The remarkable beginning of IICL began in the year 1971 when the concept of containerization was just beginning to establish itself as a transportation system. The skill and know-how with handling first invention ships and containers made evident the importance of security and equipment excellence as a main element of the system. The IICL played a gigantic role in establishing International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), and an international contract for keeping containers in a safe condition. The IICL also aided the development of Approved Continuous Examination Programmes (ACEP), and the Harmonized Interpretation of the CSC in addition to the International Maritime Organization. The IICL worked in coordination with the U.S. State Department and Coast Guard to layout CSC laws and rules and U.S. Safe Container Act that executed the convention.
IICL joined hands with the U.S. Treasury with recommendations from the Tax and Legal Committee to set up Model Double Taxation Treaty with a purpose to do away with potential multiple taxation of containers across the globe. The objective of the Committee is to look into the matters of custom on containers to promote their free transportation as a part of international trade among different countries. This objective was formed to go hand-in-hand to scrutinize progress that fall under the Customs Conventions on Containers (1956 and 1972) and the laws in the United States, the European Union and other countries.
IICL is a leader in container standard activities of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and its state-run associates. It has also made its mark in development and uphold of codes used in electronic and transmission of preserving and renewing of containers. IICL also acts as a consultant in the IMO, the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The industry of containerization transport has a major share in global as well as state transportation. In the past fifty years, the whole idea of transporting freight from source to destination in a single large package that passes through multiple modes of transportation without any re-switching of the authentic cargo items has changed the way people look at transportation. Usual cargo transport through the means of water, truck and rail has been taken over by the beginning of containerization that led to enhanced productivity due to decrease in operating costs and damage as an outcome.
Containerization began in 1956 when Malcolm McLean, a trucker businessman was pondering over achieving a cost effective alternate to transport cargo from New Jersey to Texas that had 58 trailer bodies in World War II vintage tanker, the TS Ideal X. This beginning led to the evolution of a refined international transportation system that crossed 100 million units of cargo containers per year.
As a part of the containerized system, nearly 27 million teus are transported in over 14 million vessel slot and are sent through road, rail or water across the globe carting a varied mix of cargo in a protected, locked, proficient and atmosphere-friendly manner. During this period, the industry of container and chassis leasing extended their aid to help containerized trade by bidding superior equipment and services. In the present date, the surrogate value of leased fleet is nearly $20 billion for 12 million and 400,000 chassis in the leased fleet.
To serve customer needs, containers and chassis are made available in large numbers. To meet the cargo needs, the equipment can be opted for by length and height; open-top or closed, flatrack; dry or liquid cargo; refrigerated or ambient; fixed wheelbase or slider, tandem or tri axle; straight frame or drop frame; and other types.
Containerization has contributed to the growth of international trade by increasing transport of consumer goods and raw materials from one place to another. Secure and significant effectiveness of packaging and handling enhanced productivity by minimizing damage with expansion in volumes as an outcome.
Each container and chassis is labeled with an exclusive alpha numeric identity that serves as an identification number of the possessor or the operating firm. This identity is combined with specific shipments and allows access during the supply chain.
Prior to 1956, freight and cargo was loaded and unloaded to and from the pulley of ships with the help of cranes and slings. To aid this, expensive manpower was needed; and the loading & unloading process was tedious and time consuming. With less use of machines and more use of labor increased the risk of damage to cargo and also lost cargo. Malcom McLean, the head of Mc Lean Trucking Company tried out loading 35 foot highway trailers in the ship instead of discharging the freight contents. The cargo was loaded using ancient sling method of loading freight.
The experiment was a success but Malcom soon noticed that the box must be loaded and unloaded with weight only that it could handle and not more than that. This eliminated the role of chassis and wheels. But this mandated the box to be portable from the chassis. Thus, the whole idea of container was incepted. To further this, a revolution in transportation system was needed. This necessitated containers to be designed suitably for all types of cargos, followed by innovation of new methods to load and unload cargos. Ground transportation such as truck and railroad cars was manufactured to transport the containers. This resulted in making the workers adept with new handling techniques of the cargo.
Since then, a benchmark innovation was seen in transportation. Containers were designed keeping in view different types of cargos. The general purpose container is used for non-perishable cargo, refrigerated containers for perishables, open-top containers for dry bulk cargo, tank container for liquid cargo and platform based container for heavy cargo.
Containers are made in a standard size to stuff cargo in order to make loading and unloading easier. The common size of a container is 40 foot whilst the second standard size is 20 foot, most used of which are 40 foot containers.
The exam for IICL Container and Chassis Inspector’s Certification Examinations are held annually at an international level across 70 test centers. Training classes are conducted for students to prepare for this exam to assist their knowledge and preparation. Students can also prefer self study to through themselves in selected manuals and technical bulletins. The inspection examination was initiated by the IICL to further excellence in regard to inspection, restore, protection and operational matters. The exam assesses the knowledge and understanding of the student’s technical aspects and intricacies of sustaining and operating different equipment types.
Students who clear either of the IICL examination will possess a competency certificate recognized at the industry level. This certificate serves as a basis for them to continue their education in the containerization industry and paves way for them to choose a specialization in their field. IICL examination certificate is valid upto a period of five years, after which the inspector has to re-appear for the examination in order to be re-certified.