FIATA Publishes Best Practices on Container Shipping and the Quality of Containers

Press Release
2 April 2019

2 April 2019 - Zurich, Switzerland - At its Annual Headquarters Session, held in Zurich, on March 28th, the FIATA Multimodal Transport Institute (MTI) released its Best Practices Guide on Container Shipping and the Quality of Containers. This is MTI 2nd Volume of Best Practices being the first related to demurrage and detention.

The FIATA Working Group Sea Transport has produced this second Guide to assist both FIATA National Associations and their individual Member freight forwarders.

FIATA Working Group Sea noticed that the quality of containers provided by shipping lines in global container shipping has decreased significantly. One has to come to the conclusion that shipping lines are cutting cost in the maintenance of their equipment.

Whilst there are clear obligations for the shipping lines to provide empty containers that are “fit for purpose”, the quality of containers released by container depots (usually subcontracted by shipping lines) are often not acceptable and there are practical considerations that frequently lead to disputes, additional costs and above all to disruptions and consequent delays in the supply chain.

Similar to the first best practise guide, this document aims to examine the current situation and outline best practices that could be implemented voluntarily by all parties moving cargo through ports. These best practices may help reduce inefficient behaviour that lead to delays and unnecessary supply chain costs.

Mr Jens Roemer, Chairman of the Working Group Sea, of the Multimodal Transport Institute, of FIATA, and one of the authors of this Best Practice said: “The objective of FIATA is to recommend “best practices” that should be considered by commercial partners in their relations and dealings. We are convinced this will be a helpful tool to the national associations and to the freight forwarders on their daily business.”

For access to the newly published guide, please click

Media Contact:

Stephen Morris, Acting Director General

Email: [email protected] 


FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, was founded in Vienna, Austria on May 31st, 1926.  It is a non-governmental organisation that today represents an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing around 10 million people in some 160 countries. FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (inter alia ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA, etc.), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) as well as many other UN related bodies, e.g. the World Bank. It is recognised as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organisations, governmental authorities, private international organisations in the field of transport and logistics, such as the European Commission (through CLECAT), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.

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Glattbrugg, 2 April 2019