What are The Most Common FCL Container Loads Types

Updated on November 06, 2023

FCL containers

Freight management has become essential in the ever-changing shipment industry, with sea shipping being one of the most well-liked and economical modes of transportation. Global trade has been transformed by ocean freight, which enables companies to move goods around the globe effectively. The utilization of freight containers, more specifically Full Container Loads (FCL), is one of the essential elements of ocean shipping


In the shipping industry, FCL containers are a popular option because they offer several benefits, such as security, portability, and effective logistics. 


In today's global shipping transport, the most popular type of container service is FCL. Container service type refers to the type of shipping line that is involved. Thus, in their view, when an FCL container is shipped, its contents belong to both the shipper and the consignee.


A container may be an FCL container for the shipping company, but it may be an LCL container for a freight forwarder, nonvoluntary volume carrier, LCL operator, groupage operator, or cargo consolidator. For example, say three customers are relocating from Cincinnati to Shanghai. However, it is possible that these three clients have contacted a cargo consolidator because they do not have enough cargo to fill an FCL container on their own. These three customers' cargo could be accepted by the cargo consolidator, who would then book it as an LCL cargo and provide each customer with a separate house bill of lading.


The shipping line that will transport these three shipments from Cincinnati to Shanghai could then be booked by the cargo consolidator as an FCL shipment. After that, the cargo consolidator will sign on with the shipping line as a shipper and obtain a Master Bill of Lading in his name. These represent a few possible methods of using an FCL container. We will explore the most prevalent FCL container load types in this blog, highlighting their vital role in the international transportation of cargo.


Features Of FCL Container


  • The loading point for an FCL container is typically the shipper's warehouse or plant, or a third-party warehouse that the ocean shipper has contracted. 
  • After packing is completed, an FCL container is sealed on the same premises and is not opened until the customer receives it at the destination.
  • An FCL container cannot be shipped partially to one port and partially to another; it must be shipped from port to port.
  • At both ends of the transportation chain, an FCL container may be transported by a variety of means, including road, rail, and sea shipping.


An FCL container is not limited to standard GP (general purpose) containers; it can also refer to any of the different types of containers that are currently available in the industry.


Major Container Types Available


Dry Cargo Containers


In ocean shipping, dry cargo containers are arguably the most well-known and frequently utilized kind. These containers are made to hold a variety of items that do not need to be ventilated or have their temperature controlled. They have standard locking mechanisms and are available in a number of standard sizes, such as 20- and 40-foot containers. This allows for easy stacking and secure sea transportation.

Furniture, electronics, textiles, and machinery are just a few of the many items that can be transported in dry cargo containers due to their extreme versatility. When their products do not need to be at a specific temperature or with a certain amount of ventilation, businesses usually go with dry cargo containers.


Reefer Containers


In the shipping industry, reefer containers, also known as refrigerated containers, are essential for the cargo transportation that is sensitive to temperature. These containers have built-in refrigeration units that keep the interior at a constant temperature, guaranteeing the safe transportation of perishable items like fruits, vegetables, medications, and specific chemicals. It is essential to keep the cargo at the proper temperature, whether it is below or above freezing, in order to protect its quality and safety. Reefer containers guarantee that the goods arrive at their destination undamaged from the moment of loading.


Open-Top Containers


Open-top containers are a useful option for transporting heavy or oversized goods. It is simple to load and unload these containers using cranes or other heavy machinery because of their removable top design. They are ideal for transporting items such as machinery, construction equipment, or large industrial parts that may not fit into standard dry cargo containers. These containers' open-top design makes them especially useful for items that must be loaded from above because it allows for simple access during the loading and unloading processes. 


Flat Rack Containers


Transporting oversized or unusually shaped cargo that will not fit into regular containers can also be done with flat rack containers, another specialized type. These containers are very versatile for carrying loads of different sizes and shapes because they have collapsible walls and no roof. Large pipes, construction equipment, machinery, and automobiles are among the things they are frequently used for. Flat rack containers are indispensable for companies operating in sectors where the sea transportation of non-traditional goods is necessary due to their high degree of versatility and adaptability.


Tank Containers


Tank containers, sometimes referred to as tanktainers, are made especially for moving cargo that is liquid or gaseous. They have a cylindrical shape and come in different sizes based on the amount of cargo that needs to be moved. Secure internal tank compartments in tank containers are capable of holding a variety of liquids, including food-grade products, oils, and chemicals. To guarantee the safe sea transportation of dangerous or delicate liquids, these containers are constructed in accordance with strict safety regulations. The pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and chemical sectors are among those that favor tank containers.


High Cube Containers


Standard dry cargo containers are similar to high cube containers, but high cube containers have a higher height. Goods taller than what can fit in a standard container can be transported thanks to this extra height, which is usually one foot. When loading items that need additional vertical space or are difficult to disassemble, high cube containers come in handy. High cube containers are frequently used by industries that deal with furniture, machinery, or any cargo that has an exceptionally tall profile to maximize the amount of space that is available.


Flatbed Containers


As the name implies, flatbed containers are open, flat spaces without sides or a roof. They are utilized for cargo transportation whose dimensions or forms prevent them from fitting inside a typical dry cargo container. Commonly, flatbed containers are employed to transport large, heavy, or irregularly shaped cargo like steel beams, machinery, or construction materials. Their flat, open design allows for easy loading and unloading with cranes or forklifts, making them an efficient choice for industries that handle oversized cargo.


Ventilated Containers


A specific kind of dry cargo container with ventilation openings for better airflow is called a ventilated container. Goods that need regulated air circulation to avoid moisture buildup and preserve ideal conditions during transit are placed in these containers. For shipping businesses that deal with commodities like coffee, spices, or other items susceptible to variations in humidity and temperature, vented containers are especially useful.


Benefits To Shipping An FCL Container?


  • An FCL container's cargo does not experience repeated handling. It is only handled for off-loading at the destination after it has been loaded from the origin. Nowhere in between does it get dealt with.
  • This indicates that there is little possibility of cargo damage (unless, of course, the cargo has been improperly stowed inside the FCL container).
  • It is simple to benchmark freight when using FCL containers.
  • You can track an FCL container straight from the carrier's online business portal.


Selecting the appropriate FCL container load type is crucial for companies trying to optimize their supply chains and streamline their logistics in the ever-changing world of ocean shipping. At FreightMango, we understand the critical role that these container types play in ensuring the safe, cost-effective, and timely cargo transportation across the globe. Our understanding of the most typical FCL container load types demonstrates our dedication to excellence in freight management and enables us to offer customized solutions specific to each of our client's needs.


FreightMango has the knowledge and resources to ensure a seamless and effective ocean shipping experience, regardless of the type of cargo being transported—standard dry cargo containers, temperature-sensitive cargo in reefers, oversized or irregularly shaped goods, or even sensitive products needing optimal ventilation.


As the shipment industry continues to evolve, we remain dedicated to offering comprehensive freight container solutions that enhance your global trade operations. With FreightMango, your cargo is in safe hands, and your business can thrive in the competitive world of international trade. Contact us today, and let us embark on a journey of successful and seamless ocean shipping together.

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