Exporting by Ship? Here’s How to Find the Right Container
Imagine starting with car export business with super-high expectations. Your expectations get higher when you get done with the car inspection within 48 hours. But they drop straight to the ground when the time comes for selecting the right shipping container. That too, only because you don't know what to look for!
Yes, that's how demotivating and troubling it can be to find the right shipping container for any export purposes. Thus, there's a bunch of shipping container fundamentals that you should know. Here's the complete guide to finding the right container for exporting goods.
Types of Freight Containers
Upon hearing the word containers, a majority of us picture those standard dry containers stacked nearby trade warehouses. However, there is an entire assortment of freight containers are present, ranging from open top to reefers. Below, you will find the vast variety classified into two categories. Read to find out!
1. Based on Structure
The structure of a freight container holds immense importance. By choosing the right structure, you can ensure the safety and security of the cargo. Here are some types to consider:
- Open Top Freight Container
As the name suggests, the Open Top Freight Container has the roof open. After goods placement, the top gets enclosed by a tarpaulin to protect the contents. The unique structure supports the transfer of extraordinarily tall goods.
- Side Open Shipping Container
The side panel of these containers has four hinges to open it completely. Hence, allowing the crew to load and unload the goods easily.
- Tunnel Container
A container with a gate at both ends gets called as a tunnel container. Again, the purpose is to ease the loading and unloading of the goods.
A Reefer refers to a freight container that refrigerates its contents. Usually, perishable and fragile export goods get transferred through it.
2. Based on Capacity
Contrary to the types based on structure, the freight containers have limited options when it comes to capacity. Usually, you will find these types available based on capacity. Externally, all the types have the same dimensions.
- 10ft Containers
- 20ft Containers
- 40ft Containers
- 45ft Containers
Things to Consider
Now, you know what kinds of freight containers exist. But even after knowing that, how are you supposed to determine which one suits you best?
Well, your need determines that. Hence, it comes as no surprise that there's no general formula to find that perfect container.
Instead, the task demands evaluation and research of the following factors:
- Special Needs of Your Goods
In continuation of the example given above, let's say, you get a car inspection done. Consider why you got it done in the first place. Was it to only know your vehicle better, or do you plan to do something with that information?
Certainly, the purpose of car inspection was to determine its requirements along with getting the legal permit for export. Its structural, durability, insurance details help you determine which size and quality of container will suit you best. Say, your vehicle features some technological attribute and requires ventilation. In this case, it's wiser to spend money on a high-quality ventilated container than on a regular car carrier.
The same applies to all other goods. You need to know the specifications of your goods to make the best decision.
- Volume of Goods
If you are exporting bulks amount of medical equipment such as MRI machines and CT scanners, you cannot opt for half-height containers. That's because they will risk the safety of the equipment and may not have enough room for the amount you want to ship.
Alternatively, if you want to ship small amounts of car tires, then it's pointless to pay heaps of money for 45-foot high cube containers.
Know the volume of goods along with their nature so that you may spend wise and smart on shipping the goods.
- Finances & Safety
Again, using the previous example, if you have a small car export business and you take all legal measures, including car inspection and proper handling. You may still not get any insurance or flexibility on complete payment before shipping. You will have to pay the complete amount. But if you've got a large scale business with strong credit, know that you will have the benefit of paying afterward.
Also, taking help from a good customs agent could save you from having to pay unreasonable taxes. Even more, it increases the percentage of safe delivery of your goods.
Although the people handling the container will have little idea of what's inside and robbing an item or two is almost impossible, we suggest you trust a shipping company only after inspecting it thoroughly.
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