Containerization

Modern day transportation of goods is identified in one way by the use of containers to stuff commodities in order to give easy loading, unloading, to keep the goods from damage and pilferage and to make life easy for consignors, consignees and transporters. Since the majority of the goods in the world are transported across the sea, in this article we focus on containers used in sea transport.

Types of containers:  

Modern day containers are made of steel. They have doors in the back to give access to the inside of the container or some of them are open top to allow some goods to loaded by an over head crane directly into the container and to load over-height goods. The doors can be sealed with a seal given by the carrier or its agent.

The major types of containers are:

  1. 20 feet dry van or box or standard container
  2. 40 feet dry van or box or standard container
  3. 40 feet high cube container
  4. 20 feet open top container
  5. 40 feet open top container
  6. 20 feet flat rack container
  7. 40 feet flat rack container
  8. 20 feet reefer container (refrigerated)
  9. 40 feet reefer container (refrigerated)
  10. 40 feet high cube reefer container (refrigerated)

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Standard Container Dimensions:

This info should be viewed as a guide only. There may be a slight variation of dimensions depending on container leasing company.

Dimension 20' DV 40' DV 40' HC 20' OT 40' OT
Internal length 5.9 m 12.02 m 12.02 m 5.9 m 12.02 m
Internal width 2.35 m 2.35 m 2.35 m 2.35 m 2.35 m
Internal height 2.38 m 2.38 m 2.69 m 2.38 m 2.38 m
Width at door 2.34 m 2.34 m 2.34 m 1.86 m 1.86 m
Height at door or in case of Open top containers, Width of roof opening between gusset plates 2.28 m 2.28 m 2.58 m 2.24 m 2.24 m
Tare 2250 kgs 3780 kgs 4020 kgs 2440 kgs 4430 kgs
Max. payload 21750 kgs 26700 kgs 26460 kgs 21800 kgs 31570 kgs
Capacity 33.0 cbm* 67.0 cbm 75.0 cbm >32.0 cbm >66.0 cbm

*cbm: cubic meters

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Which type of container should one use?

  • 20 feet dry van or box or standard container – for non-voluminous cargo. One can even get a reinforced 20’ container that can load up to 25mt. But these containers are not as abundant as the ordinary ones.
  • 40 feet dry van or box or standard container – for voluminous cargo.
  • 40 feet high cube container – for voluminous cargo that cannot be accommodated in 40’ container and the extra is not too much to add another 40’ container.
  • 20 feet open top container – for non-voluminous cargo that requires an access from the top (e.g. machinery etc that has to be loaded from the top by a crane) or for over height non voluminous cargoes that may not fit into the ordinary 20’ container.
  • 40 feet open top container – for voluminous cargo that requires an access from the top or for over height voluminous cargoes that may not fit into the ordinary 20’ container.
  • 20 feet flat rack container – for heavy and oversized cargo, which cannot be loaded into container with fixed walls and needs loading from top or side.
  • 40 feet flat rack container – for voluminous and oversized cargo, which cannot be loaded into container with fixed walls and needs loading from top or side.
  • 20 feet reefer container (refrigerated) – for non-voluminous cargo that needs to be refrigerated or cooled.
  • 40 feet reefer container (refrigerated) – for voluminous cargo that needs to be refrigerated or cooled.
  • 40 feet high cube reefer container (refrigerated) – for voluminous cargo that needs to be refrigerated or cooled but cannot be accommodated in 40’ reefer container and the extra is not too much to add another 40’ reefer container.

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Exchange Rates

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