ISO shipping containers are a major innovation in the movement of cargo both inland and overseas. The term ‘ISO’ means ‘International Standards Organization’ and sets the standard for the movement of freight worldwide.
It is essential that these units meet the exacting standards set by the ISO because of the large volume and different types of product they carry. And, not only do they need to be able to bear extremely heavy loads they also must be sound enough to be stacked when being shipped. And, of course, they need to stand up to extremely harsh conditions such as when being transported in rough seas as well as being rust resistant for when they are being transported on heavily salted roads during the winter months.
In order to be cargo worthy most shipping containers are CSC plated. They come in various sizes, usually between 20 and 45 feet in length, though some can be anything up to 100 foot long. There are also varying types of container, such as Steel Dry, Hi-Cube Steel Dry, Open Top and Flat Rack. The type of container to be used will depend on the cargo and the conditions under which it will be carried. The container service provider will also be able to give advice on the best type of unit to be used.
The design of shipping containers depends on how they are to be transported. The larger ones, which are usually constructed from lighter materials, are used mainly for inland – road and rail – transportation and are weather proofed – resistant to wind and rain.
As well as being useful for the mass transportation of cargo by road, rail and sea, shipping containers can also be transported by air, though the various air freight lines often produce their own containers, specifically designed for their aircraft.
The mass use of shipping containers has revolutionised the movement of goods worldwide.. A survey of American ports as early as 1998 showed that moving goods in bulk using shipping containers sped up the operation by up to 2,000 per cent. Not only does does this mean that the product will reach the customer much more quickly, it also saves heavily on transportation and labour costs, leading to the prospect of cheaper prices for the consumer, and bigger profits for the manufacturer.
The usage of ISO shipping containers is an economical, safe and efficient way to transport goods anywhere in the world, hence their ever increasing popularity in carrying products from the factory to the consumer.