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TruckingWhat are Ocean Shipping Containers?

What are Ocean Shipping Containers?

An ocean shipping container is used to ship goods from one country to another. Ocean shipping containers come in a variety of sizes, colors, and are used for different types of products. If you are importing goods, it is important to know about your options so you can make the right decisions. We will discuss the different types and sizes of ocean shipping containers and the shipping times for ocean containers. 

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about ocean shipping containers. If you are interested in using ocean shipping containers for your business, we can help. At Heavy Weight Transport, we specialize in hauling sealed ocean borne containers. Contact us today with any of your questions about ocean shipping containers! 

Ocean Shipping Containers

Ocean shipping containers

An ocean shipping container is a large standardized shipping container that is specifically designed and manufactured for freight transport via the ocean. However, ocean shipping containers are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and for various functions. You can use ocean shipping containers to transport all different kinds of cargo, including frozen products. 

Many shipping containers are made of steel, with corrugated sides. Their floors are typically made of treated wood. This is so cargo can be blocked and braced with lumber and nails. A shipping container is sometimes referred to as an intermodal container. Ocean shipping is a popular way of transporting goods over large distances that are not time sensitive. Global seaborne container trade accounts for about 60 percent of all world seaborne trade, according to Statista. 

There are various types of ocean container types available, so next we will discuss each in detail so you can make the right decision for your goods. It is important to choose the right kind of container for your goods to streamline your shipping strategy and to avoid any expensive mistakes! 

Ocean Container Types and Sizes

Depending on the type of cargo they carry, there are several different types of ocean container types and sizes. Here are seven examples:  

Standard Container

A standard ocean container is a completely enclosed box with rigids walls, a rigid roof, and a rigid floor. At least one of the end walls has a door to allow you to load and unload the container. These are the most popular types of ocean shipping containers. They are typically used to transport dry cargoes that are already packed in boxes, pallets, or bales. Sometimes they are specifically outfitted to carry hanging garments. 

Hardtop Container

A hardtop container is built specifically to carry heavier freight. These containers are manufactured with steel roofs, which simplifies the packing process with cranes and other machines. 

Flat Racks

A flat rack is built to transport heavy, bulky, or even oversized out-of-gauge cargo. Flat racks can be stacked one on top of another in order to transport multiple lots of large cargo, if that is what you require. They are typically made with a steel frame and no side walls. They also have wooden floors and fixed or collapsible end walls, which can fold up to be flush with the base of the container. 

Platform Container

A platform container is manufactured to carry extraordinarily heavy and oversized loads. They are made with a steel frame, wooden floors, and no end walls. 

Open Top Container

An open top container is a standard container that is meant to transport overweight cargo. Rather than a rigid roof, the open top containers have a flexible tarp on top instead. The top can be moved, or even removed, to make loading easier. The end walls of open top containers are also usually flexible and can be adjusted easily. In addition, they typically have roof bows in order to help stabilize the container during loading and transport. 

Reefer Container

A reefer container is a refrigerated container. Reefer containers have thermal, insulated units with compressors that help either heat or cool their contents. Many reefers have adjustable ventilation to allow for increased internal airflow for additional protection. Typically, a reefer container is used for perishable or temperature-sensitive packaged goods. 

Insulated Container

The insulated container is very similar to the reefer. It has a Polyurethane foam on its walls to maximize the insulation, but uses the vessel’s cooling unit for temperature control. Insulated containers are generally used for cargo that either needs to stay at a constant temperature for the entirety of the time it is transported, or needs to stay below freezing. 

Shipping Container Sizes

Ocean conatiners

Typically when you are looking at ocean shipping containers, their sizes will be listed in feet. Next, we will give you an estimate of the general sizes of various kinds of shipping containers. The size of each kind of shipping container might depend on your carrier, however. 

Hardtop Container Size

A hardtop container size is typically 20’ x 8’ x 8’6” or 40’ x 8’ x 8’6”, depending on your needs. They also come in a high cube, which is a 20’ x 8’ by 9’6”. 

Flat Rack Size

A flat rack size is also typically 20’ x 8’ x 8’6” or 40’ x 8’ x 8’6”, just like a hardtop container. They also come in a  A high cube is also available, which is a 20’ x 8’ by 9’6”. 

Platform Container Size

Platform containers also generally have a length of either 20 feet or 40 feet. 

Open Top Container Size

Open top containers typically come in either 20’ x 8’ x 8’6” or 40’ x 8’ x 8’6”.

Ocean Container Shipping Times

It is hard to say exactly how long shipping ocean containers full of your company’s cargo will take. However, in very general terms, shipping ocean containers takes between 20 and 45 days. 

So, what accounts for the variance in ocean container shipping times? There are several factors that affect shipping times. A few factors that impact ocean container shipping times are the distance, shipping mode, route, and the time of the year. 

For example, the route could change the price and the time of the shipping. If you ship your container from Shenzhen, China, to Miami, Florida through the Suez Canal, it will take approximately 41 days. However, if you ship through the Panama Canal, it might be more expensive but it will only take about 35 days. 

The average length of a freighter voyage is about 40 to 50 days. For example, a round trip from the west coast of the United States to Australia or New Zealand takes about 46 days, on average. 

At Heavy Weight Transport, we offer container tracking so you always know where your products are! 

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