New containers, but not for shipping

China debuts new container size.

Containers by train

China debuts new container size.

China has recently introduced a new container size, although it is not likely to find its way onto the open sea. These 50-foot containers, developed by China Railway Group, are designated for use on the nation’s intermodal express trains.

As per Maritime Compass estimations, there are now eight different container lengths in circulation globally, ranging from 10 feet to the largest, measuring 53 feet, primarily used on North American railroads. In the realm of maritime shipping, standard container sizes are typically 20 feet and 40 feet. It’s worth noting that no cellular ship can accommodate containers longer than 45 feet, and even then, such containers can only be stowed on the deck above the lashing platforms.

While the fundamental design of the metal shipping container has remained largely unchanged since its inception in the 1950s, various innovations are emerging in the market. For instance, there is the Staxxon container from the United States, featuring a foldable accordion-style design. In India, Shallow Waterways Shipping has introduced a hexagonal container designed for bulk cargo shipments.

Attendees at this year’s Sea Asia exhibition in Singapore had the opportunity to witness the Unit One, a composite container developed by the Swiss company AELER, showcasing the continuous evolution in container technology.


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