China Railway Group’s 50 foot containers will be used on the nation’s intermodal express trains.
By estimates, there are now eight different length containers trading around the world – 10 ft, 20 ft, 30 ft, 40 ft, 45 ft, 48 ft, 50 ft and the largest coming in at 53 ft, which are used on North American railroads.
For ships, 20 ft and 40 ft containers are standard. No cellular ship can take more than 45 ft in length, and then only on deck in stows above the top of the lashing platforms.
The metal shipping container has not changed much since its invention in the 1950s, but new inventions are being marketed including Staxxon from the US whose folding shipping container comes with an accordion-style design, while in India Shallow Waterways Shipping has developed a hexagonal container intended to containerise bulk shipments.
Attendees of this year’s Sea Asia exhibition in Singapore were able to get a glimpse of the Unit One, a container made out of composite developed by Swiss firm AELER.