The Container Owners Association has announced that the two criteria currently used when inspecting containers during the interchange process between operators and leasing companies are to be harmonized.

Until now, there have been two different interchange inspection standards: the IICL-5 criteria, managed by the Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) and the “Common Interchange Criteria” administered by the CIC Group of leasing companies. The group consists of five of the world’s leading container lessors (Triton Container, Seaco, Florens Container Services, CAI and Blue Sky Intermodal) who represent over 50 percent of the world’s leased dry freight container fleet.

Launched in August 2007 as an alternative to the IICL-5 criteria – and endorsed the following year by the Container Owners Association – CIC has enabled shipping lines to benefit from a significant reduction in repair costs by eliminating unnecessary repair to containers. An additional advantage has been a more environmentally friendly approach to container maintenance, with reduced container handling.

The harmonization process has been undertaken by the leasing industry, which has recognized that the container business – shipping lines, leasing companies and container depots – will benefit from a single standard.

The new standard preserves all the main benefits offered by CIC and offers more consistent and accurate equipment inspections and repair estimates, states the Container Owners Association. Both, CIC and IICL members expect that the harmonized interchange standards will create a better path to more accurate estimates, less disputes and more trained professional inspectors.

The updated version of the CIC standard is scheduled to be introduced for off-hire activity taking place from August 1, 2016, onwards.

A technical bulletin is available on the CIC website here and the COA’s website here.

By MarEx

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