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Shipper Owned Containers / SOC

25.03.2018 - Posted by Updated On 25.03.2018    

Shipper owned containers, or SOC, are just as they sound, a shipping container owned by the company or person that is shipping the goods; as opposed to a container that is owned by the logistics company supporting the movement of the container, or the shipping line providing the actual overseas movement of the container. SOC are a little unique in that once the goods arrive on site, the container belongs to the organization that shipped the goods and the truck doesn't have to wait for it to be unloaded.

When it comes to shipper owned containers, there are three main considerations that need to be cleared up before the shipper decides if this is the right decision for them. Loading and transport, neutralization of the container, and having the container inspected or surveyed.

Pick Up or Delivery and Live Loading

In many transactions the container is dropped off at the buyer's location and that's where the transaction ends. However, with an SOC this typically isn't the case. The container needs to be on site while it's "live loaded" and moved on to its next location; which is typically the port. If the goods can be loaded in the container quickly this normally doesn't incur any additional charge. However, if the shipper needs a couple days to load the container. This turns into a problem when the shipper doesn't have a way to unload and reload the container on site. The next question is about renting the container chassis for a few days, but chassis are getting harder to come by (and have a way of disappearing) so many companies don't like to rent chassis.

In summary, it's much easier of the shipper can manage their own land side logistics and have the container live loaded in a couple of hours.

shipping container live loading

Neutralization of the Container and Unit Numbers

shipping container neutralization

Shipping lines and container leasing companies require that any container sold out their fleet be neutralized so that their corporate identity is no longer visible on the container. While this is done for liability reasons, it is even more important for shipper owned containers. First off, neutralization removes any confusion based on the identity of the owner of the container. Equally as important is the liability that can be incurred if there is any accident with the container and there is a liability claim or reputation damage.

The container number not only identifies the container, but also the owner of the container. Just as neutralization, when the container is sold to be used for shipping, along with neutralization, it must be renumbered with the new owners prefix code.

In summary, a SOC must have all of the original owners brand removed, often just spray painted over, and it must be assigned a new unit number.

Inspections and Surveys

Lastly, and most importantly, is having the shipping container surveyed. This should be done at the depot, before the container leaves the facility. If the container leaves the depot before being surveyed one of two things can happen. Best case scenario, the inspector goes to visit the container and it passes the survey. However, due to the additional time involved the inspector will charge more. Worst case scenario, the container is loaded and moved to the port, where the surveyor visits it, and it doesn't pass inspection. This means it will be rejected for loading and the shipper will need to purchase a new container and start the process over again.

In summary, have the container surveyed early in the process, before it's loaded.

The active sellers on ContainerAuciton.com not only work with retail buyers, but many also provide services and container sales for shipper owned containers. With their experience and knowledge shipping your goods in your own container can be a smooth, enjoyable transaction, leaving the shipper with a container that they can use for on-site storage or shipping more products. To learn about any listed container on the site just contact the seller directly through the listing page, or for general questions contact the ContainerAuction.com staff directly.



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