Shipping containers have revolutionised the international transportation industry. Before the advent of containerisation, goods were moved loose or in crates. This meant that stevedores and inland transportation workers had to manually unload and transfer goods before sending them on. This took a great deal of time and labour. The invention of the shipping container in the 1950s essentially sparked the beginning of the end for the noble stevedore. Shipping containers enabled the creation of highly efficient goods transportation networks that could be tightly controlled with only a skeleton crew of staff. In this article, we look at how shipping containers are transported by sea, rail, and road.
Shipping containers are designed with marine travel in mind. Most of the goods shipped across the world’s oceans are containerised. Shipping containers are transported by sea in large cargo ships specifically designed to carry them. These ships are called container ships, and they are some of the largest vessels in the world, capable of carrying thousands of containers at a time. For more information on the actual booking of container transport around the world, visit https://www.shiply.com/container-transport.
The loading and unloading of containers onto container ships is a highly coordinated process that involves specialised equipment and technology. The containers are typically loaded and unloaded using cranes, which are operated by trained personnel. The cranes are located on the docks and are designed to lift the containers off the trucks or trains that deliver them to the port and onto the ship. Container port cranes are increasingly being controlled using computer systems that automatically log and move containers entering or exiting facilities.
Once the containers are on board the ship, they are secured in place using twist locks, which lock the containers to the ship’s deck or other containers. This helps to prevent the containers from shifting or tipping during the voyage.
Once containers have been unloaded at a port, they are typically transferred onto specialised train carriages. Rail transport of containers is a good way of utilising the economy of scale because it allows for the efficient movement of large quantities of cargo over long distances. Railways are designed to handle heavy loads, and trains can be made up of hundreds of containers, which helps to distribute the cost of transportation among many customers. This makes it more cost-effective for businesses to transport their goods by rail, especially for long distances. Additionally, rail transport is environmentally friendly, as it produces fewer emissions than other modes of transportation, such as trucks or planes.
After being delivered to a rail freight terminal, containers usually travel to their final destinations on the back of a truck. Truck trailers designed for the conveyance of shipping containers are usually simple flatbeds equipped with locks that automatically engage when a crane lowers the container onto them. The container transport networks active around the world would be almost useless without the widespread use of trucks that take individual containers to their final destinations.