SOC Containers vs COC Containers

SOC Containers and COC Containers are the two most talked-about topics. And this bewilderment amongst people made me write an article that could give a piece of detailed information about both. Several FAQs brim the mind every time we encounter the need of freight shipment. A huge number of risks and challenges associated with cargo shipment make it mandatory to ponder over a few thoughts chasing mind. Choosing between SOC and COC is one such question that fills our mind with immense confusion. Since both SOC and COC possess a discrete set of pros and cons, shippers often get confused as to which can be truly best for their freight forwarding. 

In fact, it’s wise to consider and reconsider this before making a final decision. Although you might have heard both the terms earlier, most people are still unfamiliar or know very little about the benefits and challenges associated with them. Through this article, we will try to explain every pros and cons of SOC & COC to help you get a deeper insight into them.

What is SOC?

SOC is Shipper’s Owned containers which means a container owned by shippers himself and not the carrier company. 

Suppose you have to ship your consignment to the USA and instead of using the carrier’s container, you bring your own box, that is called Shipper’s Owned Containers.

There are various ways through which you can ship your consignment. You can get your freight consolidated in other’s containers, you can hire a carrier’s container, or you can bring your own boxes.

But why would someone bring his own box when carrier companies already have ample of boxes. That is where the whole centric point of using SOC Containers lies. Owning SOC Containers gives you tremendous advantages

1. Avoid demurrage and detention

Demurrage and detention are the two such charges that if imposed can ruin up the entire budget. 

Demurrage is the charge issued when your cargo rest sitting at the cargo terminal beyond the allotted time while detention is the fee imposed by the carriers for prolonged use means keeping the equipment for more than the contractual time frame or could also mean holding trucks for extra time.

These rates if not taken care of can exceed up to USD150/day. For example- if you buy a used container that costs around USD1700, it doesn’t keep you away from these charge escalations. While taking SOC Containers could yield this benefit.

It can happen due to various reasons:

Custom Clearance

Most often, the customs clearance process takes anywhere from 12 to 48 hours. But sometimes, your containers may have to rest for days if the inspection officer suspects any doubt. 

But Custom releases are not always guaranteed. Customs officers visit many sites during the day and process their releases in the afternoon. There are various conditions in which your shipment can be rejected and can be held for days. 

Short time rejection

This occurs when detail is fed into the entry mismatch with the detail given in the paper. The information on both the side needs to be one to one same or has some strong proof in case of mismatch. In such a case, the customs team informs the broker, and a change to the entry is demanded. 

Permanent rejection

Several reasons lead to permanent rejection of shipment. It could be-

  • Mis-declaration of cargo

The product name mentioned in the paper must match with the real product. Declaring a wrong cargo name is severely punishable. Not only the shipment is rejected from custom but the case can be escalated to a higher authority where you may have to end up paying a penalty. 

  • Under-valuing of cargo

The price, weight, volume, and other necessary details should be accurate. Undervaluing of cargo leads to suspicion and can your cargo can be rejected permanently by custom officials. 

  • Import of restricted products 

Some countries prohibit the import of certain kinds of products for health and safety reasons. In such a case, you will have to either ship them back to the port of origin or have the goods destroyed by the CBSA at your own expense. 

2. Freight Consolidation

Freight consolidation is a method by which various shippers within a particular geographic region combine their goods into a single container which is then shipped to the destination port where the consolidated goods are broken and handed to the authorized holder. In this case, shippers often have to wait for containers to get full.

Suppose you loaded your container today and other shippers are still to bring their product and load them to depart the container. In this case, you are likely to face some delay and can have penalties. More the number of days for which your container will be held in terminals, the more container operator is going to charge. At this point, SOC Containers can be a boon for you.

Usually, freight consolidation is proposed by the carrier company. So, he should be responsible for the delay charges. 

3. Shipping to the remote location

In hinterland or remote locations, the flow of shipment and containers carrying them is not constant. Since they’re not the high surplus area, transportation could not be so flexible. A vessel operator won’t like to incur a loss by carrying two to three containers to and from. You may have to wait for days for the vessel to get completely stacked with containers. These locations are known to have high process uncertainty with slow custom procedures and unreliable port operators. Using a SOC for remote locations can keep you away from any uncertainties like this.

4. Port Congestion

Overcapacity comes along the high season. During high/peak season, the rate of import and export significantly rise where some containers are loaded and unloaded onboard and from the vessel respectively. Port congestion is likely to occur because, with the increasing shipment, the customs clearance is delayed. And containers can be held in the terminal for days levying you to pay for demurrage and detention charges. Thus, SOC boxes also helps you during port congestion (especially during the peak season) by keeping your money in your pocket.

What are COC Containers?

COC is the abbreviation used for Carrier Owned Containers. We call it COC Containers when the boxes are owned specifically by the carrier companies. In which, majority of the controls are in the hands of the carriers. 

Since COC Containers are owned by carrier companies, shippers are bound to follow some instructions regarding time and its usage stated by the carriers. 

Let say you have to ship automobiles to America; you do not have your own container and you decided to ship them with the help of carrier’s boxes. The carrier company will take the handle of your cargo by giving you a receipt called BOL and other important documents. He will load the cargoes in his own boxes and ship them to the mentioned location- the container used for this kind of shipment will be called COC Containers. 

Any sort of delay or damage to the container will make you liable to pay. With COC comes to the two most horrible charges called- demurrage and detention, which if not controlled can exceed beyond the value of your actual cargoes.

Benefits of using COC Containers

There are certain benefits of using COC but not as much as SOC.

No worries for storage space

When you do not own any box, you do not need to worry about the storage space. COC is the carrier’s property and its carrier company that takes care of the storage space of their boxes. With fluctuating import and export demand, and temporary business need, COC can work worthy.

Free from container repositioning

After the goods have been delivered to the port of destination, it is the carrier’s responsibility to take care of the boxes. The consignee does not need to worry about the boxes anymore. It is returned to the carrier’s container depot and there are no further obligations of the consignee. 

Offer Discount

During some low season or places where uncertain shipments result in an overstock of empty containers at the carrier’s port- you can even earn some discount. Due to the surplus number of empty containers, carriers look for getting more customers by offering discounts. Even shippers help the carrier evacuate some boxes by using it for export cargoes. 

Which one to choose?

When it comes to choosing between the two – SOC Containers tend to win more votes. This is because of the several advantages offered by it. SOC boxes give its owner the complete right to make any decision regarding the box, shipment, and other things as well. It allows for full control, flexibility, and freedom. You not only save on cost but also you escape from additional penalties like demurrage and detention charges. One time buying can yield you years of benefits. The aforementioned pros of SOC explain well that why should you buy a SOC Containers.

How can I acquire SOC Containers?

With the increasing surge in international trade and shipping requirements, the number of container suppliers has increased gradually. Whether in port location or inland various suppliers around the world can supply you with SOC boxes. Many carriers have even started to offer SOC equipment. To get SOC, you can go directly to suppliers like traders. But we would not suggest to travel a difficult path when you can get them in the easiest possible way.

Now SOC container is just a few clicks away

At we help you acquire SOC Container with greater ease and flexibility. is an open market place for the sale and purchase of shipping containers online. It lets you trade containers from anywhere in the world. The plethora of container types lined by it allows you to choose containers based on your required types and dimensions. The multiple price negotiation enables you to save a lot of money that you could spend buying from somewhere.


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