Although containers are extremely useful as a construction material, many people still use them for storage and transportation.
They have been used for decades to transport goods around the world and are still the most popular method of ‘shipping’ for moving goods from one country to another.
One of the main reasons this method is so favoured is that massive amounts of cargo can be moved in one go without creating disruption or logistical challenges. Every day, freight liners carry huge numbers of units with a relatively low number of staff, safely and securely.
Why Shipping Containers?
Intermodal’s were first invented in the 1950s in the USA. They were designed so that they could be easily transferred from to a truck or train quickly and without the need for unpacking. Instead, the entire unit could be taken straight off the boat and onto the next piece of transportation, which would take the cargo to the next stop on its journey.
By being a standard size and shape, they could be moved, stored, stacked and transferred without issues. If you are buying a container, you too will be able to benefit from the standardisation which has become a staple in the transportation of goods industry for decades.
The ability to stack neatly, securely and easily are all strong selling points and their ability to withstand extreme weather and their watertight properties make them the preferred choice for a wide range of industrial applications. In fact, many businesses choose to adapt and convert the shipping container for everything from pop-up restaurants and exhibition stands to generator enclosures and storage for lithium-ion batteries.
Shipping Container Numbers
There are usually two different sizes that are used in cargo ships: the 20ft (also known as a TEU), and the 40ft (which is known as an FEU). Naturally, the number of units that can be fitted onto a freight liner depends on the size of the unit.
The first freight liners used to be able to transport around 100 TEU shipping containers. However, today, the largest freight liner can transport over 21,000 TEU units, and Orient Overseas Container Line Hong Kong – the company that currently owns the largest in the world – is looking to build even larger ones.
A 20ft unit has dimensions of about 20ft x 8ft x 8ft, and its total capacity is roughly 1360ft³. When this is multiplied by the 21,413 TEU containers that the boat can hold, it means that the boat can have a capacity of about 29,121,680ft³.
As the world becomes increasingly globalised, demand for freight liners will also increase. Sea transportations is still the preferred method and as a result, we are likely to see increasingly larger freight liners being designed and introduced.