The fulfilment of the supply chain depends on the timely delivery of required shipments loaded into cargo containers. Customers or stakeholders involved in the trade business are always looking for the best fit for shipping containers. Choosing the right shipping container based on the cargo is essential to carry out business in the long run. When you have proper container knowledge, selecting the ideal cargo container may appear simple. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you find the best freight container that matches your requirements.
Shipping Container and its Uses
Shipping containers are portable corten steel boxes capable of storing, shipping and handling freight. Cargo containers are in great demand throughout the global market as they help in cargo shipping over small or large distances via various modes of transport- road, rail, air, or sea. The cargo is packed into containers of the desired size, category, and type and is loaded for shipment. Bulk or non-bulk items can be safely transported worldwide using shipping containers and containerization.
Characteristics of an efficient Shipping Container
When choosing the right shipping container, it must entail the following properties.
- Water-Resistant and Air-Tight: The cargo containers should be water-resistant and air-tight to enhance the longevity of the shipping containers. Rust, wear and tear, & dents affect the container’s health, making it vulnerable to external changes and unsuitable for shipping. To prolong the life of containers, they should therefore be regularly repaired and maintained.
- Durable: The corrugated build of the container accounts for extra rigidity and strength. It helps the container to withstand the impact of heavy weight, turbulence, and tension created by adjacent containers.
- Security: The containers are mostly installed with strong locking systems to prevent theft. They’re hard to break because they’re made of sturdy metal.
Guidelines for choosing the right Shipping Container
Traders usually need to consider the importance of choosing a suitable cargo container. If not done appropriately, the chances of cargo damage and losses increase. To make the process of containerization cost-effective and secure, spend time selecting the best quality, durable, and sustainable shipping container. Here is a list of pointers to consider before you invest in containers.
- Customer/Stakeholder Needs: The requirements for shipping containers vary depending on the type of bulk or non-bulk cargo—dangerous, fragile, frozen, flammable, etc. To make it simpler to choose the suitable container, you must list the specifications of your shipment.
- Buy or Lease Containers: If you want to use containers for multiple trades for more than a few years, then investing in shipping containers is a wise decision. Many companies provide container buyback services if the containers are no longer in use. Although they offer many long-term benefits, most customers prefer renting containers instead of buying them. Customers wishing to lease containers can choose between the types of container leasing agreements– long-term, short-term, one-way, or master lease based on their requirements. Container leasing is a feasible option when your shipment needs keep changing, for a short-duration shipment or emergency consignments, with no maintenance or repair responsibility and cuts down on capital investment.
- Age of Containers: A new cargo container costs more than a used container. You may opt for a new cargo container for aesthetics, customization, and durability. Used cargo containers have been used for several years and occasionally require maintenance. They are ideal storage solutions, but when used for shipping, they require proper refurbishing, repair and management. Since used containers are less expensive, customers with cargo that can adjust to the quality and condition of the container opt for this service.
- Category of the container: Now that you have made all the major decisions, we shall move to the detail-specific pointers. Shipping containers are categorised as – one-trip, purpose-built and used cargo containers. These containers provide varying quality, cost and use. Depending on your requirements and, most importantly, your budget, you may make your choice.
- Size of Container: Cargo containers mainly come in 10ft, 20ft, 40ft and 45ft sizes. Sturdy in design, they provide maximum rigidity and durability. The 10ft containers are compact. Due to their limited capacity, they are rarely utilised to convey commodities over international borders. The 20ft containers are ideal for shipping overweight, heavy commodities and machinery. The 40ft containers are suited for carrying oversized, lighter goods such as electronics or furniture. The 45ft containers are high cube containers that are a foot higher than the 40ft containers. They have more space to accommodate goods and are ideal for storing more goods. Keep these properties in mind while choosing the size of your cargo container.
- Types of cargo containers: Built to suit all types of cargo, the different types of containers– reefer, thermal, dry-storage, flat-rack, open-top, and half-height, help maintain the cargo’s integrity during transit. You may choose among these containers based on the type of stuffing conditions your shipment requires.
- Suitable supplier: Once you have figured out your preferences, look for a supplier that provides you with the best shipping container solutions. Go for a reliable and reputable supplier. Examine the company’s reviews and ratings online to find the best service.
- Cost, warranties and Insurance: Whether buying or leasing containers, you can always explore and negotiate with companies that match your budget. Shipping service providers also offer added benefits such as warranties and insurance. Inquire about the replacement, repair and management services beforehand, so you do not pay extra later.
- Pre-booking Inspection: Ask the supplier for pictures or videos to demonstrate the quality and condition of the freight container before you make a choice. If possible, prefer an on-sight inspection to ensure you’re investing in the right place.
Choosing the right shipping container has been simplified for you. You can choose a more suitable container fleet with enhanced knowledge about cargo containers from the multiple solutions available.
LOTUS Containers is a leading container marketer on a global scale when it comes to offering trustworthy, genuine, and affordable shipping container solutions. We offer container leasing, buying and container buyback services to improve and enhance the customer experience.