CIE Manufacturing

General Purpose Container

Most Commonly Used Types of Intermodal Containers

Intermodal transport is one of the best ways to move goods and materials around the world. It is defined as shipping using more than one method of transport: truck, train, plane, ship, etc.

This is made convenient and efficient by the use of the standard intermodal shipping container: a box-like structure made of steel. These containers can be transferred between modes of transit (ie. unloaded off a cargo ship via crane and placed on a truck chassis) without having to be unloaded and reloaded, which saves time and money.

The intermodal industry uses many different types of shipping containers, depending on the goods being transported. Here are the most frequently used varieties. This is the most common type of intermodal container: a simple steel box. Its dimensions are generally eight feet by eight feet square, and either forty feet or twenty feet long. The design of this type of container goes back to the 1950s, when the US Army standardized the use of shipping containers.

Refrigerated Containers

Also called reefers, these containers are used to transport temperature-sensitive goods, especially food items. Their temperature can be modulated from -65 °C to 40 °C. They are most often seen making food deliveries to grocery stores, restaurants, and food festivals.

Open Side and Open Top Containers

These containers enable cargo to be loaded from the top or sides. Open top containers lack a solid roof and can be covered by a tarpaulin to protect cargo from the elements. Open side containers have a set of large doors on one side, which enables easy access to the interior by workers or machinery.

Tunnel and Flat Rack Containers

In this type of container, also called a double-ender or tunnel-tainer, the ends of the steel box open, making the interior resemble a tunnel.

The Flat Rack container is built with ends, but no sides. Some models have collapsible side walls that can be folded inward or removed entirely. This model of container is especially suitable for pipes and machinery, as well as other items that need to be loaded from the top or sides.

The choice of intermodal container depends on a number of factors: the goods being shipped, which modes of transit will be used, whether the goods need a temperature-regulated environment, how much shelter they need from the elements.

At CIE Manufacturing, we manufacture intermodal chassis that carry these very important intermodal containers across land to their destination. We are proud of our role in the intermodal industry, and seek to produce durable, quality products that transport goods safely and efficiently. We have sales team members to help you with your container needs as well.