Types of containers

Understand Logistics & Freight

Containers are an invention from the 1970s that has been crucial for cargo transportation. The Dry box container, for example, is the standard container we all know, suitable for transporting general cargo that doesn’t require special transport conditions. With the diversity of products and the increase in safety procedures for effective transport, however, innovation was needed and more specific types of containers joined the market to fulfill various needs.

Some containers are clearly different from others, such as Flat-racks and ISO tanks, but some have more subtle differences that may not be noticeable at first glance. In this post, we will go over a few of the special containers that are very similar to the standard ones used in freight shipping and their main purposes.


Super-heavy containers look a lot like standard containers, except for their increased weight capacity. This kind of container is capable of carrying around 10,000 kilos more than the regular container payload and, for that reason, they always come with a label to warn carriers and crane operators and avoid mishandling, breaking equipment, or other accidents during transportation.  


Food is very sensitive to external circumstances and a shipment of this nature is at risk if it is loaded in a container that has transported chemicals or other hazardous materials before, even if it has already been cleaned. To avoid contamination, food-grade containers are used exclusively to transport food. They are usually relatively new and free of rust, stains, odors, or anything else that may compromise the integrity of the food they carry.


For shipments that need to be kept cool, we use Reefer containers. These have the same shape and design as regular containers, but they are equipped with a refrigeration system that works without the need for an external power supply, being able to sustain lower temperatures for long journeys through land and sea.

A true example of a versatile asset, Reefer containers can also be turned off and used as regular containers, as long as some requirements are met in order to keep them in ideal conditions for use.


Insulated containers work the other way around, keeping their contents warm against severely cold external temperatures. Reefer containers can be converted into insulated when their cooling system gets removed and replaced with insulation boards. In this case, we call them ex-Reefer.

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