BIC container lines LoCodes




The international party identification and location codes used for standardized communication related to containers have been maintained by the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) since 1987 and were standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1990.

The codes form an essential part of the ISO 9897 standard : “Freight Containers: Container Equipment Data Exchange (CEDEX) – General Communication Codes”. ISO 9897 also includes the codes used for operational container transactions including maintenance and repair messages, repair status, etc.

The LoCode is comprised of:

5-Alpha the official UN-LOCODE, maintained by the UNECE of which:

  • 2 letters identifying the country (ISO 3166);
  • 3 letters identifying the location.

4-Alpha of which:

  • 3 letters identifying the owner/operator, either by their registered BIC-code or by an alternative company code assigned by the BIC;
  • The last letter being ‘A’ for the first physical address at a location, ‘B’ for the second and so on if there is more than one physical site per company in that specific location. Companies with mobile operations are identified by ‘M’. Container leasing companies may use ‘L’ as the last letter.

Example: FRPARABCA, for: ABC Depot, located in Paris, France.

It ensures

  • Unique identification for each party in the transport chain, and reliable identification of the facility location.

It permits

  • The identification of the interchanging parties, whether owner or principal operator or company, to which the container has been interchanged.
  • The identification of the location at which the container is physically residing at time of transaction.

It facilitates

  • The operation of containers by computerized systems at interchange points of the container transportation chain.
  • Visibility and enhanced service in relation to container repositioning, interchange, repair and maintenance transactions, etc.

It is accepted by

  • All companies owning or operating containers using data-enabled equipment management and most companies providing computerized management systems.

It is used

  • In over 70 countries by over 3400 depots, terminals and other service companies.

It is always available for consultation

  • The complete list of the BIC-LOCODEs is displayed and updated on a real-time basis on the BIC website:

Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal

41, Rue Réaumur, 75003 PARIS, FRANCE
Tel: +33 147 660 390 | Fax: +33 147 660 891

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