Shipping containers are becoming increasingly popular and no, it is not used for transportation purposes only.
You are able to find numerous listings for used containers online and some of the offers might seem quite tempting, but how safe is it actually? Online purchasers carry a great deal of risk as you are unable to conduct a thorough inspection before purchase, unless one is arranged and just by looking at a few available pictures, it is quite easy to be deceived and scammed out of large sums of money. These containers are largely used in the shipping and transportation industry and this accounts for a large number of sales. Opting for container shipping and transportation comes with its fair amount of advantages and drawbacks. The pros and cons will be discussed below.
The advantages of containerizations
- ISO Standardization: Containers are a standard product for transportation and can be utilized and handled globally. The containers are available in standard size internationally and host a unique identification code which makes it easy to track down.
- Safe & secure transportation: Once the container is closed, it can only be opened at its arrival destination. The contents of the container in some circumstances even remain unknown to the transport carrier. By having cargo and goods stored in a container, it reduces the chance of theft in transit, damage or spillage (in the case of liquids) from occurring.
- Versatility: A large variety of goods can be transported via containers as there are adapted containers available for almost every cargo load. Wheat, coal, chemical liquids, perishable goods and even vehicles are just some of the cargo which can be transported. Containers which are worn out can either be repaired or recycled for alternate usage.
- Warehousing: The container itself provides protection for its contents as the metal frame and structural work make it almost impenetrable. Having cargo well protected means that easier and less expensive packaging for individual goods would be is used, especially for perishable goods. In an actual storage warehouse or flatbed truck, storing containers is much simpler as containers have stacking capabilities and the stacking density can be increased.
- Lower costs: the costs associated with containerization are significantly lower due to the standardization. Moving freight in a container is less expensive and physically taxing as opposed to conventional means. Containers have shown to have a rewarding effect on the economy.
The disadvantages of containerization
- Theft: The cargo is highly vulnerable from the terminal to its final destination. Containers carrying highly valuable goods can be forcefully opened or stolen to take the contents.
- Increment weather: When containers are transported via shipping, there is a great chance that bad weather or storms might be faced at sea. This type of weather can lead to containers falling overboard and getting lost at sea. Thousands of containers are lost every year.
- High capital investment: The container industry requires complex infrastructure and equipment. Warehousing facilities, rail and road access and cranes are just a few of the investments which require large sums of money in order to run a successful operation.
- Site space and constraints: Due to the size of each containers they naturally take up a large amount of space for storage. Requiring more space would mean that more money must go towards land investment or renting. The stacking and arrangement of containers can be a challenging process. Containers have to be frequently restacked and moved, incurring high additional costs and use of time.
- Illicit activity: Containers are now being used as a way of conducting illicit trade. Weapons (guns & knives) and drugs can be concealed within containers and transported across borders. In some rare instances, illegal immigrants have been found in containers. Large container units or warehouse yards require more intense operational management.
Here at Container Solutions & Logistics Africa you can rest assured that only the best quality new and used containers will be available for purchase as we pride ourselves on customer satisfaction and excellent product delivery. Contact us now – call 27 31 000 8630