How Many Types Of Containers Are There?

The container transportation business is expanding day by day. To meet the needs of loading different types of goods, different types of containers have appeared on the market. Today CIMC Yangzhou base will introduce the classification of containers.


1. Classified By Materials Used


According to the material used for the main parts of the box (sidewall, end wall, box top, etc.), it is called the container made of what material. According to the materials used, the container can be divided into two types:

  1. Aluminum alloy containers have the advantages of lightweight, beautiful appearance, corrosion resistance, good elasticity, convenient processing, low processing and repair costs, and long service life; the disadvantages are high cost and poor welding performance;
  2. Steel containers have the advantages of high strength, firm structure, high weldability, good water tightness, and low price; the disadvantages are large weight and poor corrosion resistance;


2. Classified By The Purpose Of Use


2.1 Ordinary container


Ordinary containers, also known as dry containers, are mainly used to ship groceries. They are usually used to ship stationery, daily necessities, medicine, textiles, handicrafts, chemical products, hardware, electronic machinery, instruments, and machine parts.

This kind of container accounts for 70 to 80% of the total number of containers. Except for frozen goods, live animals, and plants, dry goods containers can be used for goods that are suitable for container transportation in terms of size and weight.


ISO shipping container – 20’
Ordinary container

2.2 Reefer Container


There are two types of reefer containers: external and built-in. The temperature can be adjusted between -60 ~ +30.

The built-in container can start the freezer at will during transportation to keep the container at a specified temperature; while the external type must rely on the refrigerators equipped on special container vehicles, ships, and special yards and stations for cooling.

This kind of box is suitable for transporting butter, chocolate, frozen fish, condensed milk, margarine, and other items in summer.


2.3 Open Top Container


Open top container, also known as an open-top container, open-top container, this kind of container has a movable top roof which made of canvas, plastic cloth, or steel plate supported by a foldable top beam, which can be lifted from the top of the box by a crane Loading and unloading goods.

The top of the open-top box can be opened or there is no fixed top of the container. The top of the container is covered with a waterproof cloth during shipment. The watertight requirement is the same as that of a dry cargo box. It is suitable for loading heavy goods such as glass plates, steel products, and machinery.



20' Half  Height Hard Open Top Container detail
20′ Half  Height Hard Open Top Container


2.4 Flat Rack Container


The flat rack container has no top and sides and is characterized by loading and unloading from the side of the container.

The flat rack container takes overweight cargo as the main object to carry and is also convenient for loading livestock, and naked cargo such as steel that can be exempted from packaging.


2.5 Pen Container


The side of the pen container is made of metal mesh, which has good ventilation conditions and is convenient for feeding livestock. It is a special container specially made for loading and transporting live animals such as cattle and horses.


2.6 Tank Container


A tank container, also known as a liquid container, is a special container manufactured for the transportation of liquid goods such as food, medicine, and chemicals.

This kind of box is fixed with a liquid tank in a metal frame. The inner tank of the tank is mostly made of 316 stainless steel. Most tanks have steam or electric heating devices, inert gas protection devices, pressure reducing devices, and other optional equipment required for fluid transportation and loading and unloading.


2.7 Platform Container


The shape of a platform container is similar to a railway flatbed truck. It is a container with a high load-bearing floor and no superstructure.

The platform container is suitable for loading overweight and long cargo, with a length of more than 6 meters, a width of more than 4 meters, a height of about 4.5 meters, and a weight of up to 40 metric tons.

Two platform containers can be connected to hold 80 metric tons of cargo. This type of container is extremely convenient to transport cars.


2.8 Ventilated Container


The wall of the ventilated container is provided with 4-6 ventilation holes, and the inner wall is coated with a plastic layer, which is suitable for loading fresh vegetables and fruits, and other goods that are afraid of heat and stuffiness.


2.9 Insulated Container


The insulated container has a heat insulation layer, and the top of the box has an air inlet and outlet that can adjust the angle. The outside air and wind direction can be used to adjust the temperature inside the box. When it is closed, it will not be affected by the outside temperature for a certain period. It is suitable for shipping and humidity. Sensitive goods.


2.10 Bulk Container


The bulk container is generally equipped with 2~3 small hatches on the top for loading, and there is a lifting frame at the bottom, which can be raised to an inclination angle of 40° for unloading.


Bulk Container unloading
Bulk Container

This kind of box is suitable for bulk cargo such as grain and cement. For plant quarantine, it can also be steamed and washed in the fumigation cabin.

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