Standard containers are also known as general purpose containers. They are closed containers, i.e. they are closed on all sides.
A distinction may be drawn between the following types of standard container: Standard containers with doors at one or both end(s), Standard containers with doors at one or both end(s) and doors over the entire length of one or both sides.
Refrigerated containers are used for goods which need to be transported at a constant temperature above or below freezing point.
These goods are divided into chilled goods and frozen goods, depending on the specified transport temperature.They principally include fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products, such as butter and cheese.
The walls of open-top containers are generally made of corrugated steel. The floor is made of wood.
It has the following typical distinguishing structural features. The roof consists of removable bows and a removable tarpaulin. The door header may be swivelled out. These two structural features greatly simplify the process of packing and unpacking the container.
Platforms consist solely of a floor structure with extremely high loading capacity; they have no side or end walls.
This high loading capacity makes it possible to concentrate heavy weights on small areas. A platform consists of a steel frame and a wooden floor structure.
Platforms are available in 20′ and 40′ sizes. 40′ platforms have a gooseneck tunnel at each end.
Flatracks consist of a floor structure with a high loading capacity composed of a steel frame and a softwood floor and two end walls, which may either be fixed or collapsible.
The end walls are stable enough to allow cargo securing means to be attached and several flatracks to be stacked on top of one another. Flatracks are available in 20′ and 40′ sizes.
High-cube containers are similar in structure to standard containers, but taller. In contrast to standard containers, which have a maximum height of 2591 mm (8’6″), high-cube containers are 2896 mm, or 9’6″, tall.
High-cube containers are for the most part 40′ long, but are sometimes made as 45′ containers.
Tank containers are used for the shipment of gases or liquids, they are often used for the transportation of hazardous cargoes such as fuel and toxic substances.
Tank containers must be filled to a minimum of 80% capacity and must not exceed 95% capacity, this is to allow sufficient ullage space for thermal expansion whilst preventing dangerous surging of the liquids in transit.