Types of Containers used for International Shipping

The shipping sector has the capacity to supply a wide range of containers used for international shipping. The trade and logistics industry has expanded its global outreach in the past years. International trade is flourishing the global economy immensely. International shipping has been made efficient and secure through advanced technology. So let us dig deeper into this world of shipping containers.

Use of containers for international shipping

The import-export business is a way of strengthening global relations. Companies invest millions every year to profit from this trade. Buying or leasing cargo containers to store goods is a significant part of this investment. Containers, over the years, have proven to be practical and efficient transport units for international cargo shipping. Container transport may be overwhelming, but technology has made it easier and more secure. Sealing and packaging goods into containers help reduce the chances of tampering or spoilage. Therefore, shipping cargo in appropriate containers that can tolerate the impact of turbulence becomes even more essential.

Purpose of containers in international shipping

The design of intermodal shipping containers is built to suit the transportation needs of goods via air, sea, rail, and road. They are resistant to heat and cold & can be managed and repaired for faults. Choosing the right container for international shipping ensures the safety of your goods. Container traders provide containers for all types of cargo- bulk and non-bulk, based on the shape, size and state of the goods. The range varies as the type of container and their sizes act as major factors influencing shipping container prices.

What are the categories of Shipping Containers?

Users can select custom containers used for international shipping from various available metal boxes. Based on customer needs and usage, there are different categories of containers.

Containers used for One-Trip – Designed to suit businesses, these are ‘new’ containers built for only one-time trade across the ocean. These one-time valued cargo boxes are later sold for other uses or discarded. They are mostly preferred by clients looking for new containers, as they are low in wear and tear value. Many companies offer new shipping containers for sale to aid the business needs of stakeholders.

Used Containers – After being utilised in the sea for more than 15 years, these containers are excessively worn out and usually have dents and rust all over them. They have been used for years; therefore, they are cost-effective. However, with odour-infested damaged floors and walls, it’s not always a good idea to fix them before repurposing them as containers.

Containers built to suit purposes – These are custom-made steel containers that specifically carry particular types of cargo. Its precision and standardization make it costlier but provides a much better and customized consumer experience.

What is the Standard Type of Container used in International Trade?

International shipping requires well-maintained and intact shipping containers that need lesser management while covering long distances. These containers used for international shipping can withstand internal or external conditions and reduce the chances of cargo damage. For the safe delivery of commodities, bulk and non-bulk cargo should be loaded into appropriate containers. Container traders provide different types of containers based on the type of freight that needs to be shipped. These containers are present in both standard and high cube sizes of 20 ft, 40 ft, 45 ft and 53 ft intermodal containers.

  1. Dry Storage Containers – It is designed ideally for transporting dry goods and is the most used among other types of containers. Therefore, it lacks temperature control and is categorised as a general-purpose container. Available in sizes 20′ and 40′, they are generally made of steel and are resistant to harsh weather conditions.
  2. Flat Rack Containers – Built with a bottom and two side walls attached, it accommodates heavy cargo loading from the sides. Additional walls can be attached to the frame after loading cargo. Based on the size of the container, the collapsable walls convert it into a massive rack of 20ft or 40ft.
  3. Open-Top Containers – These containers lack solid roof structures and are equipped with weatherproof tarpaulin. This cargo container makes loading and unloading freight easier and is used for dry storage of bulk items. Such containers benefit over-heightened cargo such as heavy machinery.
  4. Open-Side Container – Attached with two sets of double doors on the side, it fits oversized goods easily. The container doors are equipped with rubber seals to make them water and air-tight. It also eases the process of cargo stuffing and de-stuffing.
  5. Reefer Containers – Aiding temperature, humidity and atmosphere control, these refrigerated containers are highly-suited shipping solutions for sensitive goods. It greatly benefits perishables such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and pharmaceuticals. Made from ‘Corten’ steel, it can control temperature variations as low as -30 degrees.
  6. Insulated Containers – These are optimised to maintain the container’s temperature without any external pestering. It helps prevent contamination damage and maintains a fixed environment. These containers are ideal for carrying food, chemicals, organs, or blood.
  7. Tank Containers – Enriched with anti-corrosive properties, the shipping container is suitable for transporting liquid bulk cargoes such as fuel, dairy products, and gas bulk cargoes. Built to ISO standards, these cylindrical-shaped stainless-steel tanks have valve fittings and a maintenance hole for easy loading and unloading.
  8. Half-Height Containers – They are compact and shorter than regular containers and are ideal for heavy bulk cargoes with lower volumes, such as coal, iron ores, gravel, etc. Half-height containers are built with a rigid lid and are roofless, therefore easier to load and have a lower centre of gravity.
  9. Tunnel Containers – It has weather-tight seals and doors on both ends. This container transports heavy metals. Made of steel and aluminium, these are double-door containers; you can access them through both ends.
  10. Drum Containers – These cylindrical shipping barrels, made of steel, plastic or lightweight metal, are widely used for liquid or powder bulk cargoes. They are compact and small in size but not storage-efficient due to their shape.

Containers are an essential means of cargo shipping throughout the shipping industry. One can choose the right type of container to benefit from global trade. All the types of containers used for international shipping make transportation feasible and efficient.

LOTUS Containers is a global market for buying and selling multiple types of containers with hassle-free intermodal transportation. Our team of experts can help you choose suitable containers for your next shipment.

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