The Container Streamlines Freight Movement (And Can Become Offices, Shops And Houses)

The Container Streamlines Freight Movement (And Can Become Offices, Shops And Houses)

We mean the shipping container here, not beer kit container. The 20 feet shipping container, 20’x8’x8.5′ in size, can accommodate a mobile dwelling unit, with beds and furniture that fold into the wall, for example. Shipping containers come mostly in the standard sizes of 20 feet, 40 feet and 45 feet high-cube (the last with a height of 9.5′). If desired, containers can be customized in various ways, by constructing containers of a different dimension, or converting them into, say, houses.


Containerization facilitates inter-modal freight transport, i.e., container ships, railroad cars, and trucks can all accommodate standard sized containers. There are also standard containers for use in aircraft. So you can transport a container from the interiors by truck or railroad to a sea or air port, and send them to a distant location where the transport process is reversed, say, from ship to truck. Specialized container handling equipment can easily transfer the containers from the one mode to another.

Streamlining of freight transport operations lowers costs, and leads to lower freight charges and increased trade. It was in the 20th century that standardization of container sizes and container-handling equipment gained momentum and appeared as an important innovation in logistics. Initially standardized with 8’x8′ cross-sections and multiples of 10′ lengths, containers became increasingly popular starting 1950s.

Purpose-built container ships and railcars gave momentum to container-based freight operations. The containers were transported unopened from origin to destination, being transferred from one kind of transport vehicle to another as needed. Containers could thus travel across sea, land and air with practically no disruption.

The cargo could be tightly packed into the containers with minimum wastage of space. This was in contrast to the significant storage space wastage (not to mention time wastage) that would be involved if the cargo as such were moved individually to, and stored in, the cargo holds of standard ships.

Standardization of containers involved not only their dimensions, but also corner fittings, reinforcements and identification markings. Standard pallets that fit neatly into the containers were used to pack merchandise. Container capacity is expressed in TEUs or twenty-foot equivalent units. These standards have now been accepted worldwide.

Containers used for air transport have a different set of dimensional standards that are much smaller in length, width and height.

Containers come in many types. There are ‘dry van’ containers for boxes, bales, pallets, drums, etc, ‘reefer’ containers that are temperature controlled from -25 degrees to +25 degrees centigrade, bulk containers for bulk materials and heavy machinery, tank containers for liquids, and other kinds of specials including those with rolling floors for difficult-to-handle cargo.

Container Related Issues

Containers enhance security as the contents are not visible and the doors are sealed in a manner to detect any tampering. Cargo did not “fall off” the trucks as was common in earlier days. On the other hand, the fact that containers are not typically opened meant that they could be used to transport contraband.

The increased efficiency of container based cargo handling typically leads to job losses, and moving work to inland from waterfronts.

Where two-way cargo movement is not balanced, empty containers can accumulate at certain places and transporting the bulky empty containers is often not cost effective. To handle this issue, containers are often converted to other uses.

What To Look For In A Good Freight Forwarding Company

What To Look For In A Good Freight Forwarding Company

The industrial revolution has brought people around the world closer. In effect, technology has decreased the size of the world by increasing the speed of transportation and message transcription. The results of this have been phenomenal – it has paved the way for more travel and trade between distant nations. Gone are the days when one has to wait for a package or parcel for months. With the technology applied in freight forwarding and logistics, a shorter time of sending the goods, the shortest of which is the one day delivery, is now possible.

As many countries have started to globalize, import and export business has become one of the trends in the business world. Traders import and export goods from another country and this is made possible by the supply chain technology which was created to serve as a bridge to distant and far nations or places. This is not only applicable to import and export business. In search of greener pastures and with the goal of providing their loved ones a better life, some migrate and work in another nation. And these overseas workers send goods and packages to their families constantly. To meet the growing demand for freight, many companies were built and established to provide parcel and delivery services. Now, hundreds of freight forwarding companies can be found everywhere.

With the number of freight forwarding companies offering freight forwarding services, it seems so easy to send and receive goods and packages. But which of these companies should you choose? Which of these should you trust with your goods? How do you know which is the best when almost all of them offer the same kind of service?

