Exports and imports play a significant role in the growth of the economy of different countries across the world. This involves the movement of goods between countries using various means of transport. Whether you’re transporting your cargo by rail, water, air, or road from one border to the next, you’d need to use a shipping container.With that in mind, in this article, you’ll learn different ways you could obtain shipping containers and other ways you could utilize them. On a basic level, you’re going to learn what a shipping container is, its types, uses, and how to choose the right shipping container. Read on to learn more!
What Is A Shipping Container?
Also known as an intermodal container, a shipping container is any tool used to ship, store and handle goods. It’s a standardized cargo container designed to transport goods across different modes of transport. A shipping container is primary used to transport goods across different countries and store them more efficiently and securely.
So versatile are shipping containers that there’s a myriad of shipping container business ideas from which entrepreneurs draw inspiration to use shipping containers for more than just freight moving. Some entrepreneurs have even repurposed shipping containers as a cost-effective alternative to building structures such as cafés or swimming pools.
What Are The Major Types Of Shipping Containers?
There are several shipping containers that are designed to serve different purposes. Some major types of shipping containers include the following:
- General-Purpose Shipping Containers
General-purpose shipping containers are also known as dry containers. They’re the most common types of containers used in international freight movement. They come in different dimensions and are used in the transportation of dry products.
- Flat Rack Containers
This is another common type of shipping container. They’re designed to transport goods that need loading from the sides or the top. They could also be used for cargo that can’t fit in general-purpose containers. Likewise, they’re manufactured from steel and also comes in different sizes.
- Open-Top Container
This type of shipping container has a convertible top that can be removed completely to help load products at ease. It’s suitable for over-height cargo that can’t be easily loaded through the door. Also, it’s used to transport heavy items that can only be loaded with a crane.
- Tunnel Shipping Container
A tunnel container is a shipping container that can be used to load and offload products quickly. This is possible because these containers come with doors on both ends to allow for easy load and removal of materials.
- Tank Container
The tank container is shipment storage used to transport liquid products like petrol. Most liquids are corrosive, and for that reason, these containers are made of corrosive-resistant materials like steel.
How Do You Choose The Right Shipping Container?
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right shipping container for your business. Here are some that are worth noting:
- Container Size
Shipping containers aren’t made equal, as they come in different sizes. So when shopping for your shipping container, it’d be a good idea to choose a size that best suits your needs. However, the size you select should be such that it makes sense for your business’ finances.
- Container Age
Age is another major factor you need to consider, especially when you want to buy used containers. This is important because used containers might have had some defects in the past. Therefore, when buying a secondhand container, make sure to inspect it and find out whether it had some extreme shipping history. For better services, it’s advisable not to buy a shipping container that’s older than ten years.
- Trusted Suppliers
Another consideration to ensure you purchase the right shipping container for your business is to partner with the right supplier. Though there are many suppliers out there, not all are genuine. So before buying your shipping container, you need to research and find a reputable supplier.
There are many ways of learning about the reputation of a shipping container supplier. For instance, you can read other customers’ online reviews or ask for recommendations from other people. Working with trusted and reputable suppliers can allow you to get the best shipping solutions for your products or business.
- Ask About Warranties
Whatever your purpose for buying a shipping container, you need to inquire about warranties before committing to a deal. A warranty is a written guarantee issued to the buyer of a shipping container by the manufacturer or the supplier, promising to replace it in case of damages or wrong delivery—if necessary—within a specified time.
- Determine The Purpose Of Your Container
Having a clear understanding of what it is exactly you want to do with your container can allow you to make the right decision from the beginning. As noted earlier, different shipping containers serve different purposes. For instance, while most shipping containers are used for cargo movement, others are used as storage facilities. Also, some people use shipping containers as mobile offices.
So to ensure you purchase a shipping container that best suits your needs, it’d be a good idea to determine or define its purpose. However, you can buy the same container if you want to modify it to suit your current needs.
- Consider The Delivery Fees
In most cases, transporting a container can cost you a lot of money. If you pay too much to transport a container, it can have a huge impact on your profitability. For that reason, you should check with your supplier to find out about delivery terms.
This is important because you may not want to pay for a delivery that’s worth more than the purchase cost of the shipping container. So to make sure you get the best solutions and get returns on your shipping investment and reduce your overall costs, remember to ask your supplier about who’s responsible for delivery fees and other damages that might happen in transit.
Shipping containers are an integral part of modern business. They’re designed to transport goods between countries safely, and they provide efficient and cost-effective ways to handle products. But beyond logistics, people are also finding alternative uses of shipping containers.
And to reap the good benefits of a shipping container, you must make the right decision when purchasing them. As mentioned here, some factors to consider when purchasing your shipping container include the size of the container, the reputation of the supplier, warranties, and much more.
Author: Max Brennan is a digital marketing expert. He has been in the industry for more than seven years. In his experience, he has started several blogs, sharing his expertise with aspiring marketers. His educational background in digital marketing has given him a strong base on approaching different topics. In his free time, Max loves listening to music and watching movies.