International Organisation for Standardisation).


  • Maximum Gross Weight: the maximum total weight permitted.

  • A term commonly used for open top (OT) containers converted from regular DC containers.


  • Removal of the prefix from a container when the container is sold.


  • An open top container fitted with a tarpaulin instead of a roof, loaded from the top.


  • MGW – tare weight: the maximum permitted weight of cargo.

  • A four-letter code preceding the seven-digit container serial number, such as EPPU, identifying the type and owner of the container.

  • Pallet Wide: a container with an interior 9cm wider than a DC container.


  • Reefer container: a refrigerated/heated container.

  • A vehicle used to move containers.

  • Rails fitted on the bottom of a container to enable transportation using roll-off equipment.


  • Side Door/Full-Side Door: the long side of a container has full-side doors, with the whole side opening.

  • A chassis equipped with a hoist that lowers the container down to the ground next to the chassis.

  • A term used for new shipping containers, which always do 1–2 trips prior to being put up for sale.

  • A container that no longer conforms to CSC standards but is still suitable for storage purposes.


  • A container used for transport/storage of liquids.

  • The dead weight of a container without a load.

  • An area designated for storing containers coming into and going out of the country, usually loaded.

  • Twenty-foot equivalent unit: a standard unit used in container transport. 1 TEU is 20 feet long and 8.5 feet (8′ 6″) high. A 40′ DC = 2 TEUs.

  • Delivered to destination; a term of delivery used in Finland (Finnterms 2001).


  • Wind and Water Tight: a wind- and water-tight container, which may have been fixed using temporary repair methods.