A unique, harmonized code to identify container facilities.

Following a major harmonization project conducted in collaboration with the DCSA, the BIC Facility Code database now provides a unique identifier for over 17,000 facilities in 160 countries. The container facilities in the database include structured address data and GPS coordinates and facility geofencing is now underway.

The BIC Facility Code was initiated in the 1980s as the “LoCode” identifier under ISO 9897. Now a “child code” of the UN/Locode, the BIC Facility Code is used to identify container facilities such as depots, container yards, container freight stations, M&R vendors and other facilities in the container supply chain. The BIC Facility Code is complementary to the SMDG Ocean Terminal Code, which is also a child code of the UN/Locode. The BIC Facility Code covers container facility types other than ocean terminals.

What is a BIC Facility Code?

5 Alpha characters of the official UN-LOCODE, maintained by the UNECE, as follows:

  • 2 letters identifying the country (ISO 3166);
  • 3 letters identifying the municipality
  • 4 Alpha characters to define the specific facility.

Note: While not required, those with multiple facilities may wish to use the following format for the final 4 characters:

  • 3 characters identifying the owner/operator of the facility;
  • the last character to distinguish between multiple facilities of the same owner within the same municipality, e.g. ‘A’ for the first physical address, ‘B’ for the second, and so on. Companies with mobile operations may be identified by ‘M’.

The BIC Facility Code uses a 9-character format that builds on the 5-character UN/Locode. The structure is as follows:

Register a Facility Code

Register a facility code to benefit from improved efficiency and security. This global standard allows you to always stay up to date through an accessible API.

Complete the online form to register a BIC Facility Code.


API to access all container facilities

The BIC Facility Codes along with the SMDG Terminal codes are accessible by API, using the API will enable you to automate your lookups or integrate the search for container facilities into your systems.  Details on how to access the two code types can be found in the API spec.

BIC Code Register

Benefits of the Harmonized BIC Facility Code

  1. Provides a unique global identification for each party in the transport chain, and reliable identification of the facility location.
  2. Facilitates lessor-lessee communications to identify on/off-hire facilities.
  3. Allows clear identification of the location at which the container is located at time of transaction.
  1. Facilitates visibility and enhanced service in relation to container repositioning, interchange, repair and maintenance transactions, etc…
  2. Easily accessible via web or API.
  3. Provides a platform for geofencing