Dong Fang International Containers
Dong Fang International Containers

Common Issues in Open-Top Container Transport

Open Top Container sizes are generally divided into two types: 20-foot open top container size (20OT) and 40 foot open top container size (40OT). Open top container transport is mostly by sea.

What is an open top container?

Open top containeris often referred to directly as OT container, which is a type of OOG (Out Of gauge) special container.

This container differs from conventional containers as it lacks a steel roof. It allows loading and unloading of goods either by opening the container doors or using a crane from the top, making it suitable for transporting large machinery, oversized items, etc.

20 foot open top container size is commonly referred to as 20OT, and 40 foot open top container size is known as 40OT. Open top does not mean truly "open" transport. The cargo in open top containers requires the same waterproof and protective measures as ordinary containers, so after loading, the top must be covered with waterproof equipment. However, when the cargo height exceeds the container height, waterproofing becomes more difficult, largely relying on the customer's packaging and purchasing a tarpaulin large enough to cover the entire container. Normally, waterproof tarpaulins provided by the shipping company, or collapsible tops with tie-down tarpaulins, are used.

How high and heavy can open-top containers and flat-panel containers be?

Many people think that open top containers, because there is no top, can load as high as they want. There are also those who believe that flat racks, without sides, can load as large as they want. Actually, this is not true. Open top containers and flat racks have their own standards for the cargo they can load. Open top containers, due to lacking a top in their structure, are less stable than ordinary containers, so their load capacity is also less. The height of goods they can carry is generally limited to lower than4M for safety reasons. Similarly, flat racks, due to their load limits and crane equipment at terminals, have maximum load capacities of 31 tons for 20-foot flat racks and 40 tons for 40-foot flat racks, while their width and height are also generally restricted to within4M, although there is some room for extension of loading dimensions.

What kind of goods should be loaded in open top containers and stowage analysis

20 foot open top container sizes and 40 foot open top container sizes mainly load large machinery, machine equipment, metal pipes, glass products, and goods that are inconvenient to manually load and unload. Large machinery transport products mainly include ball mills, excavators, mixers, embroidery machines, pottery machines, tempering furnaces, crushers, grinders, fish feeders, slag dump trucks, trucks, cranes, and more.

General selection of open top containers for loading needs to consider many factors.Open top container, as the name suggests, is from the perspective of open top container size structure, suitable for loading large oversized goods, with extendable height. Secondly, from the perspective of the goods, overweight items that cannot be directly loaded from the rear of the container must use open top containers. In such cases, specialized machinery, like a crane, will be used for top-loading. However, for goods exceeding 27.6T or oversize goods, open top containers are also not suitable, and flat racks (FR) are recommended. The reason for this is open top containers, due to the lack of a top cover, are unstable, limiting their load capacity. Finally, it is also essential to consider whether the goods need container sealing, whether they are moisture-sensitive, and other objective factors.