are god-sent. They are highly useful for storage and moving in or
out, small or large items which resulted in vast improvements in port
handling efficiency. It lowers costs and boosts trade flows
where did it came from?
started back in the 1700s but began to realised of its importance in
the 20th century.
In 1830s, railroads began transfering and
transporting containers that would be loaded on trucks and ships, but
it was small compared to today's steel containers. Circa 1840s, iron
boxes and heavy wooden boxes were introduced, and around the early
1900s saw the usage of closed container boxes made especially to move
or transport things between the road and the railroad.
20th century, the United Kingdom began to use similar containers and
in the 1920s, the Railway Clearing House (RCH) standardised the RCH
Container (five or ten foot long, wooden, non-stackable)
United States Army began using specialized containers to speed up the
loading and unloading of transport ships just toward the end of WW2.
The army used the term "transporters" to identify the
containers, for shipping household goods of officers in the field.
During the Korean War the transporter was evaluated for handling
sensitive military equipment, and proving effective, was approved for
broader use. Theft of material and damage to wooden crates, in
addition to handling time, by stevedores at the Port of Pusan, proved
to the army that steel containers were needed. In 1952 the army began
using the term CONEX, short for "Container Express". After
the U.S. Department of Defense standardized an 8'x8' cross section
container in multiples of 10' lengths for military use it was rapidly
adopted for shipping purposes.
These standards were adopted in
the United Kingdom for containers and rapidly displaced the older
wooden containers in the 1950s.
Are They and For What
There are several
types of containers for different purposes and needs:
containers for cartons, cases, sacks, high or half height
palletwide containers for europallet compatibility
controlled from 25°C to +25°C reefer
bulktainers for bulk minerals, heavy machinery
Open side for
loading oversize pallet
flat-rack containers for heavy and bulky semi-finished goods, out of
bolster for barrels and drums, crates, cable drums, out of gauge
cargo, machinery, and processed timber
containers for organic products requiring ventilation
for bulk liquids and dangerous goods
Rolling floor for
difficult to handle cargo
Other uses for
There are variety
of uses for steel containers todate. Some of the companies are using
them to build houses, as a cabin, or even a workshop. It can also be
used as storage area for industries, constructions and lots more.
Nowadays, we can see that they are being used to store
computer data centres, and Sun Microsystems was the first to do this.
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