Nowadays container transportation is the main form of sea transportation of goods. With their help, the possibilities of sea transportation were significantly formalized and expanded. The advantages of container shipping are obvious:
- The cargo is protected to the maximum from external influences;
- If you change the type of transport, there is no need to repackage the cargo;
- High rates of container loading/ unloading;
- Transport documentation and forwarding operations are simplified and unified;
- There are more opportunities for computerization of control process over the goods delivery;
- The functional version of coordinating the movement of goods with the administration of railway stations and ports drives up the speed of goods dispatch.
The main disadvantage of containers is the necessity to return them. This refers to the return of empty containers that could not be occupied by the return cargo. On average these returns account for 15% of the total number of containers carried by a ship. Obviously, these are additional costs. But the disadvantages are more than offset by the benefits which led to the triumphant progress of containerization
Measurements in "container" units.
There are 20-foot (20 ") and 40-foot containers (40"). The generally accepted unit to measure or estimate the volume of traffic in container transportation is a 20-foot container designated as TEU (twenty feet equivalent unit). These units are used to calculate the container fleet, container capacity of ships, etc. All types of containers are standardized in dimensions, weight, overall dimensions, as well as in the design of terminal devices for the rolling stock of railway and road transport and for the grippers of loading mechanisms.
Modern containers are leak-free and sturdily constructed.There are containers not only of different sizes but also for different purposes: for liquid cargo (Tank containers), thermal container (Refrigerated), open platforms (Platforms). The wide range of sizes and types of containers makes the difference in the cost of their use.
The rental of containers for transportation is regulated by clear operating rules and an obvious system of tariffs. According to the rules if you use containers it is necessary to strictly observe the deadlines of returning empty containers back to the port or to a special terminal.
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