What are the Different Types of Shipping Storage Containers?

Shipping Storage Containers

Shipping containers have been used significantly in different industries, such as shipping, trade, transport, and housing. Besides, several types of shipping storage containers are used in transporting cargo and goods by air, land, or water. 

Although shipping is its primary function, there are other interesting ways that containers can be used. You can use them to build a house, a self-storage facility, a mobile office, and others. There is almost no limit when it comes to the applications and functions of these storage containers.

Different Types of Shipping Storage Containers?

Different types of shipping storage containers are available on the market. They vary in size, structure, materials, dimension, and construction to meet various project requirements. Knowing them will help you make the right choice.

General Purpose Containers

General Purpose Containers

A general-purpose container or a “dry container” is built with a rigid roof, sidewalls and floor. Generally, it is fully enclosed, protected from any road elements and weatherproof. 

Dry containers are the most common type of shipping storage container, and they are used to load most types of cargo. Besides, these containers are flexible as you can use them as liner bags or flexitanks for transporting certain types of dry bulk cargo or liquid bulk cargo.

Swap Body

From the word itself, swap bodies are exchangeable containers commonly used for road and rail. These containers have a convertible top, making them ideal for shipping a wide range of goods. Since swap bodies are not stackable and have no upper corner fittings, they are only limited to land-based transportation. 

Double Door

Double DoorAnother common type of shipping storage container is the double door or sometimes called “tunnel container” because it has doors on both ends. Due to their double door, they are beneficial for quickly loading and unloading goods and items. 

Besides, they make an even wider room for oversized items such as steel, iron and other bulky cargo. Both sets of doors also have the same locking systems and weather-tight seals to keep your shipment protected from any road elements. 

ISO Reefer

An ISO reefer shipping container is used for transporting temperature-sensitive and perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables and meat. 

Generally, this type relies on external power to regulate and control the temperature while transporting. Reefers usually come in 20’ and 40’ sizes and are commonly made from weathering steel.


Same with the ISO reefer container, insulated or thermal containers also use regulated temperature control, allowing them to resist a higher temperature.  They are usually equipped with electrical compliance, such as a mechanical compressor to heat or cool the air inside the container. 

These containers are typically built of a vacuum flask, similar to a “thermos” water bottle. They are most suitable for long-distance shipments of products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, blood, biological materials and other temperature-controlled chemicals.


Related article: What is the Difference Between Shipping Storage Trailers and Storage Containers?


Open Side

The open side is also a good type of shipping storage container. Open side containers are quite similar to a standard or general-purpose containers. The only difference is that its doors can open entirely on the side too, providing a much wider room and easy access, so the loading and unloading materials are easy to do, as well.  

Generally, open side containers come in 20′ and 40′ sizes, and they provide enough room for extra-large items that can’t fit inside the regular container’s doors.

High Cube

High cube containers are similar in structure to general-purpose containers but taller by about 1 foot. The shipping container sizes usually come in 40′ and sometimes 45′. With that, they are typically used in cases where a huge volume capacity is required. 

Most high cubes have a recess in the floor at the front end to position the container on the centre, particularly so-called gooseneck chassis. It allows the container to lie lower and be of taller construction. 

Open Top

An open-top is a type of shipping storage container with a convertible top that you can completely remove. This container is suitable for bulky, over-height shipments and others that you cannot easily load through the door, such as tall and huge machinery or other heavy finished products whose handling and loading need a crane or rolling bridge. 

Open top generally has lashing rings installed to the upper and lower side rails and corner posts for cargo securement. The shipping container sizes are usually available in 20’ and 40’.

Flat Rack

Flat Rack

A flat rack is a simple type of shipping storage container with collapsible sides that you can fold to make a literal flat rack. They are usually ideal for shipping goods that are oversized and heavy such as machinery, vehicles, big reels and other construction equipment and materials. Some 40′ flat rack containers are ideal for carrying as much as 45 metric tons of cargo, and their end walls are stable enough to allow cargo securement. 


Tank shipping storage containers, or tankers, are made of strong steel and other anti-corrosive materials for shipping and long-life protection of liquid cargo. A tank container must cover at least 80% to prevent dangerous surging of liquids in transit. But it must not also cover 95% of the space, so there’s sufficient room for thermal expansion.

Should I Get Shipping Storage Containers?

These different types of shipping storage containers can help you with all sorts of storing and shipping your items and goods. You can also place them at your business location, construction site, or driveway for storage purposes. 

If you are looking for convenient, cost-effective and secure storage solutions, Toronto trailers can offer you a wide selection of storage containers suited for your storage or shipping needs. You may contact us at 416 477 5488 for inquires.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *