In 1933 the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) was established by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in an effort to educate business people in the development of international and intermodal transport and its practical aspects. (BIC) was established in 1933 as Bureau International des Containers.

Since its establishment, BIC has dealt with all technical and commercial aspects of intermodal transport. In its early years the BIC was primarily active in inland transport (rail and road). Following the war years, the BIC expanded its activities and took on its current name, Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal, focusing on all aspects of intermodal transportation.

BIC has played a major role in the organization of maritime transportation containers since the early 1960s, facilitating commercial exchanges and helping define and standardize areas such as technical control, strength, coding, identification, and the marking of containers.

In 1970, BIC developed a well-structured, reliable alphanumeric system for marking containers known as the ‘BIC-CODE’ system. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) adopted this system in 1972 and entrusted the BIC with the exclusive management of the allocation of the BIC-CODES for international container transport and the publication of its official Register of owners’ codes.

Since the mid-1980s, BIC has also been involved in the development of combined transport (rail-road and barge-road). With its considerable experience in promoting the expansion of containerization, the BIC has been involved at regional and international levels in the further development of this form of intermodal transport.

BIC has also contributed to the development and updating of international conventions which have contributed to the tremendous expansion of containerization:

Customs Convention on Containers (CCC) 1972
Istanbul Convention 1990
Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) 1972


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