The origins of containers trace back to the 18th century in England, specifically in 1766, when James Brindley designed a vessel to transport ten wooden containers for coal from mining areas to the city of Manchester through water channels.
In 1955, Malcolm McLean (a transport company owner) collaborated with engineer Keith Tantlinger to develop a standardized container for shipping on ships. The result was a container measuring 10 feet (3 meters) in length, 8 feet (2.4 meters) in width, and 8 feet (2.4 meters) in height, made of corrugated iron sheets with a thickness of 2.5 millimeters. The design also included a mechanical system in the eight corners for handling the container with cranes, and thus the world was introduced to the standard container in its current form.
Standardization of Measurements
International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) played a crucial role in establishing the foundation of containers by introducing four important standard files :.
- January 1968: ISO 668 to define container measurements and weights.
- July 1968: ISO 790 for defining container numbers and the method of writing on them.
- January 1970: ISO 1161 recommendations for designing container corner fittings.
- October 1970: ISO 1897 to define the internal dimensions of containers.
To facilitate the selection of the appropriate container, containers can be classified in two formats:
First: Classification of Containers Based on Shape and Product Requirements :
Dry Containers :
The most widely used container globally, suitable for transporting all types of dry goods.
Available in various sizes as mentioned.
Flat Rack Container :
Invented to address the challenges of shipping heavy or differently dimensioned equipment.
The side shelves can be folded to accommodate the container's nature.
Side Open Storage Container :
Opens from the side (as opposed to the ends) to facilitate specific loading and unloading needs.
Tunnel Container :
Similar to dry cargo containers but with openings on both sides, making loading and unloading easier.
Reefer Containers :
Used for transporting frozen meat, fruits, and perishable goods. Daily maintenance and temperature monitoring ensure the safety and freshness of the goods ,
Available in 20 & 40 feet sizes, manufactured from a special type of steel ('Cor-ten') to withstand low temperatures.
Open Top Containers :
Used for handling high-height shipments that cannot fit through the traditional container door. The roof is removed for unloading using cranes.
Cylindrical Tank Container :
Designed specifically for transporting liquids, gases, and hazardous materials. The container must be filled to a minimum of 80% and not exceed 95% to prevent any dangers.
Thermal Container :
Facilitates the transport of goods requiring high temperatures.
Second: Classification of Containers Based on Measurements and Load Capacity:
Weight ( Kg )
|40-foot high cube
|45-foot high cube