Standard containers are also known as general purpose containers. They are closed containers, i.e. they are closed on all sides. These can fit most of your common needs. Standard containers are designed and constructed for transportation of general cargo on sea, rail and land. They are able to withstand extreme temperatures ranging from 40°C (-40°F) to 70°C (158°F) without affecting their strength and water-tightness. Standard containers are used for all types general cargo (dry cargo). High-cube containers are used for all types general cargo (dry cargo). However, they are particularly suitable for transporting light, voluminous cargoes and over height cargoes up to a maximum of 2.70 m tall. Standard containers are mainly used as 20' and 40' containers. Containers with smaller dimensions are very seldom used. Indeed, the trend is towards even longer dimensions, e.g. 45'.


Europe has its own domestic pallet wide containers that are slightly different dimensionally than the standard ISO boxes. Typically they are wider (usually 2.5 meters) to accommodate European pallets (in the case of dry vans). Pallet wide containers' characteristics are equal to standard containers' ones, except dimensions. Although pallet wide containers are typically not used in worldwide service.


Open top container has the following typical distinguishing structural features: the roof consists of removable bows and a removable tarpaulin. The door header may be swiveled out. These two structural features greatly simplify the process of packing and unpacking the container. In particular, it is very easy to pack and unpack the container from above or through the doors by crane or crab when the roof is open and the door header is swiveled out. It should be noted, however, that the purpose of the roof bows of an open-top container is not solely to support the tarpaulin but also to contribute to container stability. Usual open-top container dimensions are 20' and 40'

Open-top containers are used for all types of general cargo (dry cargo). Their principal uses are as follows:

-Packing and unpacking from above or through the doors by crane or crab

- Tall cargo


Flatracks consist of a floor structure with a high loading capacity composed of a steel frame and a softwood floor and two end walls, which may either be fixed or collapsible. The end walls are stable enough to allow cargo securing means to be attached and several flatracks to be stacked on top of one another. Flatracks are available in 20' and 40' sizes. Flatracks are mainly used to transport heavy-lifts and over height or over width cargoes.


Platforms consist solely of a floor structure with extremely high loading capacity; they have no side or end walls. This high loading capacity makes it possible to concentrate heavy weights on small areas. A platform consists of a steel frame and a wooden floor structure. Platforms are available in 20' and 40' sizes. Platforms are used principally for oversized and very heavy cargoes.


Ventilated containers are also known as passive (naturally) ventilated or coffee containers. Ventilation is provided by ventilation openings in the top and bottom side rails. The openings do not let in spray, to prevent depreciation of the cargo by rain or spray, for example. The common size for ventilated containers is 20'. Ventilated containers are used especially for cargoes which have to be ventilated in transit. One of the most significant of such commodities is green coffee beans, hence the name coffee container.


Refrigerated and insulated containers are mainly available as 20' and 40' containers. A distinction may be drawn between two different systems:

1. Integral Units (Integral Reefer Containers, Integrated Units)

This type of refrigerated container has an integral refrigeration unit for controlling the temperature inside the container. When being transported by ship, integral units have to be connected to the on-board power supply system. For transport by road and rail, most integral unit refrigeration units are operated by a generator set (genset). This may either be a component of the refrigeration unit or connected to the refrigeration unit. Refrigerated containers are used for goods which need to be transported at a constant temperature above or below freezing point. These goods are divided into chilled goods and frozen goods, depending on the specified transport temperature. They principally include fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products, such as butter and cheese. High-cube integral units are used in particular for voluminous and light goods (e.g. fruit, flowers). Nowadays, goods requiring

refrigeration are mostly transported in integral units, which have a markedly higher market share than porthole containers.

2. Insulated Containers (Porthole Containers)

This type of container is often referred to not as a refrigerated container but as an insulated container, as it has no integral refrigeration unit. On board, the inside of the container is supplied with cold air via the ship's central cooling plant. The air flows through the container in the same way as in integral units. Cold air is blown in at the bottom and the "warm" air is removed at the top.


Tank containers are used for liquid cargoes, such as:

-Foodstuffs: fruit juices, spirits, sweet oils

-Chemicals: hazardous materials, such as fuels, toxic substances, corrosion protection


If the cargo requires temperature-controlled transport, tank containers can be equipped with insulation or heating.

*Container can slightly differ in dimensions, weights and capacity from mentioned above owing to it's manufacturer

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