A shipping container (also container, freight container) is a standardized reusable steel box used for the safe, efficient and secure storage and movement of materials and products within a global containerized intermodal freight transport system. The container can be moved from one mode of transport to another (from ship, to rail, to truck) without unloading and reloading the contents of the container.
Lengths of containers, which each have a unique ISO 6346 reporting mark, vary from 8 to 56 feet (2.438 to 17.069 m) and heights from 8 feet (2.438 m) to 9 feet 6 inches (2.896 m). There are approximately seventeen million shipping containers in the world of varying types to suit different cargoes. Aggregate container capacity is often expressed in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) which is a unit of capacity equal to one standard 20 ft × 8 ft (6.10 m × 2.44 m) (length × width) container. And there’s a picture below showing different types of containers.
When we track the container, we have to know the container number. Container number consists of four-letters owner code (prefix), six-digits serial number and a check digit. For example:
Where category identifier can be:
- J: detachable freight container related equipment
- R: reefer (refridgerated) containers
- U: freight containers
- Z: trailers and chassis
You can visit the shipping carriers website to locate your cargo with the container number.