A SOC container is well-known for its reliability and flexibility within the shipping industry. In this blog, we explore the three primary benefits of using SOC and how it helps you avoid demurrage and detention fees.

Over the years, the shipping industry has developed significantly, and containers now serve as its backbone. Each day, these containers go through several interactions between the point of loading and the point of destination. And this comes with added complexity and costs.

Ideally, the priority for you is to move your goods to the right place at the right time. But we can’t ignore the fact that you also want to keep the cost of shipment as low as possible. And you have the option of either using a COC (carried-owned container) or a SOC (shipper-owned container) to move your goods in.

Now the great thing about the SOC container is it’s shipper-owned and it can help you save your business from having to pay expensive demurrage and detention fees. How? Well, with SOCs you’re not indebted to move and/or return the containers to the carrier within a certain time frame.

So, why not get your hands on a SOC container right away? With our public search below, all you have to do is enter your pick-up and drop-off locations and hit the search button. You can then take your pick from a list of 50,000+ SOC containers from 1,500+ vetted suppliers at competitive, comparable, and negotiable leasing rates. Come get your SOC in just a few clicks, negotiate deals, and get your cargo moving. Try it now!

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What is a SOC container?

SOC stands for ‘shipper-owned container’ and they are metal freight shipping containers owned by an individual or business. They’re used to ship cargo across long distances. Simply put, a container is considered a SOC when the Beneficial Cargo Owner (BCO), freight forwarder, or NVOCC organizes their own container. They then hire a carrier and usually several other parties to transport their goods. Instead of using a container liner’s assets, you bring your own box. From there, you can book a slot on the vessel with the carrier.

If you want more insights into SOC containers, we conducted our annual survey on shipper-owned containers. Below is the latest data and advice we found on how to best use SOCs in this year’s climate:

  • Shipping lines are deploying new vessels and containers in 2023. This equipment inflow will cause SOC rates to drop.
  • Companies thinking of starting out in the SOC market should focus on hiring experienced agents to guide their clients through every step of the container’s journey.
  • Lower costs (i.e. low slot rates + pick-up charges paid by the supplier) are the most attractive qualities of SOCs.
  • A tracking system for SOCs can help in gaining leverage with customers. With this, you could give your clients daily updates on their cargo status and ensure the process is seamless and transparent.

If you want to continue uncovering more information like this and more on which big industry names are keen on SOCs, examples of possible one-way SOC moves, and comparisons between SOC and COC quotes, you can click on the banner below and download a free copy of our SOC report.

When to use SOC container

As you can already tell, SOCs are highly flexible, they’re used when and where the shipper wants. But before leasing SOCs, you should consider your business’s shipping needs. If you have a substantial amount of cargo to ship to a distant or remote location, it may be wise to lease SOC containers so you can have control over shipping your goods as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible. Also, depending on where you ship your cargo (keeping in mind port congestion) and how long you store it at the port, D&D costs can pile up. So, if you’re looking for a way around it leasing SOCs is the way to go.

Pro tip: Source SOCs on our easy-to-use digital platform. Browse through over 50k container types all supplied by trusted container suppliers. Chat with industry experts about ways to simplify the process of managing your fleet and find SOCs while negotiating one-way container moves. Click the banner below to find out more or get a free demo and see for yourself!

Freight shipping international

20ft and 40ft SOC container pick-up rates on Container xChange

Before you lease SOC, you need to know how much it’s going to cost you. Luckily on xChange, our complete market price transparency offers you competitive, comparable, and negotiable rates for your units. To get a better sense of our pick-up charges for 20ft and 40ft SOCs have a look below:

  • The pick-up charge for a 40ft box from Shanghai to Aarhus was US $474 as of August 2023. And from Moscow to Dalian, it cost US $652 as of June 2023.
  • The pick-up charge for a 20ft box from Hamburg to Chennai was US $194 in August 2023. It cost US $100 as of September 2023 from Ningbo to Barcelona.

[Note: The rates above are based on the transactions made on the xChange platform and are subject to changes.]

Interested in learning more about SOC leasing rates? xChange Insights provides you with collected information from our marketplace as well as inventory data to help you get real-time market prices and trends. You also get access to actual one-way leasing rates in 180 locations globally. Compare pickup charges, free days, and per diems for different stretches, plus, see their price development for up to 2 years. Try Insights for free today!

Lease and book vessel slots for SOC containers on xChange’s online ocean freight marketplace

Along with the benefits that we provide for leasing SOC containers at top rates, our Ocean Freight Marketplace helps you book slots for SOCs on feeders and shipping lines. Our online shipping marketplace has a one-of-a-kind online freight booking platform for SOCs. With us, you no longer have to waste time reaching out to multiple sources looking for slots. Find vessel slots easily, access sailing schedules, and get the complete rates and breakdown upfront before confirming a booking — all under one platform!

Here’s how it works:

  • You become a member of Container xChange, and lease a SOC unit of your choice.
  • After you lease a SOC, you get access to our Ocean Freight Marketplace at zero commission. And you get hassle-free online payment with up to 60 credit days.

