Useful Terms:



International Tank Container Organisation (ITCO)

ITCO is a voluntary, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, established in 1998 to represent the tank container industry to all sectors of the transport community, including regulatory bodies. ITCO supports around 170 member companies from 20 countries on 5 continents. ITCO member companies combined represents around 90 per cent of the global tank container industry by tank fleet capacity.


The ITCO mission is to promote and represent tank containers as safe, cost-efficient and flexible means of transport. In doing so, ITCO has a strong focus on enhancing technological and business developments including quality, health, safety, environment, and corporate responsibility.


International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

Regulates the transport of dangerous goods by sea and generally includes, where applicable, the land portion of the journey – updated every two years.


Many (but not all) liquid substances classified as dangerous goods may be transported in a portable tank – provided it is appropriately designed, constructed, tested and approved for the substance in accordance with the IMDG Code.


Note: Regional land regulations might additionally apply, as well as national requirements for road and rail transport.


Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods are substances or articles that can pose a threat to people, property and/or the environment. The term ‘substance’ refers to dangerous goods in their chemical form; an ‘article’ is a finished product such as an aerosol, battery or firework.


A substance can exist in three physical states – solid, liquid or gas – and can present a range of dangers – flammable, toxic (poisonous) and corrosive being the common examples.


The IMDG Code provides a classification process to determine the necessary packing, handling and transport requirements.



Tank type is commonly referred to by its T-code or more properly the regulatory term T-instruction. The T-instruction determines the pressure, tank shell thickness, pressure relief device, and top or bottom opening.


T11 is the most versatile tank instruction in that it covers a wide range of liquids and is subsequently commonly termed the general purpose or standard tank.


Safety Data Sheet (SDS) (previously known as MSDS)

Document produced by the shipper to provide information of the hazards of the substance

important safety and transport information about the product.


The SDS is a requirement of UN GHS (Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals). The SDS is the source of the information required by parties in the transport chain to evaluate the substance for safe transport.