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  • Hull draft – Some vessels have drafts too deep for some harbors, which are limited by the natural topography of the ocean floor.
  • Offloading – Smaller and unimproved sea ports may lack the offloading equipment to move containers and bulky items. Vessels moving these items may need deck mounted cranes to move items themselves
  • Size – Vessels that are too long may not be able to adequately berth to offload cargo
  • Flag carrying vessels – Some vessels may be banned from entry to harbors due to their source origin or registered flag.

Cross Section of Example Container Vessel:

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Sending Goods by Sea

Sea Transport Documentation


Containers may be made of different materials, altering the tare and gross weight availability.

Example container carrying vessel:

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Though there are dozens of varieties of containers available to meet a number of needs, the vast majority of containers what are known as “dry containers” at either 20 foot (TEU) or 40 foot (FEU) sizes. TEU and FEU are totally enclosed, and though they are called “dry” are not actually hermetically sealed. The containers themselves are lockable and stackable, with two TEUs being able to be loaded on top of or below an FEU. Standard dry containers are mostly made from steel, however aluminium varieties are available.