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Most people believe the shipping container to be a Chinese invention; well… it’s not. The original shipping container was born in 1956. It was invented and patented by an American trucker named Malcolm McLean. His invention has shaped shipping to what it is now; fast and convenient. These “strong boxes” have not only reduced the time it takes to load and offload sea vessels, but have also reduced cargo handling costs and enabled easy transition between the different modes of transport for cargo. McLean’s invention changed the world and by extension changed all our lives.

All this is well and good but with an average interior height of 8′ 6″ and 8′ 9″ for a high-cube container and a door size approximately 8 feet wide and about the same height; loading items that are bulky, irregular shaped or very tall can be tricky. This is where the open top container comes in. An open top shipping container is a “convertible” container with the roof opening up to give you wider access. And just like a convertible (car), you can choose between a hard top and a soft top.

These types of container provides a top loading facility and are designed for transporting and storing heavy, awkward and taller than average cargo. The open top shipping containers are fitted with a removable tarpaulin that is used as a roof with heavy duty eyelets fitted on it for fastening. This tarpaulin is securely fitted over the top of the container to provide both water and wind resistance.

Open top containers make loading and offloading of bulk goods using a crane very easy. And just like the ordinary containers, they also come in two variations:

– the 20 feet Open Top Container and;
– the 40 feet Open Top Container.

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Common Specs of the Open Top Containers.

The specs of the open top container will vary depending on user specification, but there are a few that are common across the board. They include:

– a convenient design suitable for handling heavy and awkward cargo
– options of loading through the top with the use of overhead lifting equipment, or through the door if the situation necessitates
– supplied with PVC tarpaulins, sometimes tilts, with a removable rear header for protecting the cargo
– bow devices and an attachable sealing
– hardwood or plywood floors
– securing points located in the bottom side rail with a few in the floor
– the roof aperture is usually smaller than the internal dimensions of the container. This can be attributed to the protrusions of the top rails which are necessary for maintaining the integrity of the container.

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What Are The Uses Of Open Top Shipping Containers?

The wider opening of these containers makes them ideal for transporting oversize cargo, but they can generally be used to transport any kind of dry cargo. They are mainly used for:

– tall, awkward and/or bulky cargo
– packing or unpacking either through the roof by crane and/or through the doors
– easy loading and offloading of cargo such as logs, scrap metal, machinery and other oddly shaped items.

Open top containers will not only prove useful when you need to transport bulky awkward goods, but can also come in handy if your material handling equipment is largely comprised of cranes. This will make loading and unloading of goods from the top essential which is what the open top container is designed for. This type of container should therefore be a top contender when you are choosing the type of container to use.

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Read about open top shipping containers

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