Containers

THE SHIPPING CONTAINER

his is the basic cargo transport unit (CTU) that is used to move the majority of the world’s shipped goods.

The container is a permanent transport receptacle, easy to load and unload, able to be reused repeatedly, and capable of protecting cargo as it is moved between different shipping modes or transport vehicles. This versatility has made intermodal shipping possible and has allowed for exponential expansion of international trade.

There are models of containers to cover every transport need, and all of these can be stacked. They are fitted with corner pieces and slots in their base that allow them to be lifted and manipulated horizontally and vertically, to be stacked, and to be firmly attached to their transport vehicle or to other containers.

The main sizes available are 45, 40, and 20 feet, and there are also high capacity types (high cube container or HC).

The measurement unit used for a container is the TEU (which stands for twenty-foot equivalent units), which is the equivalent of 6.10 meters. The overall capacities of ships or container terminals are measured using the TEU.

CONTAINERS FOR INTERMODAL SHIPPING

Contenedor de Carga General General cargo container
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load Doors open
Length Width Height Vol. Max. load Width Height
20′ 5.898 2.352 2.393 33,2 21.740

28.230#

2.340 2.280
40′ 12.032 2.352 2.393 67,7 26.630 2.340 2.280
HC 12.032 2.352 2.698 76,3 26.520 2.340 2.585
45′ 13.556 2.352 2.695 86 27.910 2.340 2.579

This is the most frequently used container for loading general dry goods that have been packaged using pallets, boxes, barrels, etc. These are watertight and fully enclosed, with solid floors, ceilings, and side and end walls. They have doors at one end, which are used for loading goods by forklift or pallet truck. These containers are made of steel.

Contenedor Frigorífico Refrigerated container (reefer container)
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
20′ 5.444 2.284 2.267 28,5 21.135/27.160#
40′ 11.583 2.284 2.250 58,7 26.580
HC 11.583 2.286 2.556 67,9 26.380
45′ 13.102 2.286 2.509 75,4 27.300

A thermal container, built of aluminium or aluminium and stainless steel, able to keep the goods being transported at a temperature as low as –30 ºC. These have a self-contained refrigeration unit to allow the desired temperature to be maintained, which can be connected to the ship, transport vehicle, or terminal to obtain the power supply source that the unit needs to function. Some refrigerated containers also can control the humidity level in the interior. These are ideal for transporting perishable goods: meat, fruit, etc.

Contenedor sin Techo Open top containers
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
20′ 5.900 2.330 2.337 32,6 21.740
40′ 12.025 2.330 2.337 65,8 26.410

A container that lacks a solid top, which allows cargo to be loaded using cranes. These can be covered with a flexible, removable cover, such as a reinforced plastic tarpaulin. A removable, rigid metal top can also be used. This container is made of steel and may have doors in the front or side panels. These are especially useful for large-sized cargo items such as sheets of glass or marble, construction materials, lumber, or high-volume machinery. These containers are made of steel.

Contenedor Plataforma Flat rack container
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
20′ 5.628 2.178 2.159 / 21.740
40′ 11.762 2.178 1.986 / 26.410

A container made from a platform without any other superstructure attached. This type is used when the characteristics of the elements being transported do not allow them to fit into any other type of container. They are especially suitable for heavy or high-volume elements, such as machinery, cables, storage drums, cable reels, steel sheets, heavy vehicles, or forest products. These containers are made of steel.

Contenedor de Costado Abierto Open side container
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load Doors open
Length Width Height Vol. Max. load Width Height
20′ 5.896 2.310 2.255 31 22.470 2.236 1.960

When the goods that must be loaded are long and are difficult to handle using the end doors, a container open on one or both sides can be used to facilitate handling. These are especially suitable for loading and unloading at railway stations. These are made of steel.

Contenedor Tanque Tank container (ISO tank)
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
20′ / / / 21 27.410

This type is used to transport bulk liquids in general (oil, plastics, resins, latex, milk, beer, wine, mineral water, etc.), as well as certain hazardous substances such as toxic, corrosive, or highly flammable liquids. This type consists of an aluminium or stainless steel tank attached to a frame or support structure along with the necessary accessories (corner brackets, etc.) for securing them to the anchoring points on ships, trucks, or train cars, or else for being stacked on top of another container.

Meaning of the first digit or the first two digits of the container’s serial number
General cargo container Refrigerated container Open top container Open top container
20′ 0 3 5 6 8 22 23 25 26 52 92
40′ 1 4 7 20 21 24 27 54 94
HC 96 29 / /

NB: Dimensions are expressed in millimetres (mm), capacities in cubic meters (m3), and weights in kilograms (kg). The red loading line on the interior of the container’s side wall indicates the maximum permissible load height.

CONTAINERS FOR AIR TRANSPORT

These containers are used for air cargo shipping, and their shapes are adapted to the fuselage of the aircraft. These are made of aluminium.

containers_clip_image002_0007-1 Container AKH
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Max.Load
55.5″ 96″ 43″ 120cu.ft 2.499lbs
P1P P1P
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
3.170 2.230 1.620 11,9 6.033
P6P, palé plataforma con red P6P, flat pallet with net
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
10′ 3.170 2.430 1.620 21,2 6.804
PLA, palé plataforma con red PLA, half pallet with net
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
3.170 1.530 1.620 7,2 3.175
Para, palé plataforma con red Para, flat pallet with net
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
16′ 4.970 2.430 2.430 26,8 11.300
PGA, palé plataforma con red PGA, palé plataforma con red (flat pallet with net)
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Carga máxima
20′ 6.040 2.430 2.430 33,2 11.340
AMA contenedor rectangular PGA, flat pallet with net
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
3.170 2.430 2.430 17,5 6.804
AMD contenedor contorneado AMD contoured container
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
3.170 243 243 19,9 6.800
AGA, contenedor caja AGA, box container
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
20′ 6.040 2.430 2.430 33,0 11.340
AAF AAF
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
4.060 2.240 1.630 / 6.033
AAU, contenedor contorneado AAU, contoured container
Internal dimensions Capacity and useful load
Length Width Height Volume Maximum load
4.720 2.240 1.620 14,2 6.033