Proper Technical Maintenance of Freight Containers and Safe Stuffing Practices - SSB No.: 01/2014

PDF Version

RDIMS No .: 9072597
Date ( Y-M-D ): 2014-03-11

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  1. Experience has shown Transport Canada that:
    • Some freight containers suffer damage during stuffing. For example, some routine practices developed for convenience of stuffing operations may cause dents or other damage to containers, such as a bulk container’s side walls bulging due to overloading.
    • Some damaged containers may become non-compliant with the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972 and unsafe for transportation.
  2. Transport Canada reminds all parties involved in stuffing freight containers for transport that the Safe Containers Convention Act and its Regulations state that you may use only freight containers in proper technical condition.
  3. Where you have significant evidence that a container’s condition creates an obvious risk to safety, you must immediately withdraw it from service until it is restored to a safe condition.
  4. If a Marine Safety Inspector concludes that a loaded container’s questionable technical condition exceeds tolerance levels, you run the risk of it being detained for inspection, possible repairs and recertification.
  5. To ensure safe transportation of containerised cargoes and to avoid delays and additional charges resulting from detention and possible re-stuffing, you should:
    • Always maintain containers in sound technical condition by applying proper stuffing procedures and using safe methods for securing cargoes inside containers; and
    • Never overload containers and/or their individual structural members.
  6. To protect containers’ safety certifications, we recommend that all parties involved with stuffing operations:
    • Follow the IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units; and
    • Develop proper stuffing procedures that do not compromise the integrity of containers.

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Proper Technical Maintenance of Freight Containers and Safe Stuffing Practices (74 KB )

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Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:
1. Container
2. Cargo Transport Unit
3. Safe Stuffing
4. Maintenance
Cargoes and Ship/Port Interface Marine Safety
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Contact us at: or 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).