One of the most expensive investments that shipping lines make is buying and maintaining their containers. However, it is also a critical part of their operations. To efficiently manage logistical conundrums around storing these containers, shipping companies develop container yards.
Container yards are vast spaces, used to accommodate containers before they’re packed with consignments and shipped to the port. The purpose of having a container yard is not to take up too much of the valuable space at the port and create a separate space for their storage and maintenance.
The purpose of container yards is to store ‘ready to be loaded’ containers just before they’re shipped off by the shipping line. Hence, in most cases, CYs are located near a terminal or an inland (dry) port.
Yard cranes are used to move the containers within the storage facility. These cranes are one of the most expensive assets of the companies and should be used optimally. Hence, companies perform several yard crane management activities like regularly keeping a tab on the vessel schedules and the schedule for each block. Yard cranes are deployed in a way that they need minimal movement between blocks.
Each block gets its share of yard crane action. However, companies today are moving towards dynamic allocation and deployment of yard cranes as per the changing schedules and workloads to get the most out of them.
One of the constraints that companies face while operating container yards is limited physical storage space. Containers are decked on top of each other with the help of cranes to maximize the space. However, doing this is easier said than done. A lot of factors go into deciding the exact position of a container in a deck. The topmost container will be retrieved first, followed by the one below that, so on and so forth. It is the ideal way of operations that the companies aspire for when they deploy space management techniques. The containers that need maintenance are stored separately from those that are ready to use.
On documents such as the Bill of Lading (BL) or the Letter of Credit (LC), one may find acronyms such as CY/CY or Door/CY. This informs the shipper about the spot where the shipping company will pick their cargo up and drop it. In this particular option, you have to drop off the cargo at the port of origin and the shipping company will hand over the goods to you at the port of destination.
Here’s a look at other different types of cargo shipping options provided by the shipping companies:
Here, the carrier picks up your cargo at your doorstep or your facility. They will handle the shipment up until it reaches the destination port.
The shipping company takes charge of your cargo at the port of origin but will drop it at the doorstep of the receiver.
The shipping company will pick your cargo up at your doorstep and will deliver it to the doorstep of the recipient as well.
Typically used to move Less than Container Load (LCL) shipments, the CFS/CFS option means that the supplier drops the cargo off at a Container Freight Station, and the receiver picks it up from a Container Freight Station at their end.