Large-capacity (general purpose) shipping containers vary in type and size. A container most suitable size-wise can be found for any type of cargo. The most common containers are standard or dry containers (DC):
There are other types of containers, such as:
- 20-feet containers are good for shipment of small-sized "solid" or heavy-weight cargo;
- 40-feet standard or high cube containers are good for shipment of light but large-volume cargo;
- Refrigerated containers are used for temperature sensitive cargo;
- Open top containers (soft top instead of rigid roof) – convenient for loading through the top;
- Flat rack containers – for shipment of oversized cargo;
- Tank containers – for liquid and gaseous substances;
- Offshore containers.
These are the most common types of containers, but the list is not exhaustive. The latest trend is to increase the size of shipping containers. 45-feet containers are not rare anymore, and one can come across 48-feet or even 53-feet containers.