Anda di halaman 1dari 157

China

Intermodal Transport Services to


the Interior Project
(ITSIP)

Inland Container Depot (ICD)


Operation Manual

August 2003

Advisory Services To Intermodal Transport Service Providers

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION ....

I-1

A. The Role of an Inland Clearance (Container) Depot (ICD)...

I-1

1. The Container Yard Operation.


2. The Receipt and Delivery Operation..
3. The CFS Operation

I-3
I-4

B. Functions of a Container Depot..


1. To Act as a Buffer.
2. To Accommodate the Completion of Administrative and Documentary
Procedures..
3. To Assemble Outward Containers for Loading.
4. To Accommodate Unforeseen Delays

C. ICD Handling and Equipment Systems....

I-4
I-6
I-6
I-7
I-7

Lift Truck System...


Terminal Tractor/Trailers/Chassis...
Rubber Tired Gantries (RTGs) or Transtainers...
Rail Mounted Gantries (RMGs)...
Forklifts

I-7
I-7
I-9
I-9
I-10
I-11

D. Factors Influencing Choice of Best System..

I-12

II. BEST PRACTICES IN CONTAINER YARD OPERATIONS..

II-1

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

A. The ICD Layout and Area Requirements.


1. Land Area
2. Total Area Requirements Inside the ICD...
3. Total Area Requirements Outside the ICD

B. Container Yard Layout.


1. General Storage Area...
2. Special Containers and Purposes...

C. Container Handling Methods...

II-1
II-1
II-5
II-5
II-5
II-6
II-6

Tractor-Trailer System..
Lift Truck System...
Rubber Tired Gantry Crane System...
Rail Mounted Gantry Crane System...

II-8
II-8
II-9
II-12
II-14

D. Yard Address System..

II-16

E. Storage Planning and Control Procedures.

II-19
II-19
II-19

1.
2.
3.
4.

1. The Allocation of Storage Locations...


2. The Determination of Storage Space Requirements...

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

Advisory Services To Intermodal Transport Service Providers

F. Information System Applications...

II-20

G. Container Yard Operations

II-23
II-23
II-24
II-24
II-25

1.
2.
3.
4.

Inward Container Storage Operations


Outward Container Storage Operations.
In-terminal Container Movements...
Interchange Movements...

H. Managing/Controlling Yard Operations


Underlying Principles of Control of Yard Operations
Personnel Responsibilities and Functions for Control and Supervision
General Tasks Required of Control and Supervisory Staff.
Areas of General Responsibility of the Container Yard Supervisor...

II-25
II-25
II-26
II-27
II-27

III. BEST PRACTICES IN CONTAINER RECEIPT/DELIVERY


OPERATIONS

III-1

1.
2.
3.
4.

A. Principles of Receipt/Delivery Operations..


1. General Receipt Sequence for Outbound Containers.
2. General Delivery Sequence for Inbound Containers
3. Variations in Receipt/Delivery Sequences.

B. Receipt/Delivery Facilities..
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Terminal Entrance.
Vehicle Parking Area.
Reception Office.
Offices for Agents, Customs and Other Organizations
Canteen or Rest Room.
The Gate.
Special Cargoes Gate...
In-terminal Parking Area...
Interchange Area(s)...

C. Receipt/Delivery Documentation.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

The Train Notification Order or Barge Booking List.


The Container Load List
The Container Record...
The Shipping Note.
The Delivery Order
The Collection Order.
Dangerous Goods Documents
The Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR)

D. Receipt Procedures..
1. General Purpose Containers
2. Empty and Special Containers

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-1
III-1
III-1
III-2
III-2
III-2
III-2
III-3
III-3
III-3
III-5
III-5
III-5
III-5
III-6
III-6
III-7
III-10
III-12
III-14
III-15
III-16
III-18
III-19
III-19
III-21

ii

Advisory Services To Intermodal Transport Service Providers

E. Delivery Procedures.
1. General Purpose Containers
2. Empty and Special Containers

F. Managing/Controlling Receipt/Delivery Operations...

III-22
III-23
III-24

Receipt/Delivery Personnel..
Supervision of the Receipt Process
Supervision of the Delivery Process...
Completion and Shift Handover Procedures.
Supervisory Responsibilities

III-25
III-25
III-25
III-26
III-27
III-28

IV. BEST PRACTICES IN CONTAINER FREIGHT STATION (CFS)


OPERATIONS

IV-1

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

A. Functions of a CFS
1. Functions.
2. General Activities...

IV-1
IV-1
IV-1

B. Layout of Facilities
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

The CFS Entrance and Gatehouse.


The Road Vehicle Parking Area..
The Reception/Delivery Facilities for Other Transport Modes
The Reception and Administrative Office..
The Open Storage and Operational Area..
The Storage Shed..
Equipment Requirements.

IV-2
IV-4
IV-4
IV-4
IV-4
IV-5
IV-6

C. Information System and Storage Address System.

IV-6
IV-6
IV-8

1. Information System Requirements..


2. Storage Address System..

D. Procedures for Receiving, Unpacking, Storing and Release of


Inbound Cargoes in Containers...
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Preliminary and Planning Processes..


Receipt of Loaded Container from the Container Yard
Unpacking and Storage of Cargo Packages in the CFS.
Return of the Empty Container to the Container Yard.
Collection Procedures for the Discharge of Import Consignments

E. Procedures for Receiving, Storing, Packing, and Linehaul


Transport of Outbound Cargoes in Containers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Receipt of Export Cargoes by Road Vehicle.


Planning Processes for Packing Containers.
Receipt of Empty Container from the Container Yard.
Container Packing.
Return of Packed Container to the Container Yard..

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-10
IV-10
IV-10
IV-13
IV-14
IV-14

IV-17
IV-18
IV-20
IV-20
IV-20
IV-22

iii

Advisory Services To Intermodal Transport Service Providers

F. Working Practices for CFS Operations


1.
2.
3.
4.

General Rules for Storage and Stacking


Palletization.
Manual Handling
Equipment Handling..

G. Managing/Controlling CFS Operations

IV-22
IV-22
IV-24
IV-25
IV-26

CFS Personnel and Responsibilities..


The Planning Function..
The Control Function.
The Operation Function
General Supervisory Responsibilities.

IV-28
IV-28
IV-30
IV-31
IV-32
IV-34

V. BEST PRACTICES IN ICD MANAGEMENT: PERFORMANCE REVIEW


TOOL.

V-1

A. Purpose of Performance Measures and Review..

V-1

B. Types of Performance Reviews...

V-1
V-1
V-2
V-2

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

1. Operational Reviews.
2. Planning Reviews..
3. Long Term Reviews..

C. Description and Calculation of Performance Measures...


1.
2.
3.
4.

Production or Throughput Indicators..


Productivity Indicators...
Utilization Indicators..
Service Quality Indicators.

D. Corrective Management Actions.

V-3
V-4
V-5
V-8
V-9

Shift Reports and Reviews...


Daily Reports and Reviews..
Monthly Performance Reports and Reviews.
CFS Performance and Reviews..

V-11
V-11
V-14
V-17
V-22

VI ICD SAFETY & DANGEROUS GOODS HANDLING...

VI-1

1.
2.
3.
4.

A. General Safety Principles...


1. Design Principles...
2. General Safety Principles.

B. Rules of Safe Access to the ICD Working Areas.


1. Access to Restricted Operational Areas
2. Access for Operational and Engineering Reasons..

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-1
VI-1
VI-2
VI-3
VI-3
VI-3

iv

Advisory Services To Intermodal Transport Service Providers

C. Working Safety and Security


1. The Container Yard...
2. The Receipt/Delivery Area...
3. The Container Freight Station..

VI-4
VI-4
VI-7
VI-9

D. Good Housekeeping

VI-11

E. Dealing with Emergencies.


First Aid...
Fire-Fighting
Emergency Rescues
Emergency Services.

VI-11
VI-12
VI-12
VI-12
VI-12

F. Dangerous Goods Handling.

VI-13

1.
2.
3.
4.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

I.

A.

INTRODUCTION

The Role of an Inland Clearance (Container) Depot (ICD)

Inland Container (Clearance) Depots (ICDs) may be generally defined as facilities


located inland or remote from port(s) which offer services for the handling, temporary
storage and customs clearance of containers and general cargo that enters or leaves the
ICD in containers. The primary purpose of ICDs is to allow the benefits of
containerization to be realized on the inland transport leg of international cargo
movements. ICDs may contribute to the cost-effective containerization of domestic
cargoes as well, but this is less common. Container transport between the port(s) and
an ICD is under customs bond, and shipping companies will normally issue their own
bills of lading assuming full responsibility for costs and conditions between the in-country
ICD and a foreign port, or an ICD and the ultimate point of origin/destination.
ICDs are specific sites to which imports and exports can be consigned for inspection by
customs and which can be specified as the origin or destination of goods in transit
accompanied by documentation such as the combined transport bill of lading or multimodal transport document. As such, ICDs are closely associated with the promotion of
the through-transport concept. In combination with the containerization of goods, dry
ports enable the transference of goods from their place of origin to the their final
destination without intermediate customs examination; thereby intermediate handling
occurs only at points of transfer between different transport modes.
In essence, the ICD is a container depot that handles the same functions as the port
terminal except ship to shore transfer. In so doing, this allows inland bound containers
or outbound containers originating inland to bypass the port, which is generally
congested, and be processed near the shipper or consignee. Primary ports, in general,
tend to be congested and the success of the port depends on achieving quick
turnaround times for calling vessels. ICDs, whether close to the port or far away from
the port, allow cargo owners to claim their goods away from the port and port
congestion.
A standalone ICD may have many transport access and egress combinations. For
example, the ICD may be served by road, rail and/or barge. Most typically, the result is
that for inward movements of cargo, containers will arrive at the ICD via road, rail, or
barge. Once they arrive at the ICD, the containers will either be unstuffed or will
continue in container by road to their destination. For outward movements, breakbulk
goods or containers will be brought to the ICD by road and subsequently they will be
stuffed (for breakbulk goods) and depart from the ICD by road, rail or barge. Figure I-1
shows these possible combinations of transport modes.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-1

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure I-1: Transport Combinations for ICDs


Inward Movement

Outward Movement

Road
Rail

Road
ICD

Road

Road

ICD

Rail

Barge
Container

Barge
Breakbulk or
Container

Breakbulk or
Container

Container

Claiming a consignment can be a relatively time consuming process that involves crossborder formalities, destuffing, etc. In clearing the containers quickly through the port
terminal, the port terminal activities are roughly restricted to ship to shore transfer,
positioning in the yard for pickup, Customs detention if warranted, etc. In essence, time
consuming activities like destuffing, duty payments, cargo storage, container storage,
etc., are deferred to another location outside the port. At the completion of processing at
the container depots, the cargoes will be claimed by the owners and generally
distributed as breakbulk to their respective sites. In the case of breakbulk cargo where
the both the ICD and the cargo owner are located far away from the port, the linehaul
portion of the voyage can undertaken using containers instead of breakbulk vehicles.
Whereby breakbulk transport is much less efficient than containerized transport
generally 3 breakbulk shipments by truck is equivalent to one container shipment by
truck transport costs can be reduced by keeping the goods in containers vis--vis
breakbulk transport for as much of the linehaul component as possible. Furthermore
cargo owners are not required to send agents to the port in order to clear the goods,
rather document and cargo clearance can be undertaken at the ICD saving the cargo
owner time and money.
In the same way, export shippers can save time and money by routing their export
goods through the ICDs and avoiding the congested ports, saving on breakbulk linehaul
through containerization, and saving the cost of having agents located far away.
More specifically, the ICD performs a number of services for the transport operator and
for the shipper or consignee. In general, there are three sequences of activities:
container arrival, container storage and container departure.1 The activities that are
included in each sequence depend on the direction of the container movement
inbound or outbound and the container status FCL (no stuffing/destuffing required) or
LCL (stuffing/destuffing required). The three main operational systems in the ICD are:

The container yard operation


The receipt/delivery operation
The container freight station (CFS) operation.

This material is taken from the Port Development Programme (PDP), ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-2

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

1. The Container Yard Operation


The container yard operation has two major components the container storage
operation and the in-terminal container movement operation.
a) Container Storage Operation
The container storage operation is primarily is a stationary process in that
containers are placed in a container yard slot and stored until they are ready
for onward movement. The operation is concerned chiefly with keeping the
containers safe and secure. There are occasions where stored containers
need to be moved within the container stack for repositioning and for access
to other containers, however, it is good practice to keep these in-stack
movements as minimal as possible. Depending on the equipment handling
system used in the ICD, there may be equipment exclusively assigned to the
container yard, such as in the RTG and RMG systems. In these systems,
stacking and unstacking containers to/from the yard stacks to the
interchange/railhead/berth transfer equipment is considered to be part of the
container yard operation. Conversely, in a lift truck system, the lift truck is
used in the transfer process as well as the stacking and unstacking process.
In this sense, the stacking and unstacking is categorized as a step in the
transfer operation.
b) In-terminal Container Movement Operation
The other component of the container yard operation includes a range of interminal movements. These movements include: the movement of import
containers from the container yard to the CFS for unpacking, with subsequent
return of the empty containers to the empties pool; the movement of empty
containers to the CFS for packing and ensuing transfer of loaded containers to
the container yard; movements between the container yard and the customs
and port health examination areas; and intermittent movements of damaged
containers to an area set aside for container examination and repair, and their
subsequent return to container yard storage.

2. The Receipt and Delivery Operation


The receipt/delivery operation consists essentially of a linked sequence of brief
activities:

The arrival of inland transport, via the depots security entrance, at a reception
facility, where document-checking and related formalities take place.
Movement of the inland transport to a location where exchange of containers
between the container yard and transport occurs.
Departure of the inland transport from the depot, following a further set of
security and other formalities.

The two main areas of activity for the receipt/delivery operation are the gate and
the interchange areas. In the case where breakbulk cargo will arrive at or depart
the depot by a transport mode other than road, it may be necessary to have

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-3

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

additional receipt/delivery services located at the point of entry/exit, i.e. at the


railhead or barge berth. However, for an ICD, this is not often the case.
3. The CFS Operation
The CFS is a cargo consolidation, container packing/unpacking and cargo
distribution centre.2 In this way, shippers can transport their cargoes in break-bulk
form, by the most convenient mode available road, rail or inland waterway to
the ICD. Next, the CFS facility will arrange to consolidate and pack the goods into
containers ready for loading onward transport to a port. Similarly, buyers of goods
can arrange for the containers carrying their goods to be unpacked at the CFS,
and separated into break-bulk consignments. The buyers can then arrange for
their goods to be collected by the most convenient form of transport.
The CFS operation includes the following sequences of activities: to receive, sort
and consolidate export break-bulk cargoes from road vehicles; to pack export
cargoes into containers ready for loading aboard onward transport; to unpack
import containers, and sort and separate the unpacked cargoes into
break-bulk consignments ready for distribution to consignees; to deliver import
cargoes to the consignees transport; to store import and export cargoes
temporarily, between the times of unloading and loading, while various
documentary and administrative formalities are completed (e.g., customs
inspection, settling of charges for packing, unpacking and storage, arranging
transport).3

B.

Functions of a Container Depot

The facilities and services provided at an ICD can vary considerably. The minimum that
will exist is as follows:4

Customs control and clearance


Temporary storage during customs inspection
Container handling equipment for 20 foot or 40 foot containers
Offices of an operator, either the site owner, lessor or contractor
Offices of clearing and forwarding agents
Complete enclosure, fencing and a security system
Reliable and efficient communication facilities
Container freight station with stuffing and de-stuffing services
Statutory Authorities (i.e. Agriculture)
Shipping Lines

A more comprehensive ICD would include the above as well as some or all of the
following:

Warehouse storage including cold storage and reefer storage

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.
4
Taken from Handbook on the Management and Operation of Dry Ports, UNCTAD, 1991.
3

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-4

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Container storage and inventory control


Container maintenance and repair
Equipment control on behalf of shipping lines (enforcing EIR)
Offices of shipping line agents
Railway goods office
Road haulage brokerage
Cargo packing services
Consignment consolidation services
Unit train assembly and booking services
Container clearing services
Computerized cargo-tracking services
Clearing and fumigation services (atmospheric and vacuum)
Refer refrigeration points
Weigh bridges

In general, ICDs do not provide facilities for long-term storage or repair facilities for
trucks or rail wagon or locomotive maintenance. The following diagram presents a
general functional structure of an ICD.
Figure I-2: Functional Structure of an Inland Clearance Depot
Customs
Clearance

Repair
Facilities

Warehousing

Freight
Forwarding

Consolidation

Inventory
Control

Dry Port
or
ICD

Marshalling
Yard

Container
Stuffing/De-stuffing

Storage

Customer
Services
Shipping
Lines

Inland
Transportation

Source: Handbook on the Management and Operation of Dry Ports, UNCTAD, 1991.

The activities that are undertaken in an ICD ultimately depend on the type of cargo
(breakbulk versus containerized), mode of transport (road, rail, inland waterway), and
type of shipment (foreign or domestic). Certainly the movement of containers around the
ICD will require the use of handling equipment, and storage whether in a container yard
or CFS. In addition, shipments that require stuffing or de-stuffing services (breakbulk
movements) will be processed via the CFS. Likewise, foreign shipments that require
customs clearance will also be routed via the CFS.
With respect to container depot processes, the functions of container yard storage are:

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-5

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

To act as a buffer between road receipt/delivery and rail/inland waterway


operation.
To permit customs and other administrative and documentary procedures.
To assemble outbound containers for loading onto rail or inland waterway.
To accommodate unforeseen delays.

1. To Act as a Buffer
The use of the container yard as a buffer for operations is a main function. It acts
as a temporary storage place for containers waiting outward/inward movement.
For example, in the case of train or barge loading, it would be difficult to time the
arrival of the containers at the ICD to exactly match the loading schedule of the
train/barge. Conversely, it would be difficult to time and correctly queue the
arrival of road vehicles for picking up inward containers from an arriving
train/barge. The container yard, allows containers to be arranged in a way to
most effectively carry out receipt/delivery and loading/unloading operations.
2. To Accommodate the Completion of Administrative and Documentary
Procedures
Another function of the temporary storage afforded by the container yard is to
allow time for documents to be handled, customs clearance, health and
quarantine inspection, destuffing and various other administrative procedures to
take place without delaying train/barge or road departure. There are many
potential sources of delays that would prevent the immediate discharge or loading
of a container and so the container yard provides a holding area for containers
waiting for outstanding matters to be cleared.
In the case of imports, some of these sources of delay are:

The consignee or their bank has not received the shipping documents (bills of
lading, letters of credit, invoices).
Banks may place holds on the documents in the case that the consignee has
not made payment.
There may be delays in the issue of import licences.
Customs may not have received the necessary documentation from the
consignee.
Customs requires some time to process the documents requesting clearance.
Documents may be incomplete or inaccurate and require updating by the
consignee or freight forwarder.
Upon customs examination, there may arise a need for further testing and
assessment of container goods before clearance is granted.
Import duties and taxes need to be paid on incoming cargo. The assessment
of same often happens after the cargoes have arrived
The consignee may require some time to arrange for transport of the container
from the ICD.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-6

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

In the case of exports, delays can stem from the following:

Time is needed to process documents.


Some documents may arrive with the container and so require additional time
for processing.
Customs may want to inspect the container and its cargo after it has arrived at
the ICD before releasing it for onward movement.
The multimodal operator will not authorize the loading of the container until the
charges have been paid if they are to be paid by the consignor.
There may be errors and omissions in documents received by customs, the
ships agent or the ICD.
Outbound LCL containers are usually packed over several days, following a
detailed schedule. It is unlikely that the CFS will be able to accommodate all
outbound LCL packing simultaneously.

3. To Assemble Outward Containers for Loading


The third function of storage is to assemble the outgoing containers and to
marshal them into a suitable sequence for loading ahead of the train/barge arrival.
If the outbound containers are all or almost all in the depot before the loading
begins, it provides a window of opportunity for the planners to prepare loading
sequences.
4. To Accommodate Unforeseen Delays
The availability of short term storage, in the case of outward containers, allows
the consignor to send containers to the depot before the expected departure date
and time. In this way, the consignor can be confident that transport to the depot
will not be delayed to the extent that the container misses the train or barge
departure. Conversely, the train or barge arrival may be subject to delay and the
storage function of the yard prevents road vehicles from being tied up in queues
awaiting the late arrival of the incoming transport. In the event of delayed inward
containers, the storage function eliminates the need for road vehicles to remain at
the depot waiting for the containers to arrive.

C.

ICD Handling and Equipment Systems

The performance and efficiency of a container depot depend heavily on its handling
equipment. Indeed, the presence and activity of very large, fast-moving equipment is a
characteristic of the container depot. There are basic types of container handling
equipment and these are discussed below.
1. Lift Truck System
This system may include front-end loaders (top-lift trucks (TLTs) or top loaders,
side-lift trucks (SLTs)) and boom or reach stackers. TLTs and SLTs normally
have a stacking limit of 2-3 containers high (one-deep) while boom or reach

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-7

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

stackers, which are more expensive, can stack up to 5-high (one-deep) or 3-4
high (2-3 deep).
Advantages: This technology is relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain as
well as flexible in terms of movement around the ICD. As such, they can achieve
high utilization rates.
Disadvantages: This technology requires relatively high aisle width (15-18 m) to
manoeuver, yields low densities (in the case of TLTs and SLTs), and requires
extremely good soil conditions and paving to bear heavy axle loads.
Figure I-3: Front End Loader

Figure I-4: Reach Stacker

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-8

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

2. Terminal Tractor/Trailers/Chassis
This system of moving boxes uses tractors and trailers that can either be of
standard road design or of special design for an ICD, which lacks the lights,
brakes, and heavy suspension required for road trailers.
Advantages: Cheap, easy to handle, doesnt require skilled equipment drivers.
Disadvantages: Tractor-trailers require a lot of space for movement and can only
be used in conjunction with some loading/unloading equipment.
Figure I-5: Tractor-Trailer Set

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-9

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

3. Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) or Transtainers


RTGs can normally lift 30.5-40 tonnes under the spreader and have a stacking
capacity of 4-5 high. RTG span widths are anywhere from 2 rows of container
stacking plus 1 trailer lane to 6 rows of storage plus 2 trailer lanes which leads to
high TEU storage density.
Advantages: RTGs yield very high TEU storage density and can typically handle
around 100,000 container moves per year. This technology is very well suited for
high volume operations and requires relatively little land due to the high stacking
densities.
Disadvantages: RTS are relatively expensive, require special paving and
foundations for wheel lanes, have no horizontal transport capability, and require
skilled labour for operations.

Figure I-6: Rubber Tired Gantry (RTG) Crane

4. Rail-Mounted Gantries (RMGs)


Typically, RMGs are used in high volume rail depot operations for rail lo-lo. They
can also be used in container yard operations. RMG span widths vary from one

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-10

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

rail track, one trailer lane and 2 rows of container storage up to 6 rail tracks, 4
rows of container storage and 2 trailer lanes.
Advantages: RMGs are considerably faster than RTGs as well as being much
cheaper to maintain. They are also well suited to handle high volumes of traffic.
Disadvantages: RMGs are only useful for lo-lo and CY operations, are not as
flexible as any other system and are the most expensive handling system to buy
in terms of equipment.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-11

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure I-7: Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) Crane

5. Forklifts
Forklifts are generally only used for stuffing and de-stuffing containers. They are
not generally used in CY operations, but mainly CFS operations. The exception is
heavy duty forklifts which may be used for handling empty containers in the
empties stacks.
Figure I-8: Forklift

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-12

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

D.

Factors Influencing Choice of Best System

The selection of the most appropriate ICD container handling system is primarily
dependent on such factors as:

The initial cargo level


The potential for expanding the capacity of the system selected to the ultimate
cargo level
The proportion of cargo to be handled by each mode of transport
(road/rail/IWT)
Limitations of area available (due to physical constraints and/or costs)
Bearing capacity of soil (cost of foundation and pavements)
Constraints on initial capital investment funds available

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

I-13

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

II.

A.

BEST PRACTICES IN CONTAINER YARD OPERATIONS

The ICD Layout and Area Requirements

A representation of a generalized ICD is shown in Figure II-1. It provides an overview of


the various areas of the ICD. The orange shaded area represents the depot entrance
and gate activity. This is the main area (not including the interchange area) for the
receipt/delivery operations. The green shaded area represents the CFS operation as
well as customs and other examination areas. Finally, the gray shaded area represents
the container yard operations.
The ICD is an inland depot with open and covered storage areas, and with road, rail,
and/or waterway links with the ports. The physical layout of an ICD depends very much
on the main mode of transport that will access the depot. For instance, a rail depot will
require a gate at the railhead, while an ICD served by an inland waterway will require
barge docking facilities, a truck ICD will need sufficient road access and egress. The
layout also depends to a great extent on the handling system selected.
1. Land Area
The area requirements and land acquisition costs are highly dependent upon the
handling system selected, because of the varying stacking densities and
circulating area (aisle and roadway) requirements of each system. The civil works
costs are dependent upon the area required, and the landfill and pavement
needed to provide the bearing capacities required for each of the different
handling systems.
a) Container Yard
The required area for the container yard must be calculated based on the
various types of cargoes stored in the yard and the size of the boxes used:
export dry cargo, export reefers, import dry cargoes, import reefers, empty
containers. Each of these components will generally have differing space
requirements based on stacking densities and special requirements, i.e.,
reefers. The calculation is based on the following formulae:1

TEU _ spaces _ required =

(TEU _ throughput ) x( peak _ ratio ) x(days _ dwell _ time)


365

area _ required = (TEU _ spaces _ required ) x ( square _ metres _ per _ TEU _ space )
where the TEU_spaces_required represents the total number of TEUs needed
for storage. This is not the same as the number of twenty foot ground slots
which represent the number of designated storage areas on the container yard
surface, not including any stacked container positions. Dwell time in this
1

All land area formula taken from ESCAP/UNDP Transport Financial/Economic Planning Model,
Volume 3: Inland Container Depots Module, User Manual, UN, 1992.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-1

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

calculation is average dwell time or the average time (in days) that a container
is stored in the container yard.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-2

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure II-1: ICD Layout

Rail sidings

Security Fence

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Loaded Container

Gate

Train Handling Area

Gate

Storage Area

CFS Shed
Interchange
Area

Empty Container
Storage Area
Interchange
Area

CFS Transit Shed


Customs/
Health
Exam Shed

Gate

Specialized
Containers

Admin. Building
& Control Centre
Vehicle
Holding Area

Container
Repair Area
Workshop

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-3

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

b) CFS
The area for the CFS consists of the CFS shed itself and the CFS truck apron
used for containers and trucks and the area is calculated separately for export
and import cargoes as the dwell times are normally higher for import cargoes.
The general method for calculating the area is based on calculating the area
for storage in the shed, the length and depth requirements of the CFS, the
handling and customs area width, the truck apron required, and any additional
service space based on method of transport (rail, road, IWT), outdoor storage
space, etc. The shed area is calculated as:2

Shed _ area =
where:
(a) =
(b) =
(c) =
(d) =

(TEUs _ per _ annum) x(a ) x(b) x(c) x(d )


Number _ of _ working _ days _ per _ annum

area of floor space occupied by an average container load of cargo


amount of space required for a fork-lift truck to manoeuvre
peak load factor
average dwell time of cargo

c) Packing/Stripping Dock
A packing/stripping dock can be used for those shipments that come in FCL
lot-sizes through the ICD for stuffing and de-stuffing due to inadequate
facilities or provisions for customs clearance at the origin/destination. This
cargo does not need to be handled through a CFS since no CFS storage
function is required. The calculation for the span of the packing dock is

Packing _ Dock _ Area =


( packing _ dock _ length _ required ) x(cov ered _ dock _ area _ width )
d) Overtime Cargo Warehouse
The use of the overtime cargo warehouse is for those breakbulk consignments
that remain at the CFS for extended periods of time (e.g. more than 20 days).
The rationale for this warehouse is to remove the cargo from the CFS in order
that it does not interfere with CFS efficiency. This situation usually arises with
import cargo that may have problems with import documentation. Calculation
of overtime warehouse area is:

Overtime _ warehouse _ area =


(daily _ peak _ CFS _ import _ c arg o) x(% _ overtime) x(overtime _ dwell _ time)
( storage _ density _ in _ tonnes / m 2 ) x(useable _ storage _ area _ as _ % _ of _ total )

e) Container Repair Facility


This facility is for use in minor repairs of containers. This area is not for major
repairs, which will be done off-site.

Taken from Handbook on the Management and Operation of Dry Ports, UNCTAD, 1991.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-4

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

f)

Railway Siding and Truck Access


Space for railway tracks and siding requirements are very dependent on the
unique characteristics of each project. Factors that need to be considered
are: area and alignment needs for the extension of the rail tracks to the
ultimate stage of ICD expansion; the number of loading and unloading tracks;
engine escape tracks; receiving and departure tracks; storage tracks; and type
of rail-side container handling area that is appropriate for the container
handling system selected. Truck access, again, is dependent on the volume
of traffic expected to be handled by the facility. Adequate access and egress
from the facility through adequate gate capacity so as to make sure that undue
delays are not experienced at the gates.

2. Total Area Requirements Inside the ICD


All the facilities described above are necessary for calculating the area required
within an ICD. In addition to these requirements are:
a) Additional covered area to provide for:

Offices (including administration, operations, customs);


Maintenance workshop;
Canteen;
Gatehouse, etc.

b) Additional paved area for provide for:

Internal roads and boundaries;


Truck, car, tractors and trailer parking;
Maintenance yard;
Broken space, etc.

3. Total Area Requirements Outside the ICD


In addition to the operational areas inside the ICD, substantial additional land
acquisition and civil works costs are typically incurred for access to the ICD and
for supporting infrastructure. Areas required for rail spur to the ICD, access and
perimeter roads, and areas for supporting infrastructures (i.e., water filtration,
sewage treatment) are some possible extra needs.

B.

Container Yard Layout

The container storage function is important in depot operations and can require a
significant amount of land area. The number of containers that can be stored in the yard
depends directly on the handling equipment used for movement and stacking. Roughly,
for every 1000 TEUs in storage, the container yard requires areas of about 12,000 m2 for
a yard gantry system, or over 50,000 m2 for a chassis system.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-5

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The detailed design and layout of the container depot will vary according to the site
features and to the stacking and transfer systems adopted, however, there are some
general features that are common to all systems.
1. General Storage Area
One of the striking features of the general storage area is that containers are not
stacked haphazardly throughout the yard. Instead, they are arranged in defined,
rectangular groups called blocks. The blocks are separated by a) roadways
which are the main access routes between the yard, interchange areas, CFS, etc.
and are usually 25-30 m wide, and b) aisleways which provide access to and
passing between the blocks and are usually 15-20 m wide.3 Each block holds
many hundreds of containers and within each block, the containers are arranged
in an end-to-end alignment along the length of the block or row and also in a
side-to-side arrangement or line. The block is defined by painted lines on the
yard surface. The basic unit within the block is known as the twenty-foot ground
slot (TGS), which is identified as a painted outline of a twenty-foot container.
Practically, each row normally contains an even number of TGSs. In this way, the
row can accommodate either twenty foot boxes or forty foot boxes.
Most containers passing through the depot are considered to be general purpose
boxes which carry a mix of dry general cargoes. These containers are stored in
the main storage blocks. The main blocks are divided into two areas outward
(export) blocks and inward (import blocks). Efficient operations places the
outward blocks closest to railhead/inland waterway berth and places the inward
blocks closest to the gate and interchange areas. This serves to reduce the
distance and time required for transfer of the container at the time of onward
movement.
2. Special Containers and Purposes
In addition to general storage described above, the depot will most likely handle a
range of containers, which require special facilities. As such, distinct areas of the
container yard are set aside for handling these special containers. There can be
up to seven different special areas present in a typical container yard.

A reefer area (for refrigerated containers)


A dangerous goods area
An out-of-gauge area
A high-value area
An empties area
A customs and port health examination areas
An examination area for damaged containers.4

a) The reefer area is required to accommodate refrigerated containers carrying


cargoes that need to be kept below ambient temperature. The dedicated area
provides power supply outlets or connections to a supply of coolant gas. This
3
4

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-6

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

area usually consists of one or two lines of side-by-side slots and can
sometimes accommodate stacking to two high. Apart from the power/gas
supply, the main feature of the area is a route of safe access by depot or
multimodal transport operators (shipping line, freight forwarder, transport
operator) staff to check the container temperatures regularly and to service or
repair the refrigeration units. The area is usually located to one side of the
general storage area. Handling equipment is kept away from the area unless
instruction is given for movement of containers. In addition, the area should
provide a fenced-off pedestrian walkway that allows staff to enter and leave
the area without passing through a vehicle route.
b) Containers carrying dangerous cargoes must be segregated from the rest of
the containers in storage. This precaution arises from the need to protect
other containers from such things as contamination, fire, corrosion, etc. In
addition, segregating containers with dangerous cargoes in a specified
location and not allowing stacking, i.e., only one high, provides fast and easy
access should it be required. It is possible that certain containers carrying
dangerous cargoes also need to be segregated from each other. These
requirements and necessary handling actions are outlined in the IMDG Code,
which provides a listing of dangerous goods, which are categorized by the
type of hazard they pose. The Code is published and regularly updated by the
International Maritime Organization (IMO).
c) The out of gauge area accommodates non-standard containers including
platforms and flats carrying over-height, over-width, over-length cargoes.
These cargoes cannot typically be stacked and so are usually stored directly
on the yard surface. This area also accommodates oversize containers
those 48 foot long or 53 foot long boxes as well as uncontainerized cargoes.
This area is commonly located near the depot gate or interchange area to
facilitate access.
d) Terminals customarily allocate a particular area of the yard for cargoes
classified as high-value. Special facilities are not usually required, but
practically, the area is highly visible at all times and can be monitored closely
by both control room staff and depot security staff.
e) In addition to storing containers full of cargo, a depot usually also provides
storage space for empty containers. There are two classifications of empty
containers. The first group includes those empty containers that are passing
through the ICD towards a specific destination. The second group of empty
containers includes those containers that are being returned to the container
yard from a consignee or CFS and are to be recirculated to shippers at some
unspecified future date. Typically, when an empty box is needed, any box
belonging to the correct owner will do, i.e., they are not requested by specific
container number, but rather by the size and type. Because of this, empty
containers can be stacked higher than loaded containers and are often
stacked closely together, many tiers high. This process is known as blockstacking.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-7

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

f)

Another area that is provided in the container yard is an examination area for
customs and health officials. Customs examination is needed to check the
accuracy of the shipping documents, to take samples for analysis, to ensure
that illegal goods are not being moved, and to calculate import duties and
taxes. Health officials will want to inspect foodstuffs, plant materials and
animals to ensure that they are healthy, fit for consumption or for transport. It
is not practical or secure to undertake contents examination in the container
yard and so, customs has its own assigned area of the ICD, which consists of
an open area for inspection as well as secure bonded area for storage of
valuable cargoes. Likewise, the health area will have its own designated
examination area which may also contain a laboratory for analyzing samples
and possible a cold store for temperature sensitive goods. The existing
practice for customs is for selective examination based on set criteria as
opposed to full and total inspection of every container. This selectivity means
that the space allocated for customs is generally less than would be required
for the examination of all containers.

g) Finally, depots may have an area designated for the examination, storage and
repair of damaged containers. It may not be safe to store damaged
containers with regular containers.

C.

Container Handling Methods

There are various types of handling systems. Some systems use only one type of
equipment for all stacking/unstacking and transfer operations. Examples of these
systems are the tractor-trailer system and the lift truck system. Other systems, such as
the RTG system and the RMG system require more than one equipment type to handle
both stacking/unstacking and transfer functions.
Each handling system has unique defining characteristics with respect to a) the layout of
the container yard and b) the operational process of handling containers. These are
described below for each of the handling systems listed above (see Section I E for
equipment illustrations).
1. Tractor-Trailer System
Tractor-trailer units are seldom used alone in an ICD. Typically, they are used to
complement other container handling equipment systems such as RTGs and
RMGs. They tend to be used if the distance between the railhead/berth and the
container yard is large since they are a fast method of container transfer.
a) The typical feature of a container yard using a tractor-trailer system is that the
storage blocks are very long and narrow. Between each block is an aisleway
and there is typically a perimeter roadway that runs completely around the
container yard. In the container yard design, there is a tradeoff involving the
length of the block and roadway access the shorter the block, the easier and
quicker the access, however since the tractor-trailer system is relatively quick,
the length of the blocks tend to be longer than for other handling systems.
The longer blocks tend to be more storage efficient as there is less area taken
up in lanes for vehicle access.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-8

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

b) Operationally, the tractor-trailer yard system is used in conjunction with lifting


equipment such as RTGs and RMGs. The tractor-trailer sets handle the
transfer of the containers to/from the storage area to the
railhead/berth/interchange areas. For inward containers, the boxes are landed
onto the trailer by lifting equipment (cranes, dedicated lift trucks, etc.) and are
then delivered to the assigned storage slots. For the discharge of containers
from the ICD, boxes are lifted from the storage block and placed on the trailer.
The tractor then transfers the container to an interchange where it is
transferred to a road vehicle for delivery. The process is reversed for outward
boxes.

2. Lift Truck System


a) In a lift truck system (front-end loaders or reach stackers) the container yard
layout includes narrow blocks consisting of between 2 and six rows of
containers (see Figure II-2). Within each block, the ground slots measure
6.6m long by 2.6m wide. The aisleways are relatively larger to accommodate
the manoeuvring and stacking requirements of the lift trucks aisleway
requirements are between 11m and 18m and roadway requirements are
between 25m and 30m. Thus, this system has relatively poor space utilization
in terms of the ratio between stacking and non-stacking spaces. The depth of
the storage block, i.e., the number of rows it has, is determined by the type of
lift truck equipment chosen. The relevant characteristics include lifting
capacity and reaching capacity. For instance, front-end loaders are restricted
to stacking/unstacking one deep thereby limiting the block width to two slots
with aisleways on each side. Reach stackers, however, can stack/unstack
three deep, thereby allowing the blocks to be six slots wide with an aisleway
on each side. The length of the blocks tend to shorter in the lift truck system
since lift trucks are slow and so a shorter block decrease the distances
travelled.
Containers can be stacked on top of each other in a lift truck system, but the
stacking capacity is limited by two things: the tradeoff between high stacks
and accessibility of bottom containers, as well as the diminished lifting
capacity of lift trucks at higher stacking tiers.
b) Operationally, many ICDs use lift trucks as back-up equipment to handle
empty containers into and out of storage in an empties area. They can be the
principal handling system in general storage areas either in a direct or relay
operation. In a direct operation, the lift truck transfers containers between the
railhead/berth and the yard and also stacks/unstacks within the yard. Lift
trucks are effective at transferring containers from stacks to road transport at
interchanges.
In a relay operation, tractor-trailers are used for movement into and out of the
general storage area while lift trucks are used only for stacking and unstacking
in the blocks and at interchanges.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-9

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Lift trucks are considered to be versatile handling machinery for a variety of


reasons. They can be fitted with a range of attachments, including
attachments to handle uncontainerized cargo. Mechanically, they are easy to
maintain and as a result, are popular for operations in ICDs with relatively
small volumes of containers and/or a variety of cargo types.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-10

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure II-2: Lift Truck Container Yard Layout

Rail sidings

Security Fence

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Loaded Container

Gate

Train Handling Area


CFS Shed

TGS is
6.6m x 2.6m

Gate

Storage Area

Aisleway
11-18m
Roadway
25-30m
Empty Container
Storage Area
Interchange
Area

CFS Transit Shed


Customs/
Health
Exam Shed

Gate

Specialized
Containers

Admin. Building &


Control Centre
Vehicle
Holding Area

Container
Repair Area
Workshop

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-11

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

3. Rubber Tired Gantry Crane System


In this system, the transfer of containers from the railhead/berth is carried out by
tractor-trailer units, while the RTGs are constrained to working in the container
yard.
a) The container yard layout in the RTG system exhibits a more dense stacking
capacity than the lift truck layout (see Figure II-3). Blocks are made up of six
rows of containers with an additional truck lane roughly 4.8m wide, for tractortrailer sets to drive in to deliver and collect boxes from the cranes. Each
ground slot measures 6.4m long by 2.9m wide, which is smaller than for the lift
truck system. The truck lane takes the place of an interchange area. The
yard surface alongside each block is often specially strengthened to form a
wheel track for the RTG. Individual blocks may be separated by aisleways (up
to 4m wide) or only a narrow space (1.5 to 2m wide), depending on whether
tractor units need access to the blocks. Roadways are located between the
inward blocks from the outward blocks as well at the end of the storage blocks
25 to 30m wide. The roadways at the end of the storage blocks serve two
purposes the first is to provide block access to transfer and road vehicles,
and the second is to provide a means for the RTGs to move between storage
blocks.
Container stacking in an RTG system depends on the RTG size they
typically stack one-over-three but can go as high as one-over-six and
operational considerations as discussed above. Typically, outward stacks are
3 to 4 containers high and inward stacks are constrained to 2 to 3 containers
high to reduce the amount of shifting needed to access the boxes on demand
by the consignee.
b) As mentioned, RTGs are restricted to operating in the container yard. Tractortrailer sets are used to collect containers from and deliver containers to the
container stacks. In the receipt/delivery operations, road vehicles can either
deliver and collect the containers in the truck lane interchanges within the
blocks, or they can transfer the containers to yard tractor-trailer sets at an
interchange area located near the gate.
RTG systems are very space efficient because of their high stacking ability
and the compactness of the storage blocks. They are also operationally
effective systems as they take advantage of the speed, manoeuvrability and
reliability of the tractor-trailer system and the lifting and stacking efficiency of
the RTGs. The system is also reasonable flexible since the RTGs can move
between blocks.5

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-12

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure II-3: RTG Container Yard Layout

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-13

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Rail sidings

Security Fence

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Loaded Container

Gate

Train Handling Area


CFS Shed

TGS is
6.4m x 2.9m
Truck Lane
4.8m
Aisleway
1.5-4m
Roadway
Empty Container 25-30m

Gate

Storage Area

Storage Area
CFS Transit Shed
Customs/
Health
Exam Shed

Specialized
Containers

Gate

Admin. Building &


Control Centre
Vehicle
Holding Area

Container
Repair Area
Workshop

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-14

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

4.. Rail Mounted Gantry Crane System


In this system, the transfer of containers from the railhead/berth is carried out by
tractor-trailer units, while the RMGs are restricted to working in the container yard,
moving along their pairs of rails.
a) The container yard layout in the RMG system illustrates the densest container
storage layout of the different equipment handling systems (see Figure II-4).
Typically, each crane spans 14 rows of containers between the rails, although
cranes spanning up to 24 rows are available. The ground slots are generally
6.4m long by 2.9m wide. The gantry has a cantilevered extension to one end
of the span, with an outreach of five metres. It overhangs a truck lane of
about 4.8m wide along which tractor-trailer sets drive to deliver containers to
or collect boxes from the crane. As in the RTG system, the truck lane acts as
the yards interchange area. The yard surface on which the rails are mounted
is specially strengthened and sometimes raised to take the entire load of the
RMG.
In this system, there is no need for rows to be interrupted by roadways and so
each block can extend for the entire width of the yard. The blocks are
separated by a roadway between 25m and 30m wide and a perimeter road
runs all the way around the yard. The cranes move across the roadways
between the blocks along rails that are sunk into the yard surface.
RMGs typically stack one-over-four and stacking height combines operational
considerations with the capacity of the RMG. As in the case of the RTG
system, outward containers are generally stacked between 3 and 4 high, while
inward containers are stacked 2 and 3 high. Empties can be stored at the end
of the blocks to further take advantage of the cranes high stacking ability.
b) RMGs operate exclusively in the container yard transferring boxes to and
from the stacks as well as shifting boxes in the stacks themselves. Tractortrailer sets are used to collect containers from and deliver containers to the
container stacks. In the receipt/delivery operations, road vehicles can either
deliver and collect the containers in the truck lane interchanges within the
blocks, or they can transfer the containers to yard tractor-trailer sets at an
interchange area located near the gate.
RMG systems are very space efficient because of their high stacking ability
and the compactness of the storage blocks. They are also operationally
effective systems as they take advantage of the speed, manoeuvrability and
reliability of the chassis system and the lifting and stacking efficiency of the
RMGs. Stacking and unstacking operations can be extremely rapid in this
system, especially if there are multiple RMGs operating in one block.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-15

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure II-4: RMG Container Yard Layout

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-16

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Rail sidings

Security Fence

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Gate

Gate

Train Handling Area

CFS Shed

TGS is
6.4m x 2.9m

Empty Container
Storage Area
CFS Transit Shed

Loaded Container
Storage Area

Truck Lane 4.8m


Roadway 25-30m

Customs/
Health
Exam Shed

Gate

Admin. Building &


Control Centre
Vehicle
Holding Area

Specialized
Containers

Container
Repair Area
Workshop

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-17

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

D.

Yard Address System

Given the nature of the service provided by an ICD and the volume of containers
entering and leaving the depot during any given period, a crucial element in ICD
operation is the placement, location specification, and the recording of container
assignment. To this end, a systematic numbering or locational classification scheme
must be implemented. This facilitates planning and operation of the yard through
container tracking via container yard location. The system for numbering each storage
location is known as the yard address system. Each numbered slot provides a unique
yard locator code or identification the yard address. Assigning and updating the yard
address of each container provides the means for the ICD to control the movement of
each container including the transfer between external transport mode, storage,
inspection, CFS, etc. For the yard address system to work, it is imperative that all
personnel working in an operational has a working knowledge of the system. This
ensures that:

Containers being received into the ICD are placed in that part of the container
yard assigned to them.
The correct yard address for each of those storage positions is communicated
to the control room as soon as the container is in position, and whenever a
container is moved within the ICD.
The correct container is moved whenever an instruction is issued to take it to
the interchange, CFS, examination area, or to another depot location.
A particular container can be located quickly and without error whenever the
control room makes such a request.
A register can be maintained, showing at any moment exactly which slots are
occupied and which are available for incoming containers.6

The container yard and yard address system is set up as a three dimensional grid,
identified by a set of coordinates. These coordinates typically have four components.
i) A block identification; e.g., A, B, C, etc.
ii) A row classification, usually consisting of a two or three digit number
representing the row within the block, e.g., 01, 02, 03, etc.
iii) A line reference, usually a two digit number identifying the line within the row.
The line number frequently starts at 01 at one end of each block.
iv) Where containers are stacked more than one high, the final classification
component is a single digit or letter representing the tier or layer within the
stack. Generally, numbering starts at ground level with the number 1 or letter
A.
The basic unit for the yard address system is the twenty-foot slot. As such, the yard
address system must have some mechanism for assigning and recording locations for
forty-foot containers. Logically, each forty-foot container occupies two twenty-foot
storage slots. Designating yard locators for forty-foot boxes can be handled in a number
of ways including recording the numbers of the two slots occupied; assigning the forty
foot container just the even number of the pair occupied by it, or adapting the numbering
system used to indicate twenty foot and forty foot bays in a container ship the twenty
6

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-18

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

foot slots are numbered consecutively 01, 03, 05, 07, etc. while the forty foot containers
are given even numbered slots (forty foot container occupying 01 and 03 would be
numbered 02).
As is evident, there are a number of ways that address systems can be structured. The
crucial point is that everyone using the system fully understands it.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-19

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure II-53: Yard Address System

Source: Portworker Development Programme, ILO, 1995.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-20

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

E.

Storage Planning and Control Procedures

The container yard is one of the areas of the ICD where much physical movement
occurs container shuffles; container movements to/from interchanges, CFS,
examination sheds, repair facilities, etc. Thus, the planning, control and supervision of
the container yard activities are challenging. The shear volume and variability of the
activities that occur in the ICD requires that the activities must be planned in detail and
personnel must follow the plans precisely and efficiently for both productivity and safety
reasons. The two broad categories for storage planning and control procedures are: the
allocation of storage locations and the determination of storage space requirements.
1. The Allocation of Storage Locations
The assignment of containers to specific storage locations is a critical element in
the efficient and safe operation of the container yard. It is good practice to group
containers that meet certain conditions together, i.e., dangerous goods containers
should be segregated from the general storage area for safety of caroges,
outward containers should be kept separate from inward containers for ease of
tracking and access, high-value containers should be stored in highly visible
areas for security reasons, etc. This leads to the layout of the general storage
areas and special areas described above in Section II-B. Within these designated
areas, a series of more specific stacking principles are applied. In fact, the inward
and outward blocks are divided into zones and sections of zones. One purpose of
the zoning exercise is to simplify and reduce the time and cost of container
handling, primarily in the receipt/delivery process. Examples of zoning principles
in the case of inward containers are:

Containers are generally grouped together according to the transport operator


that is handling them on that journey.
Containers destined to the same consignee or importer are grouped together
Containers destined to landlocked countries are often grouped according to
the country of destination.

In addition to these general zoning principles, further segregation of containers is


used, often according to container dimension and status. A similar exercise is
applied to outward containers. There are also separate rules for stacking and
storing empty containers.
2. The Determination of Storage Space Requirements
Once the different zones and section are delineated, the storage planner must
decide how much space to allocated each section. The ground area
requirements for each category of containers depends on three factors

The expected number of containers for each category type


The stacking height of the containers in each category
The average dwell time (time spent in storage) of each category of containers

The document process ensures that planners know, ahead of time, how many
containers and of what type will be arriving from inland transport (i.e.,

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-21

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

train/barge/road) and how many will be discharged for loading. Multimodal


transport operators provide all the necessary data in advance of the
train/barge/road arrival.
As to the second factor, most container storage involves the stacking of
containers more than one high. There is a trade-off between stacking additional
levels and gaining access to containers at the bottom of the stack. The higher the
stack, the more moves required to get at the bottom container. For example, the
bottom container in a stack of five requires nine equipment moves to be released
from the stack.
In general, inward containers are generally stacked to lower heights (2 to 3 high)
than outward containers (3 to 4 high) as it is more difficult to predict when boxes
will be claimed, while outward containers are sequenced to be loaded at the same
time on departing linehaul transport. Also, empty containers are usually
requested by type and owner as opposed to specific container ID and as such,
can be stacked relatively high (5 or more depending on the stacking equipment
used). Stacking restrictions are applied to special containers such as reefers
(only one or two high), containers carrying dangerous goods (only one or two
high), out-of-gauge containers (often only one high), and non-ISO length
containers.
With respect to dwell time, there is always a minimum dwell time associated with
each container since there are documentary and operational procedures to be
completed with each arrival and departure. However, every effort is taken to keep
dwell times to a minimum because the longer the dwell time:
a) The more space is required to accommodate the containers.
b) The higher and denser the stacks have to be to accommodate the volume of
containers, leading to more shifts for container retrieval.
c) The likelihood of congestion in the yard.
d) The possibility of delay for goods in transit with the potential of deterioration of
goods and an increase in the cost of capital for shippers and receivers.
ICDs have policies in place to encourage lower dwell times. For outward
containers, ICDs will have a specified acceptance period, say up to 6 or 7 days
before the arrival of linehaul transport (train/barge) and a closing date before
departure. For inward containers, ICDs specify a free storage period after which
charges are levied on a daily basis.

F.

Information System Applications

Planning and control functions cannot be effectively undertaken without the presence of
an information system that provides comprehensive and up-to-date information. The
control function requires knowledge of:

The number of expected containers


The identity of the expected containers
The location of each container within the ICD at any given moment
The stage that has been reached in each containers handling sequence

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-22

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The current availability of yard space and its individual zones and sections.

In terms of container yard operations, the information systems must provide the following
components the container records and the yard inventory. The most effective system
will have each component cross-linked with the other for ease of use, analysis and rapid
information retrieval. The container records provide important information for container
yard operations, especially container tracking (see Figure II-6). The required information
is the container ID and the yard slot address, which must be updated any time the
container is handled. The function of the container record is largely one of control. In
comparison, the yard inventory is a planning tool, as it serves to help planners direct
containers to appropriate locations throughout the yard.
There are various configurations of information systems from a completely paper-based
system to a fully computerized system. For example, Figure II-7 illustrates how the
inventory consists of a set of plans. The plans can be paper based or computerized.
Obviously, the paper systems are more cumbersome, inefficient, error-prone and less
useful for planning purposes as timely information is not immediately available.
At the other end of the spectrum, an online computerized ICD MIS yield benefits to
supervisory preparatory activities. These benefits include:

The reduction of paperwork since data is only entered once and then is
automatically accessible in all the required forms (container records, yard
inventory and various summary lists).
Instant availability and accessibility of information at all relevant desks.
Timeliness and ease of data updates (to indicate container arrival, stacking,
movement within the depot, examination, clearance and departure).
The ease of cross-checking data entry.
The reduction of time taken for documentation procedures.
Automatic data analysis, reorganization and presentation for various parties.
The provision of checks to ensure that all required data is available and
prompts to staff if data is insufficient.
Automation of customer billing based on movement and activity records
associated with each container.7

The use of electronic data interchange (EDI) also confers various benefits onto users as
it allows all parties involved in the transport operation to be connected. Benefits accrue
through:

7
8

The reduction of data entry as it is entered once and is subsequently available


to all connected parties.
The reduction of the possible sources of error.
The instant availability of data to all users (container location, holds, etc.)
The improvement of advance planning capability.8

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-23

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The timely arrival of information regarding containers and movements for time
sensitive goods or short-sea services.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-24

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure II-64: The Container Record

CONTAINER RECORD

Job. No.

Rotation No.

Import/
Export

Stage

Container ID
Size/Type

FCL / LCL

Transport Mode

Weight

IMDG

Transport ID

Seal

Temp

Arrival

Load./
Disch.

Out-of-Guage

Operator

Location

Customs Status

Prev. Loc.

Hold Status

Agent
Start Time
Finish Time
Port of Loading/
Port of Discharge

Stowage Location

Haulier

Time In

Vehicle No.

Time Out

Remarks

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-25

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure II-7: The Yard Inventory

Block B
01

G.

C
B
A

02

C
B
A

03

C
B
A

04

C
B
A

05

C
B
A

01
xxxx 1234567
aaaa 2345678
aaaa 1595536

02
bbbb 6456821
nnnn 4984546

03
yyyy 3450223
cccc 1298503
nnnn 6983922

04

05

rrrr 3527849

eeee 5552785

06

Container Yard Operations

Container yard operations can be arranged into four main activity groups. All these
groupings involve the movement of containers and consequently use of large handling
equipment. Given this characteristic, one major element that underlies all these
activities described below is that of container yard safety. It is important to understand
that practices and procedures described below need to adhere to safety and security
policies adopted by the ICD. The safety topic will be handled separately in a subsequent
chapter where the entire set of ICD operations will be discussed.
1. Inward Container Storage Operations
In order to achieve efficiency standards, it is critical that inward containers be
stacked in the correct storage slot in a timely fashion. Storage allocation for
inward containers can either be predetermined to the exact storage slot, or to a
more general block zone where the final storage slot is determined as the
container is being moved into storage. Both approaches require that the spaces
to be used are ready for receiving the containers.
The physical movement of an inward box to container storage begins when the
container arrives at the ICD by road/rail/barge. The transfer equipment tractortrailer, lift-truck is directed to the either the predetermined slot or zone and the
container is subsequently stacked in the storage slot. In the predetermined case,
the clerk will acknowledge that the container has been stacked into the assigned
spot, while in the second case, the exact yard address will need to be recorded
once the container has been unloaded and placed in the container stack. In this
way, the container record and yard inventory can be updated.
There are various stacking sequences and principles that can be followed in the
stacking process. Ideally, the proposed sequences should be logical and

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-26

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

systematic in order to keep the operation straightforward. One example of


sequential stacking is to stack containers along a row at ground level until all base
slots are occupied before beginning to stack in the next tier. Another example is
to fill the complete line in each row, i.e., stack all available slots starting at the
ground level in one line and stack as high as operationally feasible before moving
to the next row.
An effective stacking principle is to stack inward containers to achieve a staggered
effect, alternate the height of the rows 1 high, 2 high, 1 high, 2 high, or 2 high, 3
high, 2 high, 3 high, etc. This permits easy in-stack shifting to access bottom tier
containers. Another good stacking rule is to stack end rows lower than the rest of
the block so as to provide a better view for equipment drivers going in and out of
the stacks.
2. Outward Container Storage Operations
In general, outward containers are not pre-assigned specific storage slots as it is
difficult to time the arrival of the container to the ICD relative to other outward
containers. Therefore, outward containers are generally pre-assigned to zones
within a block and the exact location is recorded once the container has been
landed in the storage slot.
Physically, the container is transferred to the storage yard by tractor-trailer or lift
truck once is has completed the ICD receipt procedures. The stacking equipment
then places the container into a slot and the yard location is recorded by the clerk.
This information is used update the container record and yard inventory. Gantry
cranes tend to stack along a line rather than row in order to minimize the amount
of time spent moving the cranes back and forth. Practically, outward containers
also tend to be stored with their doors all facing the same direction, particularly in
barge operations so that the containers all arrive at the barge transfer crane with
the doors facing the same direction as it will be stored on the vessel.
3. In-terminal Container Movements
In-terminal container movements include any movement made to or from the
container yard but remaining in the ICD. Examples of these movements include
movements to CFS for destuffing; movements of empty containers to/from the
empty stacks and the CFS; and movements from the CFS to the storage yard for
stuffed containers. Other in-terminal movements include transfers of containers
to/from customs and health examination areas, as well as transfers of damaged
boxes to the repair area, etc.
A final type of in-terminal movement is the in-stack movement. This movement
occurs within a storage stack and is needed to access containers stacked
underneath other containers, or to reorganize boxes into a more efficient
arrangement. This last group of in-terminal movements is typically left for off-peak
operating periods so that they do not interfere with stacking and unstacking
operations. The goal of in-stack shifting is to streamline receipt/delivery
operations as well as transfer operations to loading/unloading areas for rail and
barge operations. It is extremely important that any in-terminal shift be authorized

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-27

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

in writing by the control room and that the movement be recorded upon
completion so that the container record and yard inventory can be updated.
4. Interchange Movements
The interchange area is under the control of receipt/delivery operations, however,
the transfer of the container from the container stacks to the interchange area and
from the interchange area to the storage blocks is under container yard
operations. The interchange areas depend directly on the equipment handling
system used and so for lift truck systems, a separate area near the gate and away
from the stacks is used, while in RTG and RMG systems it is possible to use the
truck lanes within the stacks as the interchange areas. It is also possible to have
separate interchange areas for RTG and RMG operations, using tractor-trailer
transfer equipment. This configuration allows the ICD to prohibit access of nondepot vehicle drivers to the storage area where large, heavy handling equipment
is being used.
For outward containers, the interchange process begins when a container is
received by the ICD gate personnel. The container is taken to a specific
interchange position. The yard transfer driver is directed to the interchange
location and is provided with the container information and the assigned storage
address. The container is transferred from the road vehicle to and taken to the
container block and landed in the correct location. The driver then records the
exact storage address.
For inward containers, the interchange process begins when a road vehicle
arrives to pick up a container. The empty vehicle is directed to the specific
interchange position. The equipment driver is directed to the yard address to
collect the right container and bring it to the interchange area. The driver will
confirm the container identification and address upon retrieval. The container is
landed carefully on the road vehicle and the driver records the movement.

H.

Managing/Controlling Yard Operations


1. Underlying Principles of Control of Yard Operations
The major supervisory responsibility with respect to container traffic is:9
a) maintaining safe and secure custody of containers while awaiting onward
movement and providing appropriate treatment for them and their cargoes
while in the ICDs care;
b) controlling the safe movement of containers within the ICD at the appropriate
time to the correct location and as promptly and efficiently as possible;
c) maintaining the safety of all those working in the container yard.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-28

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Control of container yard operations should be carried out from a control room or
control centre located away from the equipment movement in the yard.
Preferably, the control centre should allow a clear view of the gate and yard.
Effective supervision of container yard activities depends on three basic
requirements:
a) The communication of clear instructions to equipment drivers, which provide a
precisely planned sequence to ensure that the correct containers are
lifted/moved/delivered/stacked in the correct place at the correct time.
b) Direct acknowledgement by the drivers of the directive, which provides the
control room staff the confirmation that the containers have actually been
handled and confirms their actual location in the yard.
c) A system for accurately recording the existing location of every container
within the ICD boundaries. This system is an essential part of the ICDs MIS
and provides up-to-date information required by planners and management to
program moves and layouts to accommodate incoming and outgoing container
movements from the depot.
Effective control of yard operations is best accomplished by way of direct
communication between the control room and the yard operators. The three basic
means of direct communication are:
a) Radio communication through radio transmitters and receivers, which provides
instant feed back on actual movements occurring in the yard.
b) Radio data transmission by way of computer terminals located in equipment
cabs which are linked to the depots MIS and allows MIS updated as
information is keyed in by control room staff or yard operators.
c) MIS computer controlled systems, which are completely computerized and are
updated on a real time basis.
Indirect communication as represented by a paper-based system is also used
but this system produces a lag in the updating of the yard inventory. This system
also requires on-site yard supervision and lessens the ability of the control room
to make changes and adjustments to any situation that might arise. In the
absence of an MIS, a T-card record system can be used to identify the yard
inventory. This system requires manual updating and a supplementary container
record system usually in the form of a card index, which provides more detailed
information on the container.
2. Personnel Responsibilities and Functions for Control and Supervision
There is a supervisor, based in the control room, in overall charge of the container
yard operations. This supervisor reports directly to the shift manager. The main
functions of the control room supervisor are to maintain the safety and security of
containers while in yard storage and to oversee the transfer of containers between

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-29

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

various locations within the container yard. Additional duties include direct
supervision of in-terminal containers movements and stacking/unstacking
activities relating to receipt and delivery.
The supervisor is responsible for the running of the container yard operations and
for its integration with the other operations linked to it. The supervisor oversees a
small staff of clerical-grade controllers, who communicate instructions for the
container movements to the drivers and operators of transfer and stacking
equipment. This staff also records the completion of the instructions as
acknowledged by the equipment operators.
In larger ICDs where size and volume warrant, there is usually another supervisor
responsible for supervising activities within the examination areas known as the
inspection gang supervisor. The purview includes such activities as unpacking
and repacking of containers under customs review, in need of repair or
replacement, or those that contain leaking dangerous cargoes. The supervisor
communicates with the control room by telephone and radio. The inspection gang
supervisor oversees the inspection gang, which is responsible for packing and
unpacking of containers.
In ICDs where radio and computer communications are nonexistent, the
supervisor is positioned out in the depot rather than in the control room. In the
case of yard gantry cranes, the control function is likely carried out by tally clerks
located in the ground cabs of the cranes.
3. General Tasks Required of Control and Supervisory Staff
The control room supervisors tasks can be summarized as follows:10

To ensure that operations proceed according to plan, to recognize deviations


and to react appropriately and rapidly to incidents and problems observed
directly or indirectly through controllers or outside supervisors.
To liaise with the engineering department over maintenance, reporting any
defects reported and arranging safety stops for engineering access.
To report any concerns over security directly to the security officer.
To report serious problems directly to the shift manager with
recommendations for the appropriate response (redeployment, additional
resources).
To report the activities performed and tasks achieved throughout the work
period.

4. Areas of General Responsibility of the Container Yard Supervisor


The duties and responsibilities of the control room supervisor fall under several
categories:

10

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-30

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

a) Programming Receipt and Delivery Interchange Movements


The control room supervisor controls the movements of containers between
the interchange locations (where they are lifted to or from road vehicles) and
the import, export and empties stacks. In addition, the supervisor oversees
movements to and from the railhead and/or the inland waterway berth. Along
with these functions, the control room supervisor often oversees the gate
personnel since the control room is usually situated with a clear view of the
gate and the interchange points. Tasks here include placing gate staff in
position and determining lane availability to meet demand.
The supervisors aim in this operation is to keep delivery and collection times
as short as possible in order to maintain a high quality of service to customers.
b) Programming Yard Movements
The foundation for planning and preparation in the yard operations relates to
two functions: movements carried out on request and in-stack movements
(shuffles) for depot purposes.
The control room supervisor has the responsibility of planning the movements
within the shift once the movement sheet is received. The movements are
initiated at the appropriate time either by issuing a complete movement sheet
to one controller or by writing out separate work instructions, and issuing these
slips to two or more controllers, or to one controller at different times.
Control room supervisors also have the responsibility of allocating storage
slots according to the ICDs general stacking rules.
c) Monitoring Progress
Once the supervisor has issued the shifts yard activities, the responsibility
turns to monitoring the shift progress, i.e., checking that instructions are being
relayed in the correct sequence, that moves are being completed in good time
and that completion is being properly reported and recorded. An important
result of the monitoring process is that the supervisor is in a position to quickly
notice holdups, bottlenecks or program deviations and respond accordingly.
d) Adjusting Resource Deployment
The supervisor receives plans and schedules from the planning unit, however,
has discretion to organize and deploy the available resources the meet the
changing requirements of the shift according to the plan limits.
e) Responding to Weather Conditions
A control room supervisor must control container yard stacking in the event of
adverse weather conditions. One such condition is the presence of heavy
winds. This responsibility includes programming movements to adhere to
special standing instructions for yard stacking (known as windbreak rules).
Cold weather problems come in the way of frost and ice. The supervisor must
ensure that the safety of operators and containers is maintained. This
requires imposing slower driving speeds, care when cornering, proper clothing
and heated cabs in equipment. Heat causes its own problems including heat
exhaustion and damage to yard surfaces from softened surfaces. Finally,

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-31

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

water buildup on yard surfaces can also lead to container/contents damage.


Care must be taken to remove containers from standing pools of water to
areas free of water accumulation. The supervisor must be aware of the
possible effects of inclement weather and react accordingly.
f)

Dealing with Equipment Breakdowns and Accidents


An effective supervisor is one who is able to respond rapidly and properly to
any unexpected conditions that arise for the purpose of returning container
yard operations to normal. This includes not only the redeployment of
resources in the case of an equipment breakdown, but also to ensure that the
breakdown does not pose any danger to the operations staff, nearby
containers and cargoes, or other equipment.
In the event of an accident, the supervisor must determine if any dangerous
goods are involved and react accordingly as well as attend to personnel
injuries. The main responsibility is to isolate any unsafe area to prevent any
further incidents and to set in motion the necessary steps to bring the area
back up to working standards.
Apart from the yard activities, the supervisor must determine the nature and
causes of the incident, de-brief involved parties, and complete a detailed
accident report. If transgressions are noted, then disciplinary action must be
taken to ensure that rules are followed.

g) Ensuring the Safekeeping of Containers in Yard Storage


The control room supervisor has a responsibility to keep containers in safe
custody against theft, damage and deterioration. Proper security must be put
in place and access points to the ICD must be controlled. The responsibility of
the control room supervisor lies in ensuring that visiting pedestrians and
vehicles are not allowed into operational areas. As well, vehicles delivering or
collecting containers must be kept within the roadways and interchanges
designed for those activities. In addition, the supervisor must follow the rigid
rule that no container movement is permitted without written authorization.
With respect to damage, the ICD is liable for damages and losses that occur
while the container is under its care. Thus, diligence is required on the part of
the yard operators to avoid damaging containers while in storage or during
movement around the yard.
The supervisor must ensure that conditions in the yard exist to mitigate any
situations that might lead to deterioration of the container. These include
maintenance of yard surface conditions, stowage rules and patterns enforced
for inclement weather, and the provision of services to accommodate such
special circumstances as containers that require refrigeration, ventilation or
controlled atmosphere, fumigation, etc.
h) Maintaining Good Housekeeping in the Container Yard
This responsibility involves taking care of the physical condition of the
container yard including the container stacks, the yard surface, the roadways
and aisleways. The supervisor must stress to staff using the yard the

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-32

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

importance of monitoring the yard for defects and the use of good work habits.
A second aspect of yard housekeeping is the avoidance of operational
problems, which include misaligned stacks due to bad placement of a
container or stack of containers, an obstruction on the yard surface, or a faulty
surface. Good housekeeping requires that stack misalignment or leaning be
reported and attended to in a timely fashion.
Finally, staff must be strongly encouraged to take responsibility for the good
order and condition of the working areas. Some of the consequences of poor
work habits include the occurrence of oil and grease spills from careless
material and machinery handling; damage to the yard surface from the heavy
landing of containers; wear on surface and tires from cornering too quickly;
and potential danger from dropped litter which may be hit or knocked into the
air by passing vehicles.
i)

Record Keeping and Information Transfer


The final responsibility of the supervisor occurs at the end of the shift. It is to
ensure that the significant events of the shift are fully documented and
reported. First, the supervisor will summarize the events of the shift in the
control room shift log which includes a brief review of the movements
completed, the delays encountered and times lost, accidents and incidents
experienced, etc.
The shift log is important for several reasons.

It provides a briefing source for the incoming shift.


It is a permanent record of major stoppages, delays and sources of delays
used for review and discussion of shortfalls in performance.
It is a backup source for formal accident reports.
It indicates responsibility very clearly by identifying the supervisor in
charge for a specific time period.
It is a formal acknowledgement of transfer of responsibility at the end of a
shift through signature and counter signature.11

Second, the supervisor must ensure that all working documents and records
are promptly passed to the information office and that equipment drivers
record their moves on log sheets and remit them to the engineering workshop
for inclusion in the reporting system.

11

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

II-33

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

III. BEST PRACTICES IN CONTAINER


RECEIPT/DELIVERY OPERATIONS

A.

Principles of Receipt/Delivery Operations

The receipt/delivery operation is of tremendous importance in the operation of an ICD.


However, receipt/delivery is one of the more challenging operations to manage since it
requires the involvement of a number of parties external to the ICD. Some of these
parties include, shippers and consignees, modal transport operators (barge, rail, road),
customs, freight forwarders, brokers and commercial banks.
Physically, the receipt/delivery operation of an ICD consists of two distinct, linked
systems. One system is the transfer of the container to/from the road vehicle from/to
terminal stacking equipment and the second system is the handling of the road vehicle
through the gate. For inward containers, the transfer operation occurs before the gate
operations, for outward containers, the gate operations occur first. The processes of
receipt and delivery are very similar, differing only in the direction of movement of the
containers and the details of the documents carried, issued and processed. These
processes are described below.
1. General Receipt Sequence for Outbound Containers
In the case of the entry of a loaded outbound container by road, the general steps
that are followed are:1

The vehicle arrives at the terminal entrance where it is given a security check
and directed to the vehicle park.
The driver presents the appropriate documents at the reception office where
they are processed.
The driver takes the vehicle to the gate for receipt formalities to be completed.
The vehicle moves to an interchange within the terminal, where the container
is lifted by terminal equipment and placed in storage in the container yard.
The vehicle returns to the gate where clearance formalities are completed.
The empty vehicle departs via the terminal entrance after security clearance.

2. General Delivery Sequence for Inbound Containers


The equivalent process for the delivery of an inbound container is:2

1
2

The empty road vehicle arrives at the terminal entrance and is checked there
before being directed to the vehicle park.
The collection documents are processed at the reception office.
The vehicle moves to the gate, for completion of the receipt formalities.

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-1

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The driver takes the vehicle to an interchange where the container, retrieved
from storage by terminal equipment, is landed on the trailer.
The vehicle returns to the gate (perhaps via customs), for documentary and
security processing.
The loaded vehicle leaves the terminal after a final security check.

3. Variations in Receipt/Delivery Sequences


Variations in the above sequences can come about due to such factors as the
containers route to the terminal whether container delivery is direct or indirect
and the location at which the container is packed or unpacked shippers
premises, CFS, etc. In the case of a direct delivery export, there is no container
processing/transfer at the interchange area. Instead, the container is brought
through the terminal to the loading area. For a direct-delivery import, the
container is transferred directly to the road vehicle upon discharge from the inland
transport.

B.

Receipt/Delivery Facilities

The layout of the receipt/delivery facilities will, of course, vary with the shape of the
terminal, access and egress to the terminal and the handling system used by the
terminal. Irrespective of these variations, there are general facilities that exist in order to
carry out receipt/delivery functions. These are described below (See Figure III-1).
1. Terminal Entrance
For security reasons, ICDs generally limit the number of entrances and exits to the
facility to just one for road vehicles. The entrance area will contain separate lanes
for exit and entry of all vehicles including container transport, supply vehicles,
private vehicles and official terminal transport. Some ICDs will provide a separate
entrance for non-container transport in order to keep flows segregated. General
characteristics of the entrance are that it be secure, effectively illuminated and
manned by security personnel at all times. Also, there should be an office or
cabin equipped with telephone or radio communications at the entrance for
security and comfort reasons. In addition, the entrance should be fitted with
security barriers and traffic lights to restrict the movement of vehicles into and out
of the terminal.
2. Vehicle Parking Area
Upon arrival at the depot drivers must report to the reception office to handle
documentary formalities. This being the case, they must leave their vehicles
unattended for a period of time. Thus, the ICD must provide a secure vehicle
parking area inside the terminal entrance. For practical reasons, the vehicle park
should be located close to the administration building. (Due to customs
regulations in most countries this vehicle parking area and administrative
office is next to the mail gate but outside the custom area or main gate to
the ICD)

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-2

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

There are a number of features that should be incorporated in the provision of a


vehicle park. One element is a series of clearly marked parking bays to facilitate
traffic flow. The parking bays must be of sufficient length to accommodate fortyfoot chassis. The vehicle park should be constructed so that it has the holding
capacity to match peak vehicle volumes in order to avoid vehicle queuing outside
the ICD. The aisleways and turning areas must be sufficiently large to allow the
largest tractor-trailer to manoeuvre safely. In addition, the parking layout should
be designed for unidirectional traffic flow. Also important, is the separation of
trailer traffic parking and terminal staff/visitor parking.
3. Reception Office
The reception office is located in the administrative block alongside the vehicle
park. Three arrangements are common:
a) A configuration including two separate reception offices. One office assigned
for drivers bringing outbound containers to the depot and one office for drivers
collecting inbound containers.
b) One large reception office that is divided into separate counters or windows.
Each set of counters or windows will be responsible for one function delivery
of outward boxes or collection of inward boxes.
c) A single counter serving both functions. This configuration is used at
terminals that handle receipt/delivery formalities very quickly.
For efficient operations, the reception office counters should be constantly staffed
with clerks during official hours of operation. Management should ensure that
staffing levels are adequate to avoid undue delays in attending to the drivers.
Clear and visible signposting must be provided in order to prevent drivers from
wasting time trying to locate the appropriate service counter.
4. Offices for Agents, Customs and Other Organizations
The administration complex often supplies office space for the major inland
transport operators, customs staff and various other parties including
representatives of local freight forwarding and transport operators and banks etc.
It is useful to have these offices located near the reception office since drivers
need to present documents to these groups as part of the receipt/delivery
process. The proximity of these offices is a way to mitigate delays in the
receipt/delivery process.
5. Canteen or Rest Room
Many terminals provide a canteen and rest room facility near the reception office
and parking area. It provides a close and easily accessible area for transport
drivers to wait for document processing and/or possibly container examinations
and clearance.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-3

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-1: Receipt/Delivery Layout

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-4

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

6. The Gate
The gate is central to the receipt/delivery operation. There are a number of
characteristics that it should possess for effective control of entry/exit from the
ICD. Listed below are some of the more important features.

The gate should be connected to the vehicle parking area by a roadway. This
roadway should be wide enough to allow safe two-way traffic flow. It should
also be long enough to provide some queuing area away (15m) from the gate.
The gate structure should possess a number of truck lanes that are separated
by raised pavements where small cabins for the gate staff are located.
Each cabin should have a set of steps connecting it to an inspection platform
or bridge. This allows gate inspectors to examine the container from the top to
identify any damage.
The entire gate area should be well lit and covered by a roof or canopy for
protection against inclement weather.
Each lane should be equipped with equipment for controlling the movement of
vehicles. This includes barriers and/or traffic lights.
A weighbridge or truck scale should be provided at the gate, either built into
each lane or located just inside the gate for use by all lanes.
The gate should have the ability to vary the number of entry and exit lanes
used throughout the day to accommodate the different demand needs of the
terminal.

Close to the gate, there is often a separate checkpoint for customs officers to
inspect import containers on their way to the gate from the interchange (or some
exports as well). This area will include a small parking area and an office or cabin
for the officers.
7. Special Cargoes Gate
It may be necessary to provide a gate for special cargoes including over-sized
containers or awkward loads, which cannot be accommodated through standard
truck lanes.
8. In-terminal Parking Area
The ICD should have a small vehicle park just inside the gate to hold exiting
vehicles, which are waiting for final security clearance for departure. The parking
area must be located away from active areas (where handling equipment is
active) where it will be safe for the drivers to exit their vehicles.
9. Interchange Area(s)
The interchange areas are used to exchange containers between road vehicles
and terminal equipment, where there is no direct delivery practice and the ICD
uses the inter change practice. The interchange layout depends primarily on
the stacking equipment used. Two arrangements are generally used:

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-5

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

a) One configuration places the interchanges between the gate and container
yard. Each interchange is a series of clearly marked and numbered parking
bays, separated by raised curbs. This system segregates road and terminal
traffic as much as possible.
b) A second configuration permits road vehicles to drive into the container yard.
The road vehicles are directed to truck lanes alongside the storage blocks at
the yard address where the container is to be landed or collected from.
Drivers must be given clear and simple instructions on the route to the
interchange and on the traffic rules and regulations to be followed.

C.

Receipt/Delivery Documentation

One of the characteristics of the receipt/delivery operation that distinguishes it from the
other ICD operations is that the receipt/delivery procedures primarily revolve around
document handling. This includes such tasks as issuing, handling, checking,
completing, endorsing and reclaiming a series of documents. In fact, the nondocumentary operation (physical moves of vehicles, containers and equipment) is quite
simple and clear-cut. In this respect, it is important to have a familiarity with the various
documents that are required in the receipt/delivery process. The following documents
are the most important for the receipt/delivery function, but there can be several other
forms that are handled in the process of moving a container from consignors to
consignees. It is to be noted that the following documents are only representative and in
fact, many variations of the documents are used. The documents are illustrative of the
type of information that is required for efficient and effective operations that also satisfy
any legal requirements with respect to liability issues.
1. The Train Notification Order or Barge Booking List
This document provides the terminal with an initial list of the outbound containers
that will be loaded from the depot onto the linehaul transport (see Figure III-2). It
contains information regarding the arrival and departure of the carrier, the booking
reference number, the agent, the container identification, length and gross weight,
type and size, and any special instructions regarding the container.
This list gives the terminal planners enough information to make provisional plans
for the receipt and storage of the containers scheduled to a particular journey.
The carrier updates the list as bookings are made.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-6

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-2: The Train Notification Order

Company Name
Train
Notification

Company Header

Service
Order Number
Date
Arrival Time
Departure Time
Agent

Booking
Reference

Size

Container

Weight

Special

Total Containers
Total Weight
Wagons Supplied

2. The Container Load List


The train loading list is compiled by terminal planners from information on the
train notification order, to cover the loading operation. The list indicates the
sequence number or work number, the length of the container, the container ID
code, gross weight, current yard address, and the wagon position onto which it is
to be loaded as well as any special instructions (see Figure III-3). For outbound
movements, a train report or train composition form is sent to the terminal by
the railway operator, indicating the container particulars as well as wagon and
position information and any special instructions (see Figure III-4).

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-7

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

For inland waterway transport, the vessel loading list provides detail to the
terminal of the container ID code, gross weight, type, size, agents name, and the
planned stowage position aboard the craft. This enables the terminal to plan the
loading sequence and schedule resources for the arrival of the barge. For
outbound movements, the equivalent document is called the barge/vessel
discharge list (see Figure III-5).
Figure III-3: The Train Loading List

Train Loading List

Service
List Number
Date
Departure Time

Sequence

Size

Container
Number

Weight

Yard
Location

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

Wagon
Position

Remarks

III-8

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-4: The Train Report

Train Report

Service
Date
Train Departed
Documents
Wagon
Number

Position

Container
Number

Size/Type Full/Empty

Gross
Weight

Total Weights
Containers
Wagons

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

Destination

Booked
By

Booking
Reference

Special Instructions

Total Numbers
Containers
Wagons

III-9

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-5: The Barge Discharge List

Barge Discharge List

Date
Shift
Supervisor
Seq

Page
Vessel
Crane No.

Stowage Slot
Hatch Row Tier

Total Containers:

Container
Number

20'
40'

Size/
Type

Weight

Yard
Location

Remarks

Total:

3. The Container Record


One key to effectively controlling depot operations is up-to-date information
regarding each container. In this way, container records form the basis of many of
the vital planning documents used in running and managing the ICD. The
information included in a container record consists of the following:3

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-10

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The containers identification code


The size and type code of container
The containers gross weight and a letter indicating whether it is full (F) or
empty (E)
The door seal number
The date and time of discharge (inbound) or loading (outbound)
The current location of the container (yard address) and its previous location
An indication of whether the container is an import or export
Whether the container is an FCL or an LCL
Data on the special nature of the container and/or it cargo (hazardous cargo,
refrigerated cargo and temperature, out-of-gauge, etc.)
The customs status of the container and whether all terminal charges and
documents have been cleared
The port of loading or discharge.

In addition, to container specifics, the container record provides information on the


transport particulars of the linehaul portion of the container journey
(road/rail/barge):4

A reference number uniquely identifying that particular crafts call at the


terminal
The name of the craft and its voyage number
The arrival date and time of the craft
The names of the transport operator and the agent
Start and finish times for the loading/unloading operation
The stowage location of the container

One last section of the record describes the details of the transport mode by which
the container has been delivered (export) from the shipper or collected (import) by
the consignee. For a road vehicle the data includes:5

4
5

The transport operators name


The registration or license plate number of the vehicle
The recorded time of entry of the vehicle through the terminal gate
The recorded time of exit of the vehicle through the terminal gate

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-11

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-6: Container Record


CONTAINER RECORD

Job. No.

Rotation No.

Import/
Export

Stage

Container ID
Size/Type

FCL / LCL

Transport Mode

Weight

IMDG

Transport ID

Seal

Temp

Arrival

Load./
Disch.

Out-of-Guage

Operator

Location

Customs Status

Prev. Loc.

Hold Status

Agent
Start Time
Finish Time
Port of Loading/
Port of Discharge

Stowage Location

Haulier

Time In

Vehicle No.

Time Out

Remarks

4. The Shipping Note


For outbound movements, the next document that of importance is the shipping
note, which is provided to the haulier by the shipper to present to the ICD. This
form is completed and issued by the shipper or the freight forwarder for use at
various points in the transport chain: by the transport operator, the shipping
company, the customs authority and, under some circumstances, the terminal.
The shipping note usually contains the following information:6

The name and address of the exporter


A customs reference and status indication (cleared or not)
The booking number of the carrier
The exporters and forwarders reference numbers
The importers name and address
The name of the freight forwarder
The international carriers name
A range of other transport details
The vessels name and port of loading
The port of discharge and the final destination of the container
A description of the goods, including shipping marks and numbers, and the
number and type of packages
The gross weight of the goods and their cube

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-12

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Handling and other notes inserted by the shipping company


The container identification code, its door seal number, its size/type code, tare
mass and gross weight
The hauliers name and vehicles registration number
The name of the company preparing the shipping note
Spaces for the terminal to sign as acknowledgement of receipt of the container
and for the vehicle driver to countersign that receipt.

The shipping note serves several purposes. The most important of these are:7
a) It gives complete information about the contents of the container.
b) The transport operator uses the shipping note to prepare a bill of lading or
waybill for that consignment which is a contract between the operator and the
cargo owner for the carriage of the goods by sea.
c) The ship operator also uses the shipping note to prepare the cargo manifest.
d) It gives authorization for the container to be accepted from the transport driver
into the terminal.
e) It may act as a receipt to be signed by the terminal operator, to acknowledge
that the container has been received in apparent good order and condition by
the terminal.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-13

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-7: The Shipping Note

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

5. The Delivery Order


The delivery order is a document that directs the ICD to receive a specific
outbound container and at the appropriate time, load it aboard the linehaul
transport mode. The multimodal transport operator (shipping line, freight
forwarder, transport operator) or local agent issues the delivery order upon receipt
of the shipping note by the driver delivering the outward container to the ICD. It
duplicates the important data found on the shipping note (see Figures III-7 and III8).

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-14

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-8: The Delivery Order

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

6. The Collection Order


The collection order is used in the same way as the delivery order except that it
corresponds to inbound containers. This document is prepared and issued by the
multimodal transport operator (or agent). It is directed to the consignee when
ownership of the goods has been transferred and when the freight charges for
transporting the container to the destination have been paid and all documents
have been cleared. The collection order directs and grants the terminal operator
permission to release the said inbound container to the endorsed delivery vehicle.
Identification and proof of ownership of the cargo in the form of the bill of lading is
necessary from the consignee or freight forwarder in order that the collection order
is issued.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-15

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-9: The Collection Order

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

7. Dangerous Goods Documents


Both national and international regulations mandate that dangerous cargoes be
accompanied by special documentation. In addition to the normal documents
required for depot processing, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods
(IMDG) Code specifies that all containers carrying dangerous cargoes must be
accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration before entry to the depot. The
declaration gives key information for each item of dangerous goods, including:8
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
8

The proper name and description of the material as set out in the IMDG Code
The type(s) of hazard presented by the goods (IMDG Class number)
The properties of each type of dangerous cargo packed in the container
Details of the packaging and quantities of material
A signed declaration that the information given is complete and accurate.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-16

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-10: The Dangerous Goods Declaration

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.


Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-17

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

8. The Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR)


The equipment interchange receipt (EIR) is central to the receipt/delivery
operation. It is used to recognize the completion of a transfer of responsibility for
a container between the multimodal transport operator and the container depot.
The document can be issued by any number of parties including, the multimodal
transport operator, the agent, or by the ICD. As can be seen from the example
below, the form contains basic information about the container, the vehicle and
chassis delivering/collecting it to/from the terminal, and about the condition of the
container and chassis on entry/exit. The condition information is noted upon
entry/exit through the gate. The EIR acts as a receipt of transfer of the container.
For outbound boxes the ICD receives the box and for inbound boxes the
consignee representative the transport driver receives the box.
Figure III-11: The Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR)

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-18

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

D.

Receipt Procedures

This section outlines the practical details of the receipt operation for general purpose
containers, empty containers and other special containers.
1. General Purpose Containers
The ICD considers the beginning of the receipt operation to occur once the haulier
arrives at the depot entrance. The steps for receipt are as follows:

At the terminal entrance, the vehicle and drivers documents are checked by
security staff. If all is in order, the driver is directed to the vehicle parking area
and instructed to present the documents to the administrative building.
The driver reports to the agent (if the agent is located at the ICD) where the
agent compares documents with the booking records to make sure that the
correct container and cargo is being shipped. When the documents agree, a
delivery order and EIR are issued to the driver.
The next stop for the driver is the reception office. Here, the clerk checks the
drivers identification and compares the delivery order to the terminals
information system record. Any discrepancies must be cleared at this time,
which may involve the driver returning to the agents office. The container
may or may not be accepted if there are outstanding holds placed on the
container by the transport operator.
The next step is customs clearance. There are three cases. First, the
container could have been already cleared in advance. Second, there could
be a customs hold on the container and so the driver is sent to the customs
office in order to clear up any outstanding issues. Third, customs can refuse
to clear either the documents or the container and will issue a rejection slip.
The driver will have to return to the appropriate party in order to correct any
outstanding issues.
Once customs issues have been resolved and clearance is given to the
container and driver, the reception clerk completes the reception formalities by
issuing the EIR, an entry permit and a routing order (see Figures III-12 and III13). The entry permit allows the driver to pass the gate and the routing order
provides detailed instructions on where and how the driver must go for the
interchange operation. The driver is then asked to wait until called to proceed
to the gate. The clerk may, at this point, inform the control centre that the
container has arrived so that interchange receipt arrangements can be made.
Once the driver is directed to the gate, a number of activities take place. The
driver presents his documents to the gate clerk who, in turn, passes the EIR to
the gate inspector. The gate inspector examines the container and chassis,
door seal and labels and the CSC (safety approval) plate. The inspector notes
any defects on the EIR and informs the driver. The driver is directed to unlock
the securing devices at this time. Finally, the vehicle is weighed and the EIR
is updated.
Next, the clerk updates the information system by recording the receipt of the
container.
The documents are returned to the driver and the vehicle proceeds to the
interchange via the routing determined on the routing order following all safety
rules for traffic set out by the ICD.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-19

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

At the interchange, the vehicle is reversed into the assigned bay, the hand
brake is applied and the engine is turned off. The lifting equipment
approaches the vehicle from behind, lifts the container and proceeds to the
storage location assigned to the container.
The vehicle is driven, by the indicated route, back to a vacant exit lane at the
gate. Here, the driver presents the EIR copies, the routing order and the entry
permit. The chassis is inspected once more and any damage is noted and
acknowledged by driver signature. The clerk then notes the time out on the
EIR, signs it, and gives the driver the required copies.
The driver then makes a stop at the depot exit for a final security check and
any exit pass that was issued is collected before the driver is allowed to leave
the ICD.
Finally, the documents are returned to the reception counter and copies of the
relevant documents are sent to the multimodal transport operator or agent.
Figure III-12: The Gate Entry Permit

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-20

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure III-13: The Routing Order

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

2. Empty and Special Containers


The procedures described above for the receipt of full, general purpose containers
largely apply to the receipt of all containers by the said transport mode with some
differences for empties and special containers.
a) Empty Containers
For empty containers, the sequence of events is the same except for the
omission of customs procedures. The result is that documentary procedures
are simpler, since they exclude customs inspection of the paperwork or of the
container contents.
b) Dangerous Cargoes
Dangerous cargoes are afforded special attention during the reception
procedure due to the risks of handling and storage of dangerous goods. With
respect to the reception process, a dangerous goods list is sent by the
multimodal transport operator prior to the container arrival and a dangerous

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-21

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

goods record is created by the ICD. When the container arrives at the depot,
one difference in procedure is that the driver presents the dangerous goods
declaration in addition to the standard documents. The clerk very carefully
compares the documents against the ICD records to make certain that the
container contents are exactly as booked. If all is in order, the dangerous
goods declaration is filed for delivery to the transport operator for the journey.
The entry permit, routing order and EIR are given the driver, and the driver
takes the container to the gate as usual. Here, an additional step requires the
inspector to check carefully that the container is displaying the IMDG placards
in the correct spots on the container. At this point, the driver proceeds as
usual to the interchange, however, it can happen that either the transport
operator or gate inspector requests an inspection of the contents. Once the
container has been delivered, the driver returns to the gate and follows the
standard exit procedures.
c) Reefers, Plant materials and Livestock, and Out-of-Gauge Cargoes
The main difference of reception of a refrigerated container is that the
temperature of the contents needs to be checked carefully against the
advance information received about the container and the temperature setting
indicated on the EIR. This requires monitoring by the inspection and
engineering staff.
For containers carrying plant materials and livestock, there may be a need to
ventilate the container or feed and water livestock contained in the box. If so,
instructions must be sent and followed for the proper treatment of the cargoes.
The reception operation sets in motion the required activities to handle these
containers.
Finally, out-of-gauge containers heavy, awkward loads or uncontainerized
cargo need to be dealt with in a different manner. These cargoes may not
be able to pass through the main ICD entrance or gate so special
arrangements may be required. The driver follows the standard reception
procedure but is routed to a special gate at the appropriate point in the
reception sequence. The driver may then be directed to the loading area or to
a special storage area for oversized cargoes and heavy lifts.

E.

Delivery Procedures

This section outlines the practical details of the delivery operation (of inbound container)
for general purpose containers, empty containers and other special containers. There is
a larger need for caution and precision in the handing over of inbound containers than
there is for receiving outbound boxes, since the ICD bears the risk if the container is
turned over to the wrong party. The risk can be substantial as values can be well over
100,000 USD for any one box. Assuming the ICDs boundary fence is secure, the main
site of security risk is the gate and loss of containers can occur at the gate through:9

False documents being presented (claiming a container carrying cargo for


another importer)

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-22

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Delivery documents being altered (the documents may have been stolen, and
different carriers and drivers names inserted)
The terminals information system being interfered with (by a dishonest
employee inserting false information)
Tampering with door seals (these may have been broken and the goods
removed while in storage, and not noticed until the container arrives at the
gate)
Clerks or security staff being bribed, blackmailed or coerced to allow an
unauthorized driver to collect the container.

To combat loss, staff should ensure that the following conditions should be met before
the release of a container is authorized:10

The documents being presented are authentic, correctly completed and


unaltered (they match the container records in every respect)
The person collecting the container is authorized to do so (identification
matches, signature matches, etc.)
The container being collected is the one referred to in the documents (the
identification code and size/type codes match exactly)
The container and its door seal are intact
The container has been properly released for delivery (all charges and
payment due have been paid, all duties and taxes have been paid, and every
document has the appropriate stamp and authorized signature).

The receipt/delivery staff must achieve a standard that encompasses the required
vigilance without slowing down the delivery process and causing delays in operations.
1. General Purpose Containers
Unlike the receipt operation, the collection process starts before the haulier arrives
to collect the container and cargo. The steps for collection are as follows:

10

Once the consignee is notified that the container has arrived, he/she presents
the bill of lading to the multimodal transport operator or agent to claim the
consignment. Any outstanding freight charges are paid and a collection order
is issued to the consignee to authorize the ICD to release the box.
Next, the consignee fills in a customs declaration form and submits it with the
appropriate documents to the customs.
It is possible that customs determines an inspection is required at which point
the container is moved from the container yard to the customs examination
area for inspection. Once the container is repacked, it will be moved back to
the yard to await collection. The customs officers will sign the collection order
and the customs declaration once they are satisfied about the cargo and that
all outstanding dues and taxes are settled. At this point, the customs hold on
the box is removed and the depots reception office is notified that the box is
cleared for collection.
Next, the consignee arranges for road transport and the vehicle driver submits
the collection order at the reception office. The clerk checks for document

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-23

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

accuracy and completeness as well as a cleared status on the container. If a


vehicle appointment scheme is in effect, the haulier must contact the ICD
schedule a collection time.
Initially, the procedure is similar to that for container receipt. The vehicle is
checked through security at the ICD entrance, is parked in the vehicle parking
area and the driver goes to the administrative building to obtain an EIR from
whoever is in charge of issuing it. An entry permit and routing order are
issued to the driver.
In due course, the vehicle is called to the gate for the usual entry formalities.
The tractor and chassis will be inspected and any defects noted on the EIR.
Also, the drivers identification is checked and the time in is noted.
Arrangements are made to move the container from the stacks to the
interchange.
The vehicle is driven to the interchange and following safety rules, the
container is lowered onto the chassis.
Once the lifting equipment has left the interchange, the vehicle is driven back
to the gate for customs clearance. Documents and the customs seal will be
checked. At this point, the vehicle can be selected for random inspection and
will be moved from the traffic flow while the container is inspected.
Following customs examination, the vehicle heads for the gate exit lane.
Documents are once again checked for accuracy and the container and
chassis are scanned for any defects, which are noted on the EIR. The
container is locked onto the chassis, the EIR is signed by the driver and the
clerk, and the vehicle leaves the gate passing through the final security check
at the ICD exit.

2. Empty and Special Containers


As in the case for receipts, the procedures of delivering empty and special
containers to road vehicles largely follow those for loaded, general purpose
containers. The differences are noted below.
a) Empty Containers
The sequence of events is the same as for general purpose containers except
that there is no need for customs clearance procedures prior to collection of
the box. All remaining procedures follow that for a general purpose container.
b) Dangerous Cargoes
The terminal receives the dangerous goods list from the multimodal transport
operator and the information is entered into the terminals dangerous goods
register. Next, the container is inspected carefully as it is discharged and
stored. If it is requested, the container is moved to an examination area and
the container is unpacked and inspected. When all is cleared ICD
inspection, customs clearance, invoices and charges paid any holds are
removed and the container is ready for release. The remainder of the
collection process is as for general purpose containers except that stringent
checks are made that the IMDG information matches and that the correct
dangerous goods labels are displayed on the container.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-24

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

c) Reefers, Plant materials and Livestock, and Out-of-Gauge Cargoes


The main difference in the delivery operation for reefers is that the
temperature is checked throughout the process before unplugging in the
container yard and before plugging into the tractor power unit once the
container has been landed at the interchange. The temperature is once again
checked at the gate before the departure of the road vehicle.
The documentary and handling procedures for the collection of other special
containers follow the principles outlined for general purpose containers, but
with added precautions and actions in accordance with instructions received
from the transport operator. When a driver arrives to collect a special
container, it must be examined carefully before movement from its storage
position and as it passes through the gate to make sure that the shippers
instructions are being followed exactly.

F.

Managing/Controlling Receipt/Delivery Operations


1. Receipt/Delivery Personnel
The person primarily responsible for the operation is a supervisor in the reception
office, or the reception supervisor. That supervisors responsibilities include:11

The documentation relating to receipt/delivery the delivery and collection


orders, equipment interchange receipts (EIRs), and specials lists of various
kinds, including documents relating to dangerous cargoes; in addition, the
reception office staff are responsible for adding data for outbound containers
as they arrive and for inbound containers as they leave.
Supervision of the terminal entrance and parking areas.
Organization and supervision of the vehicle appointment scheme (if
operating); liaising with agents, shippers and customs staff over the delivery,
collection and clearance of containers.

To carry out these duties, the reception supervisor has a team of clerks. The
reception supervisor may also supervise the gate staff the clerks and inspectors
who document and examine the containers as they pass into and out of the
termina.

2. Supervision of the Receipt Process


The supervision of the receipt process can be broken into the planning and prearrival preparation stage and the receipt or control stage. These are described
below.
a) Planning and Pre-arrival Preparation Procedures for the Receipt Process
In most cases, the ICD will have advance notice of the arrival of an outbound
container to the ICD through booking lists sent by the multimodal transport
operator to the reception office. These preliminary lists provide the reception
11

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-25

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

supervisor an indication of the resources that will be required in upcoming


operations. The lists will be passed onto ICD planners for pre-arrival
allocations of resources and yard storage through provisional yard plans.
A copy of the yard plan is passed to the reception supervisor, who makes sure
that the reception office clerks have copies of the yard plan, so that they can
correctly allocate storage locations for the containers as they arrive and, from
those locations, select appropriate interchange slots for the vehicles to drive
to.
Reception supervisors are also responsible for implementing vehicle
appointment schemes at those ICDs where such systems are used. This
system is a demand management tool that attempts to flatten out arrival peaks
that may occur close to train/barge departures from the ICD. Planning
resources becomes a simpler process. Without the appointment scheme,
resource planning must be based on past experience and preliminary booking
data.
b) Receipt Control Process
The condition and usage of the vehicle park area is under the direct control of
the reception supervisor. Thus, safety and traffic rules are to be enforced by
the supervisor. Also, the reception supervisor must ensure that adequate
lighting, clear signage and area neatness are maintained.
In the reception office, the supervisor manages the reception clerks in their
dealings with vehicle drivers. They are responsible for quickly dealing with
any issues that arise as well as checking that proper procedures are followed
and that the MIS is updated accurately and promptly.
At the gate, the supervisor must check that gate and inspection procedures
are being followed and that there are adequate resources available to process
the road vehicles arriving at the ICD. Once the vehicles pass through the gate
on their way to the interchange, responsibility for the vehicle is transferred to
the control room supervisor until such time as the vehicle exits the gate
(unless the gate is under the purview of the reception supervisor).
3. Supervision of the Delivery Process
As is the case for the receipt process, the supervision of the delivery process can
be broken into the planning and pre-arrival preparation stage and the delivery or
collection stage. These are described below.
a) Planning and Pre-arrival Preparation
As in the case of receipt, the multimodal transport operator sends information
ahead of arrival indicating the containers to be unloaded. The reception
supervisor and planners develop a yard plan and resources are planned
accordingly. In addition, the supervisor organizes the vehicle appointment
scheme, if one is used at the terminal.
Another activity in this process is customs clearance, which should not involve

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-26

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

reception staff. However, a consignee or his/her agent may ask the reception
office to enquire of customs on his/her behalf, if clearance seems to have
been delayed for some reason. The reception supervisor will make the
necessary enquiries, primarily in the cause of preventing inbound containers
spending too much time on the terminal.
b) Delivery Control Stage
The reception supervisors duty in this stage is to make sure that operations
are running smoothly and to take care of issues that arise, such as customs
holds on containers. In this way, the clerks are able to continue to process
additional vehicles without causing a delay at the counter. Once the reception
formalities are dealt with, the vehicle is inspected at the gate and responsibility
is transferred to the control room supervisor for the gate and interchange
activities unless the gate is under the purview of the reception supervisor. In
the case of a lost container, however, the reception supervisor may be asked
to check the container record for possible locations.
As mentioned above, the control room supervisor is typically responsible for
monitoring gate procedures, while the reception supervisor oversees the
correct handling and distribution of documents and the MIS.
4. Completion and Shift Handover Procedures
Shift handover in receipt/delivery operations involves four broad categories of
responsibility:

Briefing on significant events


Checking documents
Completion of a shift log
Handing over responsibility.

a) Briefing on Significant Events


It is important for the outgoing supervisor to communicate with the incoming
supervisor regarding the events of the previous shift. Of particular note are
briefs on any outstanding work to be done, any issues that are as yet
unresolved, and any pertinent information that may have effects on the
upcoming work period.
b) Checking Documents
The incoming supervisor should review those documents that outline the work
schedule, i.e., vehicle appointment timetable. Also, notes and memos
regarding unsolved issues should be reviewed. This would include containers
that are being held unusually long times or booked containers as yet
unreceived(Not received) at the ICD.
c) Completion of a Shift Log
The outgoing supervisor should complete a shift log which records shift
activities including unusual or non-standard occurrences. Reports on
disciplinary occasions or accidents must also be filed for reference and further
action.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-27

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

d) Handing Over Responsibility


A common way for acknowledging responsibility handover from one
supervisor to another is for both parties to sign the shift log. In addition to this
formality, each supervisor should meet briefly with the shift manager in order
to communicate pertinent information and instructions.

5. Supervisory Responsibilities
Above, the specific tasks and responsibilities of the supervisors involved in the
receipt/delivery operation have been discussed. There are, in addition, a range of
more general responsibilities in which the supervisors report to the shift manager.
These include:

Resource deployment
Briefing of clerks
Information system
Emergencies
Good housekeeping.

a) Resource Deployment
The reception supervisor is responsible for monitoring resource needs
throughout the shift. While the planning unit usually devises staffing levels
ahead of the actual work period, the supervisor must manage these levels
during the ensuing shift in order to maintain steady flows.

b) Briefing of Clerks
Supervisors must prepare their staff for the upcoming work program. This
includes describing the planned work schedule. In addition, there may be
special tasks planned or changes in procedures, which need to be
communicated to the staff. These briefing requirements call for well informed
and knowledgeable supervisors who are familiar with the groups operations.
c) Information System
The supervisors responsibility with respect to the ICD information system is
multifaceted. The reception office is in charge of setting up container records,
which form the basis of container tracking and planning in the ICD. Also,
since a sizable portion the receipt/delivery operation involves all aspects of
document handling issuing, checking, filing, transmitting, etc. it is essential
that reception supervisors monitor the correct and proper handling of the
necessary documents.

d) Emergencies
The receipt/delivery supervisor is responsible for both emergencies occurring
in their operational area as well as admitting emergency response groups to

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-28

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

the ICD through the entrance and gate for any emergency occurring anywhere
in the ICD. Therefore, it is essential that supervisors be knowledgeable and
comfortable with emergency procedures. One way to accomplish effective
emergency response is through the use of emergency drills. Supervisors
must also ensure that their area has clear and quick access to emergency
exits and working emergency equipment.

e) Good Housekeeping
Supervisors are also responsible for encouraging and implementing good
housekeeping in the receipt/delivery area. This means keeping the entrance,
vehicle park, gate and interchange areas clear and free from debris such
things as litter and grease spills. It also means employing preventative
measures such as staff training and enforcement of safety rules and
regulations. Finally, supervisors are responsible for making sure that any
damages are repaired and that equipment and areas are in good working
order.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

III-29

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

IV. BEST PRACTICES IN CONTAINER FREIGHT STATION


(CFS) OPERATIONS
A.

Functions of a CFS

The container freight station (CFS) is a facility designed to confer benefits of


containerization and intermodal transport on those parties involved in the movement of
break-bulk commodities. To this end, the CFS serves a number of functions with a
requisite group of activities that are described below.
1. Functions
The functions satisfied by the CFS operation are as follows:1

To receive, sort and consolidate outbound break-bulk cargoes from shippers.


To pack outbound cargoes into containers ready for loading onto linehaul
transport.
To unpack inbound containers, and sort and separate the unpacked cargoes
into break-bulk consignments ready for distribution to consignees.
To deliver inbound cargoes to relevant onward transport.
To store inbound and outbound cargoes temporarily, between time of
unloading and loading, while various documentary and administrative
formalities are completed.

2. General Activities
a) Outbound Cargoes
The CFS functions relating to outbound cargoes can be described by the
following sequence of activities:2

1
2

Receiving break-bulk cargo from inland transport according to shippers


instructions, checking it and making out the necessary records of its
arrival and onward handling.
Moving the cargo into temporary storage (either covered or open), where
it is consolidated with other packages for the same container, and with
other consignments for the same vessel and voyage, and kept safe and
secure until it is packed for onward movement.
Presenting the stored cargo to customs for examination, if required. (This
step will not be required for domestic outbound movements.)
Arranging the delivery to the CFS packing area of an empty container
from the empties stacks in the container yard or elsewhere.
Inspecting the container on arrival at the CFS, to ensure it is suitable for
the cargo and is in good condition. If necessary, it will be swept, washed
or otherwise cleaned before packing.

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-1

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Moving goods from storage, packing into the container, following


shippers and ship operators instructions, and completing the relevant
documents.
Securing the cargo in the container during and after packing.
Locking and sealing the packed container, and attaching appropriate
labels.
Arranging for the loaded (LCL) container to be moved to the appropriate
location in the container yard export blocks, to await loading.

b) Inbound Cargoes
For inbound cargoes, the equivalent activities are:3

B.

Arranging for the movement of the loaded LCL container from the
container yard import blocks to the CFS, ready for unpacking.
Unpacking of the goods from the container, inspecting and checking
them, sorting and separating them into different consignments, and
completing the relevant documents.
Moving the cargo into covered or open storage, and providing temporary
safe and secure accommodation for it there until it is collected.
Presenting the stored cargo to customs for examination, if required. (This
step will not be required for domestic inbound movements.)
Sweeping, washing or otherwise cleaning the empty container.
Arranging for the empty container to be moved to the empties stacks in
the container yard or elsewhere.
Transferring the cargo from storage, loading it into consignees transport,
and completing the relevant documents.

Layout of Facilities

A CFS located at an ICD will be much larger than a CFS located at a port terminal. A
reason for this is that there is a greater need for storage consolidation and value added
services which can not typically be accommodated at the often congested port facilities.
If the CFS handles international exports and imports, and is separate from the ICD, it will
need to be a bonded area. If the CFS handles purely domestic consignments, then it will
not require a bonded customs area. A typical CFS layout and facilities are shown below
in Figure IV-1.
1. The CFS Entrance and Gatehouse
A CFS entrance and gatehouse can be located in one of two locations. The first
corresponds with the main ICD terminal entrance/gate. Alternately, it is possible
to locate the entrance/gate at the most convenient point of access to the road
network with sufficient space to allow vehicles to turn into and out of the CFS.
This configuration is shown in the layout below. The entrance is staffed with
security personnel to control access to the CFS. The entrance should contain a
gatehouse or cabin for security and should have telephone or radio
communication capability.
3

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-2

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-1: CFS Layout

1
2

4
6

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-3

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

2. The Road Vehicle Parking Area


The vehicle parking area is located between the gate and the administrative
office. Vehicles are parked here while drivers register at CFS reception for
instructions to the appointed loading or unloading position. Preferably, access
routes for road vehicles are separated from routes for terminal transport. This can
be accomplished by keeping each group of traffic to one side of the CFS. There
is an additional parking area set aside for private vehicles.
3. The Reception/Delivery Facilities for Other Transport Modes
In the case where break bulk cargoes are transported to the CFS by modes other
than rode, the CFS must provide equivalent facilities rail tracks for rail reception
alongside the shed or a special barge berth for inland waterway transport.
4. The Reception and Administrative Office
The reception office is where drivers present their documents and to receive
directions on where to go. It is often located at one end of the storage building
along with managerial, supervisory and clerical staff offices. The CFS may also
provide office space for customs staff and shipping agents. The proximity of the
offices allows convenient communication between the various parties involved in
CFS operation and administration.
5. The Open Storage and Operational Area
An open yard takes up a significant portion of the CFS. It serves several CFS
functions:4

It provides storage space for various types of cargo: for packages too large to
be stored in the shed, for those that are difficult to handle without special
equipment, for some dangerous cargoes and for bulk and dirty cargoes. The
areas are marked out and labelled clearly so that records can be kept of
where each consignment of cargo is being stored.
In a convenient part of this area there may be a fixed ramp, to allow lift-trucks
and other equipment to pack the cargoes into, or unpack them from,
containers on trailers or chassis. The ramp also permits cars or other wheeled
vehicles to be driven into containers for loading aboard ship in this protected
form, and to be unloaded from import containers.
The open yard also has some space set aside for the temporary storage of
containers empty boxes waiting to be packed or to be returned to the
terminals empties stacks, and possibly full containers awaiting unpacking or
transfer to the export stacks.
There may also be space for parking trailers used to transfer containers
between the container yard and the CFS, and for the loading of out-of-gauge
cargoes onto (and unloading them from) platforms and flatracks; this terminal
service is often provided by the CFS.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-4

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

In one or more locations in the open yard are marked-out areas or bays where
containers are landed for packing or unpacking, either from and to the shed or,
more usually, from and to the open storage areas.
Finally, an area may be set aside for container cleaning and minor repairs,
with washbays and appropriate equipment.

There are two more requirements for the open yard area the whole yard surface
must be flat and even to ensure safe movement of equipment and the area must
be well drained to prevent damage to stored goods.
6. The Storage Shed
The storage shed is the predominant CFS facility. Cargoes are temporarily
warehoused here while they wait for onward transport. The roof is cantilevered
thereby avoiding the need for many pillars which impede the storage area
beneath it. The roof overhangs the sides and possibly the ends. This serves to
provide protection for workers and cargo against weather in transfer operations.
There are various alignments for the floor of the shed. It can be level with the
surrounding surface, raised above the paved area to trailer height, etc.
A striking feature is the large number of loading/unloading bays situated along the
two long sides of the transit shed. This provision permits the servicing of many
vehicles simultaneously. Each bay is numbered clearly and bays may be
provided along one end of the shed to accommodate any rail or berth unloading.
Inside the shed, the majority of the floor area is dedicated to cargo storage.
Storage blocks are indicated by painted lines and numbered or lettered markings
on the floor surface. The particular layout varies from shed to shed and depends
on the equipment used and the internal structure of the shed (pillars, etc.). The
common element is that the dimensions of each block tend to be related directly to
the dimensions of a standard pallet 1000 mm x 1200 mm. The blocks are
separated by aisleways and a main aisleway runs the length of the shed, splitting
each block in half. Ideally, the traffic flow (as indicated by arrows painted on the
surface) is set to one-way circular routes.
Operationally, shed sections may be allocated to particular activities loading of
inbound cargoes, unloading of outbound cargoes, unpacking of inbound cargoes,
packing of outbound cargoes, etc. However, the system is flexible as the doors
can be assigned and re-assigned based on demand. There may also be specific
areas of the shed allocated for: the storage of dangerous cargoes, bonded and
secure locker for high value goods, storage of damaged packages or inadequately
packaged cargo, storage of goods requiring customs examination.
Safety features required by the shed include: adequate lighting, clearly marked
pedestrian walkways throughout the storage area, guard curbs and rails to protect
vulnerable services and structures, a good water supply and effective drainage.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-5

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

7. Equipment Requirements
Each CFS operation may vary in the type of equipment used, but generally, the
following equipment is required for CFS activities:

C.

2 to 3 tonne capacity forklift trucks


Pallet trucks
Roller conveyors, handcarts and trolleys
Tractor-trailer sets
Heavy duty lift trucks
Portable ramps, bridge plates, etc.
Packing and securing materials (pallets, dunnage, wire and webbing,
wood, etc.)
Hand and power tools.

Information System and Storage Address System


1. Information System Requirements
In addition to the physical requirements, the CFS requires a system for planning,
recording and controlling operations and the related administrative activities. This
is accomplished through the CFS MIS. The system adopted for the MIS will
depend on the size of the CFS. For a large CFS handling large volumes of
goods, a computerized MIS is most practical and efficient, while a manual system
or T-card/crad system for locating cargo and containers may be sufficient for a
small CFS.
a) Consignment Records
As for the ICD, there is a record that constitutes the basis for the MIS. In the
CFS MIS, this is the consignment record (see Figure IV-2). A consignment
record includes such details as:5

A unique reference number, attached to that consignment as the record is


created
The bill of lading number (for imports only)
The storage location(s) of the consignment in the CFS
The name of the shipper (for an export) or consignee (for an import)
The vessel and voyage number relating to the consignments arrival at or
departure from the port
The date of receipt into the CFS, by unpacking from a container or unloading
from a vehicle
An indication of the present customs status of the consignment whether it is
held, cleared or being examined
The equivalent indication of the state of clearance as far as the CFS is
concerned, whether all charges have been settled and all documents
cleared

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-6

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The identification code (ID) of the container it was unpacked from or packed
into a sequence of four letters followed by seven digits, uniquely identifying
the container and displayed on its sides, ends and roof
The number of the door seal of that container
The name of the transport company delivering or collecting the consignment
The registration or license number of the hauliers vehicle
The date of departure of the consignment from the CFS, by packing into a
container or loading into a vehicle
The name of the shipper or his/her mark a set of letters, numbers and/or
symbols identifying the shipper
A brief description of the cargo
The number of packages, their total weight (in tonnes or kgs) and volume (in
cubic metres)
Relevant remarks about cargo condition on receipt, special storage or
packing instructions.

The creation of a consignment record occurs as soon as any advance information


is received from the multimodal transport operator (shipping line, freight forwarder,
or transport operator) and is updated accordingly. The record is useful for CFS
office staff to check the details when the cargo and accompanying documents
arrive.
Figure IV-2: The Consignment Record
CONSIGNMENT RECORD
Consignment
Number

Bill of Lading
Number

Storage
Location

Shipper/
Consignee

Vessel
(if applicable)

Voyage
Number

Date Received/
Unpacked

Customs
Status

CFS
Status

Container
Number

Seal
Number

Delivered/
Collected By

Marks

Reg.
Number

Description

Quantity

Date Packed/
Collected

Weight

Volume

Remarks

b) Storage Inventory
Another important element of the MIS system is the storage inventory, which

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-7

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

details all the consignments and locations currently stored in the shed and
yard (see Figure IV-3). This information is used to create a floor plan of the
shed and open storage area, which identifies vacant and occupied areas. The
floor plan is then used by planners to arrange storage locations for incoming
cargoes.
Figure IV-3: The Storage Inventory

c) Customer Records, Customs Clearance and Administrative Records


In addition to the above requirements, the MIS also provides the CFS with
data on customers, customs clearance, invoicing and other administrative
tasks. In a computerized system, data input at successive operational stages
can automatically trigger the relevant administrative activities.
The effectiveness of the MIS depends directly on the accuracy of data input
and the proper maintenance of the system the system must be kept updated
at all times and any changes must be integrated into the relevant records.
2. Storage Address System
The success of the consignment records and storage inventory depends on the
ability of the CFS to locate cargo. This is achieved through an address system
whereby the storage areas are divided into storage blocks or ground slots and
assigned a unique reference code. The blocks are further divided by rows and
lines just as in the case of the terminal general storage area. The address system
is usually a sequence of letters and numbers indicating the block, the line and
row. The letters and numbers are painted on the floor of the shed. In sheds that
used racking systems to allow vertical storage, each cell is given a specific
address to easy access.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-8

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-9

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-4: The Storage Address System

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-10

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

D.

