News & Blog

Types of Shipping Containers (Product Dimensions, Sizes, Features, Benefits)

Nov 4, 2019

Before diving right into the types of shipping containers available in the market, let’s look deeper into the impact of these unassuming steel boxes in enabling international trade and driving globalization.

Surely, when you think of the major forces that drive modern business globalization, the first thing that comes to mind is technology. While it plays a vital role in revolutionizing the world market, you can’t discount one key factor that shaped the economy as we know it today: the rise of shipping containers. Although shipping containers are frequently underappreciated, they are considered as the backbone of the trade industry, helping propel globalization to greater heights. 

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine the mass transportation of goods over land and sea without picturing hundreds of thousands of steel cargo containers in ports and shipyards. However, back when shipping containers were still a thing of the future, moving cargo required a lot of money, energy, and time. 

During those days, businesses relied on break-bulk shipping—a tedious process that involved manually packing goods into sacks, barrels, and wooden crates before loading them into cargo vessels. This old process would usually take up to three weeks to fully unload and load a single ship. 

Along with the inefficiency of the process and the uncertainty of the goods’ delivery time, the high costs of break-bulk shipping and poor security also posed problems in transporting raw materials and products around the world. 

Thanks to the advent of massive steel containers, the trade industry has evolved to become more efficient, reliable, and less time-consuming than ever before. Here are the types of shipping containers that businesses use in transporting goods around the world:

Types of Shipping Containers

Cargo containers protect your products during their journey from point A to B—typically from port to port. To ensure that the quality of your goods remain as it should be, you must know the right type of container unit for your needs. As there is a wide array of shipping container options made accessible today with a host of available sizes, structures, and materials, choosing the best type for your requirements can be daunting.

Standard Container

Standard containers, also known as dry containers, are considered the most common shipping option as they are designed for general purposes like moving cargo that doesn’t require temperature control. These steel boxes are fully enclosed and are manufactured using top-quality steel to ensure that the roof, sidewalls, and flooring are rigid, protecting goods from damage from impact, shock, weather changes, outside elements.

XTAINER Patented Design

Designed with you in mind, the full range of XTAINERs is manufactured using Corten steel to ensure the safe delivery of your goods. Some of the key features and benefits include high-security lockbox and plywood flooring with PVC film on top to provide extra protection. The XTAINER’s patented design comes in different models and sizes to cater to your business’ specific needs. It also has an innovative handle design for easy access. You can choose from its eight different models and three cargo dimensions—20-feet, 40-feet, and 45-feet containers. 

Flat Rack Container

This type of shipping container has an open top, strong end walls, and collapsible sides to allow easy loading and unloading of heavy and large cargo. As 40′ flat rack containers can accommodate as much as 45 metric tons of load, they are great for shipping oversized cargo, including construction equipment, supplies, vehicles, and heavy machinery. 

Open Top Container

With a removable and convertible top feature, it gives convenient access to goods inside the container. Since they don’t have roofs installed, you have the option to choose from having a tarpaulin or hard-top cover to provide your goods extra protection. Because open top containers simplify loading and unloading of bulk cargo, it allows you to store heavy, over-height equipment as it has room for the use of cranes or rolling bridges for seamless operations.

Open Side Container

This type of container is just like a standard shipping container, but with side doors installed, it provides convenient and much wider access to the inside of the container. Open side container gives bulky merchandise wiggle room during loading and unloading. These are items that otherwise won’t fit through regular end doors. 

Double Doors Container

Also referred to as tunnel container, double door containers are designed to allow quick loading and unloading of merchandise through both ends of the container. It makes for a good choice if you are planning on shipping long rods of steel and iron. 

Half Height Open Top Container

This is the type of shipping container for you if you are transporting heavy and dense cargo such as coal, ore, grains, and stones. Since it has an open top, it lets you effortlessly fill the box, saving you time and energy. With its low center of gravity, half-height open top containers can better accommodate heavier loads as compared to taller steel boxes. 


With countless shipping container options, choosing the best type that’s suited to your business needs can be challenging and intimidating. But with the right partner, you can put your worries to rest. BSL Containers will help you accomplish great things and propel your business to success. Get in touch today!