Open top shipping container dimensions
Open top containers, be it 20 ft or 40 ft, fall within the category of standard containers, despite not having a roof.
The type of goods typically transported in open top containers is essentially the same as those being transported in flat rack containers, but with more irregular heights.
Some examples include goods that are too heavy for manual handling and must be lifted and loaded with a crane, or top-protruding merchandise that cannot fit into a 40 ft high cube standard container.
Unlike the flat rack, which also has no roof, open top containers have walls to protect the goods. A tarpaulin will be needed to cover the top to protect the merchandise.
Note that the opening of an open top shipping container through which you load your cargo is slightly smaller than the container’s interior. This is similar to the door of a regular container and it’s for structural integrity purposes. In other words, there is less room to work with for maneuvering when loading your cargo through the top of an open top shipping container.
A 20 ft open top container has a maximum load of approximately 28 metric tons, while the 40 ft open top container can hold up to 30 metric tons.
Due to low demand for open top containers, some carriers may find it difficult to secure cargo requiring open top containers to be able to send the containers back to the origin. As such, carriers may implement an extra cost to transport open top containers, which can vary according to the destination.
When booking an open top shipping container, make sure lifting points for your over- or odd-sized cargo are well-indicated to avoid damages and specify handling instructions to your freight forwarder.