As BIC's BoxTech is new, we know there are likely to be a few questions you need assistance with. We have covered what we feel are the most likely questions at this stage.
What is the purpose of the BIC's Technical Characteristics Database (BoxTech)?
BoxTech provides a central data repository for container owners and operators to post fleet technical details, including container tare weight. The database allows shippers and other parties in the transport chain to access container tare weights and other technical details on a container-by-container basis by inputting a container’s operational number – or by pinging the database with the container’s operational number if using the API.
How to upload Fleet files?
For a detailed guide on how to upload a file, download the step-by-step guide here
Is the database now live?
Yes, BoxTech is live. Container owners and operators are invited to upload their fleet files as soon as possible.
How can shippers and other interested parties access the information?
They can access the information in one of two ways: Either on the database website or via an API if they wish to have the information integrated into their system. API information can be found here
How do I sign-up as an Owner/Operator to upload fleet files?
Click on the ‘Owner/Operator’ Sign-up link and complete the sign-up form. You will be notified once your application has been verified, at which point you will be able to upload your files directly to BoxTech. While awaiting verification you will have access to BoxTech as a regular user.
How do I sign-up as a regular user to access container tare weights and other technical data?
Click on ‘Access Data’ Sign-up link and complete the online sign-up form to obtain a user account.
How do I upload my initial fleet file?
Once your account has been confirmed, you will be able to upload files directly to BoxTech using the ‘Upload Files’ button and selecting ‘Fleet In’. Files must be formatted according to the CSV file format provided (see CSV template on the right side of the FAQs page).
How do I make changes to my fleet in the TCD?
Making changes manually: Log-in using your account information and choose the appropriate file upload button: (Fleet in/update, Fleet out, or Fleet Replace).
Automated fleet updates: An API fleet update option will be made available in the coming weeks.
How do I obtain the tare weight and other characteristics of a container?
Manual query: Simply log-in and type the container number into the search field.
Automated query: An API is now available. Information can be found here
How do I know if a specific carrier has uploaded data to the TCD?
What data elements will be held in the database?
Each owner/operator decides which elements to upload. The database will allow for the complete set of technical details for every container: Container number, size-type code, tare weight, maximum gross mass, maximum payload, maximum stacking weight, manufacturer ID number, etc. The minimum data elements required for each container are: container number, tare weight, maximum gross mass / payload, and container size/type.
What file options are available for fleet updates?
When accessing technical data, is the container number required?
Does the BIC guarantee the accuracy of the tare weight or other characteristics?
If I notice a discrepancy between the listed tare weight and the tare weight appearing on the door of the container, which should I use?
What type of containers can be uploaded in the database?
All containers carrying a valid CSC plate and carrying ISO markings.
Does the database provide track and trace of containers?
No, the database has nothing to do with the location of the container. Its sole purpose is to provide visibility of the technical characteristics of containers in a central location.
Who can access the tare weight and other characteristics?
Anyone can sign-up to access the information.
Is there a cost to upload fleet files?
No. There is no cost to container owners and operators to upload and maintain their fleet files in the database.
Is there a cost to end users (shippers, forwarers, terminals, etc.)?
During the roll-out phase, which is expected to last through the end of 2017, the database is being provided free of charge to users. Once the database is more fully populated, a small charge for end users is planned to cover the database’s running costs. BoxTech is a non-profit, non-commercial service to the industry. Its operating costs will remain modest and spread amongst thousands of users, the cost is expected to be negligible.
What technology does the platform utilize?
The database is hosted on the Heroku cloud platform.
Heroku counts large customers using their platform all around the world, such as Citrix GotoMeeting, Macy’s stores’ mission-critical applications, Toyota’s customer-facing web applications, etc. Details are available here
How secure is the database? How robust?
The database complies to the general security standards for web-hosted publicly accessible databases.
Details are available here