You see them stacked at ports and loaded onto trains and trucks worldwide – but what do you really know about shipping containers? They are the unsung heroes of global trade.
Shipping containers are more diverse than we think. These versatile structures can be used in all sorts of creative ways. From the humble shipping container to the high-tech reefer, there’s a container for every cargo and purpose.
But with so many types, which one is right for your cargo? Keep reading to learn about the most common types of shipping containers on the market today.
Standard Dry Containers
Standard dry containers, also known as dry van containers, are the most common shipping containers. They are typically made of steel and come in two standard lengths: 20 feet and 40 feet.
These containers transport various goods, including clothing, electronics, furniture, and more. They are called “dry” containers because they are not equipped with special temperature or humidity control features. They are simply designed to protect the cargo from the elements during shipping.
Standard dry containers have double doors on one end, which allows for easy loading and unloading of the container. They also have lockable doors to secure the cargo during transport.
Refrigerated containers, also known as “reefers,” transport perishable goods that must be kept at a specific temperature. These containers have a cooling unit that can be set to a certain temperature so that the cargo stays at the right temperature while it is being shipped.
Reefers are usually used to transport food, like fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products. They can also transport other goods that need to be kept at a specific temperature, like medicines and flowers. These are available in 20-foot and 40-foot lengths, just like standard dry containers.
Most of the time, they are made of steel and have insulation to help keep the correct temperature inside. The refrigeration unit is powered by electricity, meaning reefers need access to an electrical source to operate.
Flat Rack Containers
Flat rack containers are similar to standard dry containers but do not have side walls. They are essentially just a platform with end walls and a roof and are used to transport oversized or bulky items that cannot fit inside a standard container.
Flat rack containers come in a variety of sizes, and some have collapsible end walls to allow for even more flexibility in terms of the size and shape of the cargo that can be transported. Flat rack containers are often used to move things like cars, heavy machinery, and construction equipment.
They can be loaded and unloaded using a forklift or a crane. Some flat rack containers are designed to be container chassis, which means that they have wheels and can be used to transport the container itself, rather than being shipped on a separate vehicle.
Open-top containers are shipping containers that have a removable roof, rather than a fixed roof like standard dry containers. They are used to transport tall or oddly-shaped items that cannot fit through the doors of a standard container.
The roof can be removed to allow the cargo to be loaded from the top of the container, and then replaced once the shipment is in place. They are typically made of steel and have double doors at one end of the container for easy access.
The top of the container is covered with a tarp to protect the cargo from the elements. Large things like construction equipment, pipes, and pre-built buildings are often moved in open-top containers.
Tank containers are used to move many different kinds of liquids and gases, like chemicals, food, and fuel. They are often used in the shipping of hazardous materials. They have special markings and signs that let people know what cargo is being moved.
Tank containers are usually transported on specialized carriers that can handle their size and weight. It comes in various sizes and is designed to transport different types of liquids and gases.
Container homes are structures made from shipping containers that have been repurposed and converted into living or working spaces. Shipping containers are an attractive building material. They are strong, durable, and easy to transport. They can also be used to build homes, offices, schools, and other buildings.
Shipping containers are usually changed into container homes by cutting windows and doors into the walls and adding insulation, wiring, and plumbing. Container homes can be customized in many ways. They can be designed to be as simple or as elaborate as desired.
Some container homes are built using just one or two shipping containers. In contrast, others are made using many containers arranged in a variety of configurations. These containers are a popular choice for people looking for an affordable, eco-friendly, and unique housing option.
Considerations When Selecting the Right Container
There are many places where you can buy a shipping container. Shipping companies, container dealers, and online marketplaces all sell shipping containers. But before making any decision, it is essential to know what to consider when buying one.
When choosing from various shipping container options, consider the type of cargo you are shipping and the transportation methods that will be used. You’ll also want to pick the right-sized container to avoid wasting space or not having enough room for your goods.
If you’re buying a used container, be sure to check for any damage or wear and tear. Remember to factor in shipping container prices and availability, too. And remember to plan ahead to make sure you have the container you need when you need it.
A Comprehensive Look at the Different Types of Shipping Containers
Shipping containers come in various shapes and sizes, each tailored for a specific purpose. Many companies use standard shipping containers, but others do better with containers that are made especially for their needs.
Learn more about the different types of shipping containers and what would best suit your business needs. Contact a trusted shipping container provider today!
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