FCL -v- CY – a great wrong was done!

The Annual Banking Commission Meeting is over! I am now back home – and the 12 hours flight allowed me to do some reflections.


I will share those over the coming week – especially once the final approved ICC Opinions are out. There is however one issue that is burning.


Somehow I think a great wrong was done yesterday – and I hope that it can still be fixed.


I refer to Draft ICC Opinion TA817 – which I previously discussed at the blog post “(FCL) For CLarification (please)” (http://lcviews.com/index.php?page_id427). Please find the details of the query via that link.


This Draft Opinion was subject to a heated discussion – and the conclusion was that the Conclusion from the Draft Opinions stays – although with some changes to the Analysis.


Of course I do not agree with that – but I am fine with that – respect fully that views can differ.


However during the discussion so many simply wrong statements were made, which have made me realise that it simply is wrong to draft the final Conclusion based on that discussion.


It is simply NEEDED that someone is consulted that knows something about this. Let me offer some example of the wrong statements that was made (of course not linking it to any person):


1: Reference was made to the fact that since the bill of lading does not state “FCL” (Full Container Load) but “only” CY/CY it may in fact be an LCL (Less than Container Load) shipment.

This simply is wrong. When the bill of lading states “CY/CY” it means that the full sealed container is deliver to the container yard of the shipping line at the port of loading – and will be release to the consignee – sealed – as one container to the consignee at the port of discharge.

An LCL shipmen is one where the goods (not in container) is delivered to the container freight station – and the container is packed and sealed by the shipping line. This will normally include goods from different shippers.

At the port of discharge the container is stripped by the shipping line, and goods are released to the individual consignees.

In such case the bill of lading would include the statement “LCL/LCL” or “CFS/CFS”.


2: It was stated that if the container is shipped as FCL – it may not yet have been delivered to the CY (Container Yard).

For the case at hand, the bill of lading has been presented under the LC – showing that the container is “shipped on board” a named vessel. This means that the container is on board the vessel. In order to come to the vessel it must first have been delivered to the CY – Container Yard.


3: It was also said that the bill of lading must state FCL because otherwise one does not know that it is a full container; i.e. there could be 10-15 cbm empty space in the container.

As such this statement express ignorance as to what FCL actually means. It does NOT mean that the container is 100% full; and I guess that can only happen if it is loaded with sand or similar. FCL means that a container has been booked (rather than space in the container). I.e. the shipper to is deliver the container to the shiping line – sealed. In my days as freight forwarder I once shipped an FCL container that only container 4 CBM. The maximum space in a 20’ container is approx. 30 CBM. The reason was that for that particular destination at that time – this was the cheapest!



In other words – I strongly think that this discussion is not suited to make a final decision on the basis of! Therefore I highly recommend that the ICC Banking Commission find one or two sources to consult in this matter. And if so I urge that they find peoples that have some practical experience. I.e. not just lawyers – with only theoretical knowledge on the sucject matter.

Also I think that it is vital to consider how this is asked; i.e. not asking about the theoretical difference between FCL and CY; but to stick to the Query – and as whether a container that includes the codes “CY/CY” is indeed an FCL container.


Message hereby relayed ….


And with this I only have left to wish you all a great weekend – and please take care of each other and the LC.


Kind regards




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