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  • CargoTix Team

2021 Guide to Shipping Containers

Welcome to CargoTix, your best partner for shipping solutions. In this guide, we will cover the basic terminology, FCL vs LCL, different types of shipping containers, their specifications and some special containers types.

Basic Shipping Terminology:


FCL stands for full Container Load. In this type of container, the whole container is used by one importer. This provides a higher degree of control for the importer, which made it the most common and cost-effective solution among the shipping containers.


LCL stands for Less Container Load. Contrary to FCL, the container is shared among multiple importers.


Advantages of FCL:

  • Saves Time: since LCL containers are shared among different importers, when it arrives to the port, it must be devanned at the CFS (Container Freight Station), while FCL will be devanned at the warehouse. Devanning is the process of unsealing the containers and checking and recording its content. This process is one of the most demanding jobs in logistical process. Thus, choosing an FCL will save time during the transshipping.

  • High control: when going with a FCL, it is up to you on how to pack and arrange your good in the container. This makes it safer and reduce the risk of damage.


  • Cost: larger container means higher price will be paid for shipping

What goods are allowed in FCL?

Most of the cargo types can be shipped in FCL, however the prohibited restricted list includes:

  • Inflammable/explosive materials (e.g. charcoal, chemicals, guns, pesticides, etc)

  • Medicine

  • Fine Art (e.g. antiques, statues)

  • Liquid (e.g. Ink)

  • Magnetic (e.g. motors)

  • Live stock and plants

  • Lithium batteries

  • Perishable goods (e.g. fresh food, opened beverages)

  • Valuable items (e.g. credit cards, financial documents, checkbooks, etc)

These items can be shipped, however, they must follow special regulations. For more info, feel free to contact us.

Types of Containers:

Let's go into our containers types right now.

The main three standard types are 20ft, 40ft and 40 High Cube. The number at the beginning depicts the length of the container. The table below provides the basic information on each type.

Containers Dimensions, capacity, payload, pallets capacity
Containers' Specifications

The numbers provided above represents the maximum theoretical limit for the containers. In real life, the numbers will vary.

Special Containers:

The following are some of the special available types of containers

  1. Flat Rack Container: In this type, the sides can be folded to make a flat rack for shipping

  2. Half Height Container: these one are half the height of the standard containers. They are used for coal and stones.

  3. Refrigerated Container: here, the temperature is controlled at low degrees, which can be used to ship perishable goods such as vegetables and fruits.

  4. Open Side storage Container: a side door is provided to give a wider space to load good through the side of the container.

  5. Thermal Container: these allow for a temperature regulation at a higher degree.

  6. Double Door Container: these containers provider much wider area to load and unload the goods.

  7. Open Top Container: in this type, the rooftop of the container can be removed


In conclusion, your choice of container type depends on a lot of factors, and with the available variations, it can be a bit tricky. If you need any help in choosing your container types, contact us or check our services here.

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