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Container Terminology

Bulker: a container used for shipping cargo in bulk and fitted with a special unloading door.  Loads include dry foods, chemicals and industrial granules.  Bags are often used as a lining.
Cabotage: the transport of cargo in containers being repositioned to areas of high demand. 
Cell Guides: ISO containers are transported by container ships in bays or cells fitted with vertical cell guides to hold them in place.
Chassis: used for transporting containers by road, this is a trailer comprising a frame with container mountings and road wheels.  Unlike other trailers, there is no floor thus reducing weight. 
Corner Post: the steel corner supports of a container which carry its weight and that of containers stacked above.  At each end of the corner post is a corner casting.  These are used for lifting the container or for securing it under transport.  
CSC Plate: fitted to each container in line with Container Safety Convention regulations, this plate contains statutory information about the container.
Dry Box: see Dry Cargo
Dry Cargo (DC): is the standard shipping container used for dry cargo. Made from corten steel, it is predominantly in 20' or 40' lengths and has loading doors at one end. 
Dry Van (DV): see Dry Cargo
Flat Rack (FR): a heavy duty container "base" used for carrying bulky or heavy cargoes.  Fitted with end frames which are either fixed or folding and which constitute the corner posts for lifting and stacking.
General Purpose (GP): see Dry Cargo
Gen Set: a removable generator fitted to a Reefer container.  It provides electricity for the Reefer's cooling machinery when there is no power source available.
High Cube (HC): a container that is 9'6" high instead of the standard 8'6" high
Open Top (OT): a dry cargo container without a solid roof.  Over-height cargo and heavy machinery can be loaded from above and a weatherproof tarpaulin is fitted over the top.
Pallet Wide (PW): slightly wider than the 8' wide ISO container, the palletwide allows the most efficient side by side transport of pallets.  Some PW designs will fit in containership cell guides, others are restricted to land transport within specific regions.
Reefer: an insulated temperature controlled container normally used for keeping cargoes frozen, but capable of maintaining higher temperatures in very cold climates.  Typically, an integral cooling machine provides the temperature control.
Special Containers: a term for all containers other than standard 20', 40' and 45' Dry Cargo containers.  Marine specials are those which conform to ISO dimensions and which can be transported in container ships.  Regional specials have dimensions which restrict them to road and rail transport. 
Spreader: a device used for lifting containers.  With a locking mechanism (twist-lock) at each corner it attaches to the four corners of the container for lifting by cranes or straddle carriers.  
Swap Body: used for European road and rail transport and not seaworthy.  Constructed differently to containers and with metric dimensions, these are not stackable and some are fitted with retractable legs.
Tank Container (TK): a container comprising a stainless steel vessel suspended in a frame with standard container dimensions.  Used for transporting liquids in bulk and can be fitted with refrigeration or heating.  Foods or chemicals are normal cargoes.
TEU:  Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit.  The basic standard Dry Cargo container is 20' long which is one TEU.  A 40' long container is thus two TEU.  This is the container industry unit of measure for comparing container fleet size and container ship capacity.