You will find different types of shipping cargo containers for exporting. The most used containers are known as standard cargo, hardtop, and open top, refrigerated or reefer, liquid bulk tank, modular, flat rack and air cargo containers among others. Each of the containers in the market is used for certain tasks and there is a reason why such a container is selected. For instance, refrigerated containers are highly used in carrying certain goods that must be within or below a certain temperature.
When it comes to open top containers, they are highly used in the transport of heavy equipment including import of goods from other countries. Tank containers on the other hand are highly used in transporting gasses and liquids from one region to the other. These containers are mostly made of steel and aluminium including other types of materials.
Obviously, shipping containers are the best method of transporting goods securely and safely. If you are exporting lots of things and you fear they could be cracked or damaged, containers make sure this does not happen. This is the reason why shipping containers are very different from conventional shipping since these steel or aluminium containers of different standard sizes are used, right from 16.15m or 53 feet, 14.6m or 48 feet, 13.7m or 45 feet, 12.18m or 40 feet to 6.09m or 20 feet. These are used to unload or load and to transport goods.
These containers are seamlessly moved between trains, trucks and ships, although the two most used container sizes are the 40 feet and 20 feet lengths. In fact, the 20 feet container is known as the TEU (Twenty foot Equivalent Unit) and currently the reference standard in the industry meaning cargo vessel and volume capacity is now measured in terms of TEU. The frequently used shipping container currently is the FEU (Forty foot Equivalent Unit).
The sizes of the containers have been standardized to ensure the containers are stacked efficiently, on top of one another to allow ships, cranes, trucks and trains at the harbor or port to be fitted in a special way with one specification in terms of size. Standardization aptly applies around the world as a result of the ISO acts of 1961 that set the right container standard sizes.
Loading of shipping container should be done properly for their stability and safety depend on it, including that of the train, truck or the ship transporting the containers. In fact, there are set guidelines on how container loaders and shippers need to load containers.
When it comes to exporting of machinery, odd-sized goods including logs, open top shipping containers are mostly used. Flat racks are highly used for industrial, machinery, vehicle and boat equipment while open sides are utilized in the transport and storage of potatoes, onions and other types of vegetables. Tank containers on the other hand are used for moving liquids such as vegetable oil, wine, milk and even chemicals.
During the export of valuables, each of the shipping containers has a unique unit number identifying it, known mostly as the box number. It helps most warehouse managers, customs officers, dock supervisors, coast guards, crews and ship captains to identify the owner and tracking its whereabouts wherever it might be across the world.
Steve Chamley trades products from South America like footwear and bags. He supplies them unbranded to different shops in Australia and New Zealand.