Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you intend to use container shipping service to transport your items to Europe from the U.S? If you’ve said yes, we hope that you’ve confirmed that your cargo qualifies for container shipping. If not, it’s advisable that you seek clarification with us, Craters & Freighters, reputable freight forwarders of your choice. Additionally, there are several more things that you need to know about this service so that you can make an informed decision. Besides, some more general knowledge won’t hurt, will it? So, let’s get started.


The history of container shipping dates back in 1956. That’s when the first container ship started its operation, thanks to Malcolm Purcell McLean, a great American transport entrepreneur. However, during the first five years of container shipping, there were no recommended standard sizes for containers. The standardization came later in 1961.

 Container sizes for international shipping

 The containers used for transporting goods from one country to another are supposed to comply with international standards like ISO, UIC, CSC, as well as TIR.  When it comes to size standardization, the standard measure is Twenty-feet Equivalent Unit (TEU).  TEU is also the standard measurement for the cargo-carrying capacity of a ship. Coming back to the shipping containers, the standard length is   20 feet (6.06 metres), 48 feet (14.6 metres), 53 feet (16.2 metres) or 40 feet (12.2metres). However, the height varies, ranging from 4 feet 3 inches (1.30 metres) to 9 feet 6 inches (2.90 metres). As for the width, it is uniformly 8 feet (2.44 metres). At Craters & Freighters, we ensure that all the containers we use to transport goods are compliant with such standards. As such, they are compatible with various means of transport, including ship, train, and trailer modes.

Various container designs

 Despite having standard sizes, shipping containers feature different designs to suit varying transportation needs. For instance, there are those called dry van containers. If yours is a general freight, for instance, equipment, car (s), furniture and stuff like that, a dry van container will be used to transport the goods. In case the freight can’t fit in a closed standard container, an open-top container will be ideal for the shipping. Otherwise, in case of a deep-frozen or chilled cargo, for instance, fruits or seafood, a refrigerated container will be the best. If you want a container that can safely hold your liquid products such as chemicals or vegetable oil while shipping, a tank container will serve the purpose the best.

So, as you select container shipping service to Europe or any other part of the globe, consider what you are shipping and the necessary care to ensure that you choose the right type of container. Failure to do that, your items might get damaged or go bad (in case of perishables) along the way.

Container transportation options

Besides choosing the right shipping containers for your items, you also need to choose your preferred mode of transportation from:

Cargo ship versus air freight

Container shipping by a cargo ship is slower but less costly as compared to airfreight. Another plus for using a cargo ship is that even the largest cargo can be hurled by the ship. So, if your freight container is not so much bulky and heavy and you’d like it to reach Europe in a few days, air transport is the better option. In case you want to spend less and are comfortable with your cargo taking about 20 to 30 days, you can consider choosing a cargo ship to transport your container.

When you use   Craters & Freighters to transport your items either by a cargo ship or by air, we’ll ensure that the container hosting your goods is placed in the appropriate place in the ship or cargo plane, considering on various key factors such as the weight of the container and the port for which your cargo is destined.

Rail Freight versus truck freight

Before being loading to and after being offloaded from a cargo ship or plane, there has to be another means of getting the container carrying your content from the source to a U.S port, and from the European port to the final destination. This can be done by rail or a tractor-trailer. However, before you settle on either of the options, it’s important to confirm if the cargo destination is well connected to the port through the relevant transport infrastructure. However, we understand that you might not be privy to such information. So, we can help you to determine the most effective ports to ship from and to, as well as the best means of transport of your container from its very origin to the ultimate destination.

Do you need further information about container shipping from the U.S to any place in Europe? Contact us, Craters & Freighters, and we’ll be glad to respond to your inquiries.