What Are The Different Types Of Cargo Containers That Exist Today?

Are you looking to start shipping? If yes, you should know about the different types of cargo containers that exist today.

The global shipping container market will reach $15.83 billion by 2028, indicating an extensive adoption of cargo containers. These containers apply in inland logistics and on vessels that chart international waters. You’ll thus need to know the different types to choose one that is the best fit for you.

None of the cargo containers are equal. Disparities exist in the size and types of the different containers to match the cargo they’re used for. Each cargo container type has a separate standardization and specifies how they’re lifted.

The type of container is a pivotal point to keep in mind when selecting the best. Read on to learn of the different cargo containers that exist today.

Dry Storage Container

These are the most common containers used within the shipping industry. They’re also called general-purpose containers since they can be used for different purposes.

As the name suggests, the design in dry cargo containers is for transporting dry goods. General-purpose containers thus lack unique amenities needed to transport special equipment and items.

They’re fully enclosed and proofed to protect the cargo from harsh elements while in transit. They have rigid walls and floors, which are weatherproof. For typical cargo types, you’ll do well with a dry storage container.

Due to their basic characteristics, various spreaders are fit to lift them. They’re easy to operate using reach stackers and forklifts you can get from Lift Equipt.

Open Top Container

The open-top container is simply a dry storage container type but with the top removed. The main reason for lacking a top is the easy loading and unloading of bulk cargo.

If you have cargo with a higher than usual height, consider using the open-top containers.

Despite having an open-top, your cargo will be safe from precipitation. The roof structure is plastic to adjust to the cargo’s height. It’s secured to the sides of the container with ropes to offer protection against rain.

Due to the protrusion at the top, cargos on open-top containers make them challenging to stack. Open top containers thus require special handling, with the forklift attachments being necessary.

Open Side Containers

The open side containers apply within the logistics industry for bulky finished goods. They’re also like the dry storage containers, with the only difference being doors that open on the side.

You’ll generally find these container types in 20′ and 40′ sizes since they’re used for extra-large items. Open side containers offer enough room to fit items that can’t go through the regular doors.

The open sides feature on the containers makes loading and unloading materials easy. There’s more room for wider access to commodities by opening on the side. As a result, your unloading processes will be faster.

Flat Rack Container

Flat rack containers are simple, with collapsible sides as the main feature. These containers don’t have walls on the lengths or a roof but spot walls on each end.

They’re best utilized in shipping oversized cargo. The end walls are included to provide additional cargo securing while shipping.

Some of the items best suited for flat rack containers include:

  • Heavy machinery
  • Construction equipment
  • Movers and shakers
  • Vehicles on tracks

Tunnel Containers

As the name suggests, the tunnel containers can open on both sides. They’re also called double-door containers, with each door being similar to the other.

The tunnel container is the best cargo container type if you want a faster shipping process. The double doors allow easy access of items on both sides to make unloading easier.

The doors are also opened for a more expansive steel and iron goods room.

Half Height Containers

Are you looking to transport heavy and dense commodities? Look no further than the half-height containers.

These cargo containers apply in the mining industry to transport stones and coal. Their low center of gravity makes them a better match for transporting dense cargo.

The half-height containers are made robust and versatile enough for the industrial environment. Due to their short stature, they’re easy to load and unload too.

Insulated or Thermal Containers

Insulated containers feature temperature controls to avoid heat loss. The insulation feature makes them great for items affected by temperature changes.

The insulation makes the thermal containers cost-effective and ideal for long distances. They include a vacuum inside with a mechanical compressor to regulate temperatures.

The items that suit insulated or thermal container types the best include:

  • Foods
  • Organs
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Biological material
  • Chemicals

Refrigerated ISO Containers

If your business involves transporting perishable commodities, use refrigerated ISO containers. They feature a refrigerator to lower the temperature inside the container.

The temperature-sensitive container uses external power for refrigeration operations. While in transit, they either are connected to a power source or use diesel generators.

The refrigerated ISO containers keep temperatures between -65 up to 40 degrees Celsius. It means that the temperatures will remain low for the shipping of perishable cargo.

ISO Tanks

ISO tanks are storage designed for high-pressure or hot liquids. Although they can fit solid items like sugar, these particular container types are best used for liquids.

The walls are made of anti-corrosive material since they’re used for corrosive items. ISO tanks are specially designed for biofuels and chemical components.

The packaging of the ISO tanks is different compared to the rest of the containers. For instance, the tanks have to be 80% full to make them easier to transport by avoiding surging. They must also never fill over 95% capacity to allow enough thermal expansion room.

You Now Know the Different Types of Cargo Containers That Exist Today

Select the most suitable types of cargo containers for your shipping needs. Each container fits a specific use, and the knowledge of the container types can help you choose.

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