Different types of shipping containers to explore

If you are a company owner and have to ship items to buyers, or just moving overseas and want to ship your belongings, you need to know about different types of shipping containers. Sometimes the regular containers just do not cut it. That is when you need to go deeper. There are many types of containers you have probably never heard of. If you look up cargo companies in Lebanon, you will see that they offer a lot of different types of containers and use them to their full potential. Therefore we have compiled a list of all the shipping containers you can employ to get your shipping job done, whatever it is. So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!

Different types of shipping containers to explore

When starting a shipping business, you need to be aware of all your options. Do you want air shipping or marine shipping? Do you want to use consolidated shipping or direct? And, what shipping container to use for which type of item? We will go into detail about the last question presented.

different types of shipping containers on a freighter
You need to learn about all the different types of shipping containers

General-purpose containers

This is just the regular container that you think off when someone says shipping or container. It is also known as the “dry container” and it is enclosed on all sides and offers natural elements protection with its sound and well-built construction. They are the most common type of container that you can find on freight ships. You can use them for basically any type of cargo and adapt them for some special cargos. General-purpose containers can be adapted to ship liquid bulk cargo or dry bulk cargo by adding flexitanks or liner bags to give them better support. Definitely, something you should consider when shipping regular items.

Flat rack containers

When you see a flat rack container, you may ask yourself what is it for. First, the strange thing about it is its looks, and after that comes the question of possible uses. It is a container with no roof with sides that you can fold. The end walls are the only thing that keeps the cargo secure. This type of container is usually used for very heavy items that cannot be possibly put in a container with something else. It is dedicated to shipping large machines such as bulldozers, larger vehicles, or construction materials.

man pushing cargo
Flat rack containers are great for heavy machinery

If you are shipping any of it, make sure to secure it well and pack it so the natural elements cannot harm the items you are shipping. The foldable sides make the container able to hold up to 45 metric tons of weight. Definitely, a type of container you should consider if you are packing and crating heavy stuff!

Open top containers

The open-top shipping containers are a type of container with a removable top side. Companies usually use them for items that cannot fit inside a regular container because of the height of the item so it cannot be loaded through the opening on the end. You can also use them for packed bulks of items that cannot be loaded by hand but must be loaded by a rolling bridge or crane. They are different from flat rack containers because they can fit more than one item inside. In addition, they have rings on the upper portion and the lower portion of the container to secure the cargo better. You should make sure to pack everything accordingly so that the natural elements do not damage the goods inside.

crane loading
Open top containers are used when you have to load by crane

Double door containers

This type of container is also called the “tunnel container” because it can be opened and the cargo can be accessed from both sides. Both sides have the same closing and locking mechanism that provide extra security from the natural elements. This type of container is great for cargo that is comprised of long iron or steel beams because it can be accessed from both sides and unloaded fairly quickly. Consider buying this type of container if you want faster unloading time!

Open side containers

Open side containers are most similar to the general-purpose containers. The only thing that separates them is that you can open them from the side as well. This is great for fast unloading because there is only one side of the container that is closed. It is also great for loading items that cannot fit through the openings on the ends of the container. In addition, they come in many sizes so you can decide which size to use depending on your cargo.

ISO reefer containers

This type of container should be familiar if you have ever used climate-controlled storage services. People usually use the ISO reefer container for foods and other perishable items. Made from “Cor-ten” steel, they require an external power source to be functioning properly. The external power source is a must if you want a temperature-controlled container when shipping goods.

Insulated containers

This type of container is similar to the ISO reefer container. However, you can regulate its temperature with a lot more detail. People usually use this Camerich and Ethnicraft type of container to ship sensitive items such as high upkeep food or medicinal or farmaceutical items such as medicine, blood, organs, chemicals, and biological material. This type of container features an electrical compressor that can regulate the heat inside. You can set the temperature and regulate it with more precision depending on the weather on the trip.

Half-height containers

This one definitely looks interesting. Mining companies and other lines of work that use stones and coal love to use this type of container. This is because this container specializes in containing densely packed cargo loads. Because of its low center of mass, it can defy gravity better, and they can handle heavier loads better.


You need to decide from all these different types of shipping containers based on the type of your load. With all that said, good luck with your shipping endeavors!

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