Hard top containers are a favorite of freight forwarders. Read this blog to learn how multifunctional the container type is. Also, find out how hard top containers are cheaper than open-top and dry containers. Or, directly talk to our experts to find hard-top containers at the best price in the market. 

Hard top containers are one of the most versatile containers in the shipping industry. They are specialized versions of general dry containers. But what sets them apart is that they can do much more than a standard container!  

Designed for multi-purpose use, hard top containers are ideal for dynamic industries. To put it simply, you can ship dry cargo as well as oversized and bulky cargo in a hard top container. Wondering how’s that possible? We’ll get to that shortly. 

But if you already know about hard top containers, then you can skip this blog and start searching for these containers on our marketplace. On xChange, you can buy and lease hard top containers in 2500+ locations globally. Get offers from sellers and lessors of the container type and book yourself the most suitable deal. Click on the banner below to find hard top containers in your location.

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What is a hard top container? 

Hard top containers are special intermodal containers with a removable roof. Structurally, they are similar to a standard container. But the removable roof makes this container suitable for shipping heavy, oversized, and oddly-shaped cargo that needs to be loaded from the top. 

How hard top containers are used as open-top containers

The best part about hard top containers is that in case the cargo height is more than the container height, the detachable roof can be lashed on the sidewall inside the container. Thus, converting it to an open-top container. So you can use one functional hard top container as both a standard container and an open-top container. It all boils down to the type of cargo you want to ship. Fascinating, right? 

Read More: Open Top Container | Types, dimensions & the best offers in 2500+ locations

Hard top container

Usually, freight-forwarders and NVOCCs, specializing in transporting multi-purpose cargo, invest in hard top containers. They can use these containers as standard or open-top containers — depending on the requirements of their customers. 

Similarly, manufacturing industries importing raw materials and exporting finished goods also use hard-top containers for transporting their varied types of cargo.

Characteristics of hard top containers 

We know that a hard top container is perfect for shipping general and special cargo. Now, let’s look at the features of the containers facilitating this multi-purpose utility.

Like all containers, hard tops are made of corrugated steel. And the floor is made of wood to reduce friction. Most hard top containers have rings on the roof for accommodating forklift trucks so the roof can be detached smoothly using forklifts. The weight of the roof is approximately 450 kg.

You don’t even have to worry about securing the cargo inside the container. Each hard top container has lashing rings installed in the upper and lower side rails, corner posts (which can handle up to 2000 kg load), and middle of the sidewalls (with 500 kg load handling capacity) — only if the roof of the container is closed.

Another important feature of the hard top container is that the door header pivots outside. This makes it fairly easy to load and unload cargo through a forklift.

What type of cargo is shipped in a hard top container? 

To answer this question, we have to go back and look at its main feature: a detachable roof. If the roof is attached, you can use the box to transport all types of general dry cargo. And if it’s detached, you can use the container to ship bulk cargo like cement, automotive, construction goods, steel, and much more. 

Hard top containers are specially functional for heavy and very-heavy goods and heightened cargo — which needs to be loaded through the roof or doors using a forklift, crane, or crab. Cargo transported using hard top containers include marble, glass sheets, raw materials (like coal), large machinery, etc.

In terms of pallets, you can easily fit 25 and 30 pallets of American and European sizes, respectively. These are rough estimates. The number of pallets actually depends on the size of your container, which brings us to the next section: 

Sizes and dimensions of a hard top container

Different sizes of hard top container

Containers are made according to standard sizes set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Hard top containers are available as 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft high cube containers. Here are the three different capacities of these containers:

20ft hard top container 

A 20ft hard top container functions similarly as a standard TEU. You should choose a 20ft hard top container if you don’t have a higher volume requirement. These are a perfect choice for shippers looking to invest in hard top containers at a lower range.

40ft hard top container

A 40ft hard top container is twice the size of a 20ft hard top container. These are well-suited for shippers of bulkier and higher-volume cargo. The 40ft long containers also offer good storage value for their price. 

40 high cube hard top container 

A 40ft HC hard top container has an additional foot in height than a 40ft hard top container. These spacious 40ft HC shipping containers are perfect for damage-free shipping of large shipments. You can use ISO-certified containers for safe and secure storage and transportation of bulky cargo. They’ll offer you the best storage value for your money.

Here are the internal measurements and capacity of these containers:

Measure 20ft HT 40ft HT 40ft High Cube HT
Internal length 5.89 m / 19.3 ft 12.03 m / 39.5 ft 12.03 m / 39.5 ft
Internal width 2.34 m / 7.8 ft 2.34 m / 7.8 ft 2.34 m / 7.8 ft
Internal height 2.38 m / 7.9 ft 2.38 m / 7.9 ft 2.69 m / 8.9 ft
Tare weight 2,700 kg / 5,950 lbs 4,700 kg / 10,362 lbs 5,200 kg / 11,470 lbs
Payload capacity 27,780 kg / 61,244 lbs 27,300 kg / 60,180 lbs 28,600 kg / 63,052 lbs
Cubic capacity 33.0 m3 / 1,165 ft3 65.3 m3 / 2,306 ft3 76.3 m3 / 2,694 ft3

Are you interested in buying or leasing hard top containers in these sizes? You can find 10,000+ containers in 2500+ locations on our container marketplace. Plus, you get to choose what to pay for these containers among several offers. Get a peek at the current offers on hard top containers by clicking on the banner below! 

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How hard top containers are cheaper than open-top & dry containers

Now that you know about different sizes of hard top containers, you must be wondering about the average prices. Like any other special containers, hard top containers are a bit on the pricier side.

But if you look at its dual function as an open-top container and a standard container, it might be the best financial decision you’ll make at its price point. Let’s understand this through the example of one of the best-selling sizes: the 40ft version. 

Price of 40ft cargo-worthy containers in Russia 
Hard top  Open top Dry container 
$4,000 $3,500 $2,500

Now, at first glance, a 40ft hard top container might look more expensive than its counterparts. But don’t forget that on shelling $4000, you’ll be getting a container that can be used as both open-top and dry containers. If you were to buy an open top and dry container separately, you’d have to spend $3500 + $2500 = $6000. That’s an additional amount of $2000! 

Why spend so much money when you can get the best of two containers in just one box?

Therefore, hard top containers are not only one of the best functional buys but also an economical one. Please note that the average price of containers varies from location to location. It’s best to do your research and compare prices before investing in a box of any kind. 

Wondering where you can get prices on all types of containers? You get complete price transparency on all container types on our trading and leasing platforms. Just submit your requirements and get prices and leasing rates from multiple partners in one dashboard. This way, you can take your time to compare the prices and make informed decisions. 

Lease, buy and sell hard top containers on xChange

As you’ve seen, hard top containers are one of the best buys in the container industry. No wonder freight-forwarders and shippers are always on the hunt for it. But this also makes it difficult to source these bad boys at cheaper prices. 

But we have a solution for this. On our online container marketplace, we have 10,000+ containers available in 2500+ locations worldwide. Once you enter your requirement, you’ll receive container offers from sellers and lessors in one dashboard. You can compare these offers, including the prices, and select the one that best suits your needs.

Over 1,500 members use our platform to buy, lease, and sell containers globally. And don’t worry — all members undergo a thorough background check to make the experience safe and secure for everyone. Be assured to get only genuine deals from our trusted network!

Plus, there’s a lot you can do. With xChange’s 100% neutral online container marketplace, you can:

  • Reach more people and increase your network.
  • Know whom you’re doing business with.
  • Manage all your transactions in one place – with payment protection.
  • Offer sales stock to a global network of 1,500+ certified partners.
  • Get notified about the best offers according to your needs.
  • Have 100% market visibility in more than 2500 locations globally.

All this with no hidden costs or extra commission fees. Click on the banner below to see these benefits for yourself. Our team of experts will answer all your queries and give you a tour of the platform. Try now!

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Hard top container: Common FAQs

What is hard top container?

A hard top container is a specialized standard dry container with a removable roof. The container is suitable for shipping heavy, oversized and oddly-shaped dry cargo.

What is 40 HT container?

A 40 HT container refers to a 40ft long hard top container. It is one of the best-selling hard top container sizes.

What is an open top container?

An open top container is a special intermodal container with a convertible top made of tarpaulin sheet. It's ideal for shipping oversized or bulky cargos that can’t be loaded through the door.

What is a dry shipping container?

A dry shipping container is a standard container that stores and ships dry cargo. They are typically available in 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft high cube sizes.

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