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Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using intermodal containers (also called shipping containers and ISO containers and Refrigerated containers).
The containers have standardized dimensions. They can be loaded and unloaded, stacked, transported efficiently over long distances, and transferred from one mode of transport to another—container ships, rail transport flatcars, and semi-trailer trucks—without being opened. The handling system is completely mechanized so that all handling is done with cranes and special forklift trucks. All containers are numbered and tracked using computerized systems. Containerization also reduced congestion in ports, significantly shortened shipping time and reduced losses from damage and theft.
As such, depending on the type of products to be shipped or the special services needed from them, container units may vary in dimension, structure, materials, construction etc. several types of shipping containers are being used today to meet requirements of all kinds of cargo shipping. Some of the most common types of shipping containers in use today are mentioned below.