The benefits you’ll get here are:

  • Compare multiple slot prices on one platform.
  • Get instant quotes on slots.
  • Access shipping schedules easily.
  • Compare freight rates for multiple options.
  • View the rate details and negotiate the offer on one dashboard.

Enjoy these dual benefits of our platform today. Get your SOC on our leasing platform, and book a slot on our freight marketplace by joining our waitlist. Click the banner below to get started right away!

The 3 main benefits of SOC container

As you already know by now SOC containers have many benefits, however, there are three main advantages of using SOC containers:

Control of supply:

You can source containers on your own. This is essential for locations where carriers are unable or unwilling to provide boxes or only offer them at very high rates. SOCs can increase the reliability of equipment supply in inland locations where there’s a scarcity of containers. With SOC, there’s more control over shipping with a preferred choice of carrier with lower trucking costs.

Control of ownership:

You can choose accurately which containers you need in which condition for which period of time. It includes the choice between whether to buy or simply lease the container depending on the current need.

Control of cost:

With SOCs, you can save on freight shipping rates, especially when shipping to special destinations with equipment surplus. This results in discounted freight rates in inland locations by saving on return trucking. You can also avoid unexpected demurrage and detention costs as you are not obligated to move and/or return the containers to and from the carrier within a certain period. You have to take loading time, customs clearance, drayage, port congestion, etc. into account when planning your shipment. Demurrage and detention charges can quickly escalate to hundreds of dollars per day.

benefits of soc containers

Lease SOC containers one-way on Container xChange to curb repositioning costs

With so many benefits of SOCs, it’s time you lease your box. And on xChange leasing has been made easy for you with competitive rates, 1,500+ vetted suppliers, and 50,000+ SOC container types across 2,500 locations worldwide. But here’s the best part. On Container xChange we also offer a one-way container lease agreement wherein container users such as yourself can lease SOCs as one-way containers to help save money on empty container repositioning. With us, you can lease your container to move your cargo for a one-way journey, e.g., from India to Germany. This one-way move can eliminate container imbalances in areas of container surplus and deficits, thus, curbing empty container repositioning.

All our members go through a mandatory vetting process to ensure that you only work with verified names. This gives you the opportunity to work with big names in the industry such as Kuehne + Nagel, Seaco Global, and Cosco, to name a few. The process is easy. You pick a company you like after seeing their profile, reviews, and ratings and speak to them on our marketplace directly via chats and calls. As for the prices you know you’ll get competitive and comparable rates upfront on one dashboard. These rates can be negotiated with your supplier to choose a deal that works best for you. You get all this without the worry of hidden fees too.

Don’t wait any longer to come and get your SOC container for that one-way move from trusted suppliers at top deals by clicking the banner below.

Difference between SOC and COC container

Along with the SOC container, another container type you might have heard of is the COC container. What’s the difference between the two? There is one main difference between a SOC container and a COC container. While SOCs are owned and operated by the shipper, a COC container is owned and operated by the carrier. Apart from this, there are subtle but key differences between the two:

SOC container COC container
Owned and operated by the shipper Owned and operated by the carrier 
Used to ship cargo over long distances  Rented out to various consignees 
No demurrage and detention charges Demurrage and detention charges apply 

Avoid demurrage and detention costs with SOC container on Container xChange

In essence, SOCs grant you a lot more freedom and independence than COCs do. Hence, there’s been a growing number of players in the industry who turn to SOCs as these units are an attractive alternative to save costs and gain back control over their logistics processes.

So how can you source SOC containers on our online platform with ease?

  • Log onto our platform
  • Type in your pick-up and drop-off locations and hit ‘search’
  • You will then get a list of available containers and suppliers leasing out boxes on that stretch
  • Connect with a supplier, who wants to move their box one-way and;
  • Negotiate and finalize a deal and get your box
  • Then head over to our Ocean Freight Marketplace and book vessel slots

Here’s what the director of NMT Konteyners A.S, Mr. Burak Cebi, has to say about xChange: “The ease of leasing containers on the platform. 9.5/10. The leasing platform is easy to use, and we can conclude deals much quicker than off the platform. And if our partners are quick, we can conclude a deal in 5 minutes!”

Just like NMT, more than 1500 companies in 2500+ locations utilize our platform for smoother container operations. So why not join them and manage your fleet minus the fuss? Increase flexibility in your freight bookings and avoid demurrage and detention charges by leasing SOCs for one-way moves. Click on the banner below to see how we can elevate your experience today!

SOC container: Common FAQs

What are the benefits of SOC container?

The benefits of SOC containers are threefold: control of cost, control of supply, and control of ownership.

What is a shipper-owned container?

SOC stands for 'shipper-owned container' and they are metal freight shipping containers owned by an individual or business. They’re used to ship cargo across long distances.

How do you use SOC containers?

Simply put, a container is considered a SOC when the Beneficial Cargo Owner (BCO), freight forwarder, or NVOCC organizes their own container. They then hire a carrier and usually several other parties to transport their goods. Instead of using a container liner's assets, you bring your own box.

SOC container: Top 3 benefits + best rates [2023]
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SOC container: Top 3 benefits + best rates [2023]
Find out what is a SOC container and its benefits for your business. Plus, source a SOC right here at top rates from trusted suppliers.
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Container xChange
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