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CSC ’72

CSC ’72, convention for safe containers

The CSC ’72, “International Convention for Safe Containers” has two fundamental purposes:

  • Maintain a high level of safety of human life in the transport and handling of containers by providing generally acceptable test procedures and related strength requirements which have proven adequate over the years;
  • Facilitate the international transport of containers by road, rail and see, by providing uniform international safety regulations. In this way, proliferation of divergent national safety regulations can be avoided.

The CSC ’72 consists of two annexes:

  • Annex I: contains the regulations for the tests, inspections, approval and maintenance of containers;
  • Annex II: contains the safety requirements and the details of the test procedures.

Wall strength requirements

The CSC ’72 provides minimum resistance requirements for the walls expressed as a fraction of the flow rate P, payload:

  • The front wall and the door end are capable of withstanding an homogeneous load of 0,4P;
  • The side walls are capable of withstanding a uniform load equal to 0,6P.

For example, considering the container shown in the following picture:

Container Max Payload calculation
Container Max Payload calculation

Maximum gross mass: 32.500 kg

Tare mass: 5.000 kg

Payload = Maximum gross mass – Tare mass = 27.500 kg

can withstand the following forces during transportation:

The front wall and the door :

Force = 27.500 x 9.81 x 0.4 = 107.910 N = 10.791 daN

The side walls:

Force = 27.500 x 9.81 x 0.6 = 161.865 N = 16.186 daN

CSC ’72 container walls strength

If the container walls are used as a blocking element, it shall be verified that the blocking capacity of the walls is greater than the required locking capacity, calculated according to EN 12195-1.

Flooring strength

Another important parameter for use is the strength of the container floor.

Typical limit values for containers with wooden floors are:

Axle load: 5.460 kg

Load per wheel: 2.730 kg

Contact surface per wheel: 142 cm2

It is necessary to consider these resistance limits when choosing the forklift, so as not to damage the floor during loading and unloading operations.

If greater floor strength is required, it is necessary to evaluate:

  • The use of a steel floor container. In this case the axial load reaches the value of 9,200 kg, almost double compared to the wooden floor container.
  • The use of an open top or hard top container, which therefore allows loading from above with a bridge crane or crane, without a need to drive into the CTU with the forklift truck.

Anchor points

In some cases it may be necessary to secure the load by lashing, using steel or polyester straps. Containers typically have a limited number of lashing rings or bars. The maximum securing load of each point is equal to at least 1,000 daN in all directions, while the most recent containers have a double strength, equal to 2,000 daN for each ring. When using lashing devices, it shall always be checked that the tensile force developed does not exceed the maximum permissible load of the anchoring point.

The lashing points at the top side rails have a maximum securing load of 500 daN.

There are solutions on the market that involve the use of the corner post of the container as an anchoring point, using specially designed straps to hold loads up to 30 tons. For further information on this solution, called CornerLash, go directly to the cordstrap manufacturer page.

Testing requirements

The CSC ’72 requires passing a series of tests to ensure that the container offers adequate resistance:

  1. lifting from corner fittings
  2. lifting by any other additional method
  3. stacking
  4. concentrated loads
  5. transverse racking
  6. static longitudinal restraint
  7. end-walls
  8. side-walls

Containers tested in accordance with ISO 1496 are considered to have been tested in accordance with the CSC ’72.

CSC safety approval plate

Containers complying with the CSC ’72 shall bear the CSC safety approval plate permanently affixed to the rear, where the following information are indicated:

  • Date manufactured
  • Identification number
  • The maximum gross mass
  • The allowable stacking mass
  • Racking test load value

Below is a facsimile of the plate.

CSC '72 safety approval plate
CSC ’72 safety approval plate

In some cases, the date of the next examination date (NED) is also displayed, as explained below.

Examination procedures

To maintain an adequate level of safety during transport, containers are subjected to periodic inspections to verify the integrity of the structure and the proper functioning of the equipment.

There are two possibilities for inspection, as specified in the CSC ’72:

Inspections at fixed intervals, PERIODIC EXAMINATION SCHEME (PES):

the container shall be subjected to an initial inspection within 5 years from the date of manufacture and every 30 months thereafter. In this case, the container label must show the date of the next inspection, NEXT EXAMINATION DATE (NED), as shown in the image below.

CSC '72 safety plate showing the "Next Examination Date"
CSC ’72 safety plate showing the “Next Examination Date”


examinations are carried out, according to a program approved by the competent authority, during normal operation. In this case, the plate does not show the NEXT EXAMINATION DATE (NED), but shows the initials ACEP followed by the initials of the country that issued the approval and the approval number, as shown in the example below.

CSC '72 safety plate with reference to ACEP examination program
CSC ’72 safety plate with reference to ACEP examination program

The following photo shows an example of CSC’72 plate with reference to the ACEP program.

CSC'72 safety plate example
CSC’72 safety plate example

Un container che non riporta sulla targhetta l’iscrizione al programma di manutenzione ACEP e la cui data di revisione periodica è scaduta, non deve essere utilizzato.

A container that does not show the registration to the ACEP examination program on the plate and whose periodic examination date has expired, shall not be used.