“Samskip would like to reassure its customers that all of its 45 ft containers conform to the EU Directive 96/53 and therefore can be transported without hindrance by road, rail or barge throughout Europe. There is no question regarding their legality either now or in the future,” said the Icelandic operator.
According to Samskip, since 1996 all of its 45 ft containers and those of companies it has recently acquired, such as Geest North Sea Line, Seawheel and Van Dieren Marine, have had specially adapted corner posts and castings that meet all EU road vehicle regulations. A large number of standard 45ft containers built by ocean carriers, on the other hand, do not conform to the new directive.
“[In 2006] a lobby campaign was mounted on behalf of the deep-sea lines to legitimise 45 ft containers with conventional corner posts and corner castings. It is apparent from feedback received by Samskip that the resultant press coverage has clearly confused many European shippers,” said the company.
“It does seem that the EU is now minded to allow conventional 45 ft deep-sea containers to be moved by road, but only on a national basis and only for a limited period. To encourage intermodalism, special arrangements will need to be established if such containers are to be moved by road between different EU countries. Clarification is still needed on a number of points and member states will be the final arbiters.”