Any disruption in the continuous flow of inventory has huge consequences and terminals are a good example of that.
One of the biggest issues that is being debated is of detention charges. It normally happens when a container is out of the terminal for an extended period and shipping lines are charging the amount (Fixed or Proportional) to cover for the opportunity cost.
It is estimated that total inventory around the globe is 24.4 million TEUs of containers, out of which (11.39 million) are owned by shipping lines (Carriers). The remaining are leased by several companies. Maersk is the leader as they own 2.36 million TEUs, and when it comes to leasing containers, MSC has leased 2.83 million. The containers that are either owned or leased by shipping lines are called COCs (carrier-owned containers). There is another way of booking shipments that is less known is called SOCs (shipper-owned containers).
There are some advantages and disadvantages in using SOCs. Below are some of the key facts
1. The biggest advantage of using SOCs is it provides a stop clock when it comes to detention charges.
This is very important especially when an importer has a large project at a remote location far from the port or depot. A large number of containers arrive at the same time in batches and importers will have limited time to return them to terminals. SOCs are useful for projects where it is difficult to return the containers where they came from.
2. Easy Re-use of a container.
Once an SOC is used, it also provides the opportunity to reuse their equipment in job sites for storage or even being creative by turning them into temporary offices.
3. SOCs allow containers to be sold locally.Once SOCs are unloaded, the importer can sell the containers locally to recover some of the extra cost. However, this takes time and efforts.