Shipping containers form the backbone of the shipping industry. If you want to transport your goods to a distant location via the sea, you will likely need shipping containers, also referred to as conex boxes, to carry them. These containers range from the reusable steel boxes to the more familiar corrugated boxes.

They come in different shapes, sizes, and mechanisms, each serving a unique purpose and intended to carry certain types of product. If you want to succeed in the import and export business, you need to choose the types of shipping container that suit your needs and they should be of high quality. Following are some of the popular types of shipping container available on the market.

Standard Size Dry Shipping Containers Safely Stacked Up at the Port

Dry Containers

The most popular type of shipping container, dry container comes in a range of ISO standardizations and dimensions ranging from 10, 20 and 40 feet. Dry shipping containers serve the transportation of general cargo, which consists mainly of dry goods.

Flat Rack Containers

Some shipping containers are designed with adjustable walls. Flat rack containers, for example, have walls that can fold down. The collapsible sides make them very convenient for loading bulky hauls. The standard length of a flat rack container ranges from 20 to 40 feet long.

Open Top Containers

Some cargos are taller than a standard shipping container. Instead of custom-building a container to the the cargo’s height, the container’s top is just removed or left open. Depending on the size and weight of the products to be shipped, they can be unconventionally loaded and unloaded from the top of the container using a crane.

Tunnel Container / Double Enders

Some shipping containers are designed with doors on both ends, which when opened create an illusion of a tunnel, hence the name. These openings make it easier to load, unload, and access products for packing and unpacking.

Open Side Container

Because an open side container looks solid and closed, it can easily be confused with a dry container. The significant difference, though, is that it has two extra bi-fold doors. These doors can be opened in addition to the provided doors, which creates a wider entry for goods. This unique design is also helpful when loading items that are slightly longer than the container.

Refrigerated ISO Containers

Specially built with a temperature-regulated environment, a refrigerated ISO container provides a cool interior temperature, which is crucial for transporting perishable goods, such as fruits and vegetables. Not very many suppliers offer this type of shipping container since it requires complex customisation. Consider turning to well-established companies like Equipment Management Services if you need one for your business.

Insulated or Thermal Containers

Similar to the Refrigerated ISO container, an insulated/thermal container comes with a regulated temperature control system, which helps maintain interior heat for a long period. This is quite necessary for transporting products that need to stay warm prior to use.


Transporting fluids, such as oil and fuel, requires a different approach, as some of them may be corrosive or sensitive to outdoor environments, the tanks that should contain them must be made from corrosion-resistant, durable metal alloys. They also have to be tightly sealed so that they can withstand the vibrations and pressures present throughout the long journey at sea.

Cargo Storage Roll Containers

This is a specially foldable container unit that enables the transportation of sets or stacks of goods. The containers are fitted with rollers as well as thick wire mesh to allow smooth movement.

Car Carriers

Just as the name suggests, car carriers are shipping containers mainly used for transporting cars. Their sides are also collapsible, which allows for easy hauling of the vehicles to transport. It is also equipped with support features in its interior to hold the vehicles together and absorb impact and vibrations that may cause damage.

These are only the most common types of shipping container available from top suppliers like Equipment Management Services. Because there are unlimited kinds of product being shipped from port to port, you can expect a lot more types to emerge to meet even the most intricate of shipping needs. If you want one that’s perfect for your products, it would be best to turn to a company that operates vast off-dock shipping container storage and maintenance facilities in Seattle, Houston, and Dallas to make sure you have a lot to choose from.


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