Styles of Shipping Container Design

shipping container design

When you purchase goods these days, they usually need to be shipped from a faraway location. Because of the modern globalization of trade, the international shipping industry is an integral part of getting what we need, when we need it. The shipping containers themselves are also important imports and exports, as it’s their job to get the good from point A to point B safely and securely. Although you might have a specific design in mind when you think of a shipping container, there are actually several different types of shipping containers that can be found on cargo ships and trucks, based on the type of product they’re moving. Below, Porta-Stor will take a look at the major types of shipping container design and how they tend to be used.

Dry Storage Container

This type of storage container is usually available in three different lengths - 10, 20, or 40 feet. They’re used mostly in the general transport of goods and are the most common type of shipping containers. These can easily be used on cargo ships, trains, and semi trucks.

Tunnel Containers

These are similar to the dry goods containers in what they store and transport. The difference is that both ends of the container can open. The major benefit of this system is that the container can be loaded and unloaded from either side, making it more efficient, adaptable, and accessible.

Flat Rack Containers

These containers have sides that are able to fold down. This flattens the container and allows it to transport a variety of oddly shaped goods. They're mostly used to transport heavy and/or oversized loads. They often transport heavy machinery, building supplies, and construction equipment.

Open Top Containers

Containers like these have the ability to open from the top. The tops are completely removable and convertible, making the goods accessible from above. They’re mostly used for over-height cargo.

Refrigerated ISO Containers

Refrigerated ISO containers regulate the temperature inside. These are usually used for the preservation of temperature-sensitive foods like produce or seafood. You should be aware that if you use this type of container and experience some food spoilage, the container company often only covers the problem if there was a mechanical failure for a long period of time.

Insulated Containers

Much like the refrigerated containers, these have a regulated internal temperature that you can control for the transport of temperature-sensitive goods. The insulated or thermal container is typically used for longer distance transport. The insulation makes temperature regulation easier but adds some weight.


The tank container is used to transport liquid materials. A large portion of the shipping industry uses these containers. The tanks are usually made from a strong anti-corrosive material such as steel. This makes them last for a long period of time and helps them withstand the various liquids that are transported. It also reduces the chance for rust or other contaminants to get into the liquid.

There are many other types of containers that can be used for the transportation of goods. The ones listed above are the types you’ll most commonly see, as they can transport just about anything. Based on your shipping requirements, there are many options available for you to use when it comes to selecting the right shipping container for the job.

Do you have questions about renting a portable storage container? Check out Porta-Stor’s blog here!