Best Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know 4 Tips

Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know

Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know, International freight forwarding, particularly in the maritime sector, relies mainly on container transport. These containers are made with standard dimensions and can be efficiently transported over long distances and transferred from one means of transport to another (e.g., ships, railways, trucks) without being opened.

Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know
Best Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know 4 Tips

But how did this transportation system come about, and what container shipments can be made? We discuss this in this article.

Container transport: the history

This mode of transportation developed after World War II in the United States of America, bringing enormous benefits to international trade in terms of reduced transportation costs, damage to goods, and theft. Since the product remains inside the container from the start, then from the producer to the final customer, the distribution chain is simplified and each movement is automated through the use of specific means.

Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know
Best Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know 4 Tips

Transport containers: what they look like

Container size is standardized: the unit of measurement corresponds to the 20-foot (610 cm) Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) container. The two most popular standard lengths are 20 and 40 feet (610 and 1220 cm).

Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know
Best Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know 4 Tips

The classic container has full-side surfaces and a rear closure with two easily sealed doors. For special uses, such as transporting liquids or food products, refrigerated containers, tankers, open tops (with opening roofs), and containers with opening side walls are used.

Types of container shipments

Container shipments are classified according to how many end recipients there are:

FCL (Full Container Load): full container load, which is when the goods are to be received by a single consignee, regardless of whether or not the maximum allowable weight or volume has been reached. This type of shipment is usually preferred by those who have large quantities of goods to ship for a single receiver;

Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know
Best Container Shipping Everything You Need to Know 4 Tips

LCL (Less than Container Load): part-load containers, when the shipment is made with the non-exclusive use of the container. In this case, the charter can be arranged to provide for multiple receivers; if the goods to be shipped are not enough to fill a standard container, the load is grouped with other consignments for the same destination in a Container Freight Station.

World logistics uses container shipments to a great extent (to find out the differences and commonalities of the different transport methods, you can read “Sea, Land, and Air Freight: Differences and Commonalities”). This is why major international ports provide specially dedicated terminals for loading and unloading these containers and transferring them to trains or trucks.

Some ports have become so-called hubs, i.e., areas of the greatest concentration of containers on domestic or international routes, especially to/from Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America. Once crammed into the hubs, containers are subsequently picked up and taken to smaller terminals. Therefore, constant monitoring of shipments that can track the exact location of cargo at all times is essential.

In conclusion, there is a wide range of containers, used depending on the particularity of the goods: refrigerated container, container-tank, flat rack, open top or open side… this method of transportation developed after World War II is the most widely used in the world, and can be crucial in the strategy of a good logistics process.

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