The car was the greatest invention of all time. It allowed us to move things with a cart instead of carrying them ourselves. That was a huge step forward for all of humanity. A few centuries later, people perfected it and moved to something else. They tamed the land with cars, and it was time to take on the great waters. We invented boats and realized that we can carry more things with them. Now, in the 21st century, we use both of these methods. Each one is better than the other in specific situations, but the things that they both use are cargo containers.
An intermodal shipping container is a big rectangular box that’s used to carry things. Intermodal refers to it being used in many transportation modes. This can be on land, in water and in the air. A 20-foot container is the most popular one. They also come in 40-foot types, but the first type is more prevalent. The revolution these steel boxes brought to humanity is still relevant. They made transportation easier than ever before.
There were lots of procedures for cargo shipping in the old days. Every item that needed to be transported had to be checked, sorted and put in another place. This demanded a lot of time and effort when dealing with large amounts of products. But, when containers entered the game, all of these procedures went away. They received monumental success. And, they set really high operational standards for trade in global industries. Click here to read more.
Key features and characteristics of a 20-foot container
The name speaks for itself in this situation. These steel boxes are made of either aluminum or steel. Depending on what they’re made of, they can have a small difference in their payload capacity. For example, aluminum ones have more place for cargo because the steel ones have a larger internal cube.
There are general numbers that represent these containers. Of course, they can vary depending on the age of the tank, but for most cases, these numbers will hold true. The naked weight of them is 2,300 kilograms. That’s a little bit more than 5,000 pounds when converted. They can carry up to 25 tons, or 55 thousand pounds. This is because they have 33 meters of cubic space.
Most of these numbers are regulated by the International Organization for Standardization – ISO. Other global entities have a significant role in regulation as well. An excellent example is the International Maritime Organization. They both establish the guidelines for the use of these shipping containers. Every one of them needs to be certified before being used. This ensures for safe transport and the protection of cargo inside.
Almost anything can be transported with them. This includes all kinds of commodities and various goods. A great thing about them is that they’re made of metals. This makes them ideal for transporting items that need refrigeration. There are specialized refrigerated containers that maintain a certain temperature during the entire process. More info on this link: http://www.worldshipping.org/about-the-industry/containers
Are there any bad sides to them?
As with anything, some people will find a way to go around the law. Even though there are strict protocols and guidelines for using them, sometimes cargo can be stolen. And, sometimes, people ship illegal things. This is unlawful. Apart from that, there are no negative sides to them. That’s why there are more than 250 million of them used internationally.
Can you use them for anything else than transport?
Of course, you can! There is a modern trend for building shipping container houses. Real estate is expensive, so people found a way around it. Instead of spending 200 thousand dollars and more than 20 years of responsibilities, you can build a house from a shipping container. But, there are a few guidelines that you need to follow to make it.
Why should you want a house of this type?
Well, you could have the house of your dreams in just 10 weeks. Many container homes are already made as prefabricated models. This makes their construction time unbelievably short. Most of them take around 10 weeks to get to you. Even if you’d like to work on it yourself, some companies will give you an interesting prebuilt structure to work on.
Also, you could take it anywhere around the world. There is already an excellent system for marine transportation. The cost for moving it is cheap, around $1.33 per mile for a 20-foot container. And, since they are easy to set in place, you could move it as much as you want. With a quick search online, you could find a shipping container for sale in a matter of seconds.
Finally, they help the planet. The main idea behind this is to reuse containers. Since there are more than 14 million of them out of service, you’ll be doing a lot of good to the planet.
Insulation and protection for shipping container homes
The thing you should always keep in mind that a shipping container is made of metal. And, metal boxes can be unbelievably hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter. That’s why you need a great insulation plan to avoid this. The roof and the walls need to be heavily insulated. And, if you wish to have a more environmentally friendly home, then you can set up a green roof.
Depending on whether you get a used one or a new one, protection against chemicals is a must. All of the shipping containers were made to be used for decades at sea. This means that the insides were sprayed with a lot of pesticides to keep rodents and bugs away from them. Out of all of the things, the floors are the most dangerous. Since rodents crawl on them and love to eat through it, it’s advisable to change it.
As well as that, the paint on the walls needs to withstand wind and storms. That can also be filled with potentially dangerous chemicals. So, a great thing to do would be to install your own flooring. Additionally, take care of the paint on the walls and the potential harmful gassing.