The Main Components of a Shipping Container
With the help of the following diagram, we have listed the main components that you can expect to find in every standard dry-purpose shipping container.
Vertical frame components located at the corners of freight containers and integral with the corner castings and floor structures.
Fittings located at the corner of the freight container which provide means for lifting, handling, stacking and securing the container.
Header and Sill
In way of door entrance with overhead horizontal header frame and similar floor level threshold sill.
The structure at the front end of the container (opposite the door end) consisting of top and bottom rails attached to the front corner posts and the corner castings.
Longitudinal structural members located at the top edge on either side of the freight container.
Longitudinal structural members located at the bottom edge on either side of the freight container.
A series of transverse beams at approximately 12 inch centres attached to the bottom side rail and an integral part of the floor frame support.
The floor may be hard or soft laminated wood, planks or plywood.
Roof bows are the undermost structure of the roof and are usually placed at 18 or 24 inch centres. Modern steel GP containers (except open top containers) are not fitted with roof bows but will have corrugated or flat steel sheet roofs welded to the frame members.
Aluminium containers have aluminium sheathing, bonded with adhesive to the roof bows and riveted to the top rails and headers. GRP containers have fibreglass reinforced plywood panels fastened to the rail and headers. The roof is the part of the container most vulnerable to damage.
Sides & Front
Modern steel GP containers will have corrugated steel panels. Aluminium containers have aluminium sheathing on the sides and front of the container which are affixed to aluminium stringers which are in turn bolted to the top and bottom rails and also to the front end frame. The stringers may be on the outside or inside of the sheathing.
GRP containers do not use stringers for supporting the fibreglass reinforced plywood panels. The side and the front of steel containers are made of corrugated steel sheets eliminating stringers.
Doors may be ply-metal (plywood core with steel or aluminium facings), corrugated, or combinations with fibreglass. The hinged doors have plastic or rubber lined door gaskets as seals against water ingress.
Used in conjunction with locking mechanism in order to seal the containers for security purposes. These seals are numbered and often colour-coded.