Yeah, they are a type of quote on quote, “shipping container,” even though they don’t necessarily look it. And you most likely won’t be building your house with one of these.
These specialized containers have open sides that allow for the easy loading and unloading of cargo. From their dimensions to their primary uses, let’s take a look at whether or not a flat rack container just might be an unsung hero for your next project.
A flat rack container is a type of shipping container that has a higher than average loading capacity. That’s because it’s based on an open-wall and open-top design (see image above) where it has:
As you can imagine, flat rack containers are perfect for shipping and storing bulkier than average cargo that would be difficult to load into a traditional, four-wall shipping container. This might include buses, boats, other shipping containers, heavy machinery, pipes or logs among other things.
It does, just not for the longest sides of the rectangular shape. In order to prevent cargo from moving around while in transit, lashing rings can be installed in the side rails or corners of the flat rack container. These allow shipping experts to secure loads using chains and large straps.
Like their closed counterparts, flat rack shipping containers commonly come in 20’ and 40’ lengths.
The dimensions for a 20’ flat rack container average out to:
A 40’ flat rack container has dimensions that average out to:
The design of flat rack containers makes them quite useful, but it also presents some challenges when it comes to moving these containers and the cargo they hold.
Because they don’t have a top or sides, the cargo within is much more exposed to the elements and potential thievery or damage. You should focus on belting down or otherwise securing the cargo to the container such that it would be difficult to steal and won’t be tipped off the container from wind or poor road conditions during transport. Additionally, this will prevent any of the cargo from moving and damaging other cargo or injuring nearby people.
Sensitive cargo on a flat rack should also be protected from the weather via tarps or other protective barriers that can easily be removed for unloading. Waterproof covers are particularly good, especially when flat racks are in transit.
As we mentioned above, different models allow your flat rack container to behave in specialized ways. The two endwalls of the container can come fixed or foldable (fixed-end vs. collapsible flat rack containers).
And certain models of flat rack containers may have forklift pockets. This allows you to move the flat rack conveniently to another location without having to unload the cargo and move the flat rack separately.
When using a flat rack container to move large items, remember to pay attention to the height and width of your final cargo once loaded on a truck. You’ll want to be sure you’re within the legal recommendations in order to prevent fines and vehicle or overpass damages.
Flat rack containers are primarily a shipping and transportation solution for large, awkwardly shaped cargo, aka material that is unable to fit in a standard shipping container or that would be too hard to load and unload with side walls.
If you or your company are in need of a specialty shipping container solution, like a flat rack container, contact us, today.