The key to shipping your goods efficiently is to get the service of a good customs broker or freight forwarder. An efficient and good freight forwarding company should be highly organized and should be an expert in documentation. It is very important for a forwarder to service their clients accurately and without any mistake or error in documentation. With hundreds of customers shipping their goods to almost all places in the world, an error can’t be tolerated. You wouldn’t want your goods supposed to be shipped to Canada be shipped to another country. It will definitely cause delay and the worst, your goods are completely lost. Though there are insurances created for these circumstances, you surely don’t want to waste your time processing all the requirements to claim for the insurance because all you wanted in the first place was for your goods to reach their destination.

A good freight forwarding company practices good packing service. Shipping conditions whether by air or sea can at times be tough. Perfect packing is needed to ensure safety of goods. A good freight forwarding company has to be specific in its packing particularly on the different kinds of products and goods as some products can be very fragile. As shipping the items can be very tough, it is best that the company knows how to handle these products.

A good freight forwarding company has an accurate and effective tracking system. When a person sends goods, he normally would like to know the progress of the shipment. He would like to know right away whether the goods have already reached the destination. It should follow a smooth network where the customers can easily track where their goods are at a specific period of time. This way, the customers feel relaxed that the goods will in fact reach the destination.

As many companies would like to ensure the safety of the goods being shipped, they charge the customers a very expensive amount for shipping especially if the goods being shipped are fragile or one that requires a very sensitive care. However, one should compare the price with the others. A good freight forwarding company is one that offers a reasonable price. Check if the price is just right for you to ship certain items. Freight forwarding companies follow some price regulations which correspond to the weight, type and with the amount the item was bought and this can be costly at times. Do not just pay a very big amount for the charges when you feel it’s not reasonable anymore. Know your product, know its destination and decide if it’s just right for you to pay what they are asking for. It is true that you would like your items to reach your loved ones or your customers, but you definitely do not want to break the bank and get all your savings just to pay for the unnecessary charges.

Remember that in these times, technology has made people and nations closer. Be close to your loved ones, friends and customers by choosing a good freight forwarding company: one that will ship your items, package, parcel and goods at a smooth manner with efficiency, care, security and safety at a reasonable price.

Freight and Shipping

Freight and Shipping

Freight is transporting goods by water, air or sea, and shipping is the most commonly used mode of transport for carrying freight from one place to another. The shipping industry forms 90% of world trade; nearly 50,000 ships that make up the international trading fleet are technically sophisticated. The cost of a new ship varies between US $100 million to nearly $200 million.

Freight is classified as incoming freight and outgoing freight. In most cases, in regards to incoming freight, the international goods arrive by water or air. Domestic shipments find en route either by roads or by air. In case of the outgoing freights service providers basically send the goods either by sea or by road. Only fragile and perishable items are transported by air.

Freights is often moved by ship. Most of the imports and exports of a nation are solely dependent on the shipping industry. For an economy to flourish, the shipping industry plays a vital role in not only transporting produce to international markets but also bringing raw materials back into the nation. The industry is classified as intrinsically global. The shipping industry has a unique business set-up: a ship can be owned by someone, managed by another, registered by a third country and manned by people of an entirely different nation. Because of its international characteristics, its safe operation is regulated by United Nations agencies. Officers in the ships from different nations are trained in accordance to the global standards.

It is imperative that an individual makes the effort to identify the best service provider while shipping goods from one place to another. Documents such as bill of landing, signature on the receipt document, proper addresses in the papers, and contracts should be made before getting into a deal with the company, so that the goods reach their destination intact.

Imagine How Huge International Air Freight Can Get

Imagine How Huge International Air Freight Can Get

Sleeping around
Source: Flickr

From letters to air planes, it is now possible to ship just about anything through air freight services.

All these stuffs can be carried through commercial airplanes to various mammoth-like flying machines.

International air freight can be divided into simpler categories though. While just as we have said, everything can be shipped via air there should always be some form of separation between items so that various risks can be avoided.

