7 Important types of shipping containers you should know about

  • August 10, 2022
  • Blog

Every year around 11 billion tons of goods are transported through ships. From 1931 to the present day, a great variety of multimodal shipping containers have emerged to cater the needs of the logistics chain and have ensured the correct handling of cargo.

As a part of the logistics world, knowledge about the equipment and innovations that already exists helps us understand the opportunities better. Use of appropriate terminology can help us in better communication of our requirements.The most crucial component of the whole shipping, trading, and transportation sectors is the container unit. These shipping containers are the buildings used to store different products that must be transported around the globe in different sorts of container ships.

Here are 7 important types of shipping containers that are commonly used depending on the kind of products they carry.

Dry Storage containers

These are general-purpose containers, they are fully enclosed, protected from the elements and weatherproof, with a rigid roof, sidewalls and floor. They come in different lengths of 10, 20, and 40 feet, and they are used to transport dry goods. These containers are not suited for moving food or chemicals that require refrigeration.

Flat rack container

As the name suggests these have no top and only two sides. It allows room for heavy loads to be placed on the rack from above or from the side. Generally flat rack containers are either 20 or 40 feet long, made from steel for strength and durability. Some flat rack containers are collapsible as well as some come with additional walls that can be attached to the frame. They are ideal for shipping goods that are oversized, such as heavy machinery, vehicles on tracks etc.

Open top container

This is similar to a Dry Storage type but without top (Allowing easy loading of bulk cargo). There is a plastic roof structure that can be secured to the container with ropes, and that provides protection against rain and other forms of precipitation. They generally have rings installed in the upper and lower side rails and corner posts to ensure that the cargo is secure. They are available in 20’ and 40’.

Open side storage container

An open side container has one long side that can be completely opened. This feature provides much wider room and access, which makes loading and unloading materials easy.This is beneficial for wide merchandise that may be difficult to get through the end of a dry storage container. Open side storage containers generally come in 20′ and 40′ sizes.

ISO Reefer container

An ISO shipping container (refrigerated container) is used for the shipment of temperature-sensitive, perishable cargo. These container types rely on external power sources to keep the temperature regulated. Reefers generally come in 20’ and 40′ and are used for cargo such as meats, fruits and vegetables.

Half height containers

These are used for transporting bulk cargo that is heavy and dense. These are good for transporting goods such as coal, stones or other dense cargo. They can better handle heavier loads than taller containers, making them versatile and robust enough to withstand the rough industrial environment. Half-height containers are also easy for loading and unloading.

High Cube containers

High cube (HC) shipping containers are similar in structure to general purpose containers, but taller by about 1 foot. These containers generally come in sizes 40′ and sometimes 45′, and are used in cases where a slightly bigger volume capacity is required.

Different containers serve different purposes in the shipment of goods.The basic terminology could help all the stakeholders in understanding the challenges at every level, in a better way. Also, the operations can flow smoother hence preventing errors and delay.

Contributed by :
G V S K Vedant, Sales, Hyderabad, 20Cube Logistics.