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Overview of the most important container types in ocean freight

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The standard container is also called ISO container. Only dry general cargo is transported in it.

The ISO container is available in 20′ and 40′.

Dimensions 20′ Standard Container


20 Standard Container ISO Container
Volume in cbm 33.2
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 5’900 x 2’352 x 2’395
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’340 x 2’292
Max. payload in kg 30’130

Dimensions 40′ Standard Container


40 Standard Container ISO Container
Volume in cbm 67.7
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 12’032 x 2’352 x 2’395
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’340 x 2’292
Max. payload in kg 28’750

The hardtop container is basically very similar to the standard container. However, it is equipped with a removable steel roof.

This not only simplifies the loading and unloading process of the container; the container roof can also be left open for loads with excessive height.

Dimensions 20′ Hardtop Container


20' Hardtop Container
Volume in cbm 33.0
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 5’886 x 2’342 x 2’313
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’336 x 2’276
Roof opening in mm (WxH) 2’208 x 5’590
Max. payload in kg 27’780

Dimensions 40′ Hardtop Container


40' Hardtop Container
Volume in cbm 67.2
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 12’020 x 2’342 x 2’313
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’336 x 2’276
Roof opening in mm (WxH) 2’208 x 11’724
Max. payload in kg 25’780

The open top container is similar to the hardtop container. It differs in that its roof is covered by a tarpaulin. It can be used to transport goods that exceed the height of the container.

Dimensions 20′ Open Top Container


20' Open Top Container
Volume in cbm 32.5
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 5’895 x 2’350 x 2’340
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’338 x 2’280
Roof opening in mm (WxH) 2’230 x 5’338
Max. payload in kg 30’050

Dimensions 40′ Open Top Container


40' Open Top Container
Volume in cbm 66.8
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 12’029 x 2’350 x 2’380
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’340 x 2’276
Roof opening in mm (WxH) 2’230 x 11’552
Max. payload in kg 28’450

Flatracks are used especially for voluminous or extra-wide and extra-high loads.

The Flatrack Containers are due to their construction on top when loading a ship.

Dimensions 20′ Flatrack Container


20' Flatrack Container
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 6’038 x 2’438 x 2’233
Max. payload in kg 42’100

Dimensions 40′ Flatrack Container


40' Flatrack Container
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 12’048 x 2’347 x 2’265
Max. payload in kg 49’100

The platform container is also called «plat container» in the forwarding industry. It is actually a flat rack container with the removable metal walls removed. The platform container therefore only consists of a base plate on which oversized loads can be transported.

The ventilated container is a standard container (ISO container), which is additionally equipped with a ventilation device.

Dimensions 20′ Standard Container


20 Standard Container ISO Container
Volume in cbm 33.2
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 5’900 x 2’352 x 2’395
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’340 x 2’292
Max. payload in kg 30’130

Dimensions 40′ Standard Container


40 Standard Container ISO Container
Volume in cbm 67.7
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 12’032 x 2’352 x 2’395
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’340 x 2’292
Max. payload in kg 28’750

There is a built-in cooling device in the refrigerated container. There is also a controlled fresh air duct in the refrigerated container.

The refrigerated container is available as a 20′ variant, but also on request as a 40′.

Dimensions 20′ Kühl Container


20’ refrigerated container
Volume in cbm 28.1
Inner dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 5’450 x 2’280 x 2’159
Door opening in mm (WxH) 2’290 x 2’264
Max. payload in kg 29’140

Most containers are also available in «high cube» versions with an extended height. Please contact us for further information.

Other container types can also be booked on request, such as:

  • Insulating container
  • Tank container
  • Bulk container
  • etc.


Ask our seafreight specialists which container type is best suited for your shipment.

Where is my ocean freight shipment currently?

Enter either the B/L- or container-number of your sea freight shipment in one of the two fields below and find out where it is currently located. This service is free of charge and without guarantee.

Your contact persons for sea freight / ocean freight

Michael Maeder

Head of Sea Freight & Land Transport
Corinne Laubacher

Corinne Laubacher

Sea Freight & Land Transport

Isabelle Haas

Sea Freight

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