Lost and stolen containers trackable via database

Containers that have been sold or are lost or stolen, or tied up in a bankruptcy case, can now be easily identified via non-profit database of global container information, BoxTech, managed by the Bureau International des Containers (BIC). It was launched in July 2016 to help shippers meet the demands of the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations for VGM submission.

New features include information on more than 30% of the global container fleet, enable shippers to avoid problems stemming from the inadvertent use of a container that has changed hands or has a “special status” such as being part of a bankruptcy. Users will be alerted if a container has been sold and is no longer part of a company’s fleet. BIC said that both Maersk and CMA-CGM have uploaded information on their entire global container fleet, are now flagging units when they are sold.

A “recovery alerts system” enables users to create a list of containers of interest to search in the database to see if they are involved in a bankruptcy situation, or are lost or stolen. Users can also implement application programming interfaces (APIs) to increased automation of the process to update information and to search the database.