The Shipping and Freight industry is full of abbreviations and terminologies that sound similar but have very distinct meanings and differences and it requires an intricate level of understanding to use these terms in the right place, in the right way and at the right time..
Many people enter the import, export, shipping, freight and trading business without proper research and understanding of these differences and get into a whole heap of trouble..
The difference between CY and CFS in detail and the legal connotations..
CY = Container Yard refers to an area within the port or container terminal or dry port where FCL containers are stored either
# after it is off loaded from the ship in the case of imports or
# before it is loaded on a ship in the case of exports
In a CY/CY shipment, at the time of export, the customer will deliver the container to the designated CY at the port of load under the account of the shipping line and from then, the container is deemed to be under the control of the shipping line till such time the container reaches the CY at the port of discharge.. The customer will pick up the full container from the CY at the port of discharge..
In the CY/CY notation, the first CY denotes the CY at port of load where the shipping line takes responsibility for the container and the second CY denotes the CY at the port of discharge where the shipping line ends its responsibility for the container..
Depending on the contract of carriage with the customer and depending the port where the operation is done, some lines might suffix the port of load and/or port of discharge fields in the bill of lading with CY, example Hamburg CY which makes it crystal clear that the contractual obligation of the shipping line begins and ends at the Container Yard of the named port..
CFS = Container Freight Station refers to a warehouse where goods belonging to various exporters or importers are consolidated (grouped) or deconsolidated (degrouped) before being exported or after being imported respectively..
Depending on whether it is an LCL shipment or Groupage shipment, the CFS maybe operated by a shipping line or groupage operator..
Customers will deliver cargo to the nominated CFS for packing in the case of exports or pick up cargo from the nominated CFS after unpacking in the case of imports..
In the case of LCL shipments, bills of lading issued will be the lines bill of lading (no Master Bill of Lading) and will have the term CFS/CFS mentioned.. This means that the shipping line’s responsibility begins at the CFS at port of load and ends at the CFS at port of discharge..
In the case of Groupage shipments, bills of lading issued will be the House Bill of Lading of the consolidator and will also have the term CFS/CFS mentioned.. This means that the Groupage operator’s responsibility begins at the CFS at port of load and ends at the CFS at port of discharge..
In the case of Groupage shipment, the shipping line’s master bill of lading to the groupage operator will be a CY/CY bill of lading..
Although I have not seen it for many years, some shipping lines that handle LCL cargoes used to issue bills carrying the notation CY/CFS or CFS/CY which means
# CY/CFS – One FCL shipper => Multiple LCL consignees
# CFS/CY – Multiple LCL shippers => One FCL consignee