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Shipping containers come in a variety of dimensions and are used in numerous applications.

While they are called by a number of names, (most generally “intermodal” containers), there are other references to their types or specifications, such as “ISO containers” which are those which meet ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards, or those that incorporate more common container related terms such as “shipping”, “freight”, “sea”, or “storage”. Another such term, “CONEX box” is often used in the industry.

What is a CONEX box?

The term CONEX is actually an acronym which takes the first letters of the words “Container” (CON) and “Express” (EX) and combines them to create the single, useful word for what is commonly referred to as a shipping or storage container.

Thus, CONEX is not a brand name, but more of a descriptor for the box itself, i.e., a cuboid shape container, and often associated with shipping, i.e., “express”, implying the transportation or dispatch of the goods within.

While the term CONEX may be casually used in reference to shipping containers, it more specifically refers to a type of box originally used by the US Army. The predecessor to the CONEX, called the Transporter, was used during the Korean war, and was used to transport and maintain cargo. In 1952, the CONEX variation was created and proved to be vital to military logistics.

What is the difference between a CONNEX and CONEX box?

CONNEX, or often “CONNEX box” is another commonly used variation of the term, and while this extra “N” deviates from the original, (and can also refer to entities other industries), it is still a generally accepted spelling when speaking in reference to shipping containers.

As is the case with many acronyms, the full capitalization is often dropped when casually referring to the containers in print. So it common to see the word spelled as “ConEx”, “conex”, “connex”, the latter two somewhat obscuring that the words are in fact originally acronyms. However, these various usages are generally accepted, and the alternate spelling can even be seen in certain dictionaries:

Definition of Connex

Generally though, the spelling with one “n” tends to be more commonly used.

Shipping and Beyond

Whether you refer to them as connex boxes, conex boxes, shipping, or even intermodal containers, it is clear that these trustworthy units have come a long way from their military and shipping origins.

Today, a variety of dimensions are available, such as 10, 20 and 40 foot, and the containers are often customized for use in areas beyond just cargo transport. For example, Aztec Container specializes in refrigerated, office, storage, insulated, car storage, and event units, and these boxes can be customized to meet unique needs.

Call us at 1-800-399-2126 for a quote or fill out our quick quote form for more information.


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