A container depot is a storage area for empty shipping containers. A container depot can be located within a container terminal, within the overall port facility or within the hinterland as an ICD inland container depot.
Inland container depots are managed as hinterland hubs, as a storage buffer or as points of concentration to balance capacity peaks and bottlenecks in the seaports. Within the container terminal business, container depots are an essential part of the container supply chain. The storage capacity and additional storage possibilities guarantee a high efficiency rate and space productivity for the container terminals. At container depots, empty containers – owned by a container leasing company or a container shipping company – are stored. Safety checks and maintenance are being performed on the premises. Exporters can obtain empty containers at the depots, and importers can re-deliver the empty ones.
Container depots offer interim storage facilities for empty containers. Apart from storage, they also provide a wide scope of individual services such as cleaning and repair, fumigation, commercial warehouse, bonded warehouse, inland clearance depot, container sales, transportation, etc. A TOS system can manage a container terminal, as well as a container depot located in the hinterland of a seaport.