What Type of Trailer Do You Need to Ship a Container?

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Francisca Olive / July 2023

There are several types of trailers to choose from when transporting shipping containers, including flatbeds, goosenecks, and chassis. While each type has its advantages, the chassis trailer has become the go-to option for many shipping companies and container movers. This article will explore why the chassis is the best shipping container transport trailer.

What Is a Container Chassis?

A chassis (or skeletal trailer) is a wheeled trailer structure designed to carry many different kinds of containers (standard and special). These metal frames are built to transport containers from one terminal to another, as well as between warehouses, ports, and other warehouses. There are different types of container chassis, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

A container chassis is essentially a steel frame with tires and axles connected. The capacity of a chassis depends mainly on its axles. The axle is the lengthy shaft connecting the wheels. A regular chassis can haul 20-foot and 40-foot containers with only two axles. A tri-axle chassis is required to transport 20ft containers weighing more than 36,000 pounds or 40ft containers weighing more than 44,000 pounds.

container haul

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What Makes the Chassis the Best Shipping Container Transport Trailer?

The purpose of a chassis is to move shipping containers quickly and safely. They’re sturdy and strong, shielding containers from shocks and vibrations on the road. Containers are fastened safely and securely to the chassis, eliminating the need for excessive container movements and making transportation significantly safer.

Although typically constructed of lightweight materials, a container chassis is strong enough for heavy equipment transport. They also come in various types so that transport companies can choose the best for their needs.

Types of Container Chassis

➤ Common Chassis

The common chassis does not provide any customization options. It’s just a simple, permanent structure designed to move containers from one location to another. These chassis require the use of overhead cranes for loading and unloading freight.

Standard 20-foot, 40-foot, and 45-foot containers can be transported using the common chassis. Distinctive body markings indicate where your containers should go. This chassis is not only inexpensive but also easy to operate. However, external equipment, such as overhead cranes, may result in additional costs.

➤ Tilt Container Chassis

Because of the nature of this chassis type, loading and unloading containers is a breeze. A tilt chassis, as opposed to a common chassis, features upper and lower frames. The upper structure may tilt upward using hydraulics. In addition, the chassis’ upper frame includes a roller that links to the bottom frame.

This setup ensures a safe and manageable loading and unloading process. You’ll have to shell out more cash for this one, but if ease of use is your top priority, it’s worth it.

➤ Extendable Chassis

As their name suggests, extendable chassis can be adjusted to accommodate various containers. This type of chassis functions in much the same way as a common chassis, with one key distinction. Because the back can be extended, it can be used for various purposes.

This is the chassis for container movers transporting containers of various lengths.

Choosing the Right Chassis Trailer for Your Needs

container haul

Which chassis is best for you depends solely on your needs. The following should be taken into account when deciding the type to go with:

➤ Usage

A container-specific chassis is the best option if you need to move containers. On the other hand, flatbed chassis trailers are the best option if you need to transport containers along with other goods. A tilt chassis is convenient if you have to load and unload items in specific locations since it eliminates the need for renting a crane or other lifting machinery.

➤ Weight Threshold

You can select the number of axles in the chassis best to accommodate the weight of the container. The more axles a chassis has, the more weight it can carry. The ideal option for moving conventional containers is a two- or three-axle chassis.

➤ Cost

Before deciding on a chassis, consider the container’s requirements and specs carefully. You should expect to pay more for a customized chassis than a standard one. Hence, when you look for a container chassis, you should ensure that you completely understand your requirements.

Key Takeaway

A container chassis is the most effective shipping container transport trailer. These trailers are built for container hauling. Because there is such a large selection of trailers to choose from, you can pick the one that’s most appropriate for your needs.

William Thomas

William Thomas

Heavy Transport Specialist

Being able to lead a team of such talented logistics agents has been a wonderful experience over the past ten years. If you would like to know anything more about the heavy equipment transport services we offer, don't hesitate to give us a call!