Different Types of Containers Used in International Shipping

When it comes to shipping, meticulous product packing is a fundamental practice that can make all the difference. The key objective is to pack items in a way that minimizes movement and provides essential support to withstand the rigors of transit. This principle becomes even more critical when dealing with international shipments, where products must endure a variety of challenges to reach their destination while preserving their quality and quantity, regardless of prevailing weather conditions. This is precisely where shipping containers play a pivotal role.

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Different Types of Containers Used in International Shipping

One may find several types of containers used in international shipping. Every container has its usage concerning the products. Thus, the exporter must choose a wise container accordingly.

Let us discuss the type of containers used in international shipping.

Intermodal Containers

Intermodal containers can be used in different modes of transport. These containers are large in size. The products do not get affected in this container. The intermodal containers include the following.

  • General Purpose Container

    The general purpose containers are frequently utilized in the trade business. It is also known as standard containers. It is a durable and airtight container.

  • Dry Freight Container

    A dry freight container or dry storage container is airtight as it does not pose any ventilation. Such containers cannot be used for transportation of liquid goods. These containers are used for non-perishable goods.

  • Insulated Container

    The insulated or thermal container is a wise choice for maintaining the temperature inside. The terminal container protects the interior from the exterior condition. It keeps the goods cold and controls the effects of climate. It keeps the goods frozen or at a certain temperature during a long voyage. The terminal container is frequently used for perishable goods.

  • Open Top Container

    The open-top container is also known as the hardtop container. It has an opening from its top side. The open-top container may contain more cargo compared to other containers. The tarpaulin rubber covers the open side of the container.

  • Flat Rack Container

    The flat rack containers are used to transport heavy cargo. This includes timber, boats, buses, machinery, etc.

    There are two types of flat rack containers.

    • Non-collapsible flat racks
    • Collapsible flat racks
  • Reefer Container

    Reefer container is also known as refrigerated containers. These containers are used in intermodal transport. It is used to transport perishable goods. This includes vegetables, fruits, and other perishable goods.

  • Tank Containers

    Tank containers are cylindrical vessels. These containers are used to deliver hazardous or non-hazardous goods. This includes food, wines, chemical, gases and other toxic substances. This container can carry goods ranging 10,000 to 26,000 liters.

  • High Cube Containers

    The high cube containers are similar to standard containers. However, it has extra space compared to the standard container. In addition, such containers are made up of steel and aluminum.

  • Double Door Container

    Double-door containers or tunnel containers are a modified version of general-purpose containers. It has a door at both of its ends. When both doors are open, it looks like a tunnel.

  • Open Side Storage Containers

    The side door container has a door on the longer side of the container. It is straightforward to load and unload the goods using side door containers.

  • SECU Containers

    SECU refers to Stora Enso Cargo Unit. It is a type of intermodal container which is invented by a forest and paper company. It is used to ship bulk cargo, such as paper. The container can carry 80 tons of goods or cargo.

Ocean Freight Containers

Ocean freight containers are used in sea modes of transportation. The ocean freight container includes the following containers.

  • Dry Van Shipping Containers
  • Reefer Tank Shipping Containers

Other Containers

The listed below are the other container used in different modes of transportation. This includes the following.

  • Drum Containers (also known as cylindrical containers)
  • Swap body Containers
  • Half-height containers
  • Car carrier containers
  • Cargo storage roll containers
  • Intermediate bulk shift containers
  • Pallet wide containers
  • Special purpose containers

The aforementioned containers are used to export the goods. The shipper may purchase marine insurance for the goods contained in the aforementioned containers.


The containers are used in order to move the products from one country to another. The exporter must choose the containers wisely and purchase the marine insurance policy for the cargo contained in the container.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 06 October 2023

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Policybazaar for Business - Marine Insurance - Customer Reviews
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3.8 April 20, 2023
Great Experience
I recently purchased Marine insurance from Policybazaar for my shipping business and I must say I am thoroughly impressed with their service and coverage. From start to finish, the experience has been smooth and hassle-free.Thankyou.
4.3 April 03, 2023
Provides Comprehensive Protection
When it comes to coverage, Marine insurance that i bought from PolicyBazaar has exceeded my expectations. It provides comprehensive protection for my cargo and vessels during transit, ensuring I can focus on my business operations with peace of mind. Thankyou.
4.3 March 17, 2023
Excellent Services
I highly recommend Marine insurance from PolicyBazaar website to anyone in the shipping or logistics industry. Their user-friendly website, comprehensive coverage, and excellent customer service make them stand out from the competition. With Policybazaar, I feel confident in navigating the high seas, knowing that my business is well-protected. Thank you, Policybazaar.
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User Friendly Interface
The website's user-friendly interface made it easy to compare different plans and find the perfect fit for my business needs.Thanks
4.3 February 11, 2023
Prompt Services
I appreciate the transparency and honesty with which Policybazaar handled my claims. They were prompt in processing my claim and their claim settlement process was hassle-free.Thanks PolicyBazaar.
3.8 February 10, 2023
Exceeds Expectations
I recently had the pleasure of purchsing marine insurance from Policy bazaar website and I must say it has been an outstnding experience from start to finish. I am thrilled to share my positive customer review, as this truly exceeded my expectations. Thanks PB.
3.8 January 31, 2023
Easy Navigation
The ease of navigating the Policy bazaar website and finding the right marine insurance policy was impressive. The website's user-friendly interface and intuitive design made it incredibly simple to compare various options, understand the coverage details and make an informed decision. I appreciated the transparency provided throughout the process. Thanks.
3.8 January 21, 2023
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The customer service provided by Policy bazaar was decent. Their team was responsive, knowledgeable and went above and beyond to assist me at every step. Their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction were truly commendable.Thankyou.
4.3 January 11, 2023
Sanjeev Rathor
Efficient Process
When it came to claims processing, Policy bazaar demonstrated remarkable eficiency and effectivenes. I had an unfortunate incident during the coverage period and filing a claim was a breeze. The entire process was streamlined and their team guided me throuugh every necssary step, making it hassle-free. The promptness with which my claim was setled reflected their commitment to their customers' well-being and peace of mind. Thankyou.
3.8 January 01, 2023
Comprehensive Coverage
I must mention the comprehensive coverage provided by the marine insurance policy I purchasd through Policy bazaar. It offered me the necesary protection and peace of mind. Thankyou PolicyBazaar.