Before Malcolm McLean came up with the intermodal system of containers in the 1950s, the transportation of cargos was a tedious and then difficult task. The shipping boxes allow for the easy transportation of goods but not all products are durable like food, sensitive goods, etc. that can withstand the weather and long journeys. The answer to this comes in the form of Insulated Shipping Containers that provide the protection and required conditions (like heat or cold) to these goods saving them from all damages.

Before we dive deep into it, lets give a look at different container types available to facilitate the shipment of wide range of cargoes.

Pallet WideOpen TopPlatformBulkers
Double DoorHard Roof Open TopInsulatedTanks

The shipping industry has come up so forward that you don’t have to worry about shipping the products anymore whether it is delicate or hard, food or medicine, everything can be shipped without burning a hole in your pocket. Every day nearly 200 million tonnes of goods are being shipped throughout the world. Without insulated containers, it wasn’t even possible for shippers to transport their goods in safe and fresh conditions.

Why Insulated Containers?

To answer why the shipping industry needs insulated containers, or why you need to go for it! There are goods like food, frozen goods, pharmaceutical products, beverages, chemicals, and fresh produce, etc. that need to be transferred to the destination without getting contaminated and they need to be put in boxes that can be temperature controlled to maintain the right environment for the goods. The insulation in the insulated shipping containers helps the boxes to be sealed off from the outside to maintain a fixed condition for the goods. 

It is common to be confused between insulated and reefer containers but reefers are large fridges that are used to move temperature-sensitive goods like ice cream, meat, vegetables, or pharmaceuticals. It maintains a cold chain that means the needed goods are kept in a permanently cold state throughout the journey i.e., from the loading places to the destination. It can maintain the temperature between -30°C and +30°C during the whole transit. 

Design and Structure of Insulated Containers:

Insulated shipping containers come in standard sizes of 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft high cube. 20ft is a standard size whereas a 40’ high cube container allows out of gauge goods transportation and storage. It provides a temperature-controlled enclosed container that keeps the goods safe by maintaining temperature. It keeps contamination, moisture, sunlight, and many other such conditions at bay. The outer body of containers is made of steel and the insides of it are fitted with the insulated panel, roof, and doors. It opens at the rear end and has two-leaf doors. It often has a double wall system to prevent heat and cold transfer. The inner part is fully sealed which prevents moisture and condensation. Like reefers, they do not have a built-in refrigeration system but can retain the temperature of goods for a determined time.

Different dimensions of Insulated Containers: 

The dimensions and weight load capacity of insulated containers may vary depending upon the manufacturers and providers. The given below is approximated data of dimensions and capacities.

20ft Insulated Container

Internal Dimension19’1” x 7’6” x 7’5”
External Dimension19’10” x 8’ x 8’6”
Door opening7’6” x 7’5”
Max gross weight67200 pounds

40ft Insulated Container

Internal Dimension39′ 2”x7’6”x7’5”
External Dimension40’x8’x8’6”
Door opening7’6”x7’5”
Max gross weight67200 pounds

45ft High Cube Insulated Container

Internal Dimension39′ 2”x7’4”x8’4”
External Dimension40’x8’x9’6”
Door opening7’6”x8’4”
Max gross weight74960 pounds

What are the Insulated Container Types?

Regular Ice Totes – Regular Ice Totes provide good temperature control as they are fitted with a foam-filled double wall. They are mostly used for food, processed seafood, and wineries. 

Dry Ice Totes – Dry Ice Totes are made up of compounded-melt blend low-density polyethylene plastic and is ideal for shipping frozen products like dry ice and ice cream. They are ideal for a short shipping journey and can brace resistance and lessen the impact.

Specialty – These containers are best suited for onboard handling, defrosting, or chilling applications like sorting, grading and reducing the thaw time by half.

Merchandise/ Display – These are movable and can store food and beverages without any mechanical refrigeration systems. They are used for transporting fresh goods to markets, supermarkets, or vendor shows.

Benefits of Insulated Shipping Containers:

  • The insulated shipping containers preserve the insulation and integrity of the goods.
  • They are recyclable and reusable that is why they are known to be economical.
  • They are light-weighted which renders low shipping costs.
  • They protect the goods from being crushed or damaged as they are made up of thick foam.
  • They are fitted with EPS foam, a tight-fitting lid, and a corrugated carton which saves the goods from spillage.  
  • Perfect for shipping food (cakes, chocolates, pies, steaks, etc.), candles, pharmaceutical and bioproducts, and lab samples as well. 
  • They protect food from thawing by keeping them chilled at a definite temperature for the required time. 
  • They keep goods safe for a longer period and the sender won’t have to worry about the damage.

Insulated containers not only come up with pros but also have a few shares of cons as well. The most basic problem is to maintain a cold chain. A cold chain means maintaining the right cool temperature throughout the journey and providing the needed temperature as well. The problem is elevated if you do not keep accounts of important things while buying them. The primary most important thing is to choose a reputed container supplier. At BOXXPORT, we are known to deliver the right quality insulated containers having top-notch insulation done. Developed for the transport of temperature sensitive foodstuff, they maintain temperature for longer periods keeping your foods fresh during the whole transition.