The freight forwarding industry is becoming increasingly aware of the various advantages of SOC containers as more and more companies are starting to use them. To quote the Christian Roeloffs, the Container xChange CEO, “The rise in awareness for SOCs shows that industry participants are responding to the supply-chain pressures by diversifying their sourcing strategy.” As the equipment shortage continues to persist, the demand for Shipper Owned Containers has become stronger. In today’s post, we are going to talk about the use of SOC containers and how they can benefit the sea freight shipping sector.
What are SOC Containers?
SOC Containers are owned by the shipper themselves as opposed to Carrier Owned Containers (COC) that are owned by the carrier companies. In other words, the SOC containers are owned either by the shipping company or by the manufacturer or importer/exporter. They are the property of the shipper who only needs to pay the carrier for a slot in trucks or ships.
Now the question is why should the shipper need to purchase the container when they can rent it from the carriers? The answer is simple- SOC containers offer several advantages.
Advantages of SOC Containers
Avoid demurrage/detention charges
Demurrage and detention charges are added to a shipment as soon as it surpasses the number of free days. These charges will keep accumulating until the container reaches the consignee’s destination. Demurrage is the charge the shipper pays for using a container within the terminal exceeding the free time period. Detention, on the other hand, is the charge paid for the container outside the terminal and beyond the free time period. With SOC containers, the shippers are not obliged to move and/or return the containers within a specific time frame.
No need to worry about container availability
With SOC containers the shipper does not need to worry about container availability. This can be especially useful during the peak seasons when there’s a lack of empty containers in the market. The shipper just needs to book the space on the ship and the shipments are good to go.
Easily ship to remote locations
Shipping to remote locations can pose a problem for shippers. This is because the cargo flow to remote areas is not constant. As a result, shippers at times need to wait for days before sourcing a container. Moreover, there are carriers who provide containers for remote locations at exorbitant rates. With SOC containers this problem doesn’t come into the picture. They can be extremely useful for moving cargoes to areas where the carriers are unable or unwilling to provide containers.
Control of ownership
SOC containers allow the shippers to determine which containers they need for which time frame. In other words, they give shippers the choice to decide whether to buy the box or just lease it depending on their requirements.
In conclusion, we can say that SOC containers give the shipper complete freedom to make any decision regarding the shipment. They offer more control, and flexibility in operations. Most importantly, one-time buying of the containers relieves the shippers from worries about peak season or container shortage.
The Coop’s SOC Masterclass
The Cooperative Logistics Network has started providing freight forwarding courses in partnership with prestigious educational associations such as Container xChange and CIFFA. These courses aim to give agents the possibility of reaching new goals and confidence while conducting their business. It will help to boost their productivity, enhance their skills, and prepare their team for greater responsibilities.
The Coop members registering for one or more of CIFFA courses will get free access to the SOC Container Masterclass provided by Container xChange. This masterclass is an exhaustive training regarding the handling of Shipper Owned Containers. It will provide learners with a general overview of Shipper Owned Containers and Demurrage & Detention fees. The 6 pre-recorded videos with summaries, will help to expand your knowledge of SOC Containers.
Attend The Cooperative Logistics Network’s Masterclass on SOC containers provided by Container xChange for an in-depth understanding on this topic.