Over-gauge cargo transportation

About “Over-gauge cargo transportation” !!

Explained about Over-gauge cargo transportation by Video


This video takes 6 min. and 9 sec. !!

Hello, it’s Iino.

Today, I’d like to explain the method for transporting over-gauge cargo, – a cargo which does not fit inside the container.

About 70 years ago, it was common to use bulk vessels to transport cargo, before container transportation was introduced.

A container ship is a vessel used to transport cargo inside of 20ft or 40ft containers.

As long as it fits into the container, the volume of cargo doesn’t matter, therefore you can transport at low cost.

The history of container transport was explained previously, so please check out the link in the comment section.
It’s one of the most recommended videos among my collection.

How to transport Over-Gauge Cargo

So, how do we transport cargo which doesn’t fit into a container?

By the way, the size of a 40ft high cube container is about:

Width : 2.3m
Height : 2.7m
Length : 12m

Actually, most cases of over-gauge cargos that do not fit in the containers are; transportation of machinery, plant, long metal goods and large building equipment.

3 Types of Special Containers for Over-Gauge Cargo

Over-gauge cargos are unique in weight and volume, and they are required to be transported in special containers which are not required for normal cargo.

These are the three main special containers ;

1. Open top containers – no top roof
2. Flat rack containers – no rood or long side walls
3. Flatbed containers – no roof, just floorboards

Let’s take a closer look.

Open Top Container

Open top containers do not have a roof, so the cargo can be handled by cranes.

The container is suitable for transporting heavy, long and tall goods.

Also, the top parts will be covered by a tarp to prevent rain and sea water entering.

Flat Rack Container

Flat rack containers are containers without a roof or long side walls.

As there is no roof and long side walls, only front and end walls, it provides flexible options to load cargo.

Actually, the big advantage is being able to load the cargo from the sides.

With normal dry containers, you can only load cargo from the back door. When there is heavy cargo, the forklift will be required to enter the container to load the cargo at the bulkhead.

When this operation occurs, a platform will be required for the forklift to enter the container.

However, if you are able to load cargo from the side, the platform will not be required.

The forklift can load and unload cargo from the side, which means vanning and devanning process will be much more effective.

Heavy cargo such as machinery requires extra attention to load, and can be dangerous, so it is important to have this special characteristic.

Used for In-Gauge Cargo as well

Now, another advantage of these flat rack and flatbed containers are that they are also utilized for cargo that can fit into a container which is called in-gauge cargo.

In-gauge means, sizes that fit within a container.

Actually, there are some in-gauge cargo which is difficult for loading.

What you need to understand is, if you use the flat rack and flatbed container for in-gauge cargo, you will be able to get the cheaper cost than using it for over-gauge cargo.

Please imagine the picture of containers on a vessel.
Containers are loaded onto the vessel without any gaps.

If there were over-gauge cargo, it takes more space on the vessel.

However, in-gauge cargo requires the same size and space as other dry containers, so compared to the over gauge cargo, the price will be cheaper.

Flatbed Container

Lastly, flatbed containers are containers with floorboards only.

It is useful to transport cargo which exceeds the container length and width.

Flatbed containers can be combined to transport one big cargo and the floor is strengthened for transporting heavy cargo.

Once flat rack and flatbed containers are loaded, the cargo need to be protected with tarp and covers from rain and sea water.


Let’s summarize today’s topic.

Cargo which does not fit in a 40ft container is transported in a special container called over-gauge container.

There are the three main special containers;

1. Open top containers
2. Flat rack containers
3. Flatbed containers

Open top containers have no roof and are suitable to transport tall cargo, they can be loaded from the top using cranes.

Flat rack containers have no roof or long sides and they are suitable for transporting wide cargo.

As there are no walls and they are flexible in terms of load and unload. They can also be used for in-gauge cargo.

Lastly, flatbed containers have no walls at all and are suitable to transport long sized and cargo.

They are made to transport heavy goods like machinery and another characteristic is that the floorboards have been strengthened.

This time, I talked about the containers used to transport over-cargo.

Next time, I would like to talk about the method used to choose a freight forwarder to transport over-gauge cargo.

That’s all for today. Thank you.

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