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What types of shipping containers are best for general cargo?


In a world full of logistics, selecting the appropriate containers for general cargo is pretty important. The type of shipping containers that you choose is going to significantly impact the efficiency, safety, and cost effectiveness of transporting goods.

At ICS Global Logistics, we make sure that the right shipping containers are used, which is essential for maintaining high standards of service. In this blog post, we will explore the various types of shipping containers that are best suited for general cargo and the factors to consider when making these types of decisions for the various types of containers for cargo

Standard Dry Shipping Container

Standard dry containers are the most common types of containers that are generally used for general cargo. They come in various sizes, including 20-foot and 40-foot options, and they are suitable for transporting various types of goods, whether it’s electronics or clothing. These containers are very versatile in nature, easy to handle, and readily available, which makes them an excellent choice for many shipments.

High Cube Shipping Containers

High cube containers are a lot similar to standard dry containers but the only difference is that they provide extra vertical shape. They are ideal for bulky or lightweight cargo that doesn’t necessarily fill the entire floor space but requires additional height. These types of containers are usually used for goods such as furniture, parts of machines, or textiles packed in bales.

Open Top Shipping Containers

Open top containers usually feature a removable top that allows for easy loading and unloading of oversized or awkwardly shaped cargo. They are particularly useful for goods that easily cannot be loaded through the standard container doors; this includes goods like machinery or some large equipment. Additionally, open top containers are often used for cargo that needs to be loaded with a crane. 

Flat Rack Containers

Flat rack containers have collapsible sides that make them suitable for oversized cargo that cannot fit into standard or high cube containers. They are most often used for transporting heavy machinery, vehicles, or construction materials. Flat rack containers offer flexibility in loading and security cargo, as they can be loaded from both sides, either the top or the sides.


Refrigerated Containers

For goods that require temperature control to a certain point, such as perishable food items or pharmaceuticals, refrigerated containers, also commonly known as reefers, are indispensable. These types of containers usually maintain a certain degree of temperature throughout the whole process of shipment, which makes sure that the cargo arrives at its final destination in optimal condition. Reefers come in different sizes and can maintain temperatures ranging from below freezing to above room temperature.

How to decide between shipping containers

When deciding which types of containers to use for general cargo, several factors should be taken into consideration: 

  • Nature of the cargo: Consider the size, weight, and special requirements of the cargo being transported. Certain goods may necessitate specific types of containers to ensure their safe and secure transportation. 
  • Transportation mode: The mode of transportation, whether by sea, air, rail, or road, can easily influence the choice of container. Some of the containers may be more suitable for certain modes of transport or have restrictions on where they can be used. 

By carefully considering these factors and selecting the appropriate containers for general cargo, ICS Global Logistics can ensure smooth and efficient operations, ultimately providing the highest level of service to our customers. Whether it’s standard dry containers, high cube containers, open top containers, flat rack containers, or reefers, having a diverse range of container options allow ICS Global Logistics to meet the unique needs of each shipment.