Container is a standardized unit for transporting different cargoes. Size and characteristics of containers depend on the cargo presumed to be carried in them.
The most common containers used in sea shipping are 20- and 40-foot ones 6 and 12 metres long accordingly. Containers differ in height; there are standard and extra height (“High Cube”) containers. Modern containers show a tendency to capacity increase and new tare types are being put into operation - lengthened (45-foot) containers, widened (Pallet Wide) ones or both in one (45HCPW).
Depending on the cargo there are the several major container types:
General Purpose Container (or dry container) is used for transportation of any general dry bulk or packaged goods. It is a metal box with doors which comes with a timber floor and has various lashing devices to secure the load. These lashing points are located horizontally at floor level and vertically to the door corner posts.
Refrigerated Container (or reefer) is temperature-controlled and is particularly suitable for cargo that needs regulated or cool temperatures. Such a container is highly insulated and has an integral plugged in refrigeration unit allowing to maintain a certain temperature inside.
Overall dimensions of Reefer Container.
Open-Top Container is recommended for bulky cargo. It comes with a PVC tarpaulin cover instead of a roof panel to allow loading from the top. The doors can be removed to make loading easier.
Overall dimensions of Open-Top Container.
Flat-Rack Container is a platform without a roof and side walls especially designed for transporting out-of-gauge and heavy loads.
Overall dimensions of Flat-Rack Container.
Tank Container (or tanktainer) is used for shipping liquids and gases. This is a standard container frame with a tank fitted inside. It also has corner fittings, this allows to use standard equipment for tanktainer’s transhipment.
Overall dimensions of Tank Container.
Such a diversity of container types gives more opportunities for transporting. Container is indispensable in multimodal transportation. A substantial part of all the cargoes nowadays is shipped in containers.