All About Shipping Containers

The Box That Changed The World!

ISO Containers

An ISO Container is a steel module which has been constructed according to ISO manufacturing standards (ISO/TC 104/SC 1) in compliance with standards set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) study which began it’s initial review in 1967.                                                                            The beginning of the Containerization boom…                                             [Photo: ISBU Association] At that time the ISO Container was expected to be used only for the purpose of shipping, therefore the IMO began a research project to create some type of standardized “engineering certification” for these new ISO Containers globally. A few years later, the results of this research was presented jointly to the United Nations and IMO to consider the final draft. The result of this joint conference was the adoption of the draft, and the formation of the the the Conference for Safe Containers (CSC) in 1972. The CSC 1972 required a qualified Engineer at every factory to inspect and certify each ISO Container, sign-off, then issue and attach a CSC plate to every ISO Container as it was fabricated.                                             Lower portion of CSC Plate for ISO Containers (ISO/TC 104/SC 1)    [Credit: ISBU Association] Thus the creation of the CSC plate which certifies the Shipping Container or ISBU module was legally inspected by a certified Engineer at the factory-of-origin, and fully complies with the ISO/TC 104/SC 1 standards set forth by the IMO and approved by the United Nations according to the 1977 Convention. No matter what an ISO Container is used for, the CSC Plate guarantees the “ISO steel module” is safe, and fully certified by a qualified Engineer at the factory-of-origin according to International standards and regulations. No other documentation is necessary. It’s certificate (CSC-plate) travels globally with it. Each ISO Container is given it’s unique identification number (ID), also called a Container Identification Number  (CIN). The CIN is located in various areas of the ISO Container. •  It is stamped on the CSC Plate, •  It is painted on all sides of the ISO Container, •  It is also stamped permanently into the wide steel post on the inside of the ISO Container.                                                                                                                Example- CSC plate ID number: CMCL 13 123456                           [Credit: ISBU Association] NOTE: The above CSC-plate is only the lower half of the actual CSC-plate. The actual CSC plates vary slightly in design from decade to decade. Additionally, the CSC plate was changed slightly on all units soon after 2014. The CIN serial number stamped inside of the for ISO Containers is also the same number as the  Manufacturers Identification Number (ID) as seen on the CSC plate photo above. The ISO Container can now be used for any purpose, and it can also be safely shipped by sea, land, or rail without restriction. The CSC certificate/plate is valid for 5 years unless the ISO Container has become damaged. It can then be properly repaired, then re-certified by a qualified CSC Inspector in any country of the world. Each detailed inspection certifies the Container for an additional 5 years.

The Name Confusion

Shipping Containers have many names, which can be confusing. When an ISO shipping container is used solely for the purpose of shipping it can have seven main names.  •  Shipping Container  •  ISO Container  •  Container  •  Box  •  Cargo Container  •  Conex Box (Container Express)  •  Maritime Container                                                                                              Maritime type of ISO Container                                                            [Credit: ISBU Association] When an ISO Shipping Container is used solely for building construction or storage it is then referred to as an ISBU module--it’s technical name.  •  ISBU  •  ISBU module  •  Intermodal Steel Building Unit  •  ISO Container  •  GreenCube                                                                                               ISBU type of ISO Container                                                             [Credit: ISBU Association] ISO containers are standard shapes and sizes manufactured in only a few countries of the world, principally China, a few other Asian countries, and a few areas in Europe.

From The Factory To You - CSC-Plates

Due to the fact that ISO Containers are manufactured in only a few countries, all ISO containers must either be shipped somehow. or they must be used for shipping. Whether the steel ISO Containers are used for Maritime shipping or as ISBU construction modules, they must be shipped soon as they are manufactured, …and to be shipped they must all be certified at the factory and possess the CSC-plate. Without the certification plate no ISO Container can be transported anywhere. It’s obvious that the Containers used for Maritime shipping will automatically have the CSC inspection. Equally, if ISO Containers are ordered specifically for construction projects for use as ISBU modules, they must also obtain the CSC inspection and plate for the shipping journey to their destination, even if they don’t carry cargo. Therefore, all ISO Containers are manufactured with the CSC-plate which documents the  Engineers certification, even if they are not used specifically for the shipping of cargo.

