When should I use a Flat Rack container? What is the size of a Flat Rack container?

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If you are shipping cargo that has a height that exceeds the height or width of a normal container (Out of Gauge cargo), or cargo that cannot be loaded through the door of a standard container one of the options for international container shipping are Flat Racks. Flat racks are also often used for items that are too heavy for other shipping containers.

The efficiency that characterizes international ocean freight would not be possible without the progression of containerization of cargo. Vessels can be loaded with stacks of containers quickly, maximizing the carrying capacity of the vessels. This also makes it much less difficult to load and unload the vessel at ports by using cranes, and since the containers are inter-modal, they can be loaded onto a truck or train car for inland transportation. Flat racks have a high loading capacity, and are equipped with lashing rings on the side rails.

There are a few different types of containers. The important dimensions for Flat Rack containers are as follows:

20′ Flat Rack
Inside Length18′ 6”5.63 m
Inside Width7′ 3”2.20 m
Inside Height7′ 4”2.23 m
Tare Weight6, 061 lbs2, 749 kgs
Maximum Cargo61, 117* lbs27, 722* kgs
40′ Open Top
Inside Length39′ 7”12.06 m
Inside Width6′ 10”2.08 m
Inside Height6′ 5”1.95 m
Tare Weight12, 787 lbs5, 800 kgs
Maximum Cargo85, 800* lbs38, 918* kgs

*Legal weight and weight maximum for steamship line may be lower than this number, payload weight must be distributed evenly over floor to safely reach maximum

There are a few other types of containers (e.g. refrigerated, Platform, Open Top), but the above covers the dimensions of Flat Rack containers.

Hopefully the above gives you some idea of when you should use a flat rack container. Please visit our rate request page or send us an email: inquiries@kinternational.com