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Hard Top Container – An in-depth guide

Hard Top Container – An in-depth guide

Hard Top Containers


Shipping goods across borders requires safeguarding cargo from the elements and potential hazards. In this regard, hard top containers have emerged as the epitome of secure transportation. As the UAE serves as a crucial hub for global trade, businesses need to understand how hard top containers enable efficient, reliable, and cost-effective logistics. In this article, we explore all about Hard Top shipping containers. 

What is a Hard Top Container?

Definition and Purpose of Hard Top Container

A hard top container is a specialized cargo container designed with a reinforced roof structure that is fully removable, allowing for easy loading and unloading of goods from the top. It provides secure and weather-resistant transportation for various cargo types during shipping and logistics operations.  

Differentiating Hard Top Container from Other Container Types

Firstly, the shipping container, hard top, feature a removable roof and provide top-loading access for cargo, however, standard containers have fixed roofs and load cargo through their front or rear doors. Plus, these containers carry taller or oversized items that might not fit into traditional containers. Additionally, their reinforced roof structure enhances protection against weather and external elements, while regular containers may have a weaker roof.  

Key Features and Components of Hard Top Container

Some of the key features include, 


  • Removable roof  
  • Robust roof frame with sturdy corner posts and side rails  
  • Heavy-duty doors with locking mechanisms  
  • Forklift pockets and corner castings  
  • Weather-resistant construction  
  • Lashing points and tie-downs inside the container  

The Benefits of Using a Hard Top Container

Superior Protection and Security for Cargo

The removable reinforced roof in a hard top container prevents damage to valuable goods while loading and unloading. The robust roof structure and secure locking mechanisms shield the cargo from harsh weather conditions and unauthorized access.  


Whether you’re a seasoned logistics veteran or an entrepreneur venturing into the shipping world, the relevance of open top containers is undeniable. In this article, we discuss this unique cargo transport solution in detail. 

Weatherproof and Water-Resistant Design

Hard-top shipping containers feature reinforced roof structures and sturdy corner posts that effectively seal the container against moisture. Additionally, high-quality weather-resistant materials are employed in their construction. 

Ideal for High-Value or Delicate Goods

The removable roof allows delicate items to be gently loaded from the top, reducing the risk of damage during handling. Also, secure locking mechanisms protect against theft and unauthorized access when transporting delicate goods 

Easy Access and Loading Efficiency

Hardtop shipping containers grant unrestricted top-loading access to cargo through their removable roofing. This design eliminates the need for traditional side or rear doors. 

Stacking Capability for Efficient Space Utilization

Multiple containers can be safely stacked on each other, maximizing the available cargo space in shipping yards, ports, or storage facilities and optimizing logistics operations.  

Seamless Intermodal Transportation

Hard Top shipping containers have a versatile design that enables easy loading onto ships, trucks, and trains without cargo transfer, saving time and minimizing handling risks.  

Accommodates Over-height Cargo

Hard Top shipping containers enable easy loading from the top, meaning there’s seamless insertion of cargo that exceeds standard container height limits. This convenient feature caters to construction, machinery, and special projects, which often require to transport bulky cargo 

Compliance with Shipping Standards

The manufacturing of hard-top shipping containers aligns with international shipping regulations and ISO standards for container dimensions, structural integrity, and safety.  

Durable and Reusable Solution

Hard Top shipping containers are built to withstand the rigors of long-haul transportation and repeated use. Constructed with robust materials and reinforced structural elements, they maintain their integrity even under harsh conditions, providing a reliable protective shell for cargo.  

Cost-Effectiveness for Specific Cargo Types

For cargo that requires top-level access, the hard top container streamlines logistics and minimizes labor costs. The containers’ durable build and weatherproof design reduce the risk of loss or damage. 

What are the Different Dimensions of Hard Top Containers?

Overview of Standard Sizes: 20ft and 40ft Hard Top Container

Standard sizes for hard top shipping containers are typically available in 20ft and 40ft variations. The 20ft hard top container has a length of 20 feet, width of 8 feet, and common heights of hard top container is approximately 8.5 feet. On the other hand, the 40ft hard top container doubles the length, providing a spacious interior of 40 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height.  

