Difference between ICD, On Dock CY and Off Dock CY

ICD, On Dock CY and Off Dock CY are some terms you might have heard during the course of your day to day work.. Here is an explanation of the difference between them..

An Inland Container Depot, abbreviated to ICD is a dry port based in the hinterland of a country (inland area of a country away from the coast or major rivers) and is equipped to handle full and empty containers..

Containers are moved from the ship to the ICD and vice versa using rail and road networks.. An ICD is recognised by customs and port authorities as an extension of the sea port and customs officials are present in many ICDs..

Customers who are based in the hinterland receive cargoes at ICDs just like the customers based in coastal areas receive cargoes at the seaport.. Customers at ICDs undergo similar customs processes, inspections etc like the coastal areas before receiving delivery of the container.. 

In some countries, an ICD is also referred to as an Off Dock CY..

A typical container movement flow to an ICD is as below..

ICD - Inland Container Depot

 


 

On Dock CY refers to a Container Yard that is situated within the port area.. Containers are off loaded from the ship and moved to the On Dock CY using straddle carriers or trucks and stored there till the receiver takes delivery of the cargo..

A typical container movement flow to an On Dock CY is as below..

Container Yard


 

Owing to the geographical location however, storage costs are generally high at an On Dock CY and therefore in some ports the full and empty containers cannot be stored at the On Dock CY without incurring exorbitant storage charges.. To avoid such high costs the shipping line will move the containers (on receiver’s account and risk for full containers) to a nominated Off Dock CY (ODCY) from where the receivers can take delivery..

Off Dock CY refers to a CY that is situated outside of the port premises but not necessarily inland and this is the slight difference between ICD and Off Dock CY.. An ICD maybe termed as an Off Dock CY, but not all Off Dock CYs are ICDs..

A typical container movement flow to an Off Dock CY is as below..

ODCY - Off Dock Container Yard


 

An Off Dock CY and/or ICD is different from an On Dock CY mainly in terms of the geographical location, size of operation and type of handling equipment used, but all are functionally similar..

 

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

15 comments on “Difference between ICD, On Dock CY and Off Dock CY

  1. hassan says:

    Dear Mr Hariesh

    i am a little confuse about off dock that i understand the line withdraw the ctr from container yard to avoid the high storage fees
    but where this place to storage the cntr ? maybe the warehouse related to line or ICD , also cfs related to Freight forwarder co. is the line work in lcl shipment to have CFS ?

    Thanks

    Hassan

    1. Hello Hassan, off dock cy is a customs bonded depot that stores full containers before it is cleared by the customer.. This is usually a private depot contracted by the shipping line to store their containers and is outside of the port area but not very far..

  2. Mzo says:

    I think CY is cool because its container yard and what does matter is a better understanding of meaning. If you re in the logistics industry you understand better and easily.

  3. There is a correction to your explanation on ICD, Dock CY and off Dock CY. There is no such thing as off Dock CY, at least in India. What you are talking about as off Dock CY is CFS or Container Freight Station. The difference between a CFS and ICD is CFS is located closer to the port whereas ICD is in the hinterland, as correctly pointed out by you.
    Secondly, all containers have to go through Dock CY irrespective of their next destination. Receiver or Line has no choice on it. Containers on landing are kept in Dock CY and removed to CFS or ICD, usually after 2 or 3 days.

    I am a regular follower of your blog and so I took the liberty of making the above clarification.

    You are doing a great work. Keep it up. I have retired from Mumbai Port as Additional Head of Traffic Department and currently running a shipping logistics training institute. So if I can be of any help to you on portside matters please let me know anytime.

    With kind regards,

    1. Hello Sowrirajan (thank you for your words of encouragement and I will take you up on your offer sometime), Suresh, Ramana and Rahul, in the strict sense of the word, CFS refers to Container Freight Station which is a warehouse where LCL goods belonging to various exporters or importers are consolidated (grouped) or deconsolidated (degrouped) before being exported or after being imported respectively..

      Customers will deliver cargo to the nominated CFS for packing in the case of exports or pick up cargo from the nominated CFS after unpacking in the case of imports..

      Off Dock/On Dock CY is mainly concerned with FCLs.. However, there are many terminologies used interchangeably in various countries and it is good to hear and learn from every perspective.. So it is possible that in some countries CFS may be covered within an Off Dock CY..

      Anyone from the rest of the world have a different opinion..??

    2. Essam Hamed says:

      Great clarification, Thanks
      Essam Hamed
      Export manager
      Egypt

    3. You are welcome Essam.. 🙂

    4. Pierrick LE MENS says:

      Hello, thank you for this clarification, I was a bit surprised whilst reading your topic above. Indeed, as you correctly pointed, CFS refers for me, and according to the countries where I am involved in (China in this case), to a dedicated place where LCL goods are consolidated before sea freight, and Container Yard for FCL shipment.

      I was not aware of a “On-CY” and “Off-CY”, thank you for the information, and really convenient & pleasant blog.

    5. Glad to be of help Pierrick.. 🙂

  4. SURESH NAIR says:

    Good article Hariesh
    In Kenya, the off dock cy are called a CFS(container freight station). Containers are moved from the port to these privately owned specify CFS on the request of the consginee. If there is no nomination from the consginee then the shipping line allocates the CFS.

  5. Murthy ramana says:

    In some countries Off Dock CY is also referred to as Container Freight Stations (CFS).

    CFSs is attached to a port and they are located in the near proximity of a port. Both import and export containers are customs cleared at CFS.

    Sometimes , CFS can also be linked to ICD as they (ICDs) are considered as ports (dry port), they way CFSs located in a port area are linked to a port.

    Import laden containers are moved to CFS immediatley after discharge from vessel at port . Carriers take the responsibility of movement of laden import containers from port to CFS.

    This practice is widely in use in India.

    Ramana Murthy

  6. Rahul Shanbhogue says:

    So can we say that an On-dock container yards are nothing but CFS (container freight stations) as known in India and Off-dock container yards are ICDs?

    1. Dorothy says:

      Great clarifications of the ICD and CFS- i totally agree comments by hariesh
      Thank you for your continued expand of information.

    2. Thank you Dorothy.. 🙂

You may also like :