BIC and IANA collaborate to standardise intermodal facility IDs

The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) and the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) have agreed to collaborate on a project to standardise the identification of terminals, ramps, container yards and depots in the United States.

Each facility in IANA’s Intermodal Facilities Directory now has a structured address, GPS coordinates, a 9-character BIC Facility Code along with its pre-existing IANA location code. Adoption of these codes is hoped to allow quicker identification of facilities by third parties and better visibility for BCOs.

IANA offers API subscriptions to utilise its 1,300 existing Location Codes today, as well as related BIC Facility Codes and SMDG Ocean Terminal Codes. The BIC Facility Code was originally developed as the Locode under international standard ISO 9897, assigned to the BIC in 1997, and is now a listed ‘child code’ of the UN/Locode.

The BIC Facility Code database provides a harmonised facility code, street address and GPS coordinates for over 16,000 container facilities in 188 countries. Assisted by the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), the BIC completed a major harmonisation of container facility codes in November 2020, then launched the joint BIC-SMDG API to provide a single point of access for both the BIC Facility Codes and SMDG ocean terminal codes globally.

“Following the global facility harmonisation project conducted with the support of the DCSA, and the launch of the API, we’re very excited to be working with IANA in North America,” said Douglas Owen, Secretary General of the BIC.

“IANA brings terrific coverage and expertise in the region, enriching the BIC Facility Code database with the IANA network and bringing us closer to our shared goal of the global adoption of data standards in our industry.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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