Procedures for Receiving, Unpacking, Storing and Release of Inbound


Cargoes in Containers

There are a number of steps that are involved in the handling of inbound cargoes.
These include the following steps.

Preliminary and planning processes


Receipt of loaded container from the container yard
Unpacking and storage of cargo packages in the CFS
Return of the empty container to the container yard
Collection procedures for discharge of inbound cargo to road vehicles

1. Preliminary and Planning Processes


The CFS usually is notified of the need to unpack containers before the delivery of
the containers to the container yard, usually by the multimodal transport operator
or its agent by way of an LCL list. This provides an indication of the likely
workload, subject to any last minute changes. Finally, the multimodal transport
operator sends a formal request to unpack by a particular date and this request
lists information for each container including: the container ID code; the door seal
number; the name of the vessel bringing the container; details to the unpacking
(full or partial); and any special handling instructions. A container packing list for
each listed container comes together with the request to unpack (see Figure IV-5).
Once this information is received by the CFS, an import consignment record is
created for each cargo consignment listed. This process allows the CFS planners
to use the storage plan to allocate the storage space and subsequently assign the
appropriate bay for unloading. In addition, staff and equipment resources can
also be allocated at this stage, albeit on a provisional basis only.
2. Receipt of Loaded Container from the Container Yard
The next stage of the process begins with a special service request (SSR), sent
by the multimodal transport operator to the container terminal. The purpose of
this request is to direct the ICD to move the container from yard storage to the
CFS. The terminal schedules the move (usually in batches) and then forwards the
schedule to the CFS office. The CFS planners then are in a position to confirm
their conditional allocations of bays, resources and storage locations.
Next, the CFS office staff update the MIS and prepare work orders for the gangs
to unpack the containers and tally lists for the tally clerks checking the work (see
Figure IV-6). The documents provide details as to the unpacking operation as
well as the details of the consignment for checking purposes.
Next, the control room organizes the delivery of the container to the CFS. The
associated work orders are given to the proper foremen and labour is organized
with the appropriate gear, equipment and materials. Tally lists are issued to the
appropriate tally clerks.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-11

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-5: The Request to Unpack and the Container Packing List

Request to Unpack

Container Packing List

Request Number

To:

Container No.

Container Freight Station

Vessel

Size/Type

Please unpack the following containers:

Voyage No.

Seal Number

Container
Number

Seal Number

Vessel
(if applicable)

Full/Part

Remarks

Item

Shipper/
Mark

Discharge Loc.

Qty

Pkge
Type

Description
of goods

Weight
kg

Volume
3
m

Remarks

Total net wt
Tare wt
Gross wt

Issued By
Date

Time

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

Date of packing

Signed

IV-12

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-6: The CFS Work Order and the CFS Tally List

Container Freight Station


Tally List

Container Freight Station


Work Order
Date

Container No./
Vehicle Registration No.

JOB TYPE

Consignment(s)
Issued By

Bay/door

Pack Container

Unpack Container

Issued To

Load to Vehicle

Receive from Vehicle

Shift from

to

Carry out the following instructions:


Pack Container

Load Vehicle

Unpack Container

Unload Vehicle

Shift within CFS


From

Vessel

Port

Voyage No.

Cont. Size/Type

Container No./
Vehicle Reg. No.

To

Item

Collect the following resources:


Gang

Driver(s)

Tally Clerk

Equipment

Attachments

Gear

Cont.
No.

Shipper/ No. of
Mark
Pkgs.

Seal No.

Description of
goods

Weight
kg

Vol
m3

Storage
Location

Pile
Tag

Tally

Special Instructions:

Date Completed

Time Completed

Supervisor's Signature

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

Issued To
Date

Issued By
Signature

IV-13

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Once the container is landed safely at the appropriate unloading bay, the foreman
checks the container for signs of damage and the door seal is inspected to ensure
a match and that no tampering has been attempted.
Finally, the door seal is removed and the doors of the container are opened. This
step must be carried out carefully to prevent injury to personnel and/or damage to
cargo that may have worked loose. Also, ventilation may be required for
containers shipped under fumigation or containing solid carbon dioxide.
Once the doors are open, the bracing materials are removed, and if necessary,
the customs officer makes an initial content inspection. The foreman also notes
any signs of damage or defects. In the case of damage, the multimodal transport
operator is notified and unpacking may be held up until a cargo surveyor can be
present to survey and check the packages as they are discharged. When the
container is ready to be unloaded, the suitable ramp or bridge is affixed to the
container for equipment access to the box for unpacking.
3. Unpacking and Storage of Cargo Packages in the CFS
The unpacking method must be systematic to avoid any errors. Each item is lifted
from the container and the tally clerk checks it carefully for quantity and condition.
The tally list is ticked to indicate removal of the package or group of packages in
that item. Also, any package defects, shortfalls, or discrepancies are noted on the
tally list. The tally clerk also sorts the packages into consignments. Once a
consignment has been fully collected, the packages are taken to the assigned
storage locations and noted on the tally list. Any damaged packages are taken to
a damaged cargo locker for security and separate treatment. Once the
consignment is stored, the clerk identifies it by attaching a handwritten label
known as a pile tag to ensure identification of the consignment. The pile tag
number is added to the tally list as an additional identification marker.
Once the container has been unpacked, the tally clerk confirms the information on
the tally list is correct, then signs the list and passes it to the foreman. The
foreman organizes the cleanup operation including the sweeping out of the
container, the clearing up of the unpacking area and the return of the equipment,
gear and materials to their storage positions. Once the cleanup is completed, the
foreman then closes the container door and signs the work order to indicate job
completion. The documents are all returned to the office and arrangements for
the removal of the empty container are initiated. The office staff then updates the
consignment records and storage plan with the storage locations. The office staff
also prepares an outturn report, to be sent to the multimodal transport operator,
containing such details as the bill of lading number, the shippers name or mark, a
description of goods, the number of packages that should have been unpacked
and the actual number, and any relevant remarks (see FigureIV-7).
Special cargoes are also handled by the CFS with appropriate measures high
value cargoes are taken to security lockers; bulky, awkward or dirty goods are
stored in the open area storage; dangerous cargoes are segregated and handled
according to specifications; and refrigerated cargoes are stored in a cold store
and the temperature recorded at the various points of operation.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-14

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-7: The CFS Outturn Report

Container Freight Station


Outturn Report
Vessel

Container

Discharge Date

Voyage No.

Seal No.

Unpacking Date

Item

Bill of
Lading No.

Shipper's
Marks

Description of Goods

Packages per
Manifest

Packages
Discharged

Remarks

4. Return of the Empty Container to the Container Yard


The next step in the unpacking process is the return of the empty container to the
ICD container yard. The container is not returned until it is clean and dry. Once
the foreman indicates that the container is ready to be returned, the control room
will order the collection of the empty as soon as it is convenient.
5. Collection Procedures for the Discharge of Import Consignments
In the planning, organizing and control of collection, the CFS must always be
aware of four things, as it will bear the liability for any losses incurred.

That the release of each consignment is confirmed only to the rightful cargo
owner.
That release occurs only once all freight, terminal and CFS charges have
been paid.
That release occurs only once all customs taxes and duties have been paid
and customs clearance has been given.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-15

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

That cargoes do not remain in storage for excessive periods of time, i.e., that
they are collected as quickly as possible.

There are a number of steps that need to be taken outside the CFS to arrange
delivery. The multimodal transport operator needs to contact the consignee who
in turn must process the necessary documents and complete administrative
formalities for cargo release such as payment for goods, transport, handling
charges, taxes and duties; and filing of necessary import and customs documents
for clearance. Customs officers may need to examine the goods and the CFS is
then requested to move the cargo to an examination area. Once these formalities
have been completed, the holds on the goods are cleared and the multimodal
transport operator issues a collection order to the consignee. This document is
then presented to the CFS as authorization of collection. Once the consignee
receives the collection order, transport is arranged (see Figure IV-8). The
physical sequence of events for cargo collection from the CFS is as follows:6

The haulier contacts the CFS to arrange a time for collection if a vehicle
appointment scheme is in place.
On arrival at the gate, the road vehicle passes through a security check and
the driver is instructed to park and report to CFS reception. The collection
order is presented, as is driver identification.
The clerk then issues a document called a shed instruction or internal delivery
order which provides the details of the collection request and routing
instructions the haulage company and vehicle, the date and time of
collection, the consignment details, the loading bay, the drivers name, and
authorization spaces for signatures (see Figure IV-9).
Next, the clerk informs the supervisor that the vehicle has arrived and an
appropriate work order is prepared and issued to a gang foreman and a tally
list is prepared and issued to the tally clerk.
The gang and tally clerk arrive at the storage location and the tally clerk
confirms the consignment details.
The vehicle arrives at the loading bay and is placed into position with vehicle
brakes on and doors opened. The ramp or bridge plate is placed in position
and the driver hands over the shed instruction as authorization for collection.
The packages are then moved from storage to the loading area.
Any defects or damage are recorded on the shed instruction and tally list.
The goods are packed securely into the vehicle under direction of the driver.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-16

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-8: The Collection Order

Collection Order
Order No.
Date of Issue

This company authorizes


to release the following cargo for collection:
Bill of Lading
No.

Item

container freight station

Description of Goods

Container No.

Arrival Date

Vessel

Voyage No.

Delivery Date

Haulier

Delivery Address:

Veh. Reg.

No. of
Packages

Package
Type

Authorization

Special Instructions

Issued By

Once loading has been completed, the foreman checks that the driver is
satisfied that the cargo packages have been correctly, safely and securely
loaded and the vehicles doors are closed. The truck driver and foreman sign
the shed instruction to acknowledge the receipt of the goods by the driver who
keeps one copy to serve as a gate pass. The CFS keeps the other copy.
The driver exits through the final security check at the gate, while the loading
gang clears up the tools, material and any debris from the loading bay, and
the foreman returns the documents to the CFS office.
Finally, the clerk updates the MIS consignment record to note the number of
the collecting vehicle and any other data needed for record, accounting and
performance measuring purposes. The final step is the amendment of the
storage inventory.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-17

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-9: The Shed Instruction

Shed Instruction
Instruction No.

Collect/Deliver

Date

Haulier

Time In

Vehicle Reg.

Consignment

Door/Bay

Time Out

Description of Goods

Pkg
Type

No. of
Pkgs

Storage
Slot(s)

Remarks

Authorization

Driver's Name

Signature

Foreman

E.

Procedures for Receiving, Storing, Packing, and Linehaul Transport of


Outbound Cargoes in Containers

There are a number of steps that are involved in the handling of outbound cargoes.
These include the following steps.

Receipt of Outbound Cargoes by Road Vehicle


Planning Processes for Packing Containers
Receipt of Empty Container from the Container Yard
Container Packing
Return of Packed Container to the Container Yard

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-18

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

1. Receipt of Outbound Cargoes by Road Vehicle


Prior to the physical receipt of the export cargoes at the CFS, the shipper must
make booking arrangements for the cargoes to be shipped whereby the consignor
is made aware of the acceptance period (see Figure IV-10). The consignor must
then prepare all the necessary outbound documents and arrange for transport of
the break-bulk goods to the CFS. The multimodal transport operators will forward
a CFS booking list to the CFS to advise them of the cargoes to be delivered to the
CFS for packing. This information is used for preliminary planning purposes and
to create a consignment record for each consignment. The booking list is followed
up with a container loading list which specifies which cargoes are to be packed in
which container (see Figure IV-11). Work orders and tally lists are then prepared
by the CFS.
When the time comes, the driver collects the goods and shipping note from the
consignor which details the packages in that consignment and acts as
authorization for the driver to deliver the goods to the CFS. Upon arrival, the
driver parks the vehicle and offers the shipping note to reception where the details
are compared to the consignment record. The arrival must coincide with the
agreed acceptance period, or else the goods may be rejected. At this point,
missing data in the consignment record is filled in.
The clerk will then supply the driver with a shed instruction, which outlines the
routing instructions and the unloading bay, acts as authorization to deliver the
goods, and acts as a gate pass for leaving the CFS. As the driver leaves to
deliver the goods, the work order is issued to the foreman of the unloading gang.
The work order indicates the details of the operation as well as the resources
allocated to the job. The tally list is also issued to the tally clerk. The foreman,
gang and equipment move to the unloading bay.
Once the vehicle has arrived at the unloading bay, the foreman checks that the
vehicle is safely parked with brakes on and engine off. The vehicle is inspected
for any signs of damage, which are noted on the shed instruction. The driver
unlocks and opens the doors. The foreman makes a quick inspection of the
packages for any obvious signs of damage or defects. If all is in order, the gang
starts to unload.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-19

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-10: CFS Booking List

Container Freight Station Booking List

Date

Booking
No.

Dest Nat.
On

Shipper's/
Mark

Weight kg Volume m3

Commodity

Remarks

Figure IV-11: CFS Container Loading List

Container Freight Station


Container Loading List
Date

Container
No.

Type

Item

Booking Shipper's/
No.
Mark

Commodity

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

Qty

Pkg.
Type

Weight
kg

Volume
3
m

Remarks

IV-20

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Unloading occurs in a systematic way so that packages are unloaded in sequence


after which the tally clerk ticks off each item. Large packages and palletized
cargoes are moved directly to the planned storage location while loose packages
are stacked on CFS pallets before being moved to storage. Separate
consignments are carefully sorted and stored. Special cargoes high value
goods, dangerous cargoes, refrigerated cargoes are stored accordingly. The
tally clerk checks on the storage locations, attaching pile tags to each
consignment and updating the tally list with the pile tag numbers.
Once the vehicle is empty, both the driver and tally clerk make a final check that
everything has been delivered and then they both sign the shed instruction. The
driver shuts the vehicle doors and drives to the gate showing a copy of the shed
instruction as proof of authorization to leave. Meanwhile, the tally list, work order
and shed instruction are returned to the CFS office and the MIS is updated.
Customs receives a copy of the shipping note, customs clears the goods and then
returns the endorsed shipping note so that the CFS packs the container and
transfers it to the ICD yard storage.
As with inbound cargoes, special steps are taken when the goods being handled
are dangerous cargoes, refrigerated cargoes, high value cargoes or awkward
loads.
2. Planning Processes for Packing Containers
The detailed planning of the packing of each consignment takes place once the
cargo has been received, checked and stored. The supervisor examines the
goods and designs a loading plan for each container. This outlines how the items
will be packed including which packages are to be placed in which position, what
dunnage and separation is needed, and what securing materials and systems are
required. The tally list and work order are also made up at this time.
3. Receipt of Empty Container from the Container Yard
Next, the multimodal transport operator issues a special service request to the
ICD. The SSR specifies the type of empty to be moved to the CFS and the date
and time by which it is needed. The movement of the empty is scheduled by the
ICD and the CFS is alerted to the time of arrival. The CFS then schedules the
packing operation into its workplan for the appropriate shift. Special steps are
taken for special cargo, such as turning on refrigerated containers to cool them to
the appropriate temperature. Once the empty has arrived at the appropriate
packing bay, the work order and tally list are distributed and the foreman, tally
clerk, packing gang and equipment moves to the bay. The container is checked
for safe positioning, the doors are opened and a ramp is put in place. A quick
inspection ensure that the container is in good condition to receive the goods.
4. Container Packing
The next step is for the packing to begin. The packing process is carried out to
follow the specifications of the loading plan as closely as possible while still
adhering to the principles of good packing.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-21

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

During packing, the tally clerk ticks off the tally list and collects the pile tags off of
each item as it is placed into the container. To ensure a tight and secure stow,
securing devices and dunnage are fitted during packing. Once packing is finished
a series of events occurs: the ramp is removed, the face of the stack is secured, a
final check of the cargo is made by the foreman, and the door is then closed. A
customs officer typically arrives just before the doors are secured to apply the seal
to the door. Appropriate IMDG labels are fixed to the outside of the container
when dangerous goods are present in the container.
Finally, the packing gang clears the packing area to make ready for the next
packing operation, the tally clerk records the seal number on the tally list, signs
the list and passes it to the foreman. The work order is signed by the foreman
who then returns the documents to the office to be updated in the MIS.
Special packing arrangements are required for the special cargoes. In the case of
refrigerated cargoes:7

Containers must be pre-cooled for at least three hours prior to packing.


Channels are required between the stacks of goods to allow cool air to
circulate throughout the journey.
Packing must occur as quickly as possible and doors shut firmly as soon as
packing has been completed.
Temperatures and times must be noted at each stage of the operation.
Containers must be moved back to the reefer area and connected to power or
gas supply as quickly as possible.

Unusual loads may also require special arrangements:8

Heavy lifting equipment may be required to lift overweight cargoes.


Shipwrights and carpenters may be needed to construct cradles and bracing
arrangements for special cargoes to ensure that they are firmly secured to the
containers during the journey.
The transport operator commonly provides detailed instructions and drawings
for securing loads, which must be followed carefully in packing.

Finally, in the case of dangerous goods, the requirements are as follows:9

Dangerous goods must be packed exactly according to a detailed loading plan


to ensure correct segregation from other cargoes. All IMDG recommendations
must be followed.
The packages must be handled with exceptional care due to the risks to
packers.
The packing gang must be equipped with the appropriate protective clothing
and equipment and necessary precautions must be taken.

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.
9
PDP, ILO, 1999.
8

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-22

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

After packing is complete, the CFS supervisor must ensure that the
appropriate dangerous goods labels are affixed to the outside of the container
in the correct locations.

5. Return of Packed Container to the Container Yard


Once the container has been packed and sealed, it must be returned to the depot
container yard. The control room is contacted to arrange for collection of the
container for transfer to the outbound stacks. The depot schedules the movement
and during the move, the container may be brought to a weighbridge to ensure
that it is not overweight.
At the same time, the CFS storage inventory and the relevant consignment
records are updated to indicate that the goods have been moved out of storage
and out of the CFS. Finally, the CFS completes a container packing list, detailing
all the goods packed in the particular container. This document is forwarded to
the multimodal transport operator which notes that the consignment(s) have
moved out of the CFS. It will subsequently be used by the people involved in the
unpacking of the container.

F.

Working Practices for CFS Operations

It is important to have CFS operations carried out quickly and accurately since poor
operating practices can result in problems of access to consignments, delays in
identifying cargo, slow handling rates, storage congestion and damage to goods. Below
are four areas where good operating practices can be instituted with positive results on
operations.
1. General Rules for Storage and Stacking
As has been discussed in the ICD section, there is a limit to the efficiency of
stacking heights. In the CFS, high stacking can lead to various problems. One
such problem is that high stacking would most likely mean the mixing of
consignments since consignments in LCL containers tend to be small. Sorting
would be required, slowing down operations. Another problem comes in the area
of packaging. It may not be sufficiently strong to handle high stacking and
damage to goods could result. A related problem is that incompatible cargoes
may be stacked together, causing damage. Finally, a consignment may contain
different types of packages, which cannot be stacked due to size and shape.
Therefore, planning storage becomes a compromise between the desire for a
compact stack and the needs for accessibility and safety of cargoes. To this end,
rules have been devised to address stacking height, segregation and operational
requirements.
a) Stacking Height
The rules for stacking height are as follows:10

10

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-23

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Stack only as high as is set out in the CFS operating rules for each type of
cargo and packaging handled, e.g., pallets no more than three high.
Do NOT stack higher than the strength of the packaging permits; cartons
clearly should not be stacked as high as wooden boxes.
Follow the shippers stacking instructions exactly; they are normally shown
on the outside of the package, e.g., stack to four high.
Use racking systems to maximize stacking height, wherever they are
available; such systems to a large extent remove the limitations of
packaging.
Never make stacks of poorly packaged cargo, fragile goods or packages
that have already been damaged; spread them directly on the ground or
on top of a tier of robust cargo.
Place numerous small, loose items in stackable bins or similar containers
while in storage; this makes better use of space, makes the items easier to
handle and reduces the risk of mislaying them.
For safety, avoid high stacking at the corners of the storage blocks;
accidental contact by a passing lift-truck could dislodge the stack and the
top tier could fall.

b) Segregation
Another important point to remember in storing goods is the separation of
incompatible cargoes. Rules for segregation include:11

Keep each consignment well separated in storage, for easy identification


and access; use dunnage (packing material such as wood, etc.), nets or
other separating materials, or leave sufficient space (about 0.25-0.5m)
between consignments to make it clear where one ends and another
begins.
When stacking non-palletized cargo in tiers, place dunnage between each
tier, laid at right angles to any stillages (wooden supports or battens fixed
to the lower surface of the packaging).
Do not stack soft-packaged goods (those in cartons, sacks or bags) in
contact with goods in packages with hard, sharp edges and corners.
Stack dirty cargoes well away from the rest of the cargo in storage; if
possible, dirty cargoes should be stored in the open yard.
Never stack light cargoes beneath heavy ones.
Never stack wet or liquid cargoes above dry goods.
Keep strong-smelling products well away from delicate or sensitive goods,
to reduce the risk of damage by tainting.
Do not stack powdery or dusty cargoes near to electrical or engineering
goods that could be damaged by dust.

c) Operational Requirements
Other operational rules for safe stacking are:12

11
12

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-24

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Follow shippers handling instructions exactly; they should be indicated on


container loading lists and other documents sent to the CFS.
Mark each consignment clearly, attaching a pile tag and any other labels
where they can be easily seen from the aisleway.
Wherever possible, store large, heavy and awkward loads in the open yard
(providing that they can be adequately protected there, by tarpaulins or
other means). If such loads require shed storage, store them towards the
ends of blocks, near to doorways, to reduce handling distance and
difficulty as much as possible.
Store export cargoes in spaces nearest to the doors/bays used for packing
containers, and imports nearest to those used for loading inland transport.
Store hazardous cargoes in a safe place, where equipment movement is
least frequent, and mark them clearly with warning signs (diamond-shaped
signs of IMDG pattern would be most suitable).
High-value goods should, of course, be stored in the secure locker in the
shed, but remember that all cargoes in storage are the responsibility of the
CFS, and all staff must keep alert for signs of pilferage and the presence
of unauthorized persons; any such signs must be reported immediately to
the supervisor.
Stand cylindrical packages (drums, barrels, reels etc) on their ends if
possible; if they have to be stacked on their sides, chock them securely to
prevent rolling.
Unless the goods are palletized, lay them on dunnage to enable the forks
of lift-trucks to be inserted easily, to allow circulation of air for ventilation,
and also to protect the packaging against damp and dirt by raising the
packages off the ground.

2. Palletization
The most efficient package size and shape for handling in the CFS is one that
maximizes the lifting capacity of the CFS forklift truck. In order to accommodate
consignments made up of numerous small packages, it is possible to gather the
packages into a unit load on pallets. The benefits of palletization are:13

13

It reduces the amount of handling required as the packages pass through the
CFS.
It speeds up the processes of loading and discharging containers and inland
transport vehicles.
It enables handling equipment to be used, instead of manual methods.
It allows cargo to be safely stacked to a greater height without the risk of the
stack falling over; normally (providing the packaging can stand it) stacks of up
to three pallets high are permitted, so making better use of storage space.
It makes tallying easier; if 60 packages are assembled on one pallet, the tally
clerk counts and checks off all 60 in one action.
The goods are better protected, particularly if they are firmly strapped or
shrink-wrapped together.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-25

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Because the goods are lifted entirely by equipment, the physical effort
required of CFS employees is much reduced.
The risk of damage to the packages is decreased (because they do not need
to be handled individually).
There is less opportunity for pilferage (especially if the pallet-load is shrinkwrapped).
The creation of a symmetrical and well-shaped unit makes it easier to
separate consignments in storage.
Record-keeping while cargoes are in storage is simpler and quicker when
consignments are tallied in terms of pallets, rather than separate packages:
cargoes can be laid out neatly in pallet-sized units, and are recorded as
numbers of pallets.

There are also rules in place for handling palletized cargoes so as to avoid risking
damage to cargo. They are:14

Use the right handling equipment and attachments generally standard forks
on a forklift truck or pallet-truck. Large pallets or non-standard ones may need
long forks or adjustable forks to ensure that the pallets are lifted safely and
securely.
Stack to safe heights only; three-high is a good average height, and four-high
stacking is normally the maximum, where the packaging can bear the weight.
Stack pallets only on a firm, level base to prevent the stack tipping over.
Use racking systems; the maximum stacking height is then only limited by the
reach of the handling equipment. However, be careful to place the pallets
fully onto the racks, making sure they do not project over the aisleway.
If goods are to be assembled on a CFS pallet, check that the pallet is in safe
and good condition before using it.
Load the pallet to a pattern that provides maximum load stability, distributing
the weight evenly over the pallet and not exceeding its safe weight capacity.
Generally, the height of the package stack on the pallet should be no greater
than 1.5 times the longest dimension of the pallet base, e.g., for a 1200mm
1000mm pallet, the packages should be packed no higher than 1.8m above
the base.

3. Manual Handling
In the event that packing, loading and stacking needs to be done by hand, a
number of rules need to be followed:15

14
15

The individual packages (boxes, crates, cartons, bags etc) should be stacked
in a pattern that ensures a safe and stable stack. In many cases, an
interlocking or bonded pattern is best, with packages in successive layers
alternating with the (small) gaps in the layer below. However, cartons of soft
goods or those only partly filled must be stacked in line, to avoid collapse of
the sides of the cartons.

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-26

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Some cargo stacks require spaces to be left between the packages, for
ventilation.
Do not attempt to stack packages higher than the safe maximum for manual
lifting normally shoulder height. If higher stacking is necessary, do it by
stepping the cargo, creating a platform from which to stack the next tier, but
make sure that the packages can stand your weight, and place plywood or
similar dunnage on top of a tier of packages before standing on them.
When lifting packages, follow the rules for correct and safe lifting: to grasp the
package, keep your back straight and bend at the knees, not at the waist, then
grip the package securely with both hands and straighten up at the knees; turn
at the waist and place the package gently onto the stack, without stretching.
Handle every package carefully, whether it is marked fragile or not; do not
drop or throw it.
Wear protective gloves and shoes when handling any type of package, and
use masks and goggles when handling powders or liquids.

4. Equipment Handling
Rules are in place for handling the various types of powered equipment used in
the CFS including powered pallet-trucks, forklift trucks and tractor-trailers. The
various rules are presented below.
a) Powered Pallet-Trucks16

They should be used on smooth, even surfaces, with only slight slopes;
they must not be driven or bumped over obstacles to enter and leave
containers and vehicles over door sills, bridge plates and ramps must be
used.
Never exceed the specified safe working load (SWL) of the truck (5001000kg).
The forks must be inserted fully under the load, so that the load rests
against the heel of the fork; when lifting a pallet, the tips of the forks must
reach at least two-thirds of the way into the pallet.
Make sure the load is secure and well-balanced before lifting it.
Before moving off, raise the forks so that the bottom of the load is clear of
the ground ideally, about 15-20cm above the surface.
Apply the power slowly when moving off: squeeze the accelerator trigger
or press the pedal gently at first, to avoid jerking and possibly dislodging
the load.
Never make the first movement into a vehicle or container until the
foreman has checked that it is securely and safely positioned, and has
given clearance to start.

b) Forklift Trucks17

16
17

Before starting to use a lift-truck, inspect it carefully and go through a full


pre-shift check to ensure that it is in a safe condition to use.

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-27

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Never attempt to lift a load heavier than the rated capacity of the truck,
which is displayed on a plate somewhere on the equipment; if a heavier
package has to be lifted, the supervisor will call up a more powerful
machine. On no account should you try to share the weight of the load
with a second machine.
When lifting a load, make sure the forks are fully inserted (they should
extend at least two-thirds of the way through a pallet, for example; when
lifting a long load, you may need to attach fork extensions) and that the
load is well balanced on the forks; do not attempt to lift a leaning or
unstable load.
Never try to lift a load with just one fork, even to manoeuvre the load into
position, and do not use the forks to push another machine.
Always use the most appropriate attachment for the package being
moved: drum clamps and grippers, bale clamps, coil booms etc should be
available.
Before moving off, lift the load to the travelling position, about 15-20cm
above the surface but never travel with the load held high.
Make sure that you have a clear view ahead when moving; if the load is
tall and obstructs your view, turn the truck around and drive in reverse.
When driving with a load along a slope, keep the load facing up the slope,
i.e., drive in reverse when going down a slope, but load-first when
travelling up an incline. When driving without a load, however, always
move forks-first.
Before driving for the first time over a particular ramp or bridge-plate, or
into a lift, check that it is strong enough to take the weight of the loaded
truck; the SWL will be plated somewhere on the device. Remember to
add the weight of the truck to that of the load. If you are driving a truck
that weighs 2 tonnes over a ramp rated at 3 tonnes, the heaviest load that
you can carry is one tonne.
Follow all traffic rules, e.g., never take bends at speed, never brake
sharply or unnecessarily or otherwise drive dangerously. Take particular
care over wet, slippery or uneven surfaces.
Always keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians or other moving vehicles,
especially when turning corners, when passing through doors and when
approaching junctions, concealed entrances or obstacles; use all warning
devices (horn, flashing lights etc) when moving.
When leaving the machine unattended, apply the parking brakes, lower
and tilt forward the forks, switch off the power and lock the operating
controls. If the vehicle is stopped on a slope, place chocks against the
wheels.

c) Tractor-Trailers18

18

As for all powered vehicles, all the CFS traffic rules must be strictly
observed.
Keep to sensible speeds, appropriate to conditions, and reduce speeds
when carrying loads.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-28

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

G.