Internal and External Dimensions of Hard Top Containers

Internal Dimensions 20ft Hard Top Container





19 feet 4 inches (5.89 meters) 

7 feet 8 inches (2.35 meters) 

7 feet 10 inches (2.38 meters) 

Approximately 1,165 cubic feet (32.9 cubic meters) 

Internal Dimensions 40ft Hard Top Container





39 feet 5 inches (12.02 meters) 

7 feet 8 inches (2.35 meters) 

7 feet 10 inches (2.38 meters) 


Approximately 2,350 cubic feet (66.6 cubic meters) 

External Dimensions of 20ft Hard Top Container




20 feet (6.06 meters) 

8 feet (2.44 meters) 

8 feet 6 inches (2.59 meters) 

External Dimensions of 40ft Hard Top Container




40 feet (12.19 meters) 

8 feet (2.44 meters) 

9 feet 6 inches (2.89 meters) 

Load Capacity and Weight Restrictions

A standard 20ft hard top container can typically carry a maximum gross weight of approximately 30,480 kg (67,200 lbs), while the 40ft version can handle up to around 32,500 kg (71,650 lbs). These weight limits include the combined weight of both the container and the cargo.  

Characteristics of Hard Top Containers

Unique Design Features and Construction of Hard Top Containers

  • Removable roof, which allows easy top-loading access for oversized or bulky items.  
  • The roof is reinforced with sturdy corner posts and side rails, providing structural integrity and durability.  
  • Construction involves weather-resistant materials, ensuring protection from external elements during transportation.  
  • Secure locking mechanisms prevent unauthorized access and ensure cargo safety.  

Flooring and Load Securing Mechanisms

Hard top containers feature high-quality marine-grade plywood or steel flooring, ensuring a sturdy and smooth surface for loading and unloading operations. Interior lashing rings and tie-down points secure the cargo firmly to prevent movement or shifting during transit.  

Structural Strength and Durability

Common Applications of Hard Top Containers

The containers incorporate robust steel components, including corner posts and side rails, providing a strong framework that can withstand the stresses of transportation. Additionally, the removable roof feature is reinforced with sturdy support beams, further enhancing the container’s structural integrity.  

The Most Common Applications of Hard Top Containers

Construction companies employ hard top containers to transport heavy machinery, building materials, and oversized equipment, the energy sector employs them for oil and gas equipment transportation, while automotive manufacturers rely on these containers for shipping vehicles.  

Examples of Specific Goods Transported Using Hard Top Containers

  • Heavy machinery like excavators, bulldozers, and cranes.  
  • Large construction materials such as steel beams, pipes, and pre-fabricated structures.  
  • Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles.  
  • Generators, compressors, and other industrial machinery.  
  • Oversized items like wind turbine components or large industrial parts.  
  • Delicate electronic equipment, servers, and medical devices. 
  • Valuable art pieces and exhibition items. 
  • Relief supplies like food, water, medical equipment, and shelter materials for disaster-stricken areas. 

How Al Sharqi Can Help with Hard Top Container Shipping

Al Sharqi offers a comprehensive range of services, with expertise in handling hard top container goods. Our skilled professionals operate via an extensive network coverage spanning numerous domestic and international destinations, ensuring seamless logistics operations worldwide. Contact us today, and access tailored and modern logistics services to meet your business needs. 


For shipping experts in the UAE and beyond, understanding the specifications and advantages of hard top containers is crucial to optimizing logistics operations. Also, shipping professionals can streamline supply chains, enhance cargo protection, and reduce operational costs. With Al Sharqi’s expertise in handling these specialized containers and offering tailored logistics solutions, shipping experts can unlock new opportunities for secure, efficient, and seamless cargo transportation.  


Our experience in the field and our global network

A Hard Top container has a removable roof for top-loading access, with a reinforced roof structure and weather-resistant design. They are ideal for transporting heavy machinery, construction materials, vehicles, delicate electronics, valuable art pieces, and humanitarian aid supplies 

Key features include its removable roof, reinforced roof structure, weather-resistant construction, and secure locking mechanisms. These features offer an extra layer of protection against theft and unauthorized access, making it perfect for safely transporting high-value or delicate goods. 

Yes, the container has a reinforced roof structure to endure harsh weather during transportation, while secure locking mechanisms create a reliable and safe environment for valuable goods.  

In a hard-top container, cargo is gently loaded from the top, accommodating oversized or delicate items that may not fit through traditional container doors.  

Accordion Content

Yes, the robust construction of hard-top containers allows them to be safely stacked on top of each other and ensures seamless transitions between different modes of transportation without the need for cargo transfer. 

Hard top containers are ideal for managing over-height and heavy cargo. With a removable steel roof, they accommodate taller goods while ensuring protection. The robust structure supports heavy loads, and the top can be reattached securely. This flexibility makes hard top containers a practical solution for transporting and safeguarding such challenging cargo. 

Tags: Shipping Conatiners

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