Types of Shipping Containers

Container shipping is very innovative and has changed the transportation industry for good. Many people are accustomed to seeing the traditional box container on ships, trains, and on the back of tractor-trailers, but there are so many other type of containers used for transport today. These include:

Dry Box containers: These are fully enclosed, typically with the swing-hinge doors on the rear. These are the most common type of containers. The are susceptible to sweat issue. These are suitable for intermodal transport.

High cube containers: These are similar to regular dry box containers but these are 1 foot taller. They are used to haul a larger quantity of goods, but cannot exceed the weight limit of a regular dry box.

Flat Rack containers: These have collapsible sides that can be folded to create a flat rack. The end walls are stable enough to allow cargo securing, so they are ideal for shipping goods that are oversized, such as heavy machinery, vehicles on tracks, big reels and construction materials. These are suitable for intermodal transport.

Open Top containers: An open top shipping container has a convertible top that can be completely removed. This is best for cargo that is over-height and cannot be easily loaded through the door. These are suitable for intermodal transport.

Tunnel containers: Container storage units provided with doors on both ends of the container, they are extremely helpful in quick loading and unloading of materials.

Double door containers: These have double doors on the side for a wider room for loading and unloading of materials. 

Refrigerated ISO containers: These are temperature regulated shipping containers used for shipping fruits and vegetables and other perishable goods. These are suitable for intermodal transport.

Insulated/Thermal containers: These are temperature controlled and also insulated. These are suitable for intermodal transport.

Half height containers: As the name suggests, they are half the height of regular containers. They are used for hauling coal, stones, etc.

Tank Containers: Container storage units used mostly for transportation of liquid materials, they are used by a huge proportion of the entire shipping industry. Tank containers, or tankers, are made of strong steel or other anti-corrosive materials

Swap body containers: These are mostly used in Europe, as they are not standardized shipping containers. Swap bodies have a convertible top, which makes them suitable for shipping a range of goods. They are not stackable and can only be used for land-based transportation.

“11 Most Common Container Types.” Bison-Jacks. 2021. Retrieved from: https://www.bison-jacks.com/why-bison/blog/11-most-common-types-of-containers/

“16 Types of Container Units and Designs for Shipping Cargo.” Marine Insight. Retrieved from: https://www.marineinsight.com/know-more/16-types-of-container-units-and-designs-for-shipping-cargo/#6_Double_doors_container

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