Shipping containers are metallic boxes that come in different sizes to suit diverse shipping needs. Goods can be shipped worldwide in water proof and often airtight containers that keep your shipped goods safe from the harsh elements at sea. Shipping containers come affixed with numbers and alphabet prefix to these numbers to indicate which carrier it goes on.
These labels are extremely helpful to keep track of your shipment. For instance, Atlantic cargoes use the prefix ACXU to distinguish containers that will travel on their ships. You can use these carrier identifying alphabet combinations to track your shipments status online.
Unless you do frequent shipping it can be impractical and uneconomical to store and own a shipping container, however most shipping companies lease their shipping containers from a depot. 18 shipping companies lease out their shipping containers from one of the three main depots in Denmark, England and Sweden. There are different types of shipping containers and each of them is best suited to different kind of goods and shipping needs. Choose the most appropriate container for your shipment.
Shipping containers come in various sizes and different levels of protection from the environment. Dry cargo and refrigerated containers are mostly available in cube styles or the normal box style. Dry cargo containers are available 20 to 45 feet in length and the reefer or refrigerated containers can be obtained in 40 to 45 foot high cubes. Shipments that require air tight or temperature regulated shipping need insulated containers. Insulated containers come in lengths from 20 to 40 foot.
Stuff that are non perishable and do not require protection from the harsh environment out at sea can be shipped in open top containers. Open top containers are available from 20 to 40 foot lengths. Flat rack containers too come only within 20 to 40 long sizes but they come fitted with collapsible or flush folding sides. Tank containers for shipping are available just in the sizes of 20 foot length and are most apt for shipping large volumes of liquids like milk, oil or gasoline. Outside United States container measurements are usually indicated only in metric units.
Shipping time includes detention or demurrage periods, you will need to consider these while tracking your shipment online. Detention refers to a hold up of the shipping container at the consignee’s warehouse and delay in reaching the depot. Demurrage refers to the charges you might have to pay for when the container that you have rented is delayed in being loaded or off loaded at the right port. Your shipment fee might sometimes include storage and electricity charges in addition to the demurrage and detention charges.
You can find various websites online that will help you calculate demurrage and detention dates. Feed in the arrival date, empty return date and the free days of rental to get the total number of demurrage or detention days.
Although choosing the right container should ensure the safety of your shipment it is still important to read through all the fine print associated with the containers rental from the shipping company. Adhere to their regulations so as to ensure a smooth and long-term use of the company and their services.