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Freight Containers are used in intermodal freight transport, and are key items used in a system known as containerization. They are also known as intermodal transport units and are loaded and sealed intact onto railroad cars, ships, planes and trucks.
The introduction of them resulted in huge improvements in port handling efficiency, which had the effect of lowering freight charges, and lowering general costs which helps boost the flow of trade. Many manufactured products humans consume, will have spent some time in freight containers.
The introduction of them led to purpose built vessels, which started in Denmark in 1951. They have revolutionized cargo shipping, and today around 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by freight containers stacked on ships. Freight containers are mostly constructed from steel, and have an opening usually at one end. Other types of freight containers may be made from wood for different storage and transport purposes.
Freight containers are manufactured in various sizes, and new shipping containers are normally made from high tensile rust inhibiting Corten Steel, which helps to increase their lifespan. These containers will have a CSC plate (MoT), they come in a wide variety of sizes and types, and some of these are:
- 40ft : 20ft : 10ft
- 8ft x 8ft 6" or 9ft 6" standard height
They may have single or double ended doors. In addition, containers can be:
- Damp-proof: Water-proof
- Fire-proof: Vandal proof & highly secure
Containers can be painted to the customers own choice, and if required fully fitted with secure data centers.
Shipping containers may be insulated, which is ideal for paper or furniture storage purposes. They also may have double or single ended doors, and some may even have a personal door conversion i.e. a door fitted into one side of the container.
Different types of containers can include:
- Dry container
- Reefer container
- High cube reefer
- Open top
- Flat rack container
Damaged or retired containers may be recycled in the form of shipping container architecture, or the steel content may be salvaged. Freight containers use worldwide to make sure that the cargo safely arrive destination.