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7 Types of Shipping Containers You Need to Know About

Shipping containers play a vital role in the shipment of goods around the world since ocean freight is one of the most cost-effective forms of shipping, and roughly 90% of the world’s cargo is transported from place to place by ships. 

7 Types of Shipping Containers You Need to Know About

It is no wonder shipping containers are the storage method of choice for this cargo. These containers, which are often made of steel, are designed to be strong and weatherproof so that they can withstand even the roughest of conditions, keeping their contents safe during long journeys. 

Another major benefit is that they are available in a wide variety of types and sizes. Thus, a container can always be found that caters to specific factors, such as the size, weight, and type of load that needs to be stored or transported.

What are the most common types of shipping containers?

There are many different types of shipping containers, each of which serves its own unique purpose. These containers differ from each other in a variety of ways. The following are some of the most common types of shipping containers available:

1. Dry storage/general purpose container

One of the most common types of shipping containers used in the industry by far is the dry storage container, also known as a general purpose container. This can be 20, 40, or 45 feet in length, and is designed for transporting dry goods. 

This type of shipping container is fully enclosed and features a rigid roof, sidewalls, and floor, which make it weatherproof and protect its contents from the elements. It is typically not possible to control the temperature inside these units. Thus, they are not suitable for transporting food products or chemicals that require refrigeration. However, they can be used to transport most other types of normal cargo.

If a dry storage container is to be used to transport certain types of liquid bulk cargo or dry bulk cargo, it is common to adapt the units, such as implementing flexi-tanks or liner bags.

2. Flat rack containers

The most unique feature of flat rack containers is they have collapsible sides. This is where their name comes from, as the sides can be folded to form a flat rack. 

This container’s end walls are sufficiently stable for cargo securing, which is why they are ideal for shipping oversized goods, such as vehicles on tracks, heavy machinery, construction materials, and big reels. Some 40-foot flat rack shipping containers can even carry up to 45 metric tons of cargo.

3. Open top containers

As their name indicates, the main benefit of open-top containers, which usually come in either 20-foot or 40-foot options, is that their top can be removed, making them a suitable storage option for tall cargo. 

Thanks to its convertible top, which can be completely removed, it is much easier to load and store over-height items that would otherwise be challenging or impossible to load into the unit through the door, such as tall machinery or other bulky products that can only be handled and loaded with a crane or rolling bridge.

Lashing rings are installed on the upper and lower side rails and corner posts of open-top containers, which make it easier to secure their cargo.

4. Double-door containers

This shipping container, which has also been referred to as a “tunnel container,” has two sets of doors—one on each of its two ends. The additional set of doors makes it easy to quickly load and unload goods, which is why double-door containers are valued by those who truly appreciate efficiency.

The two sets of doors of this container are generally identical, and they often both include a locking assembly and weather-tight seals to ensure that the cargo is protected from the elements.

5. High cube containers

Another common style of shipping container, which is similar to dry storage/general purpose containers, is the high cube model. The main difference between high cube containers and dry storage containers is that high cube units are about one foot taller.

High cube containers, which generally come in 40-foot or 45-foot options, are typically used where there are slightly higher volume capacity requirements.

The majority of high cube containers feature a recess on the floor at the front end to centre the container on a gooseneck chassis so that it can both lie lower and be of a taller construction.

6. Open side containers

Another type of container that shares quite a few similarities with dry storage/general purpose units is the open side container. The key difference is that this container also has doors on its side that can be completely opened. 

This side-opening capability provides significantly wider room and access so that loading and unloading materials is simplified. Open side shipping containers typically come in either 20-foot or 40-foot size options, and they provide a sufficient amount of room for large items that cannot fit through regular doors.

7. ISO reefer containers

ISO reefer containers are essential when transporting temperature-sensitive or perishable goods, such as fruits, vegetables, or meats.

As long as this container has access to an external power source, it can operate refrigeration units that keep the temperature within it regulated. These types of containers typically come in 20- and 40-foot size options and are generally made out of a weathering steel called “Corten” steel.

How Secure Container Solutions Can Help You Find a Shipping Container for Your Needs

Whether you are in the market to purchase a shipping container or simply require a shipping container for rent, Secure Container Solutions can help you find one that meets all your needs.

Our shipping containers that are available for rent provide a perfectly durable and affordable storage solution. No matter what kind of items you need to store, from tools and construction equipment to furniture and holiday decorations, we have a range of different suitable shipping container options

Our rental shipping containers are equipped with highly secured lockboxes, wind and watertight sealing for damage prevention, and patented easy-locking single-handle designs.

Our rental terms are significantly more flexible than those you would typically find with most warehousing and public storage options. To make things as convenient as possible, we will also directly deliver your shipping container of choice to you in commercial or residential locations. 

If you are uncertain about the type or size of shipping container that would best match your needs, one of our experts would be happy to offer guidance. 

For more information about how we can assist you with a shipping container for rent, or to learn more about the various shipping container types we carry in stock, call Secure Container Solutions at 647-560-2745 or contact us here.

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