Reduce speeds when travelling down gradients, particularly when the


trailer is loaded.
Take special care at corners, and do not cut corners sharply loads can
easily be dislodged, and there is also a significant danger of causing
impact damage to cargo stacks near the ends of blocks.
Always leave clearance of at least 0.5m when passing other vehicles,
stationary obstacles or people at work, and remember to make allowance
when towing a load wider than the trailer.
When reversing with a container or a large cargo load on the trailer,
reducing your rearward vision, seek assistance of someone to guide you,
particularly when working in a confined space.
If you are towing more than one trailer, you should avoid having to reverse.
Always accelerate gently and apply the brakes gradually and smoothly, to
avoid endangering unsecured trailer-loads.

Managing/Controlling CFS Operations

CFS supervision is particularly challenging due to the wide variety of activities that are
simultaneously occurring in a relatively small area. Some of these activities include:
unloading export or outbound cargoes from road vehicles and placing them into storage;
collecting import or inbound cargoes from storage and loading them onto road vehicles;
packing containers with export or outbound consignments; unpacking import or inbound
consignments from containers; repacking of damaged goods; moving cargoes to
customs or other examination areas; securing awkward and large loads to platforms;
and moving transfer equipment between the container yard and CFS.
There are firm deadlines that the CFS must adhere to, including train/barge departure
times, road vehicle arrivals/departures in an appointment scheme etc. As a result, CFS
activities must be performed quickly, safely and securely. This requires effective and
efficient planning and control by supervisors.
1. CFS Personnel and Responsibilities
As mentioned above, the supervision of CFS operations is a demanding and
important task. The areas under the control of the supervisors include
documentation, planning, control and performance of loading, unloading, packing
and unpacking operations, cargo safety and security, and labour health and
safety.
As there is a large variation in the organization and operation of different CFS
facilities, is it useful to identify an example CFS. The illustrative CFS is of
medium size and located within an ICD, but with its own gate, reception, security
and management. The CFS runs two shifts per day and handles the equivalent of
about 200,000 tonnes of cargo handled per year. The operation is controlled
through a system of pro-forma documents, with partial computerization of recordkeeping and planning.
As the organizational chart (Figure IV-12) shows, there is one manager in overall
charge of operations. This manager oversees the entire CFS operation but

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-29

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

focuses less on operations and more on strategic planning and marketing,


commercial relations with customers, signing of contracts, etc. The everyday
running of the CFS is carried out by two senior supervisors one operations
supervisor and one administration supervisor. In smaller facilities, there may be
only one supervisor in charge of both areas, while in a larger CFS, there may be
more supervisors as well as shift managers in charge of the coordination function.
The operations supervisor is responsible for various activities including: the
deployment of the packing/unpacking gangs and the packing, unpacking, loading,
unloading and storage operations. The supervisor will also be involved in
planning the operations as well as allocating labour and equipment resources for
those particular operations. There is also an intermediary supervisory level in the
form of foremen who are directly in charge of the packing/unpacking gangs. In
addition to organizing and overseeing the gangs work plans, the foremen also
enforce all operational and safety rules and regulations.
The administrative supervisor has responsibility for all office activities including:
supervising documentary and administrative procedures; supervising the receipt
and delivery of cargoes; liaising with ICD staff, CFS customers and customs
officers; and maintaining records of all activities. A staff of clerks assists the
supervisor. The office clerks have many responsibilities. They prepare, issue and
record the CFSs working documents; keep the MIS up to date; handle
reception/collection duties; and deal with documents arriving at the CFS in relation
to the containers and goods being handled. They are also responsible for billing,
supplies and accounts duties. The mobile clerical staff, called tally clerks, are
responsible for checking and recording each item of cargo as it is packed or
unpacked, loaded or unloaded.
One additional group involved in CFS operations is the security staff which is
charged with keeping the cargoes secure within the bounds of the CFS. Security
staff is needed to guard the CFS entrance/exit and to patrol the premises during
operating hours and also during non-operating hours. Also, depending on the
arrangement with the main terminal, the CFS may need its own maintenance
section for the servicing and repair of its cargo-handling equipment, typically
staffed by an engineer-foreman and two fitters or technicians (one mechanical
and one electrical) (see Figure IV-12).

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-30

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure IV-12: CFS Personnel Chart

Source: PDP, ILO, 1999.

2. The Planning Function


Planning activities are extremely important for efficient and rapid operations in the
CFS. Thus, planning is used for work scheduling, planning storage and planning
packing and loading. These planning activities are typically undertaken by
administrative supervisor and the operations supervisor. If the CFS is sufficiently
large, there may be a specialized planning staff in order to undertake these tasks.
a) Work Scheduling
Work schedules need to be made for the various CFS activities container
packing, unpacking, vehicle loading and unloading. Work schedules are set
up usually a day in advance once all the relevant information has been
forwarded to the CFS. The work program details the appropriate sequence of
work, outlining the individual tasks, the resources needed and, as far as
possible, the estimated time of starting and finishing each task.
b) Planning Storage
Once the information about the incoming cargo is available, the supervisors
can begin planning the storage arrangements for the various consignments.
This involves two separate tasks: calculating the storage space needed for
each consignment; and selecting the most appropriate storage block for each
consignment.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-31

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

c) Planning Packing and Loading


The final planning task is to develop a packing and loading plan. The
multimodal transport operator details the consignments to be loaded into each
container in a container loading list, which is forwarded to the CFS. The
planner group sufficient consignments for a particular port of discharge to fill
an appropriate type and size of container taking care to make sure that the
declared volumes of the packages match the container loading list.
Once the consignments have been allocated to containers, the planner needs
to draw a detailed stowage plan determining exactly how the packages are to
be placed and secured. This is an extremely important supervisory
responsibility, as there may be liability issues associated with damage to
cargoes due to incorrectly or inadequately packaging of goods into the
container. The packing plan must adhere to all the guidelines for correct and
safe packing, including special requirements for any dangerous cargoes, and
other special cargo (dry/liquid cargoes, delicate/smelly cargoes, etc.). The
plan must also detail cargo separation needs.
3. The Control Function
The CFS supervisors must have a control function in place. This is essential as
the CFS is responsible for all the cargoes that are resident at the CFS from the
moment they arrive until the moment they leave the CFS boundary. The control
function is also important given the variety of activities that are occurring at one
time in the CFS. This function must ensure that each activity is: authorized,
correctly completed, and accurately recorded upon completion.
A recording mechanism is heart of the CFS control system as it provides two
essential functions: the ability to find and access, through the consignment record,
each consignment is at all times; and the ability to know what storage slots are
available for incoming cargo, through a storage inventory.
A series of control rules must be built into the CFS operational procedures, to
ensure that the MIS is properly maintained. These are:19

19

An authorized instruction (on paper) must be issued before any movement


takes place, e.g., work order, shed list.
Every movement must be tallied, e.g., tally lists compiled by tally clerks.
The completion of each movement must be reported to the CFS office, so that
the inventory can be updated.
At regular intervals, there must be an independent stock-taking of cargo in
storage, to check against the inventory.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-32

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

4. The Operation Function


The supervisors oversee operations by using the planning and control tools
outlined above. The operations can be divided in outbound handling activities,
inbound handling activities and special cargoes handling activities.
a) Outbound Cargo Handling
When an outbound consignment is delivered to the CFS, the driver presents
the shipping note at the reception office where the clerk verifies the details. If
there are discrepancies, they are passed to the administrative supervisor to
verify with the multimodal transport operator. Once everything is verified and
the appropriate shed door is assigned, the operations supervisor is notified of
the consignments arrival. This is the trigger for the appropriate work order
and tally list to be prepared for issue to one of the foremen.
During the unloading operation, any discrepancies or problems that require
verification with the transport operator will be handled by the administrative
supervisor. This includes such things as discrepancies in package numbering;
significantly oversized or overweight packages, discrepancies in cargo
description and actual presentation; damaged packages, etc.
When the time comes for the outbound cargoes to be loaded into a container,
the administrative supervisor must ensure that all the required packing details
have been received and that customs clearance has been confirmed. The
supervisor scans the MIS records for held cargoes and initiates contact with
customs to effect clearance. Once the empty container has been delivered to
the CFS, the operations supervisor issues a detailed loading plan, work order
and tally list to one of the foreman to undertake loading. If any problems arise
during the loading operation, the foreman consults with the operations
supervisor. Once the operation is complete and the documents are returned
to the office, the administrative supervisor contacts the ICD control room to
arrange for pickup of the loaded container. It is the administrative supervisors
responsibility to ensure that all the documentary procedures accurate and
complete.
b) Inbound Cargo Handling
The container unpacking operation are initiated when the CFS receives a
request to unpack and the relevant container packing list(s), and when the ICD
receives an SSR for moving an LCL (or several LCLs) to the CFS. The ICD
and CFS supervisor determine a work schedule and at the scheduled time the
container is delivered to the designated door or bay, and the operations
supervisor issues the work order and tally list to a foreman. Customs is
notified by the supervisor about the impending unpacking operation.
During the unpacking operation, the operations supervisor should routinely
visit operational areas to check progress, and not merely wait to respond to
queries and problems. Once unloading is done, the operations supervisor is
given the completed documents for monitoring purposes.
The office updates the MIS and customs clearance is requested and when all

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-33

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

holds are lifted the consignee is notified that the cargo is ready for collection.
The administrative supervisor is responsible for following up with cargo
owners slow to collect their cargo. It is an important task as the average dwell
time of cargo has a direct and very significant influence on the storage
capacity of the CFS.
Subsequently, a vehicle arrives to collect the cargoes. The driver presents a
collection order and any discrepancies between it and the MIS will be handed
over to the administrative supervisor to handle. This may involve contacting
the multimodal transport operator for clarification. When everything is cleared,
a loading bay is assigned and the operations supervisor is notified that the
vehicle has arrived and of the loading position allocated. The operations
supervisor issues a work order and tally list to a foreman. Once the loading
operation is finished, the foreman returns the documents to the operations
supervisor who has the clerks update the MIS.
c) Special Cargoes Handling
For special cargoes, there are a number of supervisory responsibilities over
an above those listed above.
Refrigerated cargoes must be processed into and out of storage as quickly as
possible, to avoid any deterioration in the temperature and cargo. The main
additional supervisory task is to ensure that at each stage of the process, the
temperature is checked and recorded for future reference. The supervisory
staff must oversee that staff exactly abide by shippers instructions as to the
safe range of cargo temperature.
The handling of high-value cargoes must also be carried out rapidly, and
under strict supervision since insurance claims for loss of high-value cargoes
are extremely expensive. In addition, any claims may lead to increased
insurance premiums for the CFS.
Dangerous goods present hazards in two ways. The first is from their
individual properties (flammability, toxicity and so on) and the second is in
combination effects with other cargoes, both dangerous and non-dangerous.
These dangers impose several specific supervisory responsibilities: planning
responsibility, reception responsibility, handling responsibility and operator
safety. The supervisors must ensure that every step of the operation from
planning to operator safety is done according to the regulations specified for
dangerous goods.
There are particular supervisory and control procedures relating to those
cargoes that require outside storage bulky, awkward or dirty cargoes. With
respect to these cargoes, the operations supervisor needs to make sure that
operational staff is allocated appropriate protective clothing (including masks
or respirators, goggles and gloves) that staff uses them. Foremen and
supervisors have the additional responsibility of ensuring that cargoes stored
in the open are properly protected from the weather.
Oversized, awkwardly shaped and especially heavy loads also require special

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-34

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

handling techniques. The operations supervisor may need to arrange for


specialists (such as carpenters and shipwrights) to build platforms etc., and
also heavy-lift equipment (with its special attachments) to lift and land the
cargo. The supervisory responsibilities include, therefore:20

Contacting the shipper/receiver to find out the precise weight and


dimensions of the individual items, and what means of lifting is provided
(eg lugs or sockets); this is so that the correct equipment and attachments
can be selected, and to check that the packing/unpacking instructions are
accurate and complete.
Possibly arranging a special entrance to or exit from the CFS, e.g., through
the terminal, if the load is too large to pass through the normal route.
Requisitioning the appropriate equipment and attachments.
Preparing the storage location, e.g., laying bearers on the ground, or
placing a suitable container in readiness, with a securing cradle already
constructed on it, and erecting a protective awning.
Arranging for the specialist team to be available at the appropriate time, to
release or secure the cargo; ideally, this operation should be carried out as
the cargo is delivered, because the heavy-lift equipment will be needed
both for unpacking/unloading it and for packing/loading, and carrying out
the complete transfer at one time saves requisitioning the equipment twice.
Coordinating all these activities with the arrival of the cargo.

5. General Supervisory Responsibilities


In addition to the responsibilities discussed in the preceding sections, supervisors
have additional responsibilities that are more general in nature. They can be
classified under the following headings:

Managing operations
Ensuring adherence to operating rules and procedures
Attending to shippers special requirements
Encouraging good housekeeping
Maintaining safety
Record keeping.

a) Managing Operations
Much of the supervisors daily responsibility involves a series of routine
activities. The first of these duties includes taking over a shift, where the
incoming supervisor reviews the work in progress and that which is to follow,
by consulting the MIS and the current work schedule.
Another duty is to brief the team on the upcoming work program and to ensure
a smooth transition. Next, the supervisor must monitor progress to keep the
work moving to the schedule. During the shift, the supervisor also has the
responsibility to respond to any problems that arise. Finally the supervisor has
the responsibility for handing over to the next shift. This requires the filling out
20

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-35

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

of a shift log and perhaps a verbal report to the incoming supervisor.


b) Ensuring Adherence to Operating Rules and Procedures
During the work period, the supervisor oversees that the CFSs standard
operating procedures are being followed by all employees. The procedures
and rules include: stacking rules, use of equipment rules, manual handling
techniques and document handling.
c) Attending to Shippers Special Requirements
Another aspect of supervisory responsibility is to be aware of and act on any
special handling needs required. Requests for special handling may present
themselves through loading documents or instructions located directly on the
goods themselves.
d) Encouraging Good Housekeeping
Supervisors must encourage and enforce good housekeeping practices.
This includes keeping all aisleways and walkways clear; checking to make
sure stacks are not leaning or collapsed and that packages are not damaged,
leaking, etc.; and that staff tidies up working and storage areas.
e) Maintaining Safety
Safety and security of staff and cargo must be an important consideration at
all times by supervisory staff. For example, safety must be the first concern in
any incident, accident or emergency. The supervisor must ensure that all
health and safety precautions are being followed; that staff is sufficiently
trained in safety procedures; and that safety equipment is visible, accessible,
and in good working order.
f)

Record Keeping
In addition to the record keeping responsibilities already discussed, the
administrative supervisor has additional record-keeping responsibilities.
These include maintaining the MIS by creating and updating consignment
records and keeping the storage inventory up to date; and keeping
performance measures in order to support improvements in CFS performance.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

IV-36

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

V. BEST PRACTICES IN ICD MANAGEMENT:


PERFORMANCE REVIEW TOOL

A.

Purpose of Performance Measures and Review

An ICD is a business like any other and as such, there are many reasons why it needs to
measure its performance. One reason is to determine how effectively the business is
operating, i.e., how many items it makes each week or how many containers it handles
in a given period. Another reason is that an ICD needs to know how efficiently it is
operating, i.e., what resources are needed to carry out operations, how much service
can be provided per unit of input, how much it costs to produce each item or provide
each service. Also, it needs to know how its current operation compares with historical
performance. In addition, a business needs to set performance goals and must be able
to measure its performance in order to compare it with those targets as well as
comparing it to its competitors. Also, measures of performance provide a base for
setting future targets. Finally, performance measures regarding service quality are a
method of promoting and advertising an ICDs products and services to new clients as
well as maintaining existing clients.
The development and calculation of performance measures are only the first steps by
the business in the process of addressing the issues stated above. The performance
measures need to be analyzed, discussed and problem areas identified and acted upon.
This is accomplished through the performance review. The process involves the
following steps:

B.

Data gathering
Performance measure calculation
Current and historical measurement analysis and evaluation
Meetings and discussions of performance measurements and subsequent
follow up of noted areas.

Types of Performance Reviews

The performance review process involves a sequence of related steps, each of which
fulfills a variety of purposes both individually and taken together with other steps. There
are three broad ranges of reviews described below.
1. Operational Reviews
The main characteristics of operational reviews are their frequency and the shortterm nature of the performance measures. Under this category of reviews there
are four main levels:
a) The most disaggregate level of review is known as the shift review where
operations and shift managers, with their supervisory staff, deliberate on the
data collected during that shift, which may lead to immediate action, including

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-1

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

adjustments to current operational plans.


b) The next level is the daily review, which aggregates performance measures
for the day. This may involve two or three shifts depending on the ICDs hours
of operation.
c) The third level of operational review concerns calls by craft barge or train.
This review is used to examine the ICDs handling of each craft.
d) Finally, the fourth or most aggregate level is the monthly review. This review
functions more as a strategic review whereby procedural changes are
identified and implemented, and performance targets assessed and modified,
etc.
2. Planning Reviews
Planning performance reviews are used by operations planners to modify the
factor estimates they use to plan operations. This includes work and time
estimates which are made for planning the handling of cargoes and allocations of
equipment, labour and storage area resources. Planners can constantly improve
the accuracy of their predictions through the collection and analysis of operational
data.
3. Long Term Reviews
Long term performance reviews, particularly annual data, are used by those
involved in the planning of depot facilities and resources. The reviews are used
for several specific purposes:1

To check that the terminals resources and facilities are adequate for the
vessel and cargo traffic experienced and predicted.
To monitor the utilization of those same resources.
To review administrative and communication systems in order to eliminate
delays at the gate, to improve radio control systems, etc.
To monitor and, if necessary, adjust staffing levels.
To plan future terminal development, including the provision of increased
storage area, expanded gate and reception facilities, and the procurement of
new equipment.

Performance reviews at all levels are an integral part of ICD management. They provide
the information required to assess, target and diagnose performance issues. The overall
effectiveness of the reviews requires the commitment and participation of all personnel
involved in the process, from the data entry clerks to the analysts to the supervisors and
managers.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-2

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure V-1: The System of Performance Measuring

Source: Portworker Development Programme, ILO, 1999.

C.

Description and Calculation of Performance Measures

Once the need for measuring performance is accepted, important questions arise: What
needs to be measured? How can it be measured? and How can the measure be
expressed in an instructive, beneficial and reliable way. Since there are many
operations involved in running an ICD, there is no one sole measure that can express
the range of operating performance of the depot and so various measures are needed.
A further complication is that there is little agreement on standard performance
measures. However, a general framework of measures can be devised. This includes:

Production indicators
Productivity indicators
Utilization indicators
Service indicators.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-3

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

As shown in Figure V-1, the successful collection, calculation and use of performance
measures requires the terminal to devise a simple, reliable system to:2

Collect and accurately record the appropriate data for the specific measures.
Report the collected data reliably and promptly.
Analyze the measured data.
Distribute the results of the various analyses.
Act on the results to improve performance.

1. Production or Throughput Indicators


Production measures refer to the measures of the activity of a business. This is
calculated in amount per unit time. The most typical measures of activity include
output, turnover, visits, etc. With respect to ICD operations, activity can be
expressed as trade, traffic, throughput and/or output. A useful distinction in
production measures is to separate traffic measures the quantity of cargo
passing through a depot in unit time and throughput measures the number of
container movements needed to move that same cargo per unit of time.
a) ICD (Terminal) Traffic Measures
These measures represent the flow of containers and their contents through
the depot in a given time period. They tend to be used for annual reports and
other such publications under the control of the marketing, commercial and
public relations departments.
ICD traffic can be expressed in a number of ways. It can be calculated as the
total number of containers passing through the depot, irrespective of length,
weight or other features. It can also be expressed as TEUs (twenty-foot
equivalent units). This measure involves converting container lengths to a
twenty-foot standard forty foot containers equal two TEUs. A further
alternative is to express ICD traffic as the total weight of cargo excluding the
tare mass of the container moving through the depot. There is a question of
units with this method but metric tonnes is the preferred unit. Another way of
calculating depot traffic is to sum the monetary value of the goods handled in
a particular period of time. Also, ICD traffic can be measured in terms of the
revenues generated by the traffic flow in a given period.
b) Throughput Measures
These measures represent the number of movements of the containers as
they pass through the terminal. The different operations involving movements
of containers can be measured: railhead/berth transfer throughput, container
yard throughput and receipt/delivery throughput. Each of these is expressed
as container moves per unit time. The sum of these yields the depot
throughput. The striking result of this measure is that a given volume of
container traffic corresponds to several times that number of container
movements. This information is crucial for such tasks as resource allocation
and requirements and determining handling costs for containers.
2

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-4

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Railhead or berth transfer throughput is a measure of the number of container


moves between the railhead or berth and the container yard. The calculation
includes all the inbound and outbound containers and any shifts and restows
that occur at the transfer location. This data is extracted from loading and
discharge sequence sheets.
Container yard throughput represents the total number of movements that
take place in the container yard. This measure includes stacking of inbound
containers and inbound shifts and restows; unstacking of outbound containers
and return of shifts and restows; movements of full and empty containers to
and from the CFS; movements to and from customs, health and other
examination areas; and in-stack movement of containers. If the terminal
operates lift-truck system, stacking and unstacking movements are not
counted as they are included in the railhead/berth transfer throughput
measure. This measure is useful in providing managers and supervisors with
information on in-stack movements, which are considered unproductive.
Receipt/delivery throughput measures the activity relating to the receipt of
outbound containers at the depot and delivery of inbound containers from the
depot. The activities to be included in the ICD throughput calculation are
those that involve the movements between the container yard stacks and the
interchange locations and the stacking/unstacking of containers associated
with those movements. The remaining activities are related to gate activities
and so are included in a gatehouse throughput measure, which measures the
number of vehicles handled. The gatehouse throughput measure is not
included in the ICD throughput calculation because the nature of the activities
undertaken at the gatehouse is different from those activities associated with
the other terminal operations gatehouse activities do not involve ICD
handling equipment.
Once all these measures have been calculated, a total equivalent ICD
throughput value can be determined by adding up the individual components,
excepting, of course, gatehouse throughput.
2. Productivity Indicators
Another important business measure is that of efficiency. The efficiency of a
terminal can be calculated through a number of indicators known as productivity
measures. They are based on the quantity of production attained per unit of
resource in unit time. As such, they indicate the ratio of output to input. An
important variant is cost-effectiveness, which calculates how much it costs to
produce each unit of revenue.
Productivity measures are particularly important since they represent the costs of
doing business. As the business productivity increases (all else equal), per unit
costs fall, which leads to higher profits for the operation. Most of the different
productivity measures refer to individual operations in order to provide information
regarding each part of ICD operations. The exception to this is the cost-

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-5

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

effectiveness indicator, which represents a broad range of activities in the


terminal. The various productivity measures of interest are:

ICD (Terminal) area productivity


Storage area productivity
CFS area productivity
Equipment productivity
Labour productivity
Cost-effectiveness

In the case of an operation containing a barge/railhead operation, productivity


measures can be constructed for various aspects of operation depending on the
type of handling equipment used. For instance, in the case of berth operations,
crane productivity and quay productivity can be calculated.
a) ICD (Terminal) Area Productivity
This indicator identifies the number of containers handled for every square
metre of ICD area per unit time. The number of containers discharged and
loaded represents the number of containers handled. This indicator will
quantify containers or TEU per ICD area in m2. ICD area productivity varies
from depot to depot and depends on such factors as dwell time, the type of
stacking equipment used, container status, etc.
b) Storage Area Productivity
Storage area productivity calculates the number of containers or TEUs
handled per square metre of storage area in a given time period. It relates
container traffic to the area of the container yard the gross storage area or
the container stacks the net storage area. The net storage area excludes
roadways and aisleways. Again, values will vary from ICD to ICD as in the
case of ICD area productivity.
Container dwell time is the key factor in container yard congestion. High
turnover can only be accommodated if dwell times are consistently low. Once
dwell times increase, storage yard congestion becomes a possibility.
Different containers tend to have different average dwell times, and an
efficient ICD operation should experience the following average dwell times:
outbound boxes should be 3 days or less, for inbound boxes should be 5 days
or less for FCLs and empties and 3 days or less for LCLs. Outbound empties
tend to have longer average dwell times at approximately 10 days.
c) CFS Area Productivity
This value can be expressed as traffic (tonnage, containers, TEUs) per square
metre (either of total CFS surface area or of identified parts) per period of
time.
d) Equipment Productivity
Equipment productivity is a critical measure due to the high investment cost
and use of equipment in operations. This indicator is based on the number of
container moves made per working hour. The indicator can be as specific as
the actual value for an individual piece of equipment or as general as the

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-6

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

average productivity per machine of the fleet of that type of machine all the
terminals RTGs, or all the lift trucks, etc. The values are always expressed in
terms of a working hour even if the data collected was for a shift, week or
month. It is also useful to qualify the measure with an indication of the period
over which the data was collected, for example, an average of 18 container
moves per hour per RTG during the first week of March.
A significant choice to be made when calculating equipment productivity is the
definition of working hour. The choices include: the total time available during
the period of interest; the total allocated machine hours during a given period
(the number of hours the machine was requested by the operations
department); or the total actual working time (not including non-operational or
idle times) as recorded by an hour-meter fitted to the machine.
When comparing equipment productivity values, it is important to note that
machine productivity depends on: the activity undertaken by the machine; the
container status; and the demand for that type of machine.
e) Labour Productivity
Labour productivity measures link ICD output (container volumes, etc.) to
some unit of labour. The units are container moves or some other measure of
output per man-hour per period. As with the equipment productivity
measures, a choice regarding what is considered the working hour must be
made. In addition, a choice regarding which personnel to include in the
calculation is also required. Sample measures are listed below.

f)

Cost-Effectiveness Measures
These measures add the element of cost into the productivity indicators. An
often looked at measure of ICD efficiency is the cost of handling container
traffic or throughput for a given period. The information source for this data is
the terminals cost accounting system. The uses of these measures are in
assessing the cost-effectiveness of the ICDs operation and also in setting
tariffs. A chief decision variable in deriving a cost-effectiveness measurement
is what to include in the total costs of handling category. It often includes:3

The calculation could include all terminal employees including


administrative staff, and all time that each is contracted to work in a given
time period.
Another calculation could include only those employed in operational roles
such as yard supervisors, equipment operators, planners, etc. and the
hours that they are contracted to work in a given period.
Alternatively, the calculation could include only labour directly working on a
particular set of activities, such as a particular loading operation or
unloading operation, etc. and the hours worked on that specific operation.

A figure representing the years proportion of the cost of constructing and


maintaining the terminals infrastructure, calculated on the basis of its
expected lifetime.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-7

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The total costs of owning the terminals equipment (a proportion of the


capital costs of the equipment, calculated on the basis of its expected
working life) and the actual costs of running and maintaining it during the
year.
The total costs of employing the permanent employees and casual working
during the year in question.
All terminal insurance premiums and general overhead costs.