The three basic categories of air freight are:

Air freights that are carried through passenger air lines
Air freights that are carried through special cargo planes, and
Air freights that are huge enough to be carried by super cargo planes

Along with the passengers, international air lines can also carry with them stuffs that would be stationed to various air freight service locations. These then will be delivered via rail or road to their proper recipients.

The United States Postal Service has leased some 15 000 to 25 000 passenger planes daily to haul freight. This takes up 5 to 10 percent of all air freight revenue.

This type of international air freight are packed along with other shipments on special containers that are designed to fit the storage area beneath the passenger compartment. However, some air freight can be put on pallets while other relatively smaller items can be made to fit on remaining open spaces.

The Boeing 747-400 is usually used as the freight carrier in the passenger air line category. However, it can also be made to hold 10 000 cubic feet of cargo when on the Combi mode. This is when some of the passenger compartments are partly turned into cargo areas.

But when configured, this plane can be transformed into a huge cargo plane which can then haul as much as 5 semi trucks.

Since Boeing 747-400s are not specifically made as air freighters, there is not as much room as with a cargo plane to fit a forklift truck for loading pallets, special electric rollers are equipped on the load floor. These rollers are used to move the cargoes into the inner chambers of cargo areas.

However, for hauling huge items, a super transporter is needed. It is used for transporting helicopters and planes and is purely designed to perform such tasks.

Such planes are built in a way that when an object fits comfortably through the door then it can fit into the body of the plane. The plane is large enough to carry terribly hugr stuffs. It carries up to 47 ton stuffs but still not large enough to carry military tanks.

For such big-time requirements, Antonov AN-225 can do the job.

For this monster-air transporter, three military trucks is just about as easy as for a Boeing 747-400 to carry international air freights at its own limits.

This was originally a Russian space shuttle. With a wingspan as huge as a football field, this air freight super transporter can send to any destination some 80 cars or 3-4 military trucks. Well, if this isn’t huge enough for your air freight service requirements then you might as well arrange multiple sending of stuffs.

Now you’ve seen your options of air freights. From sending your niece her birthday present to shipping military tanks, you are sure to find your way of sending cargoes from coast to coast.

Freight Containers Transformed Logistics

Freight Containers Transformed Logistics

Source: Flickr

Freight containers are standardized shipping containers.
Shipping containers have standard dimensions, typically 20’x8’x8.5′ or 40’x8’x8.5′ or 45’x8’x9.5′. They have to be constructed to certain minimum standards of sturdiness to withstand the rigors of long ocean voyages and transfer from one mode of transport to another. Shipping containers meeting the standards can get CSC – Convention for Safe Containers – certification, a must for use in international shipping.

Specialized trucks, railcars and handling equipment have been designed to accommodate these standard sized containers. The containers fit neatly into these vehicles (as well ships’ cargo holds) and the handling equipment can easily transfer the containers from trucks to railcars to ships and in the reverse direction. The freight containers themselves might have forklift pockets (typically available only for 20′ or shorter containers) that facilitate forklift handling.

Standardized freight containers enhanced the speed and efficiency of cargo movement, and expanded world trade. The easy and quick transshipment of the containers from one mode of transport to another – inter-modal transport – is the main factor that makes the efficiency possible. The multi-modal transport facility also enables carrying goods across terrains like water, rail track, road and air to get from origin to destination without any disruption.

Freight Container Ships

Freight containers are typically shipped in “cellular” container ships, so called because the ships’ cargo area is segmented into standard cells to accommodate containers, resembling a honeycomb.

The cargo capacity of ships is expressed in TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units. The space occupied by a 20-foot standard freight container is one TEU, and that occupied by a 40-foot container is 2 TEUs. Container ships these days can carry nearly 5000 TEUs.

Freight Containers and Security

Freight containers are designed in a vandal proof manner. They also typically incorporate sturdy locking in the form of one double door that is secured by four locking bars extending to the whole height of the container. The locking bars have additional lockable handles that can be secured by padlocks and sealed.

Packing and locking the whole container at the shipper’s premises and thereafter opening it only at the consignee’s premises can further increase security. Any required customs inspection and certification are done at the shipper’s and consignee’s premises.

