conex boxes

Types Of Conex Boxes and What You (Really) Need To Know

In part, Conex boxes lie at the center of the world’s struggling supply chain, but just what are these coveted pieces of equipment?

Most frequently, you’ll hear someone call a Conex box a shipping container. They enable companies to store and transfer goods in boats, trains, and trucks. In fact, they’re what makes intermodal transportation possible.


Keep reading to learn about the different types of Conex boxes and what you really need to know about them.

What Is a Conex Box?

These days, Conex boxes are in high demand. As shipping containers get tied up at ports around the world, it’s becoming harder and harder for companies to source them in the secondary market.

The word Conex is a marriage of words “container” and “express.” Companies usually use Conex boxes to transport palletized goods and heavy materials.

A shipping container protects cargo from bad weather and damage during transport. In this way, they help to keep stored goods intact.

Conex boxes have been around since the 1950s. At that time, companies developed them for commercial shipping.

You can ship many things in Conex boxes. Depending on the shape and size of the goods, a Conex box can vary in dimension, structure, materials, and other features.

Who Uses Conex Boxes?

Conex boxes are large and durable. They’re also extremely versatile and very secure. Metal shipping containers are a commodity in several industries for this reason.

For example, construction companies often rent or buy Conex boxes to store or hold tools and equipment. Sometimes, they modify Conex boxes. For instance, a construction company might order a shipping container with:

• Climate control
• Personnel doors
• Secured shelving
• Storage equipment

In this way, construction company owners can source the perfect shipping container for any job site.

Conex boxes also work well for retail companies. If you think about it, they’re made specially to transport palletized goods.

Pallets are a perfect way for retailers to safely store inventory. They also make it easy to access overflow and seasonal inventory.


Types of Conex Boxes

You might wonder about the different types of Conex boxes. Well, there are several different types, all with very different purposes.

Today, manufacturers have standardized the dimensions of Conex boxes. This feature expedites transport. It also eliminates the need to load and unload merchandise during shipping.

Still, there are many kinds of Conex boxes for different purposes. These containers include:

• Dry storage containers
• Flat rack containers
• Open side containers
• Open top containers
• Refrigerated containers
• Tank box containers
• Ventilated box containers

The steel storage containers work well for moving any type of dry cargo.

Let’s have a closer look at the different types of shipping containers.

Dry Storage Containers

A dry storage container is a standard shipping container. It has a basic construction, and manufacturers make it using steel. Also, it’s airtight.

Dry metal storage containers have no cooling or ventilation. They typically come in standard sizes, including:

• 20-foot
• 40-foot
• 40-foot high cube

A high cube Conex box has about 30% more internal capacity. Also, it can handle extremely heavy loads like coal and tobacco.

Flat Rack Containers

A flat rack container is like an open box container, which we’ll cover in a moment. However, it doesn’t have sidewalls. Sometimes, a flat rack container doesn’t even have rear or front walls.

Shippers use flat rack containers for atypical loads. In this way, they’re much like open-top containers.


Open Side Containers

An open box shipping container has measurements just like a standard container. They’re 20-feet or 40-feet long. However, they have a side opening.

The opening allows shippers to transport extremely long merchandise. This kind of merchandise has odd dimensions. The dimensions make it impossible for shippers to load goods by the back door.

Open Top Containers

An open-top Conex box has the same dimensions as a standard container. However, it’s open at the top. It has a removable canvas roof, enabling shippers to transport bulky loads.

Refrigerated Containers

You might hear someone refer to a refrigerated shipping container as a reefer. A reefer has a temperature-controlled environment.

The container has a power supply. Shippers must connect the power supply to energy sources while transporting goods.

The temperature-controlled environment enables shippers to create a desired temperature. Moreover, it enables them to keep goods at a set temperature throughout transport. A reefer can reach lower temperatures of minus 18-degrees to 30-degrees.

Reefers come in 20- and 40-foot lengths. They’re also available in 40-foot high cube dimensions.

Tank Box Containers

Shippers use a tank box to transport liquids. For instance, a company might use a tank box to ship goods that are dangerous, toxic, corrosive, or combustible. However, a shipping company may also use a tank box container to ship goods such as oil, milk, beer, and wine.

A tank box container has the same dimensions as a dry box container. However, it has a different structure. The inside of the Conex box has a polyethylene tank to hold the liquids.

Ventilated Box Containers

Finally, shippers use ventilated box containers to transport special products, like cocoa beans or coffee. These kinds of goods require ventilation while in transit. In the shipping industry, you’ll often hear a ventilated box container called a “coffee container.”


Conex Box Sizes

Companies make Conex boxes in several capacities and standard sizes. The 20-foot shipping container is the most common size used by shippers.

Next, shipping companies often use 40-foot containers. They use 10-foot containers even less.

However, all these containers have one thing in common. They’re all usually 8 feet wide and 8-feet six inches tall.

Finally, shippers sometimes use high cube containers. Most high cube containers are 40-foot-long and nine-foot-six-inches high. They’re taller than standard containers by one foot.

Where Do Conex Boxes Come From?

Most Conex boxes come from manufacturers in China. A shipping company will then use the container to ship goods to the United States.

After completing the trip, the shipping company might sell the Conex box as a one-trip container. One-trip containers have minimal wear and tear.

Sometimes, however, shipping companies will reuse a shipping container. Eventually, however, the shipping company will sell the container as a “used container” after using it for multiple shipments.

Is a Conex Container Right for Your Business?

Anyone who needs a considerable amount of storage space can make good use of a Conex container. It can help you solve your storage problems in several ways.

You could decide to build a structure on your existing property. However, you’ll have several things to consider if you do.

For instance, you’ll need to consider the cost. You’ll also have to think about how practical it is to add a structure to your existing facility. Furthermore, you must consider whether the new facility can provide enough security to protect your assets.

However, you can save a considerable amount of money and work by renting a shipping container. If you desire, you can even buy one for long-term use.

Where to Buy a Metal Storage Container

Conex boxes are tough, but you still must make your purchase decision wisely. For example, you may require a shipping container with customization. In that case, it’s essential that you check the cost of customizing a Conex box to fit your needs.

When sourcing a custom container, it’s good practice to only focus on the features that offer value. For example, you’ll most certainly want safety and security customizations.

You should find an experienced shipping container supplier that can recommend customizations. At the same time, you should find a Conex box company that charges fair rates for their customization work.

It’s also helpful to look for a company that has both new and used shipping containers for sale. By working with a company with a wide range of containers, you’ll find that it’s easier to requisition the quality steel storage container that you need.

A Trusted National Provider of Conex Containers

Now, you know a bit more about Conex boxes. If you want a shipping container for your business, Tuff Shipping Containers can meet your needs.

We’re a nationwide service provider. We’ve helped businesses across the United States source shipping containers for more than 12 years.

We’ll make it easy for you to find the right top-quality shipping container for your business. Please feel free to contact Tuff Shipping Containers today to learn more about our vast selection of Conex boxes and receive a fast, free quote.


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