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  • Vegard Synnes

Taking Full Advantage of Container Height

Updated: May 14, 2020

When loading cars in containers every millimeter counts. It is crucial to have enough clearance between vehicle and container walls, door and roof, as well as between the vehicles themselves. Without proper clearance you face the risk of vehicle damage both during loading/unloading activities, and during transportation.


To avoid the above-mentioned risk of damages is one of the reasons why Kar-Tainer's loading solutions have been developed into the External Loaded Single-Unit Cassette-Based System we use today. Not only does it enable highly efficient loading and unloading operations, but it also ensures vehicle safety through all procedures of a containerized vehicle move, most notably keeping personnel out of the confines of the container during these operations.

Tallest point of vehicle has to be lower than container door opening - 2580mm

However, one of the compromises of our Cassette-based loading system has for a long time been the under-utilization of the very top of the container. As vehicles loaded on our systems are fixed in place on the cassette before being loaded into container, the tallest point of the vehicle when pre-staged on cassettes cannot be taller than 2480 millimeters from the ground up. This is to ensure we operate in accordance with our strict quality standards of 100 mm clearance on all areas, even through the container door during loading and unloading.

The difference between 40HQ container door height and internal roof height

In general, cars being shipped in containers will go in 40foot high-cube containers (40HQ). The door of a 40HQ container is 2580 millimeters, or 8 foot 6 inches by Imperial standards, whereas the height under the container roof once clear of the door is 2690 mm (more or less), or 8 foot 10 inches. The height of the container door has therefore in the past limited our capability of utilizing the excess 100-110 millimeters additional space under container roof once vehicles have passed the container door. This has to some extent limited the size of vehicles which could be loaded on our systems. Alternative loading systems rely on positioning vehicles in the container first horizontally, before elevating them inside container, which compromises on quality but does allow them to utilize this space at the top of the container.


To ensure we can provide safe and efficient loading solutions also for the larger vehicles in todays automotive market, we have developed a device that enables us to lift the vehicle bonnet end of the angled cassette up towards the container roof after safely passing through the container door. A simple adaptor is connected to the flat cassette external of the container and once inserted into container, this adaptor will slide under the front end of each of the angled cassettes, pushing these roughly 100 millimeters towards the roof of the container. This in turn creates more space between the vehicle loaded in a horizontal position and the angled vehicles inside the container, ensuring that even larger sized SUV's can be safely shipped with the right safety clearances on all critical areas. All loading procedures follow the KTI principle of vehicles pre-staged on external loaded cassettes before being inserted in container with a forklift.

Above illustrations shows how bonnet is first elevated once when vehicle is inside of the container, clear the door. This lift enable our system to utilize another 100 milimeter under the container roof while at the same time making another 100 milimeter clearance between windscreen and rearend of the horizontal car, and the two angled cars.


A short testimony to our continous work to keep on top of market trends and deliver loading solutions that enables you to safely and efficiently containerized your automotive shipments.


If you have questions on how to safely load cars in containers, no matter the size or form, get in touch with your closest Kar-Tainer representative or reach out to us through the website contact forms.

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