The ISO Club is somewhat unique in Australia and possibly in the world. The Club had its formation not long after the introduction of the international shipping container. People working in arguably the most revolutionary era of Maritime history were coming to grips with technology and major change, but somewhat in isolation. As with most change Australia adopted the ISO container with a passion and there was a need for dissemination of information and problem solving.
Some casual contact between terminal operators, shipping and transport companies became the seed for more formal networking. A monthly meeting at lunch time became the avenue for players to meet and discuss issues away from the pressures of the workplace and in a casual environment.
For a number of years the rules of the unincorporated club excluded customers [difficult to define but ostensibly the owners of the freight] and females, but without intercession from any regulatory authority the rules were altered to allow a broader spread of operators in the port community. Today we have “customers” at all meetings and females held the position of President in 2005 and 2009.
Other port communities seized on the initiative of the Melbourne community and started like clubs, but unfortunately none have survived into their fourth decade as we have. Today we have over three hundred members and by any measure the active component is at world’s best practice.
Each year the past presidents come along to the final luncheon when tall tales and true are the order of the day. Any residual from the luncheons is donated to the charities that are involved with seafarers who come to our shores from all parts of the globe.
The International Standards Association administers the global standards for most things used by society. Included in standards are those governing international containers……… hence the title of the Club.
It is commonly referred to as “eye so” as well as the formal I.S.O.