Containers are one of the most important parts of the shipping industry. Such containers are the devices that store various types of goods that need to be shipped from one part of the world to another. Moving containers protect the shipped cargo, and they ensure it arrives safely to the destination.

Depending on the type of cargo being shipped or the special services they are needed for, types of shipping containers may vary. Container units can vary in dimension, structure, materials, construction. Some of the most commonly used containers are mentioned below.


The most commonly used type of shipping container. They come in sizes of 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft standardized by ISO, and are used predominantly for shipping dry materials. These containers do not allow temperature control, thus they are not appropriate for moving food or refrigerated chemicals.


As is stated by its name, this type of shipping container has a convertible top that can be completely removed. This allows for easy loading of bulk cargo and facilitates the shipping of goods of any height.


These are like basic storage shipping containers with collapsible sides in which the sides can be folded to create a flat rack to ship a wide variety of goods. For strength and durability, most flat rack containers are made of steel and can be 20 or 40 feet long.

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Shipping container 6m Standard 6m High cube 12m Standard 12m High cube
Max gross weight (kg) 30,480 30,480 32,500 32,500
Tare weight (kg) 2,220 2,340 3,680 3,860
External length (mm) 6056 6056 12192 12192
Internal length (mm) 5898 5898 12032 12032
External width (mm) 2438 2438 2438 2438
Internal width (mm) 2352 2352 2352 2352
External height (mm) 2592 2896 2592 2896
Internal height (mm) 2392 2698 2392 2698
Door opening width (mm) 2340 2340 2340 2340
Door opening height (mm) 2280 2585 2280 2585
Cubic capacity (cu/m) 33.2 37.5 67.7 76.4


The open side container has a long side that can be fully opened. It helps with big items that can be hard to get through the end of a tunnel container or dry storage container. The side is made of two large doors, but it can still be secured to protect the cargo inside.


Thermal and refrigerated containers have temperature controls so that during shipping the cargo can be held at a particular temperature. The temperature is usually higher inside thermal containers than the outside temperature. Refrigerated units keep temperatures below the temperature outside. Both types of shipping containers are well sealed to maintain a consistent indoor temperature.


Container storage systems that are mostly used to move liquid goods, used by a large proportion of the entire shipping industry. Typically they are made of anti-corrosive materials due to the chemicals they are used to ship.


These shipping containers are usually custom made for specific types of cargo. As such, their composition and material composition depends strictly on the type of goods they need to transport. These are mostly used for high-profile services such as arms shipments.