6 Different Types of Shipping Containers & Choosing the Right One for Your Freight

6 Different Types of Shipping Containers & Choosing the Right One for Your Freight

Shipping containers are the workhorses of the global logistics industry. They come in various sizes and types, each designed to accommodate different cargo and transportation needs. 

Choosing the right type of shipping container is crucial for ensuring the safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of your freight shipments. You need to consider the size and weight of your cargo, its nature (dry, refrigerated, liquid, etc.), and any special requirements such as temperature control or loading methods. There are also important shipping standards and regulations to remember.

In this blog, we'll look at the most common types of shipping containers and how to select the best one for your cargo.

1. Standard Dry Containers

These are the most common type of shipping containers and are used for transporting a wide range of dry goods, from electronics to clothing.

They are available in two standard sizes: 20 feet and 40 feet, with standardized dimensions that make them easy to load onto trucks, trains, and ships.

2. Reefer Containers

Refrigerated containers, or reefers, are equipped with cooling and heating systems. They are used to transport temperature-sensitive cargo such as food, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.

Reefers maintain a controlled temperature environment, ensuring the quality and safety of perishable goods.

3. Open-Top Containers

As their name suggests, open-top containers have removable roofs, making it easy to load oversized or tall cargo.

They are often used for heavy hauling items like machinery, construction materials, and vehicles that cannot fit inside standard containers.

4. Flat-Rack Containers

This is another heavy haul essential. Flat-rack containers have collapsible sides and ends, making them suitable for oversized or irregularly shaped cargo, such as machinery, industrial equipment, and large pipes.

5. Tank Containers

Tank containers are designed to transport liquids or gases, such as chemicals, petroleum, and food products.

They have specialized tanks that are built to withstand the specific properties of the cargo, especially when transporting HAZMAT.

6. Open-Side Containers

Open-side containers have doors along one entire side, providing easy access to the entire container's width.

They are used for cargo that requires side loading or unloading, like large equipment or palletized goods.

True Carriers Group is a non-asset based group of carriers that has been helping drive America’s supply chain for over 40 years. We offer a full range of logistics services, including Intermodal, Reefer, Van, Flatbed, Brokerage, LTL and Heavy Haul.

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