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How Many Types of Shipping Containers are There?

How Many Types of Shipping Containers are There?

Since their invention in the 1960s, shipping containers spurred a revolution in how goods and cargo were transported all over the globe. Since then, there have been a variety of shipping containers emerging on the market to meet the needs of anyone who wishes to move goods.

These intriguing containers have evolved in many ways. As long as they are able to fit the footprint, you can pretty much put anything in there that will fit that space. Invented in the USA, shipping containers usually are measured in feet and inches, rather than meters.

Here’s a look at the different container types:

Standard Size Boxes

There are two standard lengths of shipping containers: 20 ft or 40 ft. You can also order them in high cube sizes. Standard containers typically have just one set of doors at one end, but you can get double door containers that feature doors at both ends.

Refrigerated Units

Also known as reefers, these containers can store goods such as food, flowers and pharmaceuticals that must be kept within an exact temperature range for transport. Some goods need to be frozen, while others simply need to be kept cold.

Insulated Containers

Similar to reefers, these units don’t have active air conditioning units within them. These are designed to prevent extreme temperatures – too low or high – from impacting the temperature within the unit.

Half Height Containers

Most storage containers are packed tightly to preserve the goods within, but there are exact weight limits for them to follow when fully laden. Therefore, for particularly heavy goods, it makes sense to pack a half height container in order to meet weight limit requirements, as well as to avoid damage from goods rattling around inside.

Open Top and Removable Hard Top

Open top containers are great for cargo that’s simply too large to fit through the door and that must be loaded via crane. They feature a removable hard top or soft top cover, which must be secured tightly. Most open tops come in standard heights.

Side Opening Containers

If the cargo in question can’t fit through the front doors, this calls for the use of side opening containers, whereby you can load them from the side via a forklift.

Bulk Containers

These are ideal for powders and aggregates which are too small by volume to be shipped via bulk cargo ship. Such containers load from the top and empty out at the other end, via a hatch at the bottom.

Tank Containers

Similar to bulk goods containers in that they can carry fluids that aren’t available in enough quantity to be justified for a tanker, they can be loaded and unloaded like a tanker truck.

Flat Rack Containers

If you plan to move a tractor or a yacht, a flat rack container can be used for shipping a vehicle that is too large to fit within a standard size container. They are loaded from the side.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

Not sure which type of cargo container you need? We can help you decide. Contact us at 910-483-7828 for a free quote.

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