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Open top storage containers, also known as flat rack containers, are slightly different from standard conex boxes. These types of steel shipping containers do not have a permanent roof built into the structure. Instead, they have a removable covering that encloses the top of the box. This may be either a soft tarpaulin roof or a removable hardtop.
Open Top Sea Containers
These types of storage units are sometimes referred to as open top sea containers. The open design makes it much easier to load and unload certain types of cargo. Having access to the cargo through the top of the container as well as through the doors gives shipping companies more options for moving products. Top access is especially practical when moving heavy products that need to be lifted out by a crane, as it may be difficult to use smaller machinery, such as a forklift that can access the cargo only through the front doors, to move the product.
Open top sea boxes are also ideal for shipping products that are too tall to fit in standard sized containers. With the roof removed, products that exceed the normal conex box height of 8'6” can still be transported with the ease that these types of containers offer. The floors in the units are often made from marine wood. However, if you need a steel floor for added protection or strength, it is definitely possible to find open top storage containers with a steel floor.
Types of Open Top Shipping Containers
As previously mentioned, sea boxes come in both a hardtop and soft-top model. Soft tops are attached via a header rail that you can remove or swivel away from the container if it impedes access. The benefit of the soft top is that it is easily retracted and removed. Hardtops provide stronger protection from the outside world, helping to keep your cargo dry and safe from pests and moisture that might otherwise cause damage. However, the hardtop models are slightly more difficult to access, as a crane is required to remove the roof.
Practicality of Open Top Steel Containers
When you're shipping over-height or overweight cargo, these types of quality shipping containers offer you the best way to achieve secure, affordable transportation while protecting your investment in your cargo. Hardtop containers have the added benefit of being able to be used as any standard conex box would once you place the roof back in place. This makes them ideal for people that might need to transport a combination of tall loads and more standard sized cargo.