Common Types of Shipping Containers and What to Consider When Renting or Buying

The shipping industry accounts for a huge number of businesses particularly those involved in international commerce. Many players have established value adding enterprises within the product shipping chain …

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The shipping industry accounts for a huge number of businesses particularly those involved in international commerce. Many players have established value adding enterprises within the product shipping chain and this has had a tremendous impact on the global economy. Shipping storage containers are at the center of this business because the products being moved from one place to the other require proper handling and storage. There are lots of different containers each designed to fulfill a certain purpose with respect to the product they handle. 

Dry Storage Containers
 
These are usually containers measuring anything between 10 and 40 feet and form the bulk of the containers used today. As their name suggests, these containers are for ferrying and storing dry goods which do not necessarily require temperature control.
 
Flat Rack Containers
 
If you are transporting heavy loads and cargo that requires loading either from the sides or top, flat rack containers offer themselves for this service. These containers come in two main varieties; collapsible and non-collapsible containers which may either have walls or not. The common sizes for these containers are 20 and 40 feet. 
 
Open Top Containers
 
Instead of solid roofs, open top containers are manufactured with removable bowls and weatherproof tarpaulin roof which is often secured with ropes to allow for a simplified loading and unloading process. Open top containers may also have door headers that can be swung out to allow easy access to the cargo. Bulk cargo such as machinery can appropriately fit in these containers. 
 
Open Side Storage Containers
 
This storage unit can be changed to have open sides to allow for storage of wide merchandise and to simplify loading. 
 
Insulated and Thermal Container
 
For goods that require a higher temperature for warmth, these containers are the best. They have a regulated temperature control that allows them to accommodate such goods and ensuring they are in good condition. 
 
Tips for Hiring or Buying Shipping Containers
 
Having seen the common types of storage units above, you could be wondering what determines a good container and one that is not. There are various factors to bear in kind irrespective of whether you are buying or hiring. If your budget cannot allow for new containers, you can also save by buying used cargo containers.
 
The Size 
 
Most containers measure between 20 and 40 feet. These are considered the most cost effective because compared to the price they go at; they offer ample space to store lots of your goods. Their availability cannot be compared to the rest of the container sizes because the shipping industry prefers these containers to the others. 
 
Construction
 
Look for corrosion resistant material such as Corten steel which is specifically designed for outdoor use and hence very strong. Because of its chemical composition, steel is resistant to atmospheric corrosion. 
 
Check for Damage
 
It is important you examine your container especially the floor, roof, and walls from the inside for damage. Beware of soft spots in the flooring and tiny holes through which sunlight may filter before you formally accept the container. 
 
Apart from the above considerations, ensure that your container is sufficiently secured with a lockbox and if there isn’t one existing; ensure it is fitted before being shipped to your location. 
 

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