Progress made in container facility identification standardization

The organizations have achieved a database of over 11,000 facilities in 160 countries. Each facility in the database now has a structured address, GPS coordinates and a 9-character BIC Facility Code assigned to it that can be easily consumed by existing IT systems to facilitate adoption.

Machine learning techniques were used to sanitize and align almost 30,000 facility codes from 10 major carriers and lessorsDCSA Track & Trace standards now refer to the BIC Facility Code to identify places for supply chain events without ambiguity.

The API will enable supply chain participants to make sure their systems are using a unique, standardized code for every container facility. Those wanting to host their own version can subscribe to automatic synchronous updates to ensure they are always up to date.

Moreover, the API serves both the BIC Facility Code and the SMDG Ocean Terminal code lists, meaning the industry can access a one-stop API for the 11,000+ BIC Facility Codes and 900+ SMDG Ocean Terminal Codes.

The BIC Facility Code, or “Locode”, was originally developed under international standard ISO 9897, assigned to the BIC in 1997 and is now a listed “child code” of the UN/Locode. Adoption of the harmonized codes is expected to result in smoother communication between parties, quicker identification of facilities by third parties, and more efficient lessor-leasee communications.

In addition, geo-features are planned, which will make the database more valuable for operators of smart containers or assets looking to automatically confirm the facility in which a container is located, or to enable location-based automation.

Over the last few years our industry’s data silo mentality has rapidly given way to a new appreciation of standardization and the efficient sharing of data.  This new focus has allowed us to conduct a global facility code harmonization we have long wished to complete

stated Douglas Owen, Secretary General of the BIC.

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