Shipping and Containers

Containers have been around since just after the Second World War, but were standardised to ISO measurements only 25 years later. Containerisation has made shipping – and consequently world trade – faster, cheaper and vastly more efficient. There are many varieties of containers, but by far the most common ones are the “General Purpose” or “Dry Van” types. They come in two standard sizes, the 20’ (6 meter) and 40’ (12 meter), although on certain trades the 45’ (13.5 meter) container is gaining ground.

The 20’ container offers 33 cubic meters of volume and payloads of up to 27 ton, depending on the local road legislation and handling equipment. In the USA payloads of over 18 ton requires special equipment and most western countries allow a maximum gross weight of 24 metric ton per 20’. For 40’ containers this increases to 66 cubic meters and 26 metric ton payload.

Containers can be open top, high cube, refrigerated, vented, heavy duty platform, open sided, liquid tank, bulk grain and have many other forms and applications, but always within the ISO frame standards.

Container ships have become larger and larger and the current generation of large container vessels can carry over 15,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent units), or approximately 150,000 metric ton of paying cargo. In the time of Columbus and the great seafaring explorers, a ship did well if it had a payload of 500 tons in its hold.

The companies in Sebenza World have been shipping containers worldwide since 1993 and can advise you on the optimal use of this equipment to minimise your logistics cost. Our buying power assures you of competitive rates and our logistics expertise ensures that your costs are minimised by our team picking the best options for pre- and on-carriage: be it road, rail, multi-modal or coastal shipping.

Containers have placed international trade within the reach of even small traders. Please contact us for advice on your most cost-effective containerised logistics solution, maximising your profits and minimising your investment in stock.