ISO/TC104/SC4 N 293
Proposal of the ISO standard NWI for
Freight containers – Coding of mechanical seal
1. Why we need a unique container mechanical seal number
2. Current status of container mechanical seal number
3. The draft for Freight containers – Coding of mechanical seal
This new work item will develop a standard for specifying an unique coding system for
freight container mechanical seal.
This new work item will form a new standard to regulate mechanical container seal coding,
so as to make the code become unique number for container seal identification, to realize
effective seal identification to improve supply chain management.
1. Why we need a unique container mechanical seal number:
Currently, container seal number is created by seal manufacturer or users (e.g. carriers).
There is not consistent specification to create it, the seal number created by different company is
totally different. These will result in:
The seal number might be repetitive;
There is not CRC checkout algorithm, so when the seal number is inputted into computer,
the computer can not judge this number is correct or not;
Current the code length of freight container seal is variable, and the format is different, this
will result in confusion for computer memory record and computer processing.
This may cause further problems on the aspect of transport safety and security.
Shippers, freight forwarders,
Transport and logistics companies,
Customs and other government agencies
Referring to container number coding rule, to create speciation for coding container seal
number, including CRC for computer processing and checking.
Generally, there is no technical barrier for this NWI.
2、 Current status of container mechanical seal number
Currently, container mechanical seal number is created by seal manufacturer or users (e.g.
carriers). The container seals provided by different vendors are totally different. Some seal
numbers marked on the seal are listed as Table 1.
Table 1 Container number, seal number and container owner
container owner container number seal number length
ECMU 940887 6 CMA-CGM 3526058 14
FSCU 467274 3 YANGMING（one side） 10
FSCU 748648 6 CQ TALLY（one side） 13
YMLU 458166 9 YANGMING（one side） 10
HMCU 903330 3 CQ TALLY（one side） 13
IRSU 438919 2 CQ TALLY（one side） 13
APHU 713395 3 AA 1550617 9
BSIU 900500 0 MSL 901514 9
DFSU 216935 4 MSL 846043 9
EMCU 964971 8 MSL913324 9
CLHU 316178 3 MSL 421649 9
CLHU 847772 7 CMA-CGM 3528258 14
GVCU 203027 5 MSL 845290 9
CCLU 631524 4 CHINA SHIPPING H 452080 7
CMAU 900639 1 CMA-CGM 3528209 14
CRXU 914383 9 CMA-CGM 3527571 14
GATU 030258 3 WANHAI 10
HDMU 221408 7 HMM 8
HLXU 631098 3 HL 8
INKU 261534 6 MO99567 7
KKFU 108615 7 KLINE 8
LTIU 252800 1 MSL 914092 9
MSKU 967544 3 MAERBK 12
NYKU 600114 8 NYK LOGISTICS 9
PCLU 802155 0 PIL 7
SKLU 030070 9 HONG TU 12
TCKU 911502 2 MSL 913087 9
TCKU 934639 8 MO99549 7
TCNU 845314 3 COSCO（one side） 11
Container mechanical seals
3、The draft for Freight containers – Coding of mechanical seal
To develop specification for unique container seal number, build uniform coding rule for
Refer to container number coding rule, to create speciation for coding container seal
number, including CRC for computer processing and checking.
Table 2 The Draft for Freight Container- coding of freight container seal
segment content length Description
1 Country Code 2 characters The Country of the Seal Manufacturer belong to (2
2 Seal 3 characters The Seal Manufacturer which is issued by
Manufacturer organization authorized by government in certain
Container Owner Code is issued by BIC in Paris.
Instead of, Container Seal Manufacturer Code is issued by its belonged country.
This is simple and easy since it need not to find an international organization to
issue the code.
3 Seal type 1 character Used to distinguish different type of container seal
including seal types defined in ISO PAS 17712.
4 Series 8 characters? Seal quantities is much more than container
number quantities, so we must reserve enough numbers for
5 checkout 1 character CRC checkout
1) How to define the country code?
Answer: Use a 2-characters to represent country;
Follow the ISO 3166-1:2006 (Codes for the representation of names of countries and their
subdivisions) to define country code.
Country Code Full name
Australia AU Commonwealth of Australia
China CN The people’s republic of China
Denmark DK Kingdom of Denmark
France FR French Republic
Germany DE Federal Republic of Germany
Russia RU Russian Federation
Singapore SG Republic of Singapore
United States US United States of America
United Kingdom GB United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
2) How to define seal manufacturer code?
Use a 3-characters code to define seal manufacturer.
Who to issue this code?
Follow the regulation of Container Owner issued in BIC. Seal Manufacturer also registered in
BIC and distributed certain code.
The Container Seal Manufacturer Code is issued by its belonged country.
The organization (e.g. Container Standard Organization) in every country take responsibility
to issue the code to Container Seal Manufacturer. Seal manufacturer registered in certain
authorized organization in its country.
This is simple and easy since it need not to find an international organization to issue the
3) How to define the Type of container seal?
Answer: Use 1 character to describe the type of container seal.
A: mechanical seal with high security;
B: mechanical seal with general security;
C: mechanical seal with symbol only;
4) How to define the series number of container seal?
Use 8(?) characters to define the series number of container seal.
Seal quantities is much more than container quantities, so we must reserve enough
numbers for mass seals’ number.
Just like Container Owner can registered several code, the Seal Manufacturer can also
registered several code to reserve enough power to avoid duplication of seal number.
5) How to calculate the checkout number for container seal number?
Follow ISO 6346 (Freight Container - Coding，Identification and Marking );
Adopt the same calculation CRC algorithm which used for Container Number.
SAMPLE: 1)+2)+3)+4)+5) = CN WHS A 12345678 7