3. Utilization Indicators
An important element in any measure of performance is how intensively the
production resources are used. This refers to the resources utilization rate. In
general, utilization rates indicate the ratio of actual use to the maximum possible
use of a resource over a period of time. The most common utilization indicators
are:

Storage utilization
CFS storage utilization
Gate utilization
Equipment utilization

a) Yard or Storage Utilization


Basic yard utilization measures the ratio of occupied storage slots to the total
available slots, where total available slots equals the design capacity of the
yard. Design capacity is calculated by multiplying the number of TGSs in the
yard by the operationally acceptable mean stacking height. The most practical
way of collecting the data for the calculation is to take an inventory of the
containers in the terminal at the same time each day. Individual utilization
values can also be calculated for the different storage blocks, using the
relevant mean stacking heights and number of ground slots for those blocks
when calculating the design capacity.
For both practical and safety reasons, the container yard must have empty
slots to have room for incoming containers. The planners will therefore plan
for a reserve capacity of around thirty to forty percent to handle unexpected
peaks. Very high average utilization can lead to higher than accepted stacks,
which in turn can lead to higher rates of unprofitable in-stack shifting and
congestion.
b) CFS Storage Utilization
Storage utilization measures in the CFS can also be used to check for
congestion. Various ways of estimating CFS storage utilization exist including
estimating the area occupied by cargo at the same time each day and
expressing it as a percentage of the total storage area, or calculating storage
utilization as a percentage of storage volume or tonnage instead of area.
c) Gate Utilization
Gate utilization is calculated as the actual gate throughput (incoming and
outgoing vehicles) over a measured period compared with the maximum
possible throughput for that same period of time. Gate utilization

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-8

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

demonstrates how close current traffic is to the design capacity of the gate,
indicating what the likelihood of delays might be. It is also a useful tool in
planning for the appropriate numbers of lanes to be available at various times
during the day if the data is collected over an extended period of time to
represent peaks and troughs that occur throughout the day.
d) Equipment Utilization
Equipment utilization is a particularly significant performance measure given
the terminals investment in costly cargo-handling equipment. The utilization
of any piece of equipment is defined as the ratio between the time it was
actually used and the maximum time that it could have been used in that
period. As is the case for equipment productivity measures, the important
decision comes in defining actual machine hours and possible machine hours.
Some terminals used allocated machine hours as the figure for actual hours
used, however, a preferred figure would be the recorded machine hours. With
respect to possible machine hours, some terminals use the maximum hours
possible, i.e., 168 possible in a week (7 x 24), while others only include the
normal shift times no overtime or extra shift working. A more useful way of
calculating equipment utilization is to use the total number of hours in that
period that the ICD was operating and in which the equipment might have
been requisitioned.
Values can be calculated for a specific machine or for the entire group of like
machines all RTGs, all lift trucks, etc. Equipment utilization data for a class
of equipment can be useful in indicating whether or not there is an inbalance
between the amount of equipment on hand and the needed amount. A low
average utilization value might point to excessive equipment, while a high
average utilization may indicate a shortage of equipment
4. Service Quality Indicators
The final group of performance indicators is used to measure the quality of service
provided to the ICDs clients. These service indicators are ways for the business
to determine how the customer views the organizations performance. A variety of
services measures can be used by the depot to discover how satisfied its
customers are with the service provided and what quality of service is being
offered to them. Some external service quality measures include: road vehicle
turnaround time, rail service measures and operational dwell time.
Internal service indicators can also be calculated, which measure the quality of
service given by various ICD departments and divisions to their own internal
clients such as engineering departments to the operations departments. Some
internal service quality measures are: equipment downtime, equipment availability
and equipment demand availability.
a) Road Vehicle Turnaround Time
The most relevant service indicator for such clients as shippers, receivers and
road transport operators, is how quickly the depot can receive outbound

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-9

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

containers from road transport and deliver inbound containers to road


transport. This time interval is made up of a series of components:4

Waiting time at entry


Service time at reception
Waiting time for gate entry
Service time at the gate and interchange
Waiting time at the gate exit lane
Service time at the gate
Leaving time

The two most common service measures used are: total vehicle turnaround
time and vehicle service time. Total vehicle turnaround time is the time
between the vehicles arrival at the ICD entrance and its departure from the
ICDs exit. Vehicle service time is the interval between the vehicles arrival at
a gate entrance lane and its departure from a gate exit lane.
Practically, only the vehicle service time is calculated routinely as this
information is recorded by the gate clerk on the gate entry permits. The
terminal can use this information to set targets for average service times. It
may also be useful for the terminal to set a performance target of the
percentage of vehicles to be served within the target times. The degree of
success in reaching the turnaround or service time target can then serve as
quality of service measures. Recurrent deviations from the targets should be
a focus for attention by supervisors and managers.
b) Rail Service Measures
Service measures for containers transported to and from the ICD by rail is
more complicated than for road vehicles. Train turnaround is not a useful
measure since scheduled train arrivals and departures are decided externally
by the railway companies and within the ICD, handling of containers to and
from the wagons is usually scheduled for non-peak operational times. An
appropriate rail service measure is the percentage of train sets leaving the
depot within the scheduled time.
c) Operational Dwell Time
Average dwell time values are not a good indicator of the quality of service
offered to the customer. In the case of outbound boxes, the ICD stipulates an
acceptance period, however, the customers may delivery the containers
before this period. Conversely, in the case of inbound boxes, the customer
may not necessarily collect the container as soon as it arrives. In this sense,
the ICD does not have direct control over the dwell time of each container.
There is an approach to derive an operational dwell time that does indicate the
ICDs contribution to average dwell time. It requires the collection of specific
information over an appropriate period of time. The needed information is the
total days that outbound containers were delivered to the terminal before the
agreed time and the total days that inbound containers remained in the
4

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-10

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

container yard after the consignees had been told that they were ready for
collection. These figures indicate pure customer delay. When this measure
of customer delay is deducted from the total dwell time, the remainder can be
classified as operational dwell time. If done correctly, operational dwell time
can be a useful indicator of receipt/delivery efficiency and can be converted
into a quality of service measure.
d) Equipment Downtime
Equipment downtime is a measure of the period of time where equipment is
not available for use. This is an internal service measure and is targetted at
quantifying efficiency of service providers within the terminal the engineering
workshops in particular. Total downtime for a class of equipment is a useful
indicator of the quality of service provided by the engineering department.
Downtime includes time taken for routine maintenance and accidents and so,
is not always attributable to the engineering department.
e) Equipment Availability
Equipment availability measures the share of time that a machine or class of
machine is available to operations. It is calculated by dividing available
machine hours by possible machine hours multiplied by 100. Possible
machine hours is best represented by the total depot working hours for the
period in question, while available machine hours is derived by deducting total
downtime from the possible machine hours. If an ICD does not work seven
days a week, twenty-four hours a day, it is possible for maintenance to occur
in off-hours resulting in a possible availability of one hundred percent.
f)

D.

Equipment Demand Availability


Demand availability is calculated as a percentage of time that equipment is
accessible when requisitioned by an operational department. It is a measure
that highlights the quality of service given by the engineering department to
operations since it indicates any deficits in equipment availability.
Operationally, it is feasible and desirable to achieve demand availability of one
hundred percent.

Corrective Management Actions

This section describes the use of performance measures and reviews with respect to
identifying and addressing problems and issues arising in ICD operations. This section
will focus mainly on operational reviews, which are used by depot managers and
supervisors to improve operational efficiency.
1. Shift Reports and Reviews
The shift is the basic level of analysis for the terminal. The data collected and
analyzed for the shift review form the grounding for all the other levels of review
and so it is imperative that care be taken in the collecting and recording of data.
For performance reviews to be functional tools, it is necessary that the collected
data be reliable, accurate and comprehensive.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-11

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The data take two basic forms. First is the raw data, which commonly takes the
form of logs that diarize the happenings of a given time period. Second is
analyzed data, which uses the raw data as the basis for the analysis and
calculation. A method used to standardize the data gathering and analysis
functions is the use of performance reports.
a) Shift Report
The shift report is compiled at the end of a shift and it contains a summary of
all the operational events of that shift and also includes a section displaying
main performance levels achieved. The data for the shift report are contained
in sub reports the equipment report and gate log as well as annotated
work schedules and notes made by personnel during the shift.
The equipment report, itself, is a summary record of the activities of all
equipment types during a shift as recorded in equipment logs (raw data) for
each piece of equipment in operation. The equipment report provides details
on the availability of each category of equipment, the demand availability for
each category of equipment, the utilization rates for the equipment class and
equipment productivity values for each machine class.
The gate log is the second source of information for the shift report. This log
contains summaries of all container and vehicle movements entering or exiting
through the gate for a particular shift. The gate log contains a table
summarizing the movements of containers through the gate, recorded as
inbound and outbound, 20 ft and 40ft, full and empty, total containers and total
TEUs. Another table records road vehicle movements. Finally, a box is
provided for calculating the major performance measures for the shift.
So, with both the equipment report and the gate log, the shift report can be
compiled (see Figure V-2). Typically the data are displayed in seven
sections.5
i. The top of the sheet contains the basic identification details.
ii. The first table summarized the vessel movements and activities for the
shift in the case of inland waterway operations.
iii. The second table summarizes the performance of each working crane at
the berth.
iv. The next table provides a summary of the activities in the container yard
completed during the shift including stacking and unstacking moves,
moves to and from the CFS, moves to and from customs and other
examination areas, and in-stack movements
v. A fourth table gathers together all the terminal throughput values.
vi. An equipment table provides equipment availability, utilization and
productivity figures from the equipment report for each category of
machine.
vii. Next, the main measures of gate service are tabulated.
viii. Finally, a remarks box provides space for significant comments.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-12

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure V-2: The Shift Report

Shift Report

Date
Shift
Supervisor

YARD MOVEMENTS

DEPOT THROUGHPUT

Stacking/unstacking
To/from CFS
To/from examination
In-stack moves
TOTAL

Railhead/Berth Operation
Transfer Operation
Yard Operation
Receipt/Delivery Operation
TOTAL

GATE PERFORMANCE

EQUIPMENT PERFORMANCE

Vehicles served
Avg. service time
% meeting target

Berth Cranes
RTGs
Tractors
Lift-trucks

Avail. Utiliz. Moves/Hr

REMARKS

** If there are special equipment designated at railhead and berth, then there would be
additional sections to present the summary data for those operations.

The shift report is valuable to decision makers because it summarizes in one


location all the operational events of the ICD for a given time period including
any problems experienced. So the shift report has two main uses: it is the
basis for the daily report as well as the basis for a review of operational
performance.
b) Shift Review
A good use of the shift review is as a basis for communication between
managers and supervisors either after the end of the shift or before their next

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-13

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

work period. Other possible participants include the planning unit and
engineering department. For practical purposes, the review ought to follow a
relatively fixed schedule and discussions can be based on each section of the
shift report. Investigations should be triggered regarding values that deviate
from the norm in order to discover any problems that need addressing such as
assessing equipment levels and requisitions, inefficient processing
procedures, etc. The remarks section should also be addressed in order to
see if there requires any follow up or actions to be taken.
2. Daily Reports and Reviews
The next level of reports is the daily reports, which summarize ICD performance
over the previous day, by aggregating the various shift reports that comprise the
twenty-four hour period. The daily reports are most useful if they are completed in
time for the daily operations meeting. The meeting participants include the
operations manager, who chairs the meeting, as well as the shift and assistant
shift managers, a senior representative of the planning unit, the engineering
workshop supervisor, control centre and information office supervisors and the
labour allocation officer. If required in order to resolve specific issues, other
managers and supervisors may be summoned. The operations meeting has three
objectives:6

To review the previous 24 hours, in terms of: terminal performance; any


significant incidents that occurred and actions that were (or should have been)
taken; the consequences of decisions taken; lessons to be learnt and followup action to be taken.

To assess the current operating position: the vessels at berth; vessels


expected to arrive or that have been delayed; current estimates of vessel
completions and departures; actions to be taken consequent on the current
position, e.g., changes in ship planning or equipment/labour resource
allocation.

To plan the work of the terminal for the next 24 hours, identifying operating
problems and resource allocations needing particular attention.

In order to facilitate discussions, a range of documents is prepared and presented


at the meeting. A representative document set would include the following :

The daily equipment report


The daily yard report
The daily gate report
The daily operations report

a) The Daily Equipment Report


The daily equipment report is the responsibility of the engineering workshop
supervisor. Input data comes from equipment shift reports and the
engineering MIS. The report summarizes the operating performance of all the
6

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-14

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

ICDs container-handling equipment for a 24 hour period.


The daily equipment report is used in many ways including the following.7

It is used to assess the terminals equipment availability and demand


availability.
It allows the review of the extent of equipment downtime and the
assessment of the impact of downtime on operations.
It provides the opportunity to appraise the current maintenance workload
on the workshops and to review the maintenance program in light of the
likely demand for equipment over the next few days.
Finally, the report is used to review the performance of each category of
equipment, the hours worked, and the effectiveness and adequacy of
equipment allocation during the period covered.

b) The Daily Yard Report


The daily yard report contains a summary of the status of all the terminal
storage areas at the end of the day. The report details various data for each
storage area or block. The summary includes such information as the design
storage capacity; the actual number of containers in storage in each identified
area; the number of empty (20 ft) slots remaining in each area; the percentage
storage area utilization; and various totals and mean utilization rates.
The primary practical use of the daily yard report is to alert managers to
changes in the level of storage space utilization. This is significant for
planning and control purposes as it provides information on available storage
space for comparison against upcoming expected demand. It allows some
lead time to for decision makers deal with anticipated shortfalls to mitigate any
potential congestion that might arise.
c) The Daily Gate Report
The daily gate report and gate log are similar and as such gate operations that
involve only one long shift or two shorter ones during the day, may eliminate
the need for the gate log. It summarizes all gate activities of the twenty-four
hour period.
The report usually contains a section for basic information; a table
summarizing container movements, sorted by container status, recorded
during the period; a table giving the major vehicle service measures for each
shift with totals or means; and a remarks box noting operational problems or
issues that need to be discussed.
The daily gate report is used to provide an indication of gate facility demand
and utilization and for monitoring operational efficiency. There are several
points of particular importance. One is the total number of container
movements handled by the gate and reception facilities for each shift and for
the day, by transport mode, container size and status. Another is the demand
level for each shift and the mean demand for the day. Also important is how
7

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-15

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

often gate performance targets were met. For targets not met, the meeting
must investigate the origins of the problems the gate or the interchange
and their causes current operating practices or poor supervision.
d) The Daily Operations Report
The daily operations report is the primary document discussed at the
operations meeting as it summarizes the days ICD performance. It contains
information gathered from both the shift reports and the individual daily reports
(see Figure V-3). It includes:8

The identification data: the date and the name of the person completing
the report.
A tabulated summary of the most important vessel operation performance
data, shift by shift and in total (or on average, as appropriate): the
containers exchanged, shifts and restows, hatch cover lifts and the total
equivalent movements; the gross and net working hours; the productivity
measures as moves per gross and net working hour.
A table of the yard movements for each shift and the day, by category and
in total.
The throughput for each terminal operation, by shift and day, and the total
equivalent terminal throughput.
A summary of the gate activities relating to road transport: the vehicles
served in each shift, the average gate-in-gate-out service time, and the
percentage of vehicles served within the target time. Again, the
totals/means for the day are calculated.
An equipment and labour table summarizes the number of units and
gangs allocated for each shift, and the equipment availability, utilization
and productivity measures, by shift and as daily means.
A yard utilization table reproduces from the daily yard report the data on
TEUs stacked and on utilization for the outbound, inbound and empties
stacks of the container yard.

The shift and daily reports, in conjunction with the daily operations report,
present managers with current and timely information regarding operational
performance. This allows mangers to make decisions regarding work
programs, resource levels (equipment, labour and storage), performance
modifications and any problems or accidents that have taken place.
All the reports listed above are used for the daily operations meeting. To reiterate, the meeting has three objectives. The first is to review the previous days
performance, including any deviations from stated targets and problems that may
have occurred. Under this objective, the meeting considers the adequacy of the
resources allocated and deployed. Next, availability and utilization sections are
studied and problems discussed with the relevant personnel. Subsequently, any
noted operating problems are looked at and the causes of any accidents or
incidents are reviewed. Courses of action are decided and assigned. Finally, the
meeting scans any notes relating to security issues, calling in relevant terminal
staff as necessary and clearing up any outstanding matters.
8

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-16

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

The second objective of the daily operations meeting is to assess the current
situation. Each area of terminal operations is examined for resource allocations
and capacity. The final objective is to review and discuss the operation conditions
and problems likely to present themselves in the coming work program. Courses
of action are discussed and when the managers and others return to their offices,
they put into immediate effect the decisions taken at the meeting. All agreed
changes to working procedures and schedules need to be relayed to the
supervisors already at work and to those who will report for duty for later shifts.

Figure V-3: The Daily Operations Report

Daily Operations Report


Date

Information Officer

YARD MOVEMENTS
Shift 1

DEPOT THROUGHPUT
Shift 2

Shift 3

TOTAL

Stacking/unstacking
To/from CFS
To/from examination
In-stack moves
TOTAL
GATE PERFORMANCE
Shift 1
Vehicles served
Avg. service time
% meeting target

Shift 1

Shift 2

Shift 3

TOTAL

Railhead/Berth Operation
Transfer Operation
Yard Operation
Receipt/Delivery Operation
TOTAL

YARD UTILIZATION
Shift 2

EQUIPMENT & LABOUR ALLOCATED


No. of Units
Shift
1 2 3 Mean
RTGs
Tractor-Trailer sets
LTs
Gangs

Shift 3

TOTAL

Blocks
Outbound
Inbound
Empties

TEUs stacked

Utilization

REMARKS
Availability %
1 2 3 Mean

Utilization %
1 2 3 Mean

Moves/rec.hr
1 2 3 Mean

3. Monthly Performance Reports and Reviews


In addition to the short-term reviews and reports discussed above, there are a
series of reports and reviews cover a longer period of ICD operations. These
include weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly terminal performance reports. The
main recipients of these reports are business decision makers including senior
management and board of directors members. These reports can either be
regularly scheduled reports or ad hoc reports on topics of interest. Both types are
based on information found in the ICDs MIS.
The terminal performance reports serve a number of extremely valuable
purposes:9
9

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-17

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Because they cover extended periods of operation, they allow management to


detect and evaluate developments and changes in ship and cargo traffic and
throughput, operational efficiency, and markets.
They provide essential information for revenue budgeting, financial reporting
and traffic forecasting. They also assist in the setting of tariffs (e.g., container
handling charges).
They allow operating performance to be investigated in detail, so that the
underlying causes of recurring problems can be identified and appropriate
changes made to working practices and procedures with the aim of improving
terminal efficiency and safety.
The data provide a reliable basis for determining future equipment, land and
manpower requirements and for planning investment in new facilities.
They provide useful information for presenting to users at both regular and
occasional meetings.
They form the basis for preparing the terminals annual report, periodic reports
to the board of directors and government ministries, as well as for special
reports, e.g., market research studies.
The data on hours worked and performance levels achieved are needed by
the administration/finance department for calculating salaries, wages and
bonus payments for employees.
The performance data are needed for the continuous assessment of
operational performance targets, for setting revised targets and for negotiating
terms of contracts with existing and new customers.

As there are a vast number of reports that can be generated under this group of
reports and also since many reports are customized to answer specific issues, it is
impossible to list every single one. Instead, a short group of standard and
recurring reports are presented here for illustrative purposes.

The monthly yard report


The monthly equipment report
The monthly gate report
The monthly ICD report

a) The Monthly Yard Report


The monthly yard report is used to monitor the level of demand for storage
and the efficiency of the operations. It covers a number of important yard
performance measures:
Yard throughput statistics are provided for the various categories of container
movements in the yard, i.e., stackin/unstacking, to/from CFS, to/from
examination areas, in-yard shifts, etc. Data are presented as total moves for
the month and daily averages, by movement category and for the yard as a
whole.
Yard (storage) productivity measures are given, as are data on target and
average dwell times for various container categories. In addition, yard
utilization measures are tabulated. Figures are given separately for the main
storage areas and totals. Finally, the report provides graphical evidence of the

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-18

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

variation in storage utilization over the month, illustrative any demand peaks
throughout the month.
Management will use this report in order to determine any changes that need
to be made, either in operational procedures, policies regarding charges on
containers, yard storage allocation, etc.
b) The Monthly Equipment Report
The monthly equipment report follows the format and structure of the daily
equipment report with an additional section for tabulating cost-effectiveness
measurements.
A typical report will contain general statistics on each equipment category
including: the number of units in the fleet; the possible unit hours; the
downtime recorded; the available hours; and the availability value. It will also
have the data and calculations for demand availability and for utilization for
each class of equipment. The report will also provide productivity figures for
each type of equipment during the month and the calculated average moves
per unit per working hour. Finally, various cost-effectiveness measures are
provided, including the total operating cost and the average cost per running
hour of each class of equipment, and the operating cost per equivalent
container movement performed by that class of machine.
The equipment report provides information for assessing equipment
performance as well as the quality of maintenance provided. The data assists
in the various aspects of equipment decisions facing the ICD: the size of the
fleet the purchase decision and its composition the retirement decision
and the change of technology decision.
c) The Monthly Gate Report
The monthly gate report follows the structure of the daily gate report.
Typically, the information provided includes information on the containers split
by type (inbound or outbound, size (20 ft or 40 ft), and status (full or empty).
Additionally, a comprehensive set of service measures for road vehicle traffic
is provided. These include: the number of vehicles served each day; the
mean number per gate working hour; the mean service time for the day; the
calculated percentage of vehicles handled within the target service time; and
the utilization (vehicles served as a percentage of designed gate capacity).
Monthly totals and average daily values for the month are also provided. The
road arrival and departure measures indicate the quality of service provided to
users
d) The Monthly ICD Report
The monthly ICD report summarizes the various other routine monthly
operational reports, some of which have been described above. It presents
the most significant performance measures from the various other monthly
reports and also includes some additional information from the
administration/finance department. It is the central focus for the monthly
performance review meeting. This meeting is comprised of senior operations,
engineering, marine, systems and administration/finance managers, and is

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-19

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

chaired by the general manager. The report generally covers five areas of
analysis:10

10

The traffic statistics section summarizes the traffic passing through the
terminal during the month, recorded in terms of 20 ft and 40 ft containers,
total containers and TEUs. Sometimes, additional data are provided on
the origin and destination of the traffic and possibly on the commodity
classes.
A throughput statistics section gives monthly total equivalent movement
figures separately for the various operations as well as the total terminal
throughput. The values for each operation are also divided by the total
container traffic from the first table to give the relevant moves per
container.
The third table presents a series of productivity measures, as target
values, the calculated values for the current month, and the running
means for this month and the previous five months. The productivity data
may, in some monthly reports, be broken down for each different status of
container.
The next table, summarizes the main utilization measures for the past
month and as running six-month averages.
The final table presents the key service measures, as target, monthly and
running mean values.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-20

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure V-4: The Monthly ICD Report

Monthly ICD Report

Month

TRAFFIC
20'
Discharged
FCL
LCL
Empty
Total
Loaded
FCL
LCL
Empty
Total
TOTAL

PRODUCTIVITY
Conts/ICD m2
TEUs/net yard m2
Tonnes/CFS m2
Cost/RTG move
Cost/TT move
Cost/LT move
Conts/man-hour
TEU/man-hour
ICD cost/cont.
ICD cost/TEU

Information Officer

40'

Cont

TEUs

THROUGHPUT

Equiv.
Moves

Moves/
Cont

This
Month

6-month
mean

Target

This
Month

Yard Operation
Receipt/Delivery Op
ICD MOVES

UTILIZATION
Yard storage utiliz.
CFS storage utiliz.
Gate utilization
RTG utilization
TT utilization
LT utilization

This 6-month
Target Month mean

SERVICE

6-month
mean

% meeting ship
turnaround index
Vehicle service time
Target met %
Dwell time - FCL
Dwell time - LCL
Dwell time - MT
RTG availability
TT availability
LT availability

The monthly ICD report is widely distributed i.e., to all senior managers and to
board members. It provides good summary data including container traffic
and throughput, overall productivity measures and utilization measures. In

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-21

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

addition, monthly reports can be used comparatively to discern any new


trends or patterns in ICD operations.
4. CFS Performance and Reviews
Container freight station operations tend to be viewed independently from the rest
of ICD operations and so performance measurement, reporting and review are
also contemplated separately.
a) The CFS Log and Review
The CFS log is the basic report document of CFS performance. As with the
other logs and daily reports described for ICD operations, the CFS log
contains information about the main activities occurring in a given period. It
contains calculations on labour, equipment and various other performance
measures.
The CFS log is compiled from data sources including CFS reception office
records, equipment and labour allocation sheets, and various
packing/unpacking documents and completed work orders. The logs are
completed as soon as the work period is over, and are reverted to the CFS
manager and supervisors for review.
A CFS log contains several sections, each devoted to its distinct topic. The
first area contains basic identification data. The second section contains a
table that summarizes the traffic throughput for the day in terms of
containers packed/unpacked and road vehicles loaded/unloaded. The third
section summarizes the amount of cargo in storage at days end, in terms of
tonnage, floor area occupied and volume taken up. The information comes
from storage inventory. The storage utilization is determined as a
percentage of the design capacity.
The next section of the CFS log contains data on labour resources allocated
and deployed during the day. Following this table, is a section that
summarizes the equipment resources both in terms of numbers and
productivity and utilization rates. The subsequent section includes service
measure calculations including average road vehicle turnaround time and
the percentage meeting the CFS target and average vehicle service time
and the percentage meeting that target. A section for remarks on particulars
of note completes the report.
The CFS log is distributed to the CFS manager, the assistant managers and
the supervisors for discussion at the end-of-work period review meeting. Its
primary uses during the review are:11

11

To compare the operational performance of the CFS for the day with its
targets. Although measures covering longer periods may give a more
reliable picture of trends in performance, it is still useful to monitor the
figures day by day, to see how well the resources are being used. In

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-22

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

general, if performance is below target in terms of productivity and


service measures in particular, then the meeting will want to pinpoint the
reason(s) for the result. When the likely causes have been identified, the
group must decide on what action should be taken and must delegate
someone to be responsible for taking that action.
To assess the current utilization of storage areas and to decide whether
action is needed to accommodate the cargo expected over the next few
days. The supervisor will be able to indicate the quantity of export cargo
due to be received for packing, and the amount of import cargo to be
unpacked from containers. It should be apparent if there are going to be
problems in storing it, in view of the expected quantity of import cargo
due to be dispatched and export cargo to be packed. If the review finds
that storage is likely to be a problem, the meeting will prepare
instructions for clerks to contact cargo owners to encourage them to
remove their imports promptly. In the meantime, the operations
supervisor might be asked to consolidate cargo to a higher density by
stacking higher (if possible and safe) to release floor space. It might be
decided to order overtime payments to speed up container packing.
To trigger housekeeping activities. By analyzing the log, and also
referring to the storage inventory plan, the meeting may be prompted to
issue instructions to move scattered consignments to release storage
blocks for expected cargo, to rearrange consignments for more efficient
packing/loading sequences, or to permit proper separation of dangerous
goods classes due to be stored.
To consider accidents and other significant incidents. Finally, the
meeting will discuss the notes inserted in the remarks section.
Although all serious incidents should have been brought to the
managers attention as they happened, there may be some less serious
items that need to be followed up. Accidents, security lapses, problems
with customs procedures etc must be discussed. Any aspects of poor
supervision or procedural inefficiencies must be identified, as a first step
to making changes.

In addition to those uses of the CFS log discussed above, the log becomes
the input for longer-term performance reviews. They can be aggregated for
summary reports of any time period week, month, quarter, year. In
addition, they are passed onto the ICD for integration in their ICD
performance reports where warranted.
b) The Monthly CFS Report and Review
The monthly CFS report is in essence, aggregated CFS logs for a given
month. However, it also includes further analysis of the data.. In general,
the report contains seven sections.12
i)

The first section identifies the month covered by the report and the name
of the person compiling the report.
ii) The first table summarizes the production data: the containers packed
and unpacked and the vehicles loaded and unloaded. The data are
12

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-23

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

expressed as units, TEUs, tonnes and cargo volume, and totals are
provided under each heading.
iii) The second table presents the area productivity measures for the month,
in terms of the target and actual TEUs and cargo tonnes handled per
square metre of CFS area during the period. Cost-effectiveness is
expressed in terms of cost per tonne and per TEU. These figures are
used for reviewing charges to customers.
iv) The next section tabulates labour productivity data, also in terms of
target and actual values. The bases for calculation are: total containers
packed/unpacked per person-hour; total TEUs packed/unpacked per
person-hour; total tonnage packed/unpacked per person hour; total
number of vehicles loaded/unloaded per person-hour; total tonnage
loaded/unloaded per person-hour; and total tonnage packed, unpacked,
loaded and unloaded per person-hour. At the foot of the table is a costeffectiveness measure labour cost per tonne handled.
v) The equipment table presents the average availability, demand
availability and utilization factors for the FLTs and pallet trucks (and
other equipment, where applicable).
vi) The final table summarizes the major measures of CFS service: average
packing/unpacking time per TEU; average road vehicle turnaround time
and service time; and average dwell time per consignment.
vii) The final section records the storage area utilization of the CFS, as
graphs of the daily utilization over the month. The utilization is
expressed as area occupied as a percentage of design capacity, volume
occupied as a percentage of design capacity and tonnage in storage as
a percentage of design capacity. Mean values for each measure are
also listed.
The monthly CFS report is used to monitor the effectiveness of CFS
operations. In addition, it can be used for comparison purposes with other
months in order to ascertain changes in trends and performance. This
document provides managers with information to look for problem areas that
need to be addressed. Of particular interest to managers are the values for
the cost per tonne of cargo handled, the utilization of the floor area, the dwell
times of cargo, and the service times for road users. Any shortcomings in
these areas will be addressed through such initiatives as changes in
procedure, resources or layout of the facilities.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-24

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Figure V-5: The Monthly CFS Report

Monthly CFS Report


Month

PRODUCTION
Containers packed
Containers unpacked
Vehicles loaded
Vehicles unloaded
TOTAL

Units

Supervisor

TEUs

LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY
Containers packed/unpacked/man-hour
TEUs packed/unpacked/man-hour
Tonnage packed/unpacked/man-hour
Vehicles loaded/unloaded/man-hour
Tonnage loaded/unloaded/man-hour
Total tonnage handled/man-hour
Labour cost/tonne handled

STORAGE UTILIZATION
Mean
Area
Volume
Tonnage

Tonnes TOTAL

Target

Actual

PRODUCTIVITY
TEUs/m2/month
Tonnes/m2/month
Total cost/tonne
Total cost/TEU

Target

Actual

EQUIPMENT
Average Availability %
Average Demand Avail. %
Average Utilization %

FLTs

Pal. Tr.