What Is An ISBU

ISBU is from the name Inter-modal Steel Building UnitIntermodal Steel Building Unit. An ISBU is an ISO Container used for the purpose of storage and construction. An ISBU can also be a shipping container that is no longer used for shipping. Since 2006 the Shipping Containers have become very popular and trendy for use as home, storage, prefab, and business construction purposes. If an ISBU module can still qualify for CSC inspection, it can also be shipped via rail or ocean. The term ISBU was first created by the US Military in the early 1970’s to more easily distinguish the difference between an ISO Container for maritime shipping, or for an ISO Container for the use of storage units, military housing, or other construction projects. The term ISBU makes that distinction. Since 1964 the principle use for Shipping Containers was for International ocean shipping, truck, or train freight, and occasional secure storage. Only recently has the world begun to realize the value of an ISBU in housing, office construction, storage and emergency shelters. The possibilities are virtually endless. An ISBU can be a used Shipping Container when shipping companies no longer need them, or, an ISBU can be manufactured new, as an ISO Container, specifically for use as an ISBU construction module.

ISO Container Sizes

The common shipping containers and ISBU modules are 20' and 40' dry containers and the shipping industry refers to all containers and statistics as TEU, meaning Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU).    A 20’ container is referred to as 1 TEU    A 40’ container is referred to as 2 TEU Other sizes of containers are certainly available such as 8', 10'. However these sizes are specially made and are a minority as global inventory, but growing. The most common types of ISO shipping containers are:  •  20' GP  •  40' GP  •  20' HC (meaning High Cube. The difference is 1 foot taller than a standard 20' GP)  •  40' HC (meaning High Cube. The difference is 1 foot taller than a standard 40' GP)  •  45' GP (Domestic use only)  •  53' GP (Domestic use only)  •  Reefers (Freezer and Refrigerated containers are also available, but are not recommended for       the multi-module ISBU construction projects) RELATED: [ ISO Container specifications and dimensions ] [ History Of Shipping Containers ] [ Benefits Of Container Housing ]
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Information and Resources
Shipping Container type of ISO Container

All About Shipping Containers

The Box That Changed The World!

