Container types

ISO 6346 is an international standard covering the coding, identification and marking of intermodal (shipping) containers used within containerized intermodal freight transport. The standard establishes a visual identification system for every container that includes a unique serial number (with check digit), the owner, a country code, a size, type and equipment category as well as any operational marks. The standard is managed by the International Container Bureau (BIC).

According to ISO 6346, freight containers consist of following main categories:

1. General purpose container 

2. Bulk container 

3. Named cargo container 

4. Thermal container 

5. Open-top container 

6. Platform container 

7. Tank container

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