The fashion and retail industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years. While most garments are shipped using general shipping containers, certain clothing pieces are shipped using GOH containers (sometimes referred to as garmentainers).

Garments on Hanger (GOH) containers are retrofitted dry containers where garments are hung via string or bar system. This service is generally offered by certain carriers and freight forwarders, in order to meet the needs of the garments and fashion industry. 

The main purpose of shipping garments using GOH containers is to save time and preserve the garment quality, as they aren’t required to be folded and packed. Therefore, GOH containers are usually used by high-end fashion retailers who carry jackets, suits and other valuable articles of clothing in their line.

There are two main types of GOH containers that are configured with the string or the bar system.  Depending on the type of clothing, one may be more advantageous over the other. It’s also important to note that you also have the possibility to opt for a mixture of both configurations.  

In the following section, we’ll be exploring garments on hanger containers in more detail and will also go through the advantages of each type of system.

GOH Container Specifications

There are two different types of GOH containers. One features a string system and the other features a bar system. While they are both retrofitted inside a 20′ or 40′ dry container, the interiors are configured in a way to support the hanging of garments. Let’s take a closer look of each GOH configuration.

Goh bar container
GOH Container (Bar System)
GOH string container
GOH Container (String System)

Bar System

With the bar system, the GOH container is loaded with rows of handling bars at a range of flexible heights. They are spaced out according to the types of garments being shipped and can be set up in a single or double row configuration.

Bars are typically used for heavier garments, such as thick coats, suits or even jackets. Each bar can support a weight of about 300 kg – 500 kg. 

Bar System20′ GOH Container40′ GOH Container
Number of Bars (Single Row)8 Bars
11 Bars
12 Bars
22 Bars
23 Bars
24 Bars
Number of Bars (Double Row)16 Bars
22 Bars
24 Bars
44 Bars
46 Bars
48 Bars
Row Spacing711mm / 28” (8 Bars)
521mm / 20.5” (11 Bars)
470mm / 18.5” (12 Bars)
546mm / 21.5” (22 Bars)
521mm / 20.5” (23 Bars)
495mm / 19.5” (24 Bars)

The String System

With the string system, the GOH container is equipped with a single row of horizontal bars which are spaced equally at the top of the container.

However, the difference here is that there are strings tied to the horizontal bars. These strings are hung vertically. Moreover, the strings are knotted so that multiple garments can be hung on a single string to maximize container utilization.

String System20′ GOH Container40′ GOH Container
Number of Bars (Single Row Only)8 Bars
11 Bars
12 Bars
22 Bars
23 Bars
24 Bars
Row Spacing711mm / 28” (8 Bars)
521mm / 20.5” (11 Bars)
470mm / 18.5” (12 Bars)
546mm / 21.5” (22 Bars)
521mm / 20.5” (23 Bars)
495mm / 19.5” (24 Bars)
Strings Per Bar2020
Knots Per String8 – 128 – 12

When comparing the two different GOH container systems, you can see that both offer different types of advantages. Each system has flexibility in terms of row options and spacing depending on the type of clothing.

While the string system features only a single bar setup, each bar has 20 strings with about 8 – 12 knots each to hang clothing items on. The string system is more suitable for lighter and thinner articles of clothing.

The bar system on the other hand is more advantageous for heavier clothes and can be configured in either a single or double row, depending on the requirements.

GOH Containers vs Standard Containers

Let’s compare shipping garments in GOH containers vs standard containers.  Although they have the same exterior dimensions, GOH containers will require internal retrofitting.  This is a conversion process that requires a setup that is organized by the freight forwarder or carrier.

GOH containers are fitted with racks, bars, inner lining and strings. This ensures safety during transit and requires advanced preparation. It’s best to notify the carrier 2 – 3 days in advance when booking GOH containers.

When Should You Use GOH Containers?

There are many advantages when it comes to using GOH containers compared to shipping garments in cartons. Here are some of the most important points to take note of:

  • High-value garments – For clothing pieces that cannot be folded or don’t fit into regular cartons. This also assures quality preservation.
  • Lessen packing/unpacking activities – It saves turnaround time. There is no need to deconsolidate pallets and consolidate for storage.
  • No need to iron clothes – Garments will not arrive creased or wrinkled. This saves time on the overall shipment turnaround. It further protects expensive and high-quality garments.
  • The cost of freight is maximized – Instead of using cartons to pack garments, they are placed onto hangers.   Container loading times are greatly shortened and more garments can be shipped and sold. Depending on the value of goods, this can lower the freight cost and increase the revenue per container. 
  • Direct-to-shop – Buyers, especially with multiple stores, have the ability to quickly fill up inventory with new stock.
  • Faster quality checks – Instead of having to open individual cartons and reseal them, quality can be immediately checked before the putaway process.

Which Carriers Offer GOH Containers?

Most carriers offer GOH containers. This is because they generally own the shipping containers and can refit them accordingly. However, there are also plenty of freight forwarders who offer GOH containers through their fashion and retail vertical market offerings.

It’s important to work with your nominated carrier or freight forwarder to determine an optimized number of clothing pieces that can be shipped per GOH container.

Depending on your supply chain setup, you may also be working with a consolidator, warehousing company or 3PL