International container design regulations and ISO standards: are they fit for purpose?

Increasing stack heights on container ships and growing volumes of high density cargo have increased the loads and stresses placed on containers, requiring an assessment of current container strength specifications. Growing adoption of terminal automation is also requiring greater standardisation in the codification and marking of containers. However, it is shown that there is widespread misunderstanding of the roles of the IMO and the ISO in regulating and promoting standards in the design, dimensions, ratings, coding, marking and strength of containers. In this paper the legal status of the IMO’s Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) and ISO standards is clarified, and a common container specification framework is developed to assess the extent to which international regulations and standards are aligned. The analysis identifies gaps and inconsistencies between regulations and standards and assesses the impact these have on operations and safety. The study highlights to policy makers anomalies arising from the recent inclusion in the CSC of direct references to ISO standards. Finally, in providing a comprehensive definition of container specifications the paper provides a knowledge base to promote theory building for applied researchers in the field of container technology and operations.


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  • Accession Number: 01690798
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 18 2018 3:01PM