Container Yard: A Guide to International Shipping Business

Shipping companies face substantial investments in purchasing and maintaining their containers, which are indispensable to their operations. Container yards (CYs) play a pivotal role in streamlining the logistical challenges associated with container storage, ensuring a smooth flow of cargo from origin to destination.

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Understanding Container Yards (CYs)

Container yards are expansive areas strategically designed to house containers before they are loaded with consignments and dispatched to the port. The primary objective of establishing container yards is to optimize port space utilization by providing a dedicated location for container storage and maintenance.

Location of Container Yards

Container yards are strategically situated in proximity to terminals or inland (dry) ports. This strategic placement minimizes the time and effort required to transport containers to the port, ensuring that they are ready for shipment at the right moment.

Management of Container Yard Activities

Efficient management of container yard activities is crucial for shipping companies to ensure the smooth functioning of their operations. Here are two key aspects of CY management:

  1. Crane Operations

    Yard cranes are invaluable assets for shipping companies, and their optimal utilization is of paramount importance. Companies meticulously track vessel schedules and block schedules to deploy yard cranes efficiently. They aim to minimize unnecessary movements between blocks and ensure that each block receives the necessary crane attention. Today, companies are increasingly adopting dynamic allocation and deployment of yard cranes to adapt to changing schedules and workloads, maximizing their utility.

  2. Space Management

    Container yards often grapple with limited physical storage space. Containers are stacked atop one another using cranes to maximize storage capacity. However, this requires careful planning and execution. The position of each container is strategically determined to facilitate efficient retrieval. Containers in need of maintenance are segregated from those ready for use, ensuring streamlined operations.

CY-CY Shipment: An Overview

In shipping documentation, acronyms such as CY/CY or Door/CY are commonly used to indicate the shipping company's cargo pick-up and drop-off locations. CY/CY denotes that the shipper is responsible for delivering the cargo to the port of origin, where the shipping company takes charge and delivers it at the destination port. This arrangement offers flexibility and clarity regarding cargo handling.

Other Shipping Service Options

Apart from CY-CY shipments, shipping companies offer various cargo shipping options, including:

  • Pickup to Container Yard (Pickup/CY): In this arrangement, the carrier collects the cargo from the shipper's location and manages it until it reaches the designated destination port.
  • Container Yard to Drop-off (CY/Drop-off): Here, the shipping company takes charge of the cargo at the originating port and delivers it directly to the recipient's doorstep.
  • Pickup to Drop-off (Pickup/Drop-off): This comprehensive service entails the shipping company handling the cargo from the shipper's location all the way to the recipient's doorstep, ensuring a seamless end-to-end experience.
  • Container Freight Station to Container Freight Station (CFS/CFS): Primarily utilized for Less than Container Load (LCL) shipments, this option entails depositing the cargo at a Container Freight Station, where the recipient retrieves it from another CFS at their intended destination.


Container yards are essential components of the shipping industry, facilitating efficient cargo management and logistics. Understanding their role and the various shipment options available helps shippers make informed decisions for their shipping needs.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 14 September 2023
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