Logistics Know How

How to choose the right cargo shipping containers in 2022

Did you know that approximately 80% of the world's cargo is moved by ships? It's no surprise that in order to transport such a large amount of goods, there are several different cargo shipping containers and freight containers, varying in size and storage capabilities, to chose from. Here is our shipping container guide to help you choose the right one for your needs.

Anna-Sophia Metzel, Rosa Guillen, 24 May 2022

Are you looking to ship products and goods all around the world? Then we've got you covered with the most frequently asked questions and answers on cargo containers, freight shipping and logistics containers internationally.

What type of cargo shipping container or foot container do I need to ship my cargo?

There are endless types of freight containers and shipping equipment available for transporting your cargo. Essentially, the type of cargo and its needs will determine what kind of container you will require. We’ve listed some of the most common cargo containers below:

1. Dry containers: They are called 'dry' because they don't have any temperature controls – these are basic containers for cargo such as toys and clothes. Dry containers (DC) are the most common type of container in the world with 90% of goods shipped by sea loaded in dry containers. They come in different container dimensions, sizes and variants:

  • 20-foot Container or 1 TEU: The standard 20-foot container or “dry van” is one of the most commonly used containers for shipment of goods as ocean freight along with the 40-foot container. 20-foot containers are designed to carry more weight than voluminous cargo. This is suitable for heavy cargo such as minerals, metal, machinery, sugar, paper, cement, and steel coils. You can use a cubic meter calculator for the dimension of 20ft container.

  • 40-foot Container or 1 FFE: This freight container is one of the most common types of a cargo container, and as such, it is used to load most types of usual cargo. 40-foot dry containers are designed to carry and store more voluminous cargo rather than heavy cargo, for example, furniture, steel pipes, paper scrap or cotton.

  • 40 High Cube Container (40HC): These shipping containers are made for even lighter cargo. 40HC are taller (you can fit in more cargo) but due to weight limitations per container, you cannot use them for heavier goods.

  • Controlled Atmosphere (CA Container): This type of freight container offers the right conditions inside the cargo container to help to slow down ripening, preserve perishable produce and vastly improve the shelf life of goods, especially during long-distance trips.

2. Refrigerated containers: These are cargo containers able to control temperature. They are perfect for storage and for transporting perishables such as flowers or food that need to be kept cold across long distances. 

3. Special Dimensioned containers for specific cargo: 

  • Open Top Container: Suitable for cargo that is over height and cannot be easily loaded through the door.

  • Flat Rack: A cargo container ideal for shipping goods that are oversized, such as heavy machinery, yachts and construction materials.

  • Platform: Used for odd-sized cargo which does not fit in any other type of shipping container.

  • Transportable tank: Made of strong steel or other anti-corrosive materials for the storage and transportation and long-life protection of liquid materials.

Check our infographic below to find out what fits into a 20-foot container:

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How to book cargo shipping containers with Twill

With Twill, you can book dry cargo in 20-40-45 (HC) box containers. You can sign up to our platform now to check prices and schedule your next container shipment.

If you want to book a shipping container for temperature-controlled cargo, dangerous cargo, LCL (Less than Container Load) or out of gauge shipments, please reach out to the experts at Maersk. At Twill we are supercharged by industry leader Maersk, making it easy for you to book specific cargo shipments directly with them. Just check out their services for fresh and frozen cargo as well as for dangerous cargo or LCL.

Certain types of cargo might require additional documentation. If you are shipping for the first time and aren’t sure about the documentation required, we’ve gathered the most important shipping documentation in our knowledge hub.

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