Different Types of Containers: Size, Classification and Maximum Load

Today let’s talk about the types of containers that are adopted in international logistics.

There are various types of containers used for shipping. We transport all kinds of goods such as food, industrial products, and daily chemicals all over the world. Therefore, we must choose the most suitable container for each type of cargo transportation.

Let us look at the types of containers first, which include:

  • Dry container (general purpose)
  • Reefer container
  • Open Top container
  • Flat Rack container
  • ISO container


iso dry container
iso dry container


Today let’s mostly focus on the dry container and give it a little bit more introduction.

Dry containers are also called general-purpose containers (GP for short), which generally include 20GP, 40GP, 40HQ, etc. Usually used to ship daily necessities, textiles, handicrafts, chemical supplies, hardware, electronic machinery, instruments and machine parts, etc. This kind of container has a very wide range of use, accounting for 70%-80% of the total number of containers. Its structural feature is that it is often closed, and it is generally equipped with a door on one end or side.

Many customers will be wondering, why would the cargo get damp when they put the goods in a tightly closed container? In fact, no container is completely airtight. The structure of the container determines the existence of gaps, especially near the door. In addition, the container also has ventilation holes. The moisture in the container not only comes from the air in the container, the cargo itself, packaging materials (carton, wooden box, etc.), pallets, but also the wooden floor of the container and the gaps in the container. So, how do we take systematic protective measures to effectively prevent the economic loss of goods due to moisture?


offshore dry
Offshore Dry


1. Humidity control of the goods in the container and packaging auxiliary materials


We must pay attention to moisture prevention in the links of raw materials, production, warehouses, etc. For moisture-sensitive products, it is recommended to use the moisture content of the product as an inspection standard for whether the product is qualified.

The humidity of packaging paper should be controlled at 5%, the humidity of the inner box of the package should be controlled at 10-12%, the humidity of the outer box should be controlled at 13-15%, and the humidity of wooden pallets used for storage or transportation of goods should not exceed 20%.

Use a suitable desiccant in the packaging. The small package desiccants produced by Qianba Company include calcium chloride desiccant, silica gel desiccant, and mineral desiccant, which can help you control the moisture in the product packaging during transportation.


2. Is the packaging reasonable?


Different goods have different properties and different moisture absorption. Packaging methods such as boxes, bags, and bundles can be used in a targeted manner to avoid moisture damage to the greatest extent.


3. Weather and environment of loading


Try to choose a sunny day when loading, and it is best to avoid loading at noon or night when the humidity is high in general.


The roof of the loading area should be equipped with a canopy that can cover the container more than 3 meters to ensure the dryness of the loading environment in any weather.


4. Is the container well sealed?


Before loading the container, check and ensure that the container is in good condition, does not leak, and the container door switch and card lock are normal. (The method to confirm that the container does not leak: during the day, enter the container, close the container door to see if there is light transmission; at night, enter the container, close the container door, and turn on the high-power flashlight to see if there is light coming out.)


Tricon detail
Tricon dry container


5. Humidity and cleanliness of container wooden floor


Do not use containers with wooden floor humidity exceeding 20% (please use professional equipment to measure) under normal circumstances. When the humidity of the wooden floor of the container exceeds 25%, it is recommended to return the container or wait for the container to dry before loading the goods.


Make sure that there are no residues from the previous batch of goods on the wooden floor of the container before loading.


6. Use desiccant correctly


The transportation environment of the container determines that the desiccant used in the container must be a desiccant with high moisture absorption rate, stability, high-temperature resistance, and long moisture absorption time. Qianba container desiccant is a series of products specially designed for shipping containers. The use of high-purity calcium chloride can absorb up to 300% of its own weight. The applicable temperature range is -5℃-90℃, and it can absorb moisture continuously for 60-90 days to protect the product from moisture damage and mold during shipping.


If you still have questions about the packing after reading the precautions, please contact CIMC Yangzhou Base’s sales engineer or customer service support team for on-site packing instructions.

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