Considering the security, container-based shipments incur less expense for insurance against theft, pilferage and damage.

Packing Freight Containers

Cartons can come in different odd sizes, and the internal dimensions of containers are less than the outer dimensions. Hence dividing the outer volume of the containers into the carton volumes will not give a correct idea of the number of cartons the container can carry. For example, dividing the outer volume of a 20’x8’x8.5′ container (1360 cubic feet) into the volume of a 1.5’x1’x1′ carton (1.5 cubit feet) might give the misleading idea that we can pack 906 cartons into the container.

The standard internal dimensions of a 20-foot container is about 19.35’x7.71’x7.83′ giving an internal volume of 1168 cubic feet. Dividing this volume into the carton volume of 1.5 cubic feet gives the number 778. Even this figure is wrong because the size of the carton is an odd one.

If you stack the cartons lengthwise across the container length of 19.35′, you can accommodate a maximum of 12 rows. A maximum of 7 rows of such 12-row cartons can be accommodated along with width of the container, giving 84 cartons per layer. 7 such layers can be stacked along the height of the container accommodating a grand total of only 588 cartons.

That leaves a lot wasted space. So you change the arrangement. Cartons are arranged lengthwise across the width of the container. That accommodates 5 cartons across the width. 19 such 5-rows can be accommodated across the container length, accommodating 95 cartons per layer. The number of layers remains the same at 7 and so the total number of cartons that can be packed this way is 665, significantly more than the last arrangement. Even now, there is wasted space that cannot be avoided considering the misfit between carton volume and container volume.

Packing freight containers to full capacity thus needs some advance planning.

Types of Air Freight Options

Types of Air Freight Options

Due to the inevitable changes occurring around the globe and the need to quickly send and receive various items across countries, the airline industry has birthed a new way of shipment- air freight.

Air freights are basically cargoes on the shipment which are typified into various categories to make shipping more organized and easier. Some primary basis of categorizing air freight are:

§ Type of the item
§ How large is the item, in terms of the number of items in the shipment and size, and,
§ The number of days or hours it takes one shipment to arrive on its pointed destination.

Shipments, on the other hand, are categorized into the following:

Household goods include art pieces, furniture and other similar items which are primarily transported using Household Goods (HHG) carriers such as North American Van Lines and Bekins.

The “Express” category, on the other hand, include personal items and small business goods which are often considered as overnight shipment (or express shipment, express letters, and overnight express). Such transports are carried by shipment companies like FedEx Express, UPS and DHL.

Since most items falling under this category are relatively small and don’t normally weigh heavier than a couple of pounds, they often come in the carrier’s own packaging.

Service levels vary depending on the service offered by the carrier or the personal choice of the shipper. These normally travel by air and may be delivered on the exact day it was sent to the carrier or may take several days of travel.

Packages that are slightly larger and heavier than express items are considered as parcels. These include boxes of shipments, regardless of the content. Carriers like UPS and FedEx Ground provide the services for this type of cargoes. Parcels cover most of the business-to-consumer items and services and don’t often exceed 100 pound-weight category. Since these are relatively small, they often come on the shipper’s or carrier’s own packaging.

Types of services on this category also vary. However, a number of ground shipping can travel for 500 to 700 miles a day in around 3 to four days, depending on the service rendered by the shipper or the service option the customer chose. Such shipments don’t often travel by air, instead they move through road and rail.

Freight shipments cover the largest cargoes in the industry. It is subdivided into two major categories, mainly: LTL of Larger-than-truckload freight and TL or truckload freight.

Less-than-truckload shipments are also known as motor freights. These often cover the bulk of business to business transactions. The range of services vary from carrying 100-pound items up to those not exceeding 15 000 pounds. Since LTL trailers are just as long as 28 inches, most air freights of this kind cannot exceed this length.

Unlike with smaller packages, shipments don’t often come in company packaging.

Truckload freight covers larger shipments from 15 000 pounds to 40 000 pounds with a maximum length of 53 inches. This type of air freight differs from all other categories since these don’t normally stop along the travel and are not intermingled with other shipments. Most are frequently arranged via freight brokers and online marketplaces.

When availing this type of air freight, it is best that one understands in full all the terms covered including the claims, pricing and insurance.

Your Guideline for Choosing the Type of Air Freight Services You Need

Your Guideline for Choosing the Type of Air Freight Services You Need

Trains in Winslow
Source: Flickr

One’s choice of air freight must be dictated by their immediate and long term needs which maximize the services provided by air freight companies. Obviously, one only has to avail of certain services that he truly needs.

There are various types of air freight services specially designed for specific purposes. While many may perform multiple objectives, it is still best not to tax yourself with money and time just by choosing the service that you don’t actually require.

Since not all packages have the same size, weight, type of delivery and duration of delivery, air freight industry has created various methods and categories wherein customers may choose their needed type of service. In this article we would try to discuss in brief the various air freight services that you may choose from. Please read on.

The simplest form of cargo shipment falls under the household goods category which include items such as furniture, house accessories and pieces of goods similarly typed in this section. Since these don’t normally require special services, your cargo may be delivered on the same day it was sent or depending on the service option chosen.

The second class of air freight is the express or overnight express delivery. These normally cover items such as mail letters, small envelops and other smaller items. Since they are relatively light, cargoes of this kind come in air freight company packaging. Two of the most notable air freight company rendering this service are the FedEx express and the UPS.

Depending on the available service options, prices and type of delivery may vary including the duration of travel. Most items in this category travel some distance through air and may go coast to coast in a couple of days or overnight.

The next category available is the ground or parcel shipment. Since items in this type are slightly larger and heavier than the first two categories, the shipping of items may take a number of days and may move anywhere from 500 miles a day to 700 miles. Most ground shipments weigh around 100 pounds or less and each item don’t normally exceed 70 pounds.

Depending on the service provider, parcel shipments may either travel by road, rail and air. However the latter is rarely offered.

This shipment covers most of the business-to-customer type of service and is often used by companies that make use of cash-on-delivery system of purchase.

When you need is the service of shipping much larger and much heavier stuffs, you might want to look into your options covered by the freight shipments.

Less-than-Truck-Load is the service that you must avail if you have cargoes of less than 15 000 pounds. Most shipments of this kind cover business to business shipment and are often referred to as motor freights.

This type of air freight service often comes in mixed freight environment which means that cargoes are combined with some other shipments and can be transferred from one carrier to another, depending on the type of service the shipper has chosen.

Shippers are required to arrange for their packaging since most air freight carriers don’t give any form of assistance in packaging the cargoes.
Meanwhile, Truckload Freights are the largest of this kind. They go anywhere from 15 000 pounds to 43 000 and length can extend up to 53 inches long.

This type of shipment is often mixed with other shipments in one equipment and arrives at the exact trailer they were shipped on.

Know about Freight Companies

Know about Freight Companies

A freight company occupies an important place in the successful running of a business. Freight is related with those companies in which the transportation of goods and services from one place to another takes place. There are numerous freight companies that provide trucking and other cargo services to residential or commercial shippers.

Some companies may support one segment only but most still handle freight as door to door. On the other hand, some of the freight companies have the capabilities to handle total logistics. Such type of services speed-up delivery process and minimize operating cost.

The person running a business must have some knowledge about freight companies, their procedures and their rates.

The companies always choose the best way and method, so that their products and other material can reach to their destinations on time.

The company can decide the fastest method and route and send the product inland to its destination accompanied by the proper bill of lading, taxes, surcharges and import/export documentation.

There are different types of freight companies. Trucking companies are classified as common carrier or contract carrier. Common carriers combine multiple customers’ freight to move from one point to another. Contract carriers offer full load delivery, LTL and specialized trucking solutions.

Air Carriers have a freight division to handle priority shipments. This method of shipping discourages the movement of heavy loads and remains the most costly. Movement by rail is the most cost-effective mode of inland freight movement. Freight companies that handle ocean transport are usually consolidated carriers. Twenty- and forty-foot sea containers are available for delivery to a company for loading and unloading. Bulk sea freighters are also available for raw materials.