The modern economic system owes its entire existence to shipping containers. The modern supply chain would not exist without them, and we could not handle the logistics necessary to sustain 21st-century living standards.
photo credit: Paul Teysen / Unsplash
Shipping containers protect our cargo in several ways, ensuring smooth transport from one part of the world to the other. They are designed for intermodal transport, which means transporting a set of goods in a steel container using various modes of transportation, such as truck and rail. So they can survive both land and sea voyages without causing damage to the goods.
They ensure a uniform and standardized approach to cargo handling, making it easier to transfer goods between various modes of transportation. If you are a small business that delivers overseas, you must find shipping containers for hire. When hiring these containers, you must consider various key factors, such as:
1. Container Type and Size
Shipping containers come in different types and sizes. For example, dry containers, the most common type of shipping containers, are sealed and protect goods from external elements such as rain and humidity.
Reefers have temperature control and are suitable for transporting goods that need refrigeration, like medicines. Other types include open-top containers, which lack a solid roof, allowing for easy top-loading of oversized or heavy cargo, and tank containers with specialized tanks for chemicals, fuels, and other liquid cargo.
You must consider what container size you need according to your product. Generally, you can find standard 20-foot or 40-foot containers. You can also go for high cube containers, which have additional height and are suited for transporting voluminous cargo. They are typically available in 40-foot and 45-foot sizes.
2. Container Condition and Quality
You can get brand-new containers, used containers, or refurbished containers. New containers offer the highest level of quality and are typically free from wear and tear. They are costly, while used containers are cheaper. However, you must conduct a thorough inspection before choosing a used container. You can also opt for a refurbished container. They have undergone repairs and maintenance to restore them to a close-to-new condition. They offer a balance between cost savings and quality.
Check for dents, rust, and any signs of damage to the frame and walls to ensure your container has good structural integrity. Inspect seals, gaskets, and the overall condition of the container to ensure it remains watertight. Your container should also be free from residues, contaminants, and pests that could damage or contaminate the cargo.
3. Security Features
You must protect your cargo during its journey, so never compromise on your container’s security features. Secure locking mechanisms, such as high-quality padlocks or specialized container locks, protect cargo during transit. They act as a deterrent to theft and unauthorized access.
Hire containers with integrated GPS tracking systems to get real-time location data. This allows for continuous monitoring of the container’s whereabouts during transit. Similarly, see if your container allows for electronic seals. They are equipped with sensors and can provide real-time alerts if there is any attempt to breach the container.
Shipping containers are the backbone of modern logistics. Without them, the current economic system would not exist, and long-distance transportation of goods would become impossible. If your small business exports its products overseas, you must hire quality shipping containers for your supply chain management.
Remember to not compromise on quality and condition, hire the right size and type of container, and incorporate excellent security features.