What Is a Container Chassis?

What Is a Container Chassis?

A container chassis is a specialized semi-trailer designed for handling heavy loads and long distances, sometimes also referred to as a skeleton trailer. It plays a crucial role in the transportation industry, especially when moving large containers. It allows drivers to move containers directly without the need for loading or unloading cargo, saving a significant amount of time and money. Without container chassis, transferring containers from ports to warehouses or other locations would be a logistical nightmare.

In this article, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the definition, uses, and advantages of container chassis.

What is a Container Chassis?

A container chassis consists of a sturdy metal frame designed to support and secure containers. This type of chassis typically features standard container securing devices, such as twist locks, to accommodate various types and sizes of containers, commonly 20 feet or 40 feet in length. Container chassis usually come with two or three axles, each with different weight capacities. A two-axle trailer can carry loads ranging from 20 to 30 tons, while a three-axle trailer can typically handle loads from 30 to 40 tons.

Over the years, many container chassis have been equipped with additional features such as weight sensors, LED lights, or GPS tracking.

Why use a container chassis?

Container chassis provides a stable, secure platform for transporting various containers over long distances, making them indispensable in the transportation industry. Their advantages include:

  • Safety and Stability: Containers are firmly secured to the chassis using twist locks, preventing movement or tilting during transportation, thereby enhancing transportation safety.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Container chassis allow for quick loading and unloading of containers, improving transportation efficiency. Additionally, compared to other trailers, container chassis typically incur lower transportation costs.
  • Flexibility and Universality: Since most containers on the market are of standard sizes, such as 20 feet or 40 feet, container chassis are also universal, enhancing transportation flexibility.
  • International Standards: The design of container chassis conforms to international standards and is widely used in international transportation, facilitating the transportation and transshipment of goods.
container trailer locks
Container Chassis Locks

Types of Container Chassis

Standard Container Chassis

The most common type used for transporting standard-sized containers, such as 20-foot, 40-foot, or 45-foot containers. They are loaded and unloaded using gantry cranes. Common container chassis are more affordable and easy to use than other types but may require additional expenses for external equipment such as gantry cranes.

Tilt Container Chassis

This type of chassis allows for easier loading and unloading of containers. Its container frame can be tilted to a certain angle, facilitating loading and unloading. Tilt container chassis are perfect for handling heavy cargo or operating in narrow spaces. They are often used in ports, warehouses, or construction sites, providing an efficient and convenient solution for container loading and unloading operations.

Extendable Container Chassis

While resembling common container chassis in appearance, an extendable container chassis has a crucial difference—it can extend its length. This makes it suitable for a wider range of applications. If you need to transport containers of different lengths, this type of chassis is the best choice, allowing for seamless transportation of containers across countries and states without any issues.

How to choose a container chassis?

Consideration of Application Scenarios

Firstly, you need to consider the usage scenarios and specific requirements of the container chassis. Choosing the appropriate chassis type is crucial based on your transportation needs. For instance, if you only need to transport containers, a specialized container chassis may be the optimal choice. However, if you need to transport goods of different sizes or types, you may need to consider other types of chassis, such as flatbed chassis trailers or tilt chassis.

Payload Capacity and Structural Stability

Secondly, consider the number of axles and weight-bearing capacity of the container chassis. Chassis with more axles typically can carry heavier loads and have better structural stability. Choosing the right number of axles and load capacity is essential to ensure the safe transportation of goods, depending on the weight and stability requirements of your cargo.


In conclusion, container chassis play an indispensable role in the transportation industry, providing a stable and secure platform for the efficient movement of various containers over long distances. With their safety, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and adherence to international standards, container chassis have become a cornerstone of global logistics.

At Three Horses Trailer, we understand the importance of reliable container chassis for your transportation needs. As a factory with years of experience in manufacturing high-quality trailers, we offer a range of container chassis solutions to suit your specific requirements. Whether you’re in need of standard container chassis, tilt chassis, or extendable chassis, we’ve got you covered.

Our trailers are built to last, with durable construction and advanced features such as weight sensors. Additionally, we provide customization options to tailor the chassis to your unique needs.

If you’re in the market for container chassis, look no further than Three Horses Trailer. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.

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Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to explore our trailer and discuss how we can meet your unique requirements.

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