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Shipping Container Explainer Video

Welcome to Personalised Freight Solutions Educational series, this video will explain everything you need to know about shipping containers, including sizes, types, capacity and delivery options.

Shipping Containers: Types & Sizes

The five most common container types used in shipping are: General Purpose, High Cube, Flat Rack, Open Top and Reefer.

General Purpose Containers: Dimensions, Capacity & Weight

General Purpose Containers are by far the most common type of container, and as such are used to load most types of normal cargo.

  • The 20’ General Purpose has a capacity of 33.2 Cubic Meters with a maximum payload of 28,130kg, having an internal length of 590cm, Width of 235cm and Height of 239cm.
  • While the 40’ General Purpose has a Capacity: 67.7 Cubic Meters, maximum payload of 28,750kg with an internal length of 1203cm, Width of 235cm and Height of 239cm 
  • The 40’ HIGH CUBE container has a capacity of 76.3 Cubic Meters with a maximum payload of 28,600kg, and its internal dimensions are 1203cm in Length, Width of 235cm, and Height is 270cm.

Flat Rack Containers: Dimensions, Capacity & Weight

Flat Rack shipping containers are the perfect transportation option for goods that won’t fit in a general purpose container or open top container. Heavy equipment, large industrial parts, construction materials and even boats are just some of the items that a flat rack shipping container can transport.

  • The 20’ Flat Rack comes with a max payload of 42,100kg with an internal 563cm Length, 243cm Width and 223cm Height.
  • 40’ Flat Rack has a max payload of 49,100kg having an internal Length of 1165cm, Width 234cm and Height  226cm.

Anything outside of these dimensions can still be shipped however is classed as Out of Gauge.

Open Top Containers: Dimensions, Capacity & Weight 

Open Top containers are mostly suitable for over height cargo that is too high for a high cube container.

  • The 20’ Open Top has a max payload of 30,050kg with 589cm of Length, 235cm of Width and 234cm of Height.
  • The 40′ Open Top container has a max payload of 28,450kg with Length = 1202cm, Width = 235cm and Height = 238cm.

Remember! Anything outside of these dimensions is classed as Out of Gauge.

Reefer Containers: Dimensions, Capacity & Weight 

A Reefer is a refrigerated container for the transportation of temperature-sensitive perishable cargo, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, frozen goods and other similar items.

  • The 20’ Reefer has a capacity of 28.1 Cubic Meters with a maximum payload of 29,140kg, having an internal length of 545cm, Width of 228cm and Height of 215cm.
  • While the 40’ Reefer has a Capacity: 67.7 Cubic Meters – maximum payload of 29,580kg with an internal length of 1159cm, Width of 229cm and Height of 242cm.

What Delivery Options are Available for Container Transport?

Personalised Freight Solutions coordinate a variety of delivery methods to suit our clients individual requirements. The most common full container delivery methods are via, Side loader, Standard trailer and Tilt tray.

Container Transport: Side Loader or Swing Lift Deliveries

For Side Loader or Swing Lift Deliveries, The container is off loaded from the truck directly on ground level, where it can be safely and efficiently be unpacked. The Driver will typically leave the container and return to collect once empty. Alternatively the receiver can opt for a live unload, this is where the container is unloaded immediately while the driver waits.

Reasonable access & solid ground is required for a full container delivery. If street or nature strip delivery is needed, check with your local council as a permit may be required.

Container Transport: Standard Trailer Delivery

For Standard Trailer Delivery, the truck and driver stays with the trailer until the container is loaded/unloaded within the nominated time frame. The container is fixed onto the trucks body and unloading is done straight off the truck or via a loading dock. If live unload is not suitable then the driver can drop the trailer and return once empty.

Container Transport: Tilt Tray Delivery

Tilt Tray delivery is ideal when there may not be sufficient space for a side loader vehicle. The truck reverses into place, the tray of the truck lifts up and lets the container slide back slowly into place.

The Container has been Delivered - What Now?

Before you can open the container doors, you will need to cut the security seal. Container seals are ‘one-time door locks’ used to secure goods inside containers. You will need bolt cutters or an angle grinder to cut the security seal.

When opening the container ensure the container is on level ground. Start with the right-hand side door then the left.

Prior to returning the empty container ensure to remove all packing/strapping materials & give the floor a good sweep. If the container is returned dirty the shipping line may charge excess cleaning fees.

Would you like Personalised Assistance from our Industry Leading Team?

Personalised Freight Solutions is an international freight forwarding company, simplifying the movement of cargo globally. Our services include import and export, sea and air freight, border clearances and on ground trucking at both origin and destination.

If you have any further questions or need assistance with your next shipment – please contact the PFS team today on 07 3207 9537.