The Complete Guide to Open Top Container

Shipping containers keep on bringing new applications that no one could have imagined in the shipping industry, as you can use different containers for various purposes.

What is an open-top container?

As the name proposes, open-top containers have distinctive rooftops and door features as they can be used to ship more extensively than usual freight.

Open top shipping containers are a particular kind of shipping container specially designed for cargo that needs loading through a crane or crab that is too huge or hard to fit through the end doors on a standard freight container.

It’s benefits

Similarly, they are used when freight is loaded from the door side or through the overhead hanging tackle and for over-height shipment, which is the load that is too tall to fit inside a standard steel compartment.

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What are they made of?

The walls of the open-top containers are made of ridged steel. For the ground surface, hardwood or bamboo is used. The unique rooftops and doors of an open-top vessel make it distinctive from the ordinary steel containers.

The door head can be turned out to operate forklifts, crabs, and comparable devices. Depending upon your necessity, you can pick either a 40ft or 20ft steel container available to be purchased.

Why Do you Need an Open top Container?

We have discussed earlier that an open-top container can fit in the cargo that is too huge or hard to be placed inside a regular container. Their construction design makes it easier to load and unload freight as the metal pillar over the door can be easily pulled apart, and huge cargo like cranes and heavy machinery can be placed easily inside the container.

Without any effort, you can quickly get this kind of delivery container available for sale. There are two types of Open-top container which the customer can choose from for his/her convenience.

Open Top Container

Hardtop and Soft Top Open-Top Shipping Containers

Open top shipping containers can have a hardtop or a soft top.

Open Top Holders with Soft Tops

A soft-top has a tarpaulin roof, which is a gentler material. It’s a standard option in the shipping business. It is installed into its place using lashing rings or hefty eyelets. From that point, rooftop bows serve to offer structural support, along with supporting the tarpaulin.

All open tops are provided with a soft top that covers the shipping container rooftop just when the freight is in-gauge, i.e., not larger than usual and not protruding up past the rooftop.

You can even change the covering to canvas or plastic sheets if you have cargo that is somehow larger than you would have to buy a customized large tarpaulin that could accommodate your load.

Open Top Containers With Hard Tops

Hardtop containers have hard rooftops made for most of the steel. The rooftop is removable with the help of a crane.

Their construction design makes it easier to load and unload freight as the metal pillar over the door can be easily pulled apart. Without any effort, you can quickly get this kind of delivery container available for sale.

Common Heights of Open Top Containers

They likewise just come in standard 20ft and 40ft sizes as they are newly built according to the shipping industry’s size requirement. below is the

Tara weight2,350 kg / 5,181.8 lbs3,850 kg
Payload capacity28,130 kg / 62,026.7 lbs26,630 kg
Cubic Capacity32.5 m3 / 1,147.3 cu ft66.4 m3 / 2,343.9 cu ft
Length5.9 m / 19.3 ft
Width2.35 m / 7.7 ft2.34 m / 7.7 ft
Height2.38 m / 7.8 ft2.29 m / 7.5 ft
Door Opening Width2.34 m / 7.7 ft2.34 m / 7.7 ft
Door Opening Height2.28 m / 7.4 ft2.29 m / 7.5 ft
Roof opening Width2.23 m / 7.3 ft2.21 m / 7.3 ft
Roof opening Length5.44 m / 17.8 ft11.57 m / 38 ft

High Cube Open tops

By far, most of the open tops are standard sizes (9ft 6” hight) despite the fact, a few shipping lines use some high cube open-top containers into their fleet.

ISO Codes for open-top containers

NameISO Code(Length X Height X Width)
20ft Open top22U0, 22U1,20U2, 20U3,20U4,20U5 22U6,28U1(20′ x 8′ x 8′)
40ft Open top42U1 open top & 42U6 hard top(40′ x 8’6” x 8′)
40ft open top48U1 Open Top(40′ x 4’3” x 8′)
40ft High Cube Open tops45U1 High Cube Open Top & 45U6 High Cube Hard Top(40’x 9’6” x 8′)

What inside limits do they offer?

While a 20ft steel container offers 32 cubic meters of freight limit, a 40ft holder offers 64 cubic meters. In any case, with the top being removable, more cargo can be loaded. Numerous things can be built from a 20f and 40ft steel container.

Floor depth of an open-top container

Floor depth on a 20ft or 40ft shipping container can vary somewhat between various ages and types of vessel. Yet, ordinarily, the floor is a useful piece higher than that in a standard dry cargo container.

As the floor in the open-top container needs an additional feature to compensate for the absence of a rooftop. Typically, floor depth in an open-top holder is 170 mm under 7 inches.

An Important bit to note: 

An excellent open top 20ft holder is hard to find. The explanation is that they fill a specific need in the transportation business and are generally held for a more extended than usual time period.

But some online organizations have begun offering open-top steel containers for sale. You just need to make sure that the organization you are purchasing from ships in your area.

How you can Use Open Top Container to Manage Your Cargo

If you have a business where moving heavy and large loads is required, then you need to think about using an open-top container.

We all know that some cargo, due to their huge sizes and heavyweights such as cranes and other heavy machinery, can’t be transported in standard shipping containers. But no need to worry as an open-top container comes to rescue in such cases and manages the work in the best possible manner

Open top shipping containers are generally used to ship cable reels. These containers can likewise be used for removing garbage. Primary uses of open-top holders frequently include:   

  • Shipping long steel bars of various widths   
  • Transporting scrap material   
  • Shipping metal, coal, or other comparable minerals   
  • Shipping trees   
  • Building small outdoors fitness centres or pools  

You may have to ship cargo that requires technical knowledge for which you don’t have any trained drivers; then an open-top container makes transportation secure regardless of whether it is a 20ft or 40ft steel container.

Removable door header bar on the open-top container

The current open top shipping containers generally incorporate a removable header bar over the door as a standard one that swings open to allow easier access through the door. This includes loading of some huge freight by forklift or crabs.

But one thing that should be noted here is that the removable header bar is not an inherent feature of an open-top container under

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ISO specs

This is an extra feature offered by some transportation lines and renting organizations. Door header openings usually are 6ft 2 inches/around 1880mm over the floor line.

Should you buy it?  

Usually, they just have this particular use. Moreover, due to the unique design of having no rooftop, they will cost you more than the ordinary dry containers of the same dimensions.

You need to keep in mind that if you are looking just for a storage container, then an open-top container might not serve as a suitable option for you.

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