ISO Containers An ISO Container is a steel module which has been constructed according to ISO manufacturing standards (ISO/TC 104/SC 1) in compliance with standards set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) study which began it’s initial review in 1967.                                    The beginning of the Containerization boom…           [Photo: ISBU Association] At that time the ISO Container was expected to be used only for the purpose of shipping, therefore the IMO began a research project to create some type of standardized “engineering certification” for these new ISO Containers globally. A few years later, the results of this research was presented jointly to the United Nations and IMO to consider the final draft. The result of this joint conference was the adoption of the draft, and the formation of the the the Conference for Safe Containers (CSC) in 1972. The CSC 1972 required a qualified Engineer at every factory to inspect and certify each ISO Container, sign-off, then issue and attach a CSC plate to every ISO Container as it was fabricated.           Lower portion of CSC Plate for ISO Containers (ISO/TC 104/SC 1)    [Credit: ISBU Association] Thus the creation of the CSC plate which certifies the Shipping Container or ISBU module was legally inspected by a certified Engineer  at the factory-of-origin, and fully complies with the ISO/TC 104/SC 1 standards set forth by the IMO and approved by the United Nations according to the 1977 Convention. No matter what an ISO Container is used for, the CSC Plate guarantees the “ISO steel module” is safe, and fully certified by a qualified Engineer at the factory-of-origin according to International standards and regulations. No other documentation is necessary. It’s certificate (CSC-plate) travels globally with it. Each ISO Container is given it’s unique identification number (ID), also called a Container Identification Number  (CIN). The CIN is located in various areas of the ISO Container. •  It is stamped on the CSC Plate, •  It is painted on all sides of the ISO Container, •  It is also stamped permanently into the wide steel post on the inside of the ISO Container.                                                            Example- CSC plate ID number: CMCL 13 123456                    [Credit: ISBU Association] NOTE: The above CSC-plate is only the lower half of the actual CSC-plate. The actual CSC plates vary slightly in design from decade to decade. Additionally, the CSC plate was changed slightly on all units soon after 2014. The CIN serial number stamped inside of the for ISO Containers is also the same number as the  Manufacturers Identification Number (ID) as seen on the CSC plate photo above. The ISO Container can now be used for any purpose, and it can also be safely shipped by sea, land, or rail without restriction. The CSC certificate/plate is valid for 5 years unless the ISO Container has become damaged. It can then be properly repaired, then re- certified by a qualified CSC Inspector in any country of the world. Each detailed inspection certifies the Container for an additional 5 years. The Name Confusion Shipping Containers have many names, which can be confusing. When an ISO shipping container is used solely for the purpose of shipping it can have seven main names.  •  Shipping Container  •  ISO Container  •  Container  •  Box  •  Cargo Container  •  Conex Box (Container Express)  •  Maritime Container                                                         Maritime type of ISO Container                         [Credit: ISBU Association] When an ISO Shipping Container is used solely for building construction or storage it is then referred to as an ISBU module--it’s technical name.  •  ISBU  •  ISBU module  •  Intermodal Steel Building Unit  •  ISO Container  •  GreenCube                                                          ISBU type of ISO Container                        [Credit: ISBU Association] ISO containers are standard shapes and sizes manufactured in only a few countries of the world, principally China, a few other Asian countries, and a few areas in Europe. From The Factory To You - CSC-Plates Due to the fact that ISO Containers are manufactured in only a few countries, all ISO containers must either be shipped somehow. or they must be used for shipping. Whether the steel ISO Containers are used for Maritime shipping or as ISBU construction modules, they must be shipped soon as they are manufactured, …and to be shipped they must all be certified at the factory and possess the CSC-plate. Without the certification plate no ISO Container can be transported anywhere. It’s obvious that the Containers used for Maritime shipping will automatically have the CSC inspection. Equally, if ISO Containers are ordered specifically for construction projects for use as ISBU modules, they must also obtain the CSC inspection and plate for the shipping journey to their destination, even if they don’t carry cargo. Therefore, all ISO Containers are manufactured with the CSC-plate which documents the  Engineers certification, even if they are not used specifically for the shipping of cargo. What Is An ISBU ISBU is from the name Inter-modal Steel Building UnitIntermodal Steel Building Unit. An ISBU is an ISO Container used for the purpose of storage and construction. An ISBU can also be a shipping container that is no longer used for shipping. Since 2006 the Shipping Containers have become very popular and trendy for use as home, storage, prefab, and business construction purposes. If an ISBU module can still qualify for CSC inspection, it can also be shipped via rail or ocean. The term ISBU was first created by the US Military in the early 1970’s to more easily distinguish the difference between an ISO Container for maritime shipping, or for an ISO Container for the use of storage units, military housing, or other construction projects. The term ISBU makes that distinction. Since 1964 the principle use for Shipping Containers was for International ocean shipping, truck, or train freight, and occasional secure storage. Only recently has the world begun to realize the value of an ISBU in housing, office construction, storage and emergency shelters. The possibilities are virtually endless. An ISBU can be a used Shipping Container when shipping companies no longer need them, or, an ISBU can be manufactured new, as an ISO Container, specifically for use as an ISBU construction module. ISO Container Sizes The common shipping containers and ISBU modules are 20' and 40' dry containers and the shipping industry refers to all containers and statistics as TEU, meaning Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU).    A 20’ container is referred to as 1 TEU    A 40’ container is referred to as 2 TEU Other sizes of containers are certainly available such as 8', 10'. However these sizes are specially made and are a minority as global inventory, but growing. The most common types of ISO shipping containers are:  •  20' GP  •  40' GP  •  20' HC (meaning High Cube. The difference is 1 foot taller than a standard 20' GP)  •  40' HC (meaning High Cube. The difference is 1 foot taller than a standard 40' GP)  •  45' GP (Domestic use only)  •  53' GP (Domestic use only)  •  Reefers (Freezer and Refrigerated containers are also available, but are not recommended for       the multi-module ISBU construction projects) [ ISO Container specifications and dimensions ]                                  ___________________________________________                                                                                 ___________________________________________                                       Copyright © 2006-2016 ISBU Association.                                                                All Rights Reserved.   Contact  •  RSS  •  Legal  •  Privacy  •  Terms Of Service   •  Join   •  Media
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Shipping Container type of ISO Container