Shipping containers can be difficult to identify. More than 20 sizes and shapes exist, but you’re probably not aware of all of the variations. If you’re wondering how to select the right shipping container size and what are the shipping container types, this article is for you. We’ll break down the different types of shipping containers in today’s marketplace.

What are the Different Types of Shipping Containers?

To understand the different types of shipping containers, first, we need to look at the origins of these containers. The most widely used container today is a general-purpose steel freight container that can be used for various purposes. In addition to these, there are more specialized boxes that companies use. For example, reefer containers are designed specifically for storing cannabis flowers and cannabis concentrate.

A shipping container can be used for many purposes, such as transporting goods, storing goods, and even housing. The different types of shipping containers are classified into three broad categories: Dry cargo, liquid cargo, and intermodal containers.

Dry cargo containers are used to hold dry goods such as clothing, fruit, and vegetables, paper, etc. The largest dry cargo containers can hold over 15 tons of goods. Depending on the weight and type of goods you’re delivering, you may want to use effective shipping container straps to secure your products. Dry cargo containers have sizes of about 40 feet to 1,000 feet in length. They have a standard cube shape with one continuous wall.

These containers are not designed for liquid cargo, but they are greener in terms of their environmental impact than standard shipping containers. They have a single door and one entry point, which makes them difficult to stack and maintain. The other type of container is the open-top or reefer container, which is between 400 to 500 feet long with a double bottom wide.

Liquid cargo containers are typically used for liquid goods and materials such as water, chemicals, foodstuffs, oil products, or fuels like natural gas or crude oil. They range in size from 20 gallons to 50,000 gallons. Cargo containers are divided into two types: Containers for liquid cargoes and containers for dry cargoes.

Freight Container

A freight container is the most basic type of shipping container, which is made from steel or aluminum coils. The types are classified according to their shapes and sizes. For example, a flatbed container is the most commonly used kind of freight container. It has a floor that can be placed on the ground, and it can also be used for transporting vehicles and other cargo with a gross weight of up to 40 tons.

Freight containers can be used for a variety of purposes, such as storage, construction, or even as a home. The basic type of freight container is made from steel or aluminum coils. The other types include:

Steel-reinforced cargo containers: These have thicker walls and are more durable than standard containers. They are also more difficult to transport because they weigh more than standard ones.

Aluminum-reinforced cargo containers: These have thinner walls and lighter weight than standard containers. They can be transported easier because they weigh less.

Containerized Transport

Containerized transport is a type of transport that uses containers to carry goods by rail. It is a new, innovative way of transporting goods. Containerized transport has been in use for decades, but it has evolved into a new system that is more efficient and cost-effective than traditional transportation methods.

Mobile container units are designed to be placed on a railway track and can be moved along the rail line as needed. This allows the transportation to take place without disrupting traffic or requiring construction work along the line. Containerized cargo can be placed in/on the container and then transported on a railway track.

It is then transferred to another truck or train for transport away from the rail station. Rail cars are used to transport whole containers of goods over long distances. The containers are loaded and unloaded at each stop, enabling precise delivery times that match the needs of the cargo. More than just a means of transport, rail cars are also used for distribution, for example, by manufacturers of automobiles.

Container Storage Facilities

Container storage facilities are warehouses that store containers before they are shipped to their final destination. These facilities allow companies to store, prepare and process containers efficiently in order to meet their shipping deadlines.

Warehouses that have been designed specifically for container storage offer the ideal solution for companies who require a large amount of space to store and process their own containers or those of other companies. On-site storage facilities that offer services for companies with containers of any size are the best solution for companies who need to store and handle containers but cannot afford to invest in a larger facility.

Container storage facilities provide a location where containers can be stored and handled by a variety of functions, including receiving, storing, loading and unloading. The facility can also provide a warehouse for the container contents.

Container Terminal Facilities

Container Terminal Facilities are the locations where cargo is loaded onto ships and distributed to destinations. There are many different types of terminals, including break bulk terminals, container terminals, and intermodal terminals. The first container terminal was built in 1842 by John Cockerill in Antwerp, Belgium. The first break bulk terminal was built in 1881 by Robert Dunsmuir on the west coast of Canada.

Container terminal facilities have become a vital part of global trade and commerce as they provide the ability to move large quantities of goods quickly from one location to another. The first container terminal facility in the United States was built at Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in 1967, followed by Port of Houston’s International Terminal in 1971.

In 2008, over 3.6 billion TEU containers were handled through American ports (i.e., U.S.-flag containers, not including foreign-flag containers), with container trade revenue reaching $219B.


Shipping containers are integral to modern trade. They’re defined by size, are able to withstand different types of weather, and can be used in a variety of applications from construction to landscaping.