Different types of shipping containers
Shipping containers are the world’s most popular solution for intermodal logistics. Although mostly standardised in terms of construction, they do come in a range of different sizes and variations. These variations allow for shipping containers to enable a multitude of possibilities beyond their original intended use of transporting standard cargo. Listed below are some of the most practical and popular modifications available today.
Refrigerated containers can be used for transporting or storing cargo which must be kept at a certain temperature, such as fresh produce or certain chemicals. They are designed to keep cargo either hot or cold, with the ability to maintain temperatures between -40 and +40 degrees Celsius. In order to function, they must be connected to an external power supply (known as reefer points), or have a diesel generator.
Open top containers
Open top containers have a retractable roof, much like a convertible car. They are particularly useful when transporting or storing cargo which has a height exceeding even that of ‘high cube’ containers. When properly secured cargo can protrude from the roof of the container. However, for obvious reasons, containers used in this fashion cannot be stacked.
Flat rack containers
Flat rack containers are built for over-width and heavyweight cargo, with the open construction allowing for exceptionally wide loads. Their thick base is reinforced to support extra heavy cargo with max weight limits generally around 50 tons. The walls at either end are often collapsible, allowing for easier transportation and storage when not loaded. Typical cargo for flat racks includes large machinery or steel bars, pipes or cables.
Since the 1970s, tank containers have been highly popular and generally used for the transportation of liquids, powders and gases; both hazardous and non-hazardous. They are constructed out of stainless steel, encased in a protective, insulating layer and supported by a steel frame with corner casting. Available in different sizes, the largest volume possible is around 27,000 litres.
Half height containers
As the name suggests, half height containers measure around half the veritcal size of their standard counterparts. Available in a variety of lengths, it is common for half height containers to be open top, or with a removable lid. They are particularly useful for very dense and heavy cargo and therefore popular in the mining industry, for transporting coal and similar materials.
As long as a container has standard corner casting, it is possible to mount it on ConFoot legs. ConFoot legs are a low-cost, lightweight solution which allows just one operator to load/unload a container from a truck trailer. For more information about the range of ConFoot products, please click here.