What is a cy-cy term in shipping?

The Meaning and Usage of CY-CY Term in Shipping

CY-CY terms are used in international transportation of goods through ships. It stands for container yard to container yard. The goods meant for international transportation through maritime shipping reach the container yard at the port of origin and are then transported to the container yard at the destination port. The shipper, shipping company, ocean carrier, and consignee actively participate in this international transportation of goods. In some cases, the exporters and importers are responsible for delivering and picking up the cargo to and fro the port of origin and destination, respectively. In this case, it is said that the goods move from one container yard to another, which is termed CY–CY in the maritime industry. Let us learn more about the CY-CY term in shipping. 

What is a container yard? 

The containers unloaded from ships or ready to be loaded onto ships cannot be left on the quay. Container yards are maritime facilities on shipping ports built to accommodate these shipping containers. Before being loaded onto ships for voyages and after being unloaded from ships, the containers are temporarily stored at the container yards for containerisation, container unloading and container inspections. Shipping ports witness a significant amount of vessel traffic daily, depending upon the location and size of the port. Since containers for intermodal transportation need to wait for some time before being loaded onto a different transport, the container yard acts as a temporary storage facility for the container.  They are also known as container terminals and prime storage locations for shipping containers bound for transhipment of goods. Container yards are popular for connecting road and waterways transport for transshipment but do not have connectivity to the rail network. Let us learn more about the CY-CY term in shipping container yards. 

What does the CY-CY term in shipping mean? 

CY is an acronym for container yard, also known as a container terminal. Generally, transporting goods on international waters involves using two container yards, one on the exporters’ end and the other on the importers’ end. The exporter brings the consignment to the container yard at the origin port for packing and loading into shipping containers. Upon reaching the destination port, the shipping containers are unloaded from the ships and moved to the container yard, from where the consignee takes on the responsibility of the shipment. Shipping companies or ocean carriers are hired to pack and transport cargo from one port to another.  

Container yard to container yard is an arrangement where the shipper and the consignee have a well-built logistics network and, therefore, prefer to handle the intermodal transportation of cargo to and from the container yard on their own.  

Simply put, the exporter is responsible for bringing the cargo and handing it over to the shipping company or ocean carrier at the port of origin. The only work of the logistics party is to pack and transport the shipment, essentially a full container load (FCL) shipment. Upon reaching the destination port, the shipping company or ocean carrier gets the shipping container off the ship. It brings it to the container yard, from where the shipment is unloaded from containers, and the consignee takes over the responsibility of the shipment for further transportation.

What is the difference between CY and CFS terms?

Container Yard Container Freight Station 
Located inside the port facility. Located outside but near the port facility. 
Deals with FCL shipments. Deals with LCL shipments. 
Used for transshipment purposes. Used for cargo consolidation and deconsolidation. 

CY and CFS are maritime infrastructures built to facilitate the export and import trade through shipping. But both these facilities have their roles and carry out different functions. 

  1. CY or container yard is a part of the mother port, while a CFS or container freight station is located outside the port but closer to the port or container terminal. 
  2. While container yards deal with only full container load (FCL) shipments, container freight stations are essentially known for dealing with less-than-load (LCL) shipments
  3. Container yards or container terminals are temporary storage facilities where shipments are stored in containers waiting for transhipment. Container freight stations are used for cargo consolidation and deconsolidation. 

The international cargo transportation can be CY-CY or CFS-CFS based on the shipment load. 

What do you mean by CY cutoff time? 

The container loading inspection, customs clearances, and documentation take significant time at container terminals, so the shippers are conveyed a date to submit the consignment to the container yard. This date is known as the CY cut-off date. Typically, the CY cutoff date is 5-7 days before the vessel’s estimated departure date. It is essential for shippers participating in CY-CY shipping to report the shipment to the container yard premises so that the shipping company or ocean carrier can begin loading the container on time. Failure in timely shipment submission can lead to further cargo packing and handling delays. Missing the shipping schedule causes economic loss to the shipper, consignee and the shipping company. It causes container rollover, where the cargo gets significantly delayed and cannot be loaded onto the assigned shipping vessel. Shippers are, therefore, advised to conform to the sailing schedule and submit the shipment to the shipping company or ocean carrier on time. 

How does CY-CY shipping benefit the logistics process? 

Container yard-to-yard shipping needs the active participation of the shipper and the consignee, along with the shipping company or ocean carrier. By working in collaboration, all these shipping parties can reap profits from various CY-CY shipping advantages – 

  1. Cost-effectiveness– The shippers and consignees are responsible for cargo transportation to and from container yards through their logistics network. It helps save transportation costs that may otherwise be charged if a logistics company handles the entire process. 
  2. Flexibility– Since no 4PL logistics service provider is involved, the responsibility of preparing and sending cargo shipments to the container yard rests on the shipper. Moreover, shippers can choose their own transportation companies, giving them better control over cargo handling and transportation. 
  3. Faster delivery– Logistics providers must deal with multiple daily shipments, and may take time to handle every shipment. In cy-cy shipping, the participation of the shipper and consignee helps minimise delays that can be otherwise caused during cargo handling. 
  4. Customised shipping– Shippers get to choose their own shipping company, shipping schedule, and special requirements for the logistics process. Customised logistics solutions can be implied for safer delivery for shippers transporting fragile or hazardous cargo
  5. Reduced communication gap– In the presence of any 3PL or 4PL service providers, the point of contact is usually a third person. When opting for cy-cy shipping, shippers and consignees can contact the shipping company directly and resolve their queries promptly. 

Therefore, the CY-CY term in shipping can be explained as the transportation of goods between the origin container yard and the destination container yard where the shipper, consignee and shipping company are active shipping parties. 

LOTUS Containers is a global marketer of shipping containers that are suitable for use in maritime shipping. We lease and sell shipping containers worldwide with a vast network of over 300 partner container depots.

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