Container Types , Size and Dimensions


There are many container types in operation to suit a variety of trades and merchandise. Sizes also vary and they can be shipped in
the following sizes: 8 feet in width and 8 feet or 8 feet 6 inches in
height, with lengths of 10, 20, 40 or 45 feet.

  1. Conventional unit (general purpose) – Also known as a dry container, made from steel and fully enclosed with a timber floor.
    Cargo securing lashing points are located at floor level at the base of the side panelling. Access for ‘stuffing’ and de-stuffing’ is through full height twin locking doors at one end.
  2. Open top container – Covered by tarpaulin and permits to loading/discharging for awkward-sized loads which cannot be easily handled through the doorways of general purpose container These may be fitted with a removable top rail over and above the door aperture.
  3. Half-height container – An open top container which is 4 fect 3 inches in height, i.e half the standard height of a general container. They were designed for the carriage of dense cargoes such as steel ingots, or heavy steel cargoes or stone, etc. Since these cargoes take up comparatively little space in relation to their weight, two half-height containers occupy the same space as one standard unit.
  4. Flat rack container – This is a flat bed with fixed or collapsible ends and no roof. They are used to accommodate cargoes of non-compatible dimensions or special cargoes that require additional ventilation.
  5. Bulk container – Designed to carry free-flowing cargoes like grain,sugar or cement. Loading and discharging takes place via three circular access hatches situated in the roof of the unit. They also incorporate a small hatch at the base which allows free flow when tipping the unit. Such containers are usually fitted with steel floors to facilitate cleaning.
  6. Tank containers – Framed tank units designed for the carriage of liquids. The cylindrical tank, usually made of stainless steel is secured in the framework which is of standard dimension to be accommodated in loading and discharging general purpose container unit. The tanks can carry hazardous and non-hazardous cargo and are often used for whisky or liquid chemicals.
  7. Ventilated containers – Generally designed as a general purpose container but with added full-length ventilation grills at the top and bottom of the side walls of the unit. They were primarily designed for the coffee trade but are equally suitable for other cargoes which require a high degree of ventilation during shipping.
  8. Open-sided containers – These units are constructed with removable steel grate sides which are covered by PVC sheeting. The side grates allow adequate ventilation when used to carry perishable goods and/or livestock. Such containers permit unrestricted loading and discharging with the grates removed.
  9. Insulated containers- These containers are insulated and often used in association with refrigeration air blower systems to keep perishable cargoes fresh. Eg meat , fruit etc.
  10. Refrigerated containers –  generally known as reefer containers they are totally insulated and fitted with their own refrigeration plant .they are connected to ships power . they are used to carry meat , butter , milk , fruits etc.