What Are the 15 Types of Containers Utilized in International Shipping?

Are you curious about the different types of containers used in international shipping? Look no further!

In this article, we will explore the 15 types of containers commonly utilized in the industry.

From the versatile Dry Van Container to the temperature-controlled Reefer Container, you will discover the wide range of options available.

So, if you are ready to dive into the world of international shipping, let us get started!

Dry Van Container

A dry van container is a common type of container used in international shipping to transport goods securely and protect them from the elements. It is a fully enclosed, rectangular-shaped container made of steel or aluminum. The dry van container is designed to be weatherproof, meaning it keeps the cargo dry during transportation.

This type of container is commonly used for transporting non-perishable goods, such as clothing, electronics, and machinery. Unlike a reefer container, which is used for transporting temperature-sensitive goods, the dry van container does not have temperature control capabilities.

It is a versatile option that can be easily loaded onto trucks, trains, or ships, making it a popular choice in the shipping industry.

Top logistics companies offering dry van container services ensures your goods reach their destination safely and securely.

Reefer Container

Moving on to the next type of container utilized in international shipping, let us discuss the reefer container.

A reefer container, alternatively referred to as a refrigerated container, is meticulously crafted for the transportation of goods that require temperature control. One advantage of using a reefer container is that it allows you to maintain a controlled temperature throughout the journey, ensuring the quality and freshness of perishable items like fruits, vegetables, and pharmaceuticals.

However, there are some disadvantages to consider. Reefer containers are more expensive to operate due to the additional cooling equipment and energy requirements. They also have limited space compared to other container types.

To ensure optimal temperature control, it is important to pre-cool the container before loading and make sure the goods are properly packed and insulated. Monitoring the temperature during transportation is crucial, and it is recommended to use a temperature recorder or data logger.

Leading international freight forwarders in Saudi Arabia offer reliable reefer container services for transporting temperature-sensitive goods.

Flat Rack Container

Are you familiar with the purpose and features of a flat rack container in international shipping?

Flat rack containers are specialized containers used for transporting oversized cargo that cannot fit into standard containers. They've collapsible sides that allow for easy loading and unloading of goods.

The uses of flat rack containers are diverse, ranging from shipping heavy machinery and vehicles to transporting large pipes and construction materials. One of the main advantages of using flat rack containers is their flexibility. They can be loaded from the top or the sides, making it easier to accommodate various types of cargo.

Additionally, they are stackable, maximizing space on ships and in storage yards. Flat rack containers are a reliable and efficient solution for shipping oversized items, ensuring safe and secure transportation of goods.

Leading logistics companies offer flat rack container services in Jeddah for transporting oversized cargo with ease.

Open Top Container

Continuing from the previous subtopic, one option for transporting oversized cargo in international shipping is the open top container. An open top container is a type of shipping container that does not have a fixed roof, allowing for easy loading and unloading of goods that are too tall or bulky to fit in a standard container. The open top container is typically covered with a tarp or similar material to protect the cargo from weather conditions during transit.

The main advantage of using an open top container is the flexibility it offers in terms of cargo size and dimensions. It allows for the transportation of goods that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to ship. Additionally, the open top design makes it easier to load and unload cargo using cranes, ensuring efficient and safe handling. This type of container is commonly used for shipping construction materials, machinery, and other oversized items.

Customs bonded warehouse in Jeddah facilitates the efficient storage and handling of open top containers for international shipping needs.

Tank Container

To delve into the next type of container used in international shipping, let us now explore the tank container, which offers a specialized solution for transporting liquids or gases.

Tank containers are designed to ensure the safe transportation of hazardous and non-hazardous substances. These containers are made of strong materials, such as stainless steel, and have reinforced walls to withstand the pressure exerted by the contents.

To guarantee transportation safety, tank containers undergo rigorous testing and inspection to ensure they meet international standards. They are equipped with safety features like pressure relief valves, emergency shut-off valves, and protective coatings to prevent corrosion. Additionally, tank containers are fitted with secure locking mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access.

Leading logistics companies offer tank container services in Saudi Arabia for transporting liquids and gases securely across international borders.

Bulk Container

You can transport a large quantity of loose or unpackaged cargo in a bulk container, which is specifically designed for this purpose. Bulk containers are commonly used in industries that deal with commodities such as grains, coal, chemicals, and minerals.

One of the main advantages of using bulk containers is that they allow for efficient transportation of large volumes of cargo, reducing the need for additional packaging materials. This not only saves time and money but also helps minimize the environmental impact.

However, there are a few disadvantages to consider. Bulk containers require specialized handling equipment and infrastructure, which may not be readily available in all locations. Additionally, the lack of individual packaging can make it challenging to separate and distribute the cargo upon arrival.

Leading international freight forwarders in Saudi Arabia offer reliable bulk container services for transporting commodities across borders efficiently.


In conclusion, international shipping relies on a variety of containers to transport goods efficiently and securely. The 15 types of containers commonly used include dry van, reefer, flat rack, open top, tank, bulk, pallet wide, flexitank, and offshore containers.

Each container has its own specific purpose and design, ensuring that different types of cargo can be safely transported across the globe. Understanding these container types is essential for businesses and individuals involved in international trade and logistics. Whether you're looking for customs bonded warehouse services in Jeddah or international freight forwarders in Saudi Arabia, partnering with experienced logistics providers ensures smooth and efficient shipping operations.