SERVICE
Average packing time/TEU
Average vehicle turnaround
Average vehicle service
Average dwell time

Time

% met Target

Area for graphical representation of monthly storage utilization

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

V-25

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

VI. ICD SAFETY & DANGEROUS GOODS HANDLING

Safety is of major concern at an ICD, since accidents involving people and equipment
hurt not only the person(s) involved, but also the depot. Consequences of accidents
include injury, or in extreme cases, death, downtime at the depot, and a whole array of
costs including lost production, administrative costs, compensation costs and equipment
or infrastructure repair costs.
The dangers of ICD operation stem largely from the fact that there are many large,
heavy and fast-moving vehicles and equipment in operation. The ICD is a noisy, busy
place where equipment drivers often have restricted visibility when moving containers.
Other factors that lead to accident potential are poor visibility due to nighttime activities
and inclement weather. These factors, when combined with the human error factor, can
lead to a dangerous working environment. One additional factor to consider is the
handling of dangerous goods, which by themselves, provide a risk of harm.
In order to combat the accident risks associated with ICD operations, management
should encourage a working environment that embraces safety a safety culture. This
can be accomplished through several important steps.1
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Setting up an effective safety organization


Establishing a clear company safety policy
Setting company rules and regulations
Laying down safe working procedures
Publishing the rules, regulations and procedures as a Safety Handbook or
Manual
6. Providing safety training for all employees.
The steps listed above are founded on principles of safety for working at container
depot. A major portion of cultivating safety is to articulate what safety practices are
essential in day-to-day operations as well as during emergency situations. The following
discussion focuses on laying out these principles, rules and regulations for ICD
operations.

A.

General Safety Principles


1. Design Principles
There are various safety principles that should be incorporated in the design of
the ICD itself. The major way in which and ICD can lower the risk of harm is to
segregate the three elements of ICD operation cargo handling equipment, road
vehicles and pedestrians. There are various design principles that can help to
achieve this segregation.
The first principle is to divide the ICD into clearly designated operational areas
and non-operational areas. The first area contains those sections of the ICD in

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-1

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

which cargo handling, engineering and related activities take place. The second
area is comprised of the more administrative parts such as the offices, canteens,
change rooms, etc. Access to the operational areas should be restricted to
authorized personnel only.
A second principle involves the separation of road and terminal vehicles from
pedestrians and cargo handling equipment. There are various ways to achieve
this including clearly marked pedestrian walkways which are isolated from
roadways; distinct roadways for vehicles and cargo handling equipment; the use
of warning lights and traffic signals at crossways and intersections within the
container yard; and the enforcement of strict traffic rules that govern traffic flows
preferably one-way patterns.
Another principle to decrease accident risk is to use vehicle transport to move
personnel through restricted areas rather than letting them access operational
areas on foot. A further principle of segregation that complements the above is to
initiate a safety stop in the yard to discontinue movement by any cargo handling
equipment, which allows personnel to move to a protected area.
Still another principle of segregation that should be used is to use barriers to
preclude access to any restricted areas. This is the customary approach for
maintenance or repair work to the container yard. It is also used in the case of
keeping vehicles, equipment and pedestrians away from accident areas.
The last principle of segregation is to split special operational areas from the rest
of the yard. These areas include customs and health examination areas,
dangerous goods and damaged container areas, reefer areas, high-value goods
areas, etc. Segregating these areas allows the ICD to prevent access to these
zones by unauthorized personnel and/or vehicles.
2. General Safety Principles
There are a set of safety principles that apply equally to all ICD personnel. They
can be outlined through a list of dos and donts:2

Obey all the terminal safety rules, as set out in the Safety Handbook; they are
designed to protect you from the ever-present dangers of working in the depot.
Follow all additional safety instructions given to you, as part of a safe system
of work or to take account of special, unusual dangers.
Observe in detail the safe system of work set out for the particular task you
are carrying out, and never be tempted to take short-cuts.
Use all safety clothing, apparatus and devices issued to you; it is the
responsibility of the employer to provide protective clothing etc., to safeguard
employees, but it remains the duty of the employees to wear and use those
protective aids.
Do not smoke on the terminal.
Cooperate fully with your supervisor and managers in all matters concerning
safety.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-2

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

B.

While you are at work, avoid all distractions such as listening to a portable
radio or cassette player you need to concentrate all your attention on the job
in hand.
Learn the layout of the terminal safe routes to and from the quayside and
work areas, new road layouts and traffic crossings, location of telephones, first
aid boxes and lifebelts so that you will know exactly where to go in an
emergency.
Report all injuries, however slight, to your supervisor without delay.
If you spot any defects or potential hazards likely to cause injury, report them
without delay to your supervisor or safety representative, who will then present
them in writing to the appropriate head of department and the safety officer as
quickly as possible, so that rapid remedial action can be taken.

Rules of Safe Access to the ICD Working Areas

In order to operate an ICD, it is necessary, at times, to access various parts of the depot.
There are a number of safety rules and procedures that can be implemented to provide
safe entry to the different areas of the facility.
1. Access to Restricted Operational Areas
There are a number of restricted operational areas that are usually kept off-limits
to pedestrians. However, there are times when it is necessary for personnel to
enter these areas. In these zones, safety can be provided by secure fencing to
keep pedestrians out, or by restricting access by vehicles and other machinery in
times when pedestrians are needed within these areas.
Certain areas that need to be fenced off include customs and health examination
areas, inspection areas for damaged and other containers. Access to these
sections is accompanied by a number of safety precautions including prohibiting
machinery from entering the area, using visual signage and lights to restrict
access, locking access gates for machinery, etc.
Other restricted areas that do not have fencing include the reefer area, out-ofgauge area, etc. Access to these areas by pedestrians is facilitated by the
prohibition of machinery in the area while pedestrians are working there.
2. Access for Operational and Engineering Reasons
During daily operations there are a number of reasons why personnel may need
to enter work areas of the ICD that are not related to operational routine. Some of
these reasons include vehicle breakdown repairs, retrieval and testing of
equipment, civil works maintenance and other operational reasons.
a) Vehicle Breakdown and Equipment Retrieval
Engineers will need to access any vehicles that breakdown in the yard during
working hours. A safety stop will be issued to allow the engineers to travel to
the inoperative vehicle. If on-site repair is possible, the zone is properly and
visibly barricaded while repairs are undertaken. The safety stop can be lifted

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-3

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

at this time to be reinstated when the engineers are ready to exit the area.
For those repairs that require the movement of the vehicle, the area is
barricaded until such time say off-peak period as the vehicle is to be
moved. A full safety stop is implemented during removal.
b) Civil Works Maintenance
There are a number of tasks that fall under civil works maintenance that are
required for safe and effective operations. Some of these include resurfacing,
cleaning, remarking and repainting. Also, lighting must be kept in proper
working order. If access is needed during working hours, a safety stop and
appropriate barricading will be used to allow repairs and maintenance.
c) Operational Access
Another occasion where pedestrian access is required is in the case that a
container needs to be found or its condition needs to be examined in the yard.
In this case, a full safety stop will be implemented until such time as the
pedestrians have removed themselves from the operational area of the yard.
During this process, radio control between the pedestrian(s) and the control
room is essential.

C.

Working Safety and Security


1. The Container Yard
As has been discussed above, the operational areas of the container yard are
dangerous, especially for foot traffic. Thus, there are several rules and
regulations to follow when accessing this area. Four topics of concern are:

Safety issues relating to the stacking operation


Safety for vehicles and equipment drivers
Pedestrian safety
Container yard security

a) Operational Safety in Yard Stacking


One of the most important issues for safety in stacking is that the container
yard surface be kept in perfect condition for stacking. Unevenness or
instability can lead to tilted stacks which will, at the very least, cause problems
to lifting equipment but in a worse case, could cause the stack to tip over with
potential container, cargo, equipment damage and/or personnel injury.
A second aspect of stacking safety is for containers to be correctly aligned on
top of each other so that the corner fittings meet. If boxes are stacked out of
line, there is a danger of tilting and tipping and also a possibility that the
frames of lower boxes deform or collapse altogether.
Container alignment is also important in the placement of the bottom box. In
the case that the box is not placed within the ground slot area, it might
become an obstacle for passing vehicles and also cause delays for stacking

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-4

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

equipment when attempting to stack another container on top.


Inclement weather can also cause safety issues in yard stacking. High winds,
in particular can wreak havoc on container stacks if they are not properly
stacked and secured.
b) Safety for Vehicles and Equipment Drivers
Safety for equipment and vehicle drivers in the yard can be described through
a list of rules. There are three rules that apply to both equipment and vehicle
drivers. The first rule is that no unauthorized and untrained drivers should
ever drive any equipment or vehicle. The second rule is that the driver must
be in fit condition to drive. Third, the drive must go through a safety check on
the equipment of vehicle before beginning to work.
For equipment operators stacking and unstacking containers within the
storage blocks, the following rules apply:3

Always obey a safety stop immediately it is ordered, and acknowledge by


radio that you have obeyed it.
When lowering a spreader onto a container, take care to locate it
accurately and gently on the corner fittings, to avoid damage to the
container roof and/or the spreader and make sure that the spreader has
securely locked-on before beginning the lift.
Never lift a load unless you are certain that it is within the safe lifting
capacity of the lifting equipment.
Watch instruments and indicators regularly, for warnings of an unsecured
spreader, overloading or a machine fault; stop work immediately and
report any indicated defects.
Sound the alarm and use flashing lights when moving, whether loaded or
empty.
Wear ear protection when working in a noisy cab.
Adjust the driving position for comfort and to give the best possible view of
the roadway, of the container stacks and of any pedestrian who might be
working in the area.
Take care when moving over the container rows, holding the spreader and
carried container at a safe height, with adequate clearance over the top of
the stacks.

For drivers moving within the container yard on in-terminal activities, the rules
are:4

3
4

Observe and acknowledge all safety stops immediately.


Only move into or out of a working area when specifically instructed and
authorized to do so by the control centre.
Always drive along safe, marked routes, following the designated traffic
flows.
Observe all safety signs and directions, stopping at road junctions, etc.

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-5

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Observe all speed restrictions, and adjust speed to suit the weather and
traffic conditions.
Sound the alarm or horn and use flashing lights when moving.
Keep a careful watch for unauthorized pedestrians in stacking areas and
on roads and aisleways.
Take care when entering and leaving the stack rows; watch out for other
equipment driving past.
Carry containers at a safe height, usually just clear of the ground; never
move from one part of the yard to another carrying a container high.
When a job is finished, park safely in a designated parking area, with
brakes on and the engine switched off.

c) Pedestrian Safety
The rules for pedestrian access in the container yard are:5

No pedestrian should be in an active section of the container yard during


operational time unless a safety stop has been called (or the person is an
authorized tally clerk or checker working in the ground cab of a yard gantry
crane).
Authorization must be received before going into the container yard to
work on foot, whether into the general storage area or into customs, health
or damaged container examination and inspection areas. Control will then
only issue permission when the safety stop has been fully acknowledged.
Keep to fenced-off or raised walkways when moving about the yard.
Always wear high-visibility clothing when working in the yard.
Always wear a safety helmet and protective shoes when working in the
yard.
Keep in constant touch with the control room by radio, reporting on where
you are, what you are doing and what you intend to do next while working
in the container yard.
If acting as a tally clerk in a yard gantry system, keep safely inside your
cab at all times; similarly, when working in the reefer area, step into the
place of safety provided whenever authorization has been given for
equipment to move into or out of the area.
Keep a lookout for defects in passing vehicles and stacking equipment, an
report them immediately to the control room.
Keep continual watch for moving equipment and vehicles, listening for
warning sounds and looking for flashing lights, even if a safety stop has
been called.
Keep a keen lookout for any debris, obstacles, oil spills and other dangers
to vehicles, and report them immediately.

d) Container Yard Security


With respect to the safety and security of containers held in the safekeeping of
the ICD within the container yard, all container depot personnel must exercise

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-6

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

due diligence in looking after the containers. Each employee has a


responsibility to:6

Report immediately to a supervisor any suspicious occurrence such as


unauthorized personnel.
Report immediately any accident or incident involving a container
regardless of severity.
Stack containers door-to-door at ground level where possible such as the
end of a row, to prevent the door being exposed to tampering.
Keep alert for any evidence of tampering with door locks and seals.

2. The Receipt/Delivery Area


a) Reception Activities
There are a number of safety rules that road vehicle drivers need to follow as
they enter the depot and follow the formalities at the reception office.7

All road vehicles entering the ICD must strictly observe the depots speed
limits, traffic signs and signals, and road safety regulations. The main
rules should be displayed clearly on signs at the entrance, and repeated
on the routing cards issued to drivers at the reception counter or gate. ICD
security staff must watch carefully for drivers who break any of the rules,
warn them immediately, and, if necessary, take steps to report the matter
to the drivers company. Repeat offenders should be removed from the
depots register of authorized drivers.
Drivers must park their vehicles only in the areas set aside for parking, and
clearly marked as vehicle parks. Vehicles must not be left where they
obstruct free movement of other vehicles into and out of the terminal gate
or entrance.
Drivers must take care when parking that their vehicles are correctly
aligned within the marked parking bays, so adjacent bays are available for
others.
Vehicles must be securely and safely parked, with their handbrakes on
and engines switched off.
Drivers should use the walkways provided when walking to the entrance of
the administrative building.
Drivers must wait in the reception office or canteen until called to take their
vehicles to the gate. They must not drive to the gate before being called,
as they will hold up other vehicles.
All access roads and parking areas must be kept clean and free of
obstructions and any oil or other spills must be cleaned immediately.

b) Gate Activities
Gate activities involve pedestrians moving around and between parked
vehicles, while other vehicles might be moving. The rules are:8

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.
8
PDP, ILO, 1999.
7

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-7

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

ICD staff and drivers out of the vehicles must be constantly alert to the
possible movement of road vehicles in adjacent lanes. When carrying out
EIR inspections, staff should use raised pavements, inspection platforms
and steps as much as possible.
Drivers must apply their handbrakes securely and switch off their engines
while stopped at the gate.
Vehicles waiting to move forward to a gate cabin must stop within the
queuing area at least fifteen metres back from the gate cabin.
At the gate, securing devices locking containers to the vehicle chassis
should be released when delivering a container to the ICD or to prepare an
empty chassis for receiving a container. They should be secured when
leaving with a collected container. These operations should not be done at
the interchange areas.

c) The Interchange
The interchange area is a dangerous part of the receipt/delivery process since
this is where road vehicles come into close proximity with cargo handling
equipment. Drivers are unfamiliar with yard layout, operational features and
activities relating to container exchange and so they must keep strictly to the
safety rules devised for their protection. They are:9

Drivers must take the route to and from the interchange exactly as
instructed on the routing order.
Drivers must follow all traffic signs and speed restrictions, stopping at all
crossings until the way is clear, and sounding their horns at all crossroads
and pedestrian walkways.
Drivers should use dipped headlights when travelling around the depot in
times of poor visibility.
Drivers must park carefully and neatly in the assigned position, apply the
handbrake and switch off the engine.
Where provisions have been made, drivers should leave the cabs of their
vehicles while containers are being lifted or landed at the interchanges.
In a yard gantry system, the driver may be asked to stand in the ground
cab of the crane while the crane is lifting or lowering the container, or may
remain in the vehicles cab. For collection, the driver first stops the
vehicles a little ahead of the gantry position and then reverses into the
landing position once the container has been lowered to almost the landing
height. For delivery, the driver parks exactly alongside the containers
storage location and then drives forward once the clerk signals that the
container has been just lifted clear of the chassis.
For protection against weather, and for access, containers should be
landed on the chassis with their doors facing to the rear, away from the
cab.

d) General Safety and Security


There are also general safety and security rules that apply to any stage in the
receipt/delivery process:10
9

PDP, ILO, 1999.


PDP, ILO, 1999.

10

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-8

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

All terminal employees must be alert at all times to breaches of ICD


security and safety procedures.
Employees should report immediately any suspicious incident, suggesting
an attempt to breach ICD security.
If a door seal or lock shows signs of having been tampered with, this must
be report to a supervisor or to security staff immediately.
All unissued blank forms and documents must be kept under secure lock
and key until needed for issue.
All used and discarded documents seen around the terminal must be
collected and destroyed, so that they cannot be fraudulently used to gain
unauthorized entry or to take a container from the depot without
authorization.
Staff must secure any gate or entrance, which they have to leave to
prevent unauthorized entry.
All reception, gate and security staff should be alert for a driver having
difficulty understanding the language used for signs, directions, routing
cards, etc. If several languages are used in the ICDs hinterland, all signs
and documents should be available in all the languages.

3. The Container Freight Station


As with the container yard, there are a number of health and safety precautions
that need to be followed in the CFS in order to ensure the health and welfare of
those working at the CFS, and the safety of employees, cargo and equipment.
a) The Working Environment
The working environment is important to the health and safety of employees.
The CFS layout and operations produce a unique working environment in the
container terminal that may adversely affect employee health and safety.
Some of these characteristics and the corresponding mitigating precautions
are described below.

An attribute of CFS operations is that employees spend much of their time


in closed spaces, which can cause problems for employees. Thus, it is
essential that the atmosphere in each of these enclosed areas is kept
clean and pollution free through good ventilation.
Adequate heating and cooling systems are also essential for the health
and comfort of employees working long hours within the shed and confined
packing/unpacking spaces.
CFS equipment should be electrically powered where possible in order to
lower the amount of pollution produced inside the shed and
packing/unpacking areas containers, rail wagons, road vehicles.
Another polluter that should be prohibited is smoking within the CFS for
various reasons including the risk of fire, the health risks to non-smoking
colleagues, and potential combination effect risks around dangerous
cargoes.
Another important working condition is lighting. The shed should be well lit
so that all signage, labels, pile tags, work orders, tally lists, etc. can be

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-9

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

read quickly and without strain, and so pedestrians can be seen clearly by
equipment operators. Portable lighting should be provided for use at
loading doors for use in containers and road vehicles.
Employees must be made to adopt a culture of good housekeeping in
order to control litter, spillages, leakages, etc. that can cause dangerous
situations. Also, areas must be kept clear of tools and materials when not
in use and dangerous surface conditions must be marked off and repaired
as soon as possible.
Finally, there must be adequate toilet and washing facilities for employees,
which should be kept clean and tidy.

b) Operational Health and Safety


The main dangers to health and safety in the CFS workplace arise from the
operational processes, procedures and activities that take place. Preventative
measures in addition to the principles of segregation for equipment and
pedestrians as well as maintenance of clear traffic flows are discussed below.
The protection of drivers can be enhanced through a number of measures.
First, lifting equipment should be fitted with overhead guards strong enough to
withstand falling cargo and other objects. Also, all ramps, bridge plates,
gangways and similar access devices must be clearly marked with their
maximum safe load (SWL) capacity. In addition, all ramps and other access
devices should have stops to prevent them moving in use. Finally, drivers
must park their vehicles with engines off and brakes on, in the designated
area.
The protection of cargo handlers can be aided by a set of rules that govern
CFS staff conduct. These rules include: using the appropriate tools and
materials for each job and removing them after use; returning dunnage and
packing materials to the proper storage area; taking care when opening
container and vehicle doors and securing doors during loading/unloading;
making sure that door hinges and holdbacks are in good working order; and
staying away from active loading/unloading equipment.
c) Personal Protection
There are a number of personal measures directed at providing direct
protection to staff. These include:

The use of protective clothing for personnel involved directly in the


handling of cargoes in the CFS safety helmets, industrial gloves and
shoes/boots, high visibility outer clothing for detection by drivers, etc.
For the handling of dangerous goods, protective gear such as eye
protection, facemasks, special gloves, boots and respirators, etc. should
be provided.
The provision of appropriate first aid facilities and the policy of having at
least one trained first-aider in each working gang and unit.

d) Fire Fighting
Fire is considered a serious hazard in a CFS due to the large quantity and

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-10

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

nature of goods held in storage and the speed at which fires can spread when
the goods are ignited. Precautions that can be taken are:11

D.

The provision of appropriate fire fighting equipment at strategic locations


throughout the CFS.
The clear marking of all fire fighting appliances.
The clear and free access to fire fighting equipment.
The regular inspection and maintenance of fire fighting equipment.
The regular training in the correct use of fire fighting equipment and
practicing of fire drills to ensure proper and rapid evacuation.
Constant vigilance by everyone working in the CFS with respect to
potential hazards particularly in the case of the handling of dangerous
goods.

Good Housekeeping

An additional topic of safe working practices that applies to all areas of the ICD and CFS
is that of good housekeeping. This practice is designed to be a preventative action to
preclude avoidable accidents. The main thrust of housekeeping is to keep the
workplace clean and tidy at all times.
In the container yard, personnel must always be on the alert for anything that may inhibit
the use of the yard for normal operations. Such items of note are: containers stacked
out of line; containers stacked uneven ground; oil or grease spills on the surface;
incomplete and/or unclear road markings and container stack labeling; raised paving
slabs; burnt light bulbs; litter; etc.
In receipt/delivery, good housekeeping refers to the cleanliness and tidiness of the depot
entrance, the vehicle park, the gate area and interchanges. Noted litter, grease stains,
damage to the roadway or parking area surface, lighting that is not working, or damage
to fencing, curbs and standards, need to be addressed as soon as possible.
In the CFS, tidiness and cleanliness means that aisleways and walkways must be kept
clear, which means that stored packages must be placed within the painted marks of the
blocks and not spill over onto the aisleways. In addition, equipment and gear must be
returned to their correct parking/storage locations upon job completion. It is helpful to
have staff sweep aisleways and tidy loose packing materials, etc., in slow periods. Also,
personnel must be on the lookout for leaning stacks, collapsed packages or stacks,
leakages or spills, etc., which must be address as quickly as possible.

E.

Dealing with Emergencies

Even if the ICD employs all the rules and policies outlined above, there is no way to
eliminate all possibility of accident or emergency, and so, the ICD must have emergency
procedures and precautions in place to respond to any such occurrence. There are four
aspects of note.

11

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-11

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

1. First Aid
It is the responsibility of the ICD to provide satisfactory first aid supplies for the
company staff. The provisions are dependent on the size of the depot and the
number of employees on staff. The services can range from a full-scale medical
facility on the high end to a partly staffed first aid post on the low end. However,
there is a minimum requirement of distinctly marked first-aid kits located in clear
and accessible places throughout the ICD, preferable located at or near high
incidence areas. The kits should be fully supplied at all times and someone
should be in charge of checking and refilling the kits on a routine basis. In
addition, there should be trained employees located in the various working units of
the ICD that are outfitted with first aid kits. Staff should be trained in first aid and
emergency treatment.
2. Fire-Fighting
The depot should be equipped with standard fire-fighting equipment such as fire
extinguishers, hoses and other relevant gear. Fire extinguishers should be
appropriate for the location at which they are to be used and for the type of fire
most likely to occur at that location. All employees should be trained regularly in
the use of fire extinguishers.
3. Emergency Rescues
Another emergency response that may be needed at the work site is the rescue of
a sick or injured person. Employees must be trained in first response actions and
the ICD management must ensure that full safety stops are called in the event of
an accident or incident requiring the access of first-aid people. It is also
necessary to have a duty firs-aider present and assisting in any emergency.
4. Emergency Services
Emergency procedures must also be in place in those cases that emergency
service providers are required within the depot. The procedures include the
following:12

12

As soon as the emergency services are called, the terminal gatehouse and
duty security officer must be warned to be ready to receive them.
At the same time, the control centre must be contacted, to report that the
emergency has occurred and to request a full safety stop.
The services must then report to the main entrance, where an escort vehicle
will be waiting to escort them to the scene of the incident, or to a prearranged
meeting point.
Other terminal staff should stay at the reception point, in case further
emergency vehicles arrive later.
Radio silence, other than messages in connection with the incident, must be
observed throughout.

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-12

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

F.

Dangerous Goods Handling

One final section for discussion with respect to safety is the handling of dangerous
cargoes. There are a number of cargoes which come under the heading of dangerous
cargo. These cargoes have the potential of harming people and the environment if they
are not handled and packaged properly. Their effects can be self-induced or caused by
reactions with other dangerous or non-dangerous cargoes. Some categories of
dangerous cargoes are:

Petroleum products
Chemicals which can cause poisoning, asphyxiation, burns, corrosion, fire and
explosion
Minerals which can cause respiratory diseases as well as other physical
conditions
Animal products which can cause allergic reactions or which can carry toxins
such as anthrax
Plant products which can cause respiratory and allergic reactions or which
produce a fire hazard when dry
Radioactive materials

There are safe methods of transporting these materials and the precautions include
correct packaging and marking, correct handling and securing and proper
documentation.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) publishes and recurrently updates a
document called the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, which
classifies dangerous goods into a small number of groups. Each group has a
characteristic set of dangers with common safe methods of handling, including packing
and emergency response. The IMDG Code provides a listing of dangerous goods,
which are categorized by the type of hazard they pose. The Code also presents
technical details on handling and transport for each category of dangerous goods.
There are nine broad categories of dangerous goods outlined in the Code. These are
called IMDG classes.
Class 1 goods: Explosives
Class 1.1: mass explosion hazard
Class 1.2: projection hazard, not mass explosion
Class 1.3: fire hazard, minor blast/projection hazard, not mass explosion
Class 1.4: no significant hazard
Class 1.5: very insensitive, but mass explosion hazard
Class 2 goods: Gases
Class 2.1: flammable gases
Class 2.2: non-flammable compressed gases
Class 2.3: poisonous gases
Class 3 goods: Flammable Liquids
Class 3.1: Flashpoint below -18C (0F)
Class 3.2: Flashpoint in range -18C (0F) to <23C (73F)

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-13

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

Class 3.3: Flashpoint in range 23C (73F) to 61C (141F)


Class 4 goods:
Class 4.1: Flammable solids
Class 4.2: solids/liquids spontaneously combustible
Class 4.3: dangerous when wet
Class 5 goods:
Class 5.1: oxidizing substances (oxidizing agents)
Class 5.2: organic peroxides
Class 6 goods:
Class 6.1: poisonous substances
Class 6.2: infection substances
Class 7 goods: Radioactive Materials
Class 8 goods: Corrosives
Class 9 goods: Miscellaneous, Marine Pollutants (MARPOL)
In addition to listing these classes, the IMDG Code also provides IMDG labels for each
class and sometimes sub-class. The labels are in the shape of a diamond and are
coloured white, orange, yellow, blue, green or red or combinations thereof. Also
included on the label is a symbol, which illustrates the danger associated with that class.
The IMDG Code also classifies the type of packaging called product containment
used to transport goods and indicates which packaging can be used for each type of
dangerous good. There are five product containment categories.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Conventional packages
Intermediate bulk containers
Portable tanks and road tank vehicles, for liquids and gases
Bulk packaging and portable tanks for solid dangerous goods
Limited quantities.

The Code also provides a division of dangerous materials into packaging groups PGs.
The categories are:

PG I for great danger


PG II for medium danger
PG III for minor danger

For correct and safe handling to occur, not only does the cargo require correct
packaging, labeling and marking, it is also necessary for the handling depot to be
notified in advance of the arrival of the dangerous cargo, preferable no later than 24
hours before expected arrival. This facilitates proper preparations for the receipt of the
consignment as well as the proper handling of the load. The IMDG Code provides a list
of the information that is required prior to cargo arrival. It includes:13
13

PDP, ILO, 1999.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-14

Advisory Services to Intermodal Transport Service Providers

1. The materials proper shipping name


2. The IMDG class (including subdivision where there is one) and any subsidiary
risks; remember that one material could present the hazards of more than one
class
3. The UN number (or BC number instead, as relevant)
4. The packaging group, where applicable (for Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8, 9)
5. The number and type of packages
6. The total quantity of dangerous goods, by volume (eg litres) or mass (weight, eg
kgs)
7. The flashpoint (for materials with a FP of 61 C or below) or other additional
hazards not already stated
8. The words marine pollutant, if applicable (and, if the goods are declared under
an N.O.S. entry, the correct technical name of the pollutant must be added in
brackets)
9. A declaration, signed on behalf of the shipper, that the consignment is properly
described, classified, packaged, marked and labelled (and, if relevant, placarded)
and that it is in a proper condition for transport by sea
10. Additional information is sometimes required for explosives, gases, radioactive
materials, empty uncleaned packagings, waste dangerous goods and so on.
The above listed information is usually transmitted through a dangerous goods
declaration that accompanies the main shipping document shipping note from the
shipper. An alternative to the dangerous goods declaration is a dangerous goods note,
which is combined with the shipping note. For goods arriving in a container, a container
packing certificate must be presented at the depot before the container is accepted.
The ICD also has a responsibility to maintain a dangerous goods register that provides
information on the range of dangerous goods stored at any given time, their
corresponding quantities, IMDG class number, storage location and any other relevant
data. This information allows the depot to: check dangerous cargoes upon arrival at the
depot, plan for the special needs for storage of the specific dangerous goods, and
prepare for emergency response to the said dangerous goods.

Intermodal Transport Services to the Interior Project

VI-15