If you are shipping your export in an ocean container, what do you need to know? Here are some basics:
Most freight is moved in “standard containers”, a standard container is a watertight box that has double doors on one end to allow for loading and unloading. Standard containers are 8 feet wide, eight and one-half feet high and 20 or 40 feet long. Containers are normally supplied by the steamship line.
There are also “special containers” for freight that can not be put into a standard container –
- Flat rack containers have no sides or roof
- Tank containers for liquid shipping
- Open top containers with a removable canvas roof to allow for overhead loading
- High cube containers that are extra foot high
- Reefer containers for cargo that requires refrigeration
Containerizing your freight allows the steamship line to handle cargo faster and easier using less labor on the pier for loading and unloading the vessels. Some steamship lines will only handle containerized frieght.
Other benefits to containerizing your freight will be the protection the container provides during transit so your freight is not exposed to the weather, uncontainerized freight stored in a hold is more prone to damage, and last but not least, containerizing your freight will protect against theft.