What's in a name?
Used shipping containers go by lots of different names. When someone is looking to rent or purchase a used shipping container for storage, they may ask for a storage container, storage box, shipping container or “something I can use to store my stuff”. These different names originate from a variety of locations.
Those with a military background quite often refer to shipping containers as CONEX boxes. This term comes from when the US Army Transportation Corps developed a steel container system called the “Transporter”. After the success of this original system in the Korean War, the system was developed into the Container Express (CONEX) box system. This system introduced the modular nature of the containers with the addition of a smaller, half-size, unit and ability to stack up to three high.
People in the shipping industry will sometimes refer to a shipping container as a dry van or sea van. The van term comes from the fully enclosed tractor-trailers. These vehicle trailers are not the same as a dry storage shipping container but serve many of the same purposes for shipping and the names are sometimes interchanged. Some people looking for a storage container will mistakenly call it a trailer when, in actuality, a trailer is the means of hauling the shipping container.
The most common type of storage container for sea shipping and repurposed storage use is the dry storage container. The different sizes available include the standard ISO 20-foot and 40-foot containers. Tricons are sized so that three of them fit in the same space as an ISO 20-foot container, and quadcons are sized so that four can fit in that same footprint.
When someone is looking to buy or rent a storage container, the container that meets the widest variety of needs, and presents the best durability for the price is the dry storage sea shipping container. They may come across terms such as “High Cube” which refers to a container that is a foot taller than the standard shipping container (8’6” vs 9’6”). The term “double door” refers to a shipping container that has doors on both ends. A standard shipping container has two doors on only one end. No matter what they are called a used dry storage shipping container is the most affordable means for temporary or permanent storage.