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What are Ocean Shipping Containers?


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Ocean Shipping Container

What are Ocean Shipping Containers?

Ocean shipping containers are large standardized shipping containers, designed and built for freight transport via ocean. They vary in size, style, and function.

Some Quick tips about Ocean Shipping Containers: 

  • The sizes are listed in feet.
  • Their internal or door opening dimensions are generally standard, but often slightly change depending on the carrier. While small, these differences can have an impact on shipments.
  • Most containers are made of steel with corrugated sides and their floors are made of treated wood so cargo can be blocked and braced with lumber and nails.
  • When the weight of your cargo is too concentrated or heavier than normal loads, it can break the bottom of the container, so you must make sure you are distributing the weight of your cargo correctly and get appropriate accommodation for your heavy loads.

What are the different types of Ocean Shipping Containers? 

There are many types of ocean shipping containers used to accommodate the different needs of your cargo.  Here are some examples: 

Hardtop Container- These containers are made specifically for heavier freight, as they are manufactured with steel roofs, which can be removed to ease the packing process. With removable roofs, it is easier for cranes to help load the goods into the container. The door heads on the end walls can also be swung out. 

Dimensions- LxWxH

IMPERIALMETRIC20’ x 8’ x 8’6” OR6.09 x 2.43 x 2.6240’ x 8’ x 8’6” OR12.19 x 2.43 x 2.6240’ x 8’ x 9’6” (high cube) OR12.19 x 2.43 x 2.92

Flat Racks - These are designed for the transport of heavy, bulky, or oversized (OOG-Out of Gauge) cargo.They can be stacked on top of one another to allow for the transport of multiple lots of large cargo. Flat rack containers are made with a steel frame and no side walls- just a wood floor and fixed/collapsible end walls. The end walls of the flat racks can fold flush with the base.

Dimensions- LxWxH

IMPERIALMETRIC20’ x 8’ x 8’6”6.09 x 2.43 x 2.6240’ x 8’ x 8’6”12.19 x 2.43 x 2.6240’ x 8’ x 9’6” (high cube)12.19 x 2.43 x 2.92

Platform Container- These are containers with only a floor structure without any side or end walls. They’re made of a steel frame and wooden floors.  They’re generally built to carry extremely heavy and oversized loads.

Open Top Container-  These are general/standard and more commonly used containers, without a rigid roof. Instead they have a flexible tarpaulin roof, which can be removed or just moved. It is also supported in both movable or removable bows. The end wall can also be taken out. They’re generally used to transport overweight cargo, as the roof bows help stabilize the container, so heavy items can better be suited. 

Dimensions- LxWxH

IMPERIALMETRIC20’ x 8’ x 8’6”6.09 x 2.43 x 2.6240’ x 8’ x 8’6”12.19 x 2.43 x 2.62

Reefer Container-  These are refrigerated containers, featuring thermal, insulated units with compressors to either heat or cool the packaged cargo within the container.  Most of these containers have adjustable ventilation, so that the load can have better internal airflow. They’re used for temperature-sensitive, perishable goods.



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