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A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Various Types of Shipping Containers

Updated: May 21, 2023

Various Types of Shipping Containers

shipping container on a trailer

The world of shipping containers is a vast and varied one, with a multitude of options available to suit your needs. Each container has its unique characteristics that make it ideal for different purposes. Some are better suited for commercial use, while others are perfect for personal storage. With so many options, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs.

Whether you're looking for a large container to store equipment or a small one to keep your belongings safe, there are plenty of options to choose from. From standard sizes to custom designs, shipping containers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are made from steel, while others use aluminum or plastic.

The reasons for using a shipping container are as varied as the containers themselves. Some use them for storage, while others use them for transportation. They can even be used for unique purposes like mobile offices or homes.

When it comes to choosing the right container, it's essential to consider your specific needs. Are you looking for a container that is durable and weather-resistant? Or do you need one that can be easily modified to fit your unique requirements? Whatever your needs, there's a shipping container out there that is perfect for you.

So why not explore your options today? Discover the world of shipping containers and find the one that's right for you. With so many choices available, you're sure to find a container that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.

​​Easy Shipping Container Delivery | US CONEX | Start by Getting a Quote or Call 1-813 393 1279


20ft shipping container

Dry storage containers come in an assortment of sizes, but the most frequently used ones are the 20 and 40-feet options. These containers, typically constructed using cornet or weathering steel, are renowned for their hermetic seal, which ensures that items stored inside are shielded from moisture damage. Indeed, these containers are the most prevalent type used in the shipping industry for safeguarding dry goods.

It's important to note that this particular container is not equipped with temperature controls and should, therefore, not be used for storing temperature-sensitive items like perishable foods or chemicals that require refrigeration. These limitations notwithstanding, businesses that need to stockpile vast quantities of dry goods or construction sites in need of temporary storage units often opt for these containers.

Perhaps what's most intriguing about these containers is their versatility. Although they are a common sight in industrial settings, anyone can purchase a shipping container and repurpose it as a personal storage unit in their backyard. The possibilities are endless!



Flat rack containers are precisely as their name implies - they are flat, with only walls or posts and no roof or side doors. The absence of these features facilitates the loading and unloading of cargo from either the top or the sides. Such containers are designed for transporting hefty and irregularly shaped items, such as oversized boats, buses, and construction cranes, which cannot fit within the confines of standard containers. By utilizing flat rack containers, the shipment of unwieldy items becomes much simpler, as does the process of loading and unloading them.



An open top container is a common type of dry storage that offers convenient storage solutions for businesses dealing with large amounts of materials. Typically made of steel, these containers are designed to accommodate raw materials as well as finished goods, and they offer ample storage space for oversized cargo such as heavy construction equipment and large tires. Unlike traditional containers, open top containers lack a solid roof, instead, they are covered by tarps, making them easier to load and unload from the top. This design also allows for more flexibility as they come with end doors to cater to oversized cargo.

You might be wondering how open top containers differ from flat rack containers, which are also open on top. Well, the answer lies in the cargo they are designed to transport. While flat racks are better suited for top-heavy machinery and vehicles, open tops are ideal for carrying loose cargo in bulk, provided that the cargo does not exceed a height of 7'8". With their versatility and practical design, open top containers remain a go-to choice for businesses looking to store and transport large amounts of cargo.



The open side storage container boasts an additional set of doors, strategically placed on the elongated side of the container. This is in addition to the standard double doors situated on one end of the container. With the extra doors, you now have the advantage of having two sides that can be opened, providing wider access for easier retrieval of items, and ultimately saving you time. This makes it an ideal storage container for larger and more cumbersome items, adding to its functionality.



Be prepared to fork over some extra cash if you're in the market for a refrigerated container. These chill-inducing containers, also known as reefer containers, are a pricier alternative to their dry storage counterparts. But before you think about balking at the cost, consider that they offer a temperature-controlled environment, which makes them the ideal choice for storing products that require a cool and consistent climate. From fresh fruits and vegetables to dairy products and meats, the refrigerated container is a must-have for those seeking to keep their products chilled and in optimal condition. So if you're looking for a storage solution that will keep things cool and in tip-top shape, look no further than the trusty reefer container.



The half height shipping container, as the name suggests, is half the size of a full-height shipping container. While it may seem like an odd choice, there are several reasons why you might want to consider purchasing one. Two such examples are transporting and storing very heavy loads and having a pool.

When it comes to heavy loads, a half height container can be an excellent option for goods such as pipes, salt, and vehicles. Its design is intended for smaller heavy loads, which can be carried by rail or sea. Additionally, these containers can stack on top of each other, making them a space-saving solution. But did you know that a half height container can also be used as a pool?

Thinking outside the box, this shipping container can be modified to provide a swimming pool. All it takes is some time and modification to make it happen. By purchasing a half height container, you not only have the option of transporting goods but also the possibility of enjoying a swim. So why limit yourself to a traditional pool when you can have a unique and functional container pool?


There are many different types of shipping containers. Uses range from commercial or personal use. Seven of the most common shipping containers are in this post.

Not only can you appreciate what they are but also what they’re used for. If you are thinking of buying a shipping container we can help.

Give US Conex a call at 1 813 393 1279.

One of our friendly and knowledgeable sales agents will be happy to assist you!

Easy Shipping Container Delivery | US CONEX | Start by Getting a Quote or Call 1-813 393 1279

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