The containership carries the improvement of the general cargo ship one step further by unitizing all of its cargo within containers. The containership system is most suited for finished goods shipment as:
• the individual containers are suited in size to relatively small shipments which are to be expected in the finished goods trade;
• door to door, i.e. shipper to consigner, shipping is possible without the integrity of the container being broached. This protects valuable finished goods from the elements, handling damage, and pilferage without expensive crating;
• the time and cost of shipment door to door is reduced which is a requirement of some finished, for example perishable, goods.
The containership represents one of the types of ships in which the total shipping system must be carefully engineered before operations can start. Thus, this section will attempt to explain the total operation as it applies to the cargo itself.