ICD, On Dock CY and Off Dock CY are some terms you might have heard during the course of your day to day work.. Here is an explanation of the difference between them..

An Inland Container Depot, abbreviated to ICD is a dry port based in the hinterland of a country (inland area of a country away from the coast or major rivers) and is equipped to handle full and empty containers..

Containers are moved from the ship to the ICD and vice versa using rail and road networks.. An ICD is recognised by customs and port authorities as an extension of the sea port and customs officials are present in many ICDs..

Customers who are based in the hinterland receive cargoes at ICDs just like the customers based in coastal areas receive cargoes at the seaport.. Customers at ICDs undergo similar customs processes, inspections etc like the coastal areas before receiving delivery of the container.. 

In some countries, an ICD is also referred to as an Off Dock CY..

A typical container movement flow to an ICD is as below..

Image for ICD


On Dock CY refers to a Container Yard that is situated within the port area.. Containers are off loaded from the ship and moved to the On Dock CY using straddle carriers or trucks and stored there till the receiver takes delivery of the cargo..

A typical container movement flow to an On Dock CY is as below..

Image for On Dock CY



Owing to the geographical location however, storage costs are generally high at an On Dock CY and therefore in some ports the full and empty containers cannot be stored at the On Dock CY without incurring exorbitant storage charges.. To avoid such high costs the shipping line will move the containers (on receiver’s account and risk for full containers) to a nominated Off Dock CY (ODCY) from where the receivers can take delivery..

Off Dock CY refers to a CY that is situated outside of the port premises but not necessarily inland and this is the slight difference between ICD and Off Dock CY.. An ICD maybe termed as an Off Dock CY, but not all Off Dock CYs are ICDs..

A typical container movement flow to an Off Dock CY is as below..

Image for ODCY

An Off Dock CY and/or ICD is different from an On Dock CY mainly in terms of the geographical location, size of operation and type of handling equipment used, but all are functionally similar..