container lifting machine | Ways To Lift A Shipping Container

Ways To Lift A Shipping Container

Container lifting equipment is typically only found in areas with the highest cargo volume owing to its significant expense. These would be commonly used as “shipping hubs.” However, outside these centers, transporting containers could be challenging, and it is usually addressed by employing a mobile container handling service, such as a truck crane, side loader, or adjustable truck. Fortunately, new container lifting machine alternatives have become accessible, reducing the cost of owning your container handling machines much more reasonably.

  • This study compares nine different container handling methods to find the appropriate container lifting solutions for businesses.
  • The options are as follows:
  • hoisting a container jacks
  • gantry cranes
  • straddle carriers
  • reach stackers
  • top-loading machines
  • forklifts
  • Sideloaders
  • trucks cranes 
  • tilt beds

This research investigates the advantages and disadvantages of each approach of lifting or transporting a shipping container.


Container lifting jacks are a portable and cost-effective solution for lifting containers in areas where the quantity of containers is low. Containers holding up to 32,000 kg / 70,000 lb could be hoisted by specific models.

This container lifting technology compromises speed and accuracy in exchange for much-improved cost and portability. On the other side, automated methods decrease lifting time to below 5 mins.


  • able to lift large containers
  • All container types are supported.
  • Cost-effective
  • Working in confined places
  • Transportable, on-site, and between multiple locations


Gantry cranes are massive cranes that typically sit near the docks and lift containers from ships. These can travel up and down a port, usually anchored in one place. Most owners could only wonder at the statistics before looking for other alternatives because the cost of those would run into the millions.

Although gantry cranes are usually found in ports, small rail-mounted or rubber tire gantry cranes could be used to hoist, transport, and stack container ships in cargo terminals and other medium-to-high volume locations.


  • It is quick and efficient in container terminals, where there would be a vast container turnover.


Straddle carriers are analogous to gantry cranes in that they hoist containers from the top. They are movable on-site and can quickly shift container ships around, but they should function on a reinforced surface of the concrete due to their size and mass.

Manufacturers, export markets, and container hubs that manage low to moderate container volumes might need smaller straddle carriers termed “mini straddles.” It is expensive that can only be used in a single location. It demands the use of a reinforced concrete surface. Container jacks are often the ideal substitute for a straddle carrier.


  • Reasonably quick and mobile on-site service
  • Containers can be stacked


Reach stackers are a quick and effective way to handle containers. A reach stacker is strong enough to lift bulky containers and can move individual containers around on-site. It also transfers containers between the surface, the stack, and rail cars and lines up to 2 – 3 high and deep containers, regardless of the type.

Even without the support of ground personnel, reach stackers are automated and operated from the driver’s seat. However, all of these capabilities come with a price. The new machines would price roughly high, and It’s expensive, portable, but only works across one site. Container jacks are often the best option for a reach stacker.


  • Quick turnaround
  • Automated
  • Containers can be stacked


Top loaders are forklifts with specialized equipment that can lift container ships from the top and stack them in a single pile. They share most of the same attributes as a reach stacker in terms of performance, efficiency, and the ability to shift containers around. 


Quick turnaround


In most manufacturing and warehouse companies, forklifts are a crucial piece of machinery. A high-capacity forklift could lift and move empty and lightweight containers if the need arises. They are being primarily employed for moving common commodities over small distances.

Although giant versions could lift heavy container ships, uneven container weight can be risky because forklifts typically lift from a shorter base within the container’s center.


  • Technology with multiple applications
  • Cost-effective


Side loaders, swing lifts, and side lifters are elevated vehicles that could still lift, carry, and transport whole containers to and from the ground or other platforms.

This flexible device is perfect if you still need to transport container ships between places. On the other hand, side loaders have the restriction of requiring the use of a prime mover to function. The container lifting mechanism can potentially change 5,000 kg (11,000 lb), raising the tare weight and potentially relocating the available payload compared to standard chassis.


  • Transferring the container takes only 5-10 minutes.
  • One operator is all that is needed.


The crane is directly positioned on the truck carrier with this container lifting equipment. Unlike a side loader, a truck crane may descend containers to any point inside the radius of the crane’s reach.

Nevertheless, since the reach of a truck crane is confined by the vehicle’s weight, this is only suitable for hoisting vacant or lightly loaded container ships. A truck crane could typically only hold 20′ containers. 


  • When working with containers in limited locations, this tool comes in handy.
  • Deploying across various sites
  • Lifts and transports more than just containers alone


A tilt-bed or tilt-deck design permits containers to be hoisted on or pulled off from the vehicle by descending the tail end of the deck to the ground. This strategy is usually restricted to empty containers or slightly loaded containers with non-precious products.

These trucks are less expensive than side loaders. However, these have a lower container load capacity. While using a tilt bed, remember that there should be sufficient space for the truck to drive it away reasonably. As a result, the site would be the same length as the shipping crate (20′ or 40′) plus the vehicle and trailer.


  • Portable and can be used on multiple locations
  • Cost-effective than other container lifting methods


Shippers always had to pay additional waiting period charges to transport companies. At the same time, containers were loaded or unloaded on the truck, spent a lot of money for a crane to raise and ground the container, or had a trim or no option. There is indeed a variety of lifting and moving shipping container solutions for your specific requirements.