What is a Top Picker Used For In Container Transport?

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If you are in a shipping company or a client and want to know what a top picker is, you are in the right place. Also known as top picks, top loaders, or top lifts, they are essential in lifting empty or loaded containers in transport and shipping cargo. The top loaders or handlers move cargo from one point to the other.

The cargo-lifting equipment is more efficient and flexible than the traditional lifting tools in seaports or shipping yards. They are the best option for container moving that requires top lifting, especially during intermodal shipping. This article will explain all about top pickers for containers, including their alternatives and when to use them.

Moving a container on a trailer.

A top picker is an indispensable piece of equipment that helps shipping companies and clients move containers from one mode of transport to another, such as from a truck to a train.

What is a Top Picker?

A top picker is an indispensable piece of equipment that helps shipping companies and clients move containers from one mode of transport to another, such as from a truck to a train. It can also help place the cargo down after they arrive in port terminals or a freight company. The cargo-handling equipment is the best because it works efficiently where other cargo-lifting tools are inefficient. It can handle all types of freight, from the lightest to the heaviest.

Top pickers are highly versatile and come in different brands, sizes, and models like Toyota, Crown Equipment, and Hyster-Yale, allowing shipping companies to choose the one that perfectly meets their container-lifting needs. Read on to understand and answer the question, What does top picker mean in transport?

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When Should You Use Top Pickers for Container Moves?

After describing top pickers, it is time to understand how they work and when to use them. What does top picker mean in transport? This is the question they try to answer when they provide uses of top picks in seaports and other container handling terminals.

Shipping companies can use top picks in the following ways:

  • Loading: top picks are the best for loading trucks, trains, and ships with light to heavy containers for hauling and transportation to final destinations.

  • Unloading: once the cargo arrives at port terminals, ports, or shipping companies, top picks are for unloading the ships, trains, planes, or trailers. The cargo-lifting equipment moves containers in another truck or a designated storage space before a client picks it up.

  • Stacking: top pickers for containers are the best for stacking in the shipping industry. They can lift containers and stack them on top of others for storage or when unloading many containers simultaneously.

  • Container moving: Shipping companies and freight owners also use top picks to move freight or cargo from one point to another within terminals or ports.

After understanding where and when to use top picks in shipping, you can also learn where the equipment is off-limits. Agents and experts in logistics and shipping industries do not use top picks to transport containers outside a port terminal or company. The equipment is for lifting, loading, unloading, and stacking within the location

Container transport.

What are Top Picker Alternatives?

Most reputable shipping companies use many other cargo-lifting equipment instead of top pickers for containers. The alternatives in logistics and shipping can meet different needs that facilitate operations at the port or shipping company, including cargo-lifting. If you don’t have top picks, you can opt for:

  • Automated guided vehicles (AGVs): The driverless AGVs use technology such as lasers, cameras, and guide wires to move containers from one point to the next or to load, unload, and stack cargo.
  • Forklifts: They are powered trucks with two forks that lift and move cargo from one place to another within ports and freight companies. They come in diverse sizes and work best over short distances. The forklifts include pallet jacks, terrain lifts, and top pickers.

  • Chassis rotators: These are heavy-duty forklifts for lifting and storing container chassis when creating space for more cargo. They are also known as chassis flippers that rotate when finding the correct position to place the containers.

  • Material handlers: They are similar to cranes and work with their interchangeable attachments, such as bars and hooks, to wrap around cargo or lift containers for short-distance transportation within the seaports and shipping terminals.

  • Container cranes: Another alternative to top picks is the cranes that are useful in loading and unloading cargo during intermodal shipping. They include harbor, shi[-to-store, gantry, and container-handling cranes.

  • Reach stackers: The equipment is the best alternative for loading, stacking, and unloading containers.

  • Side handlers: Handlers are overhead telescopic equipment that lifts and moves containers sideways. They grab the sides, bottom, or top of empty containers.

Straddle carriers: The equipment can stack up to four containers without the help of forklifts, top picks, and cranes.

Find the Best Container Solution

When transporting cargo locally or internationally, you might need top picks or top handling equipment to help with loading, unloading, and stacking. You can count on Heavy Equipment Transport for the best container moving services.

The experts can help you explain what top pickers mean in transport. It is essential in the loading or unloading of shipping containers within a terminal. So, call us today if you want the best intermodal transport services for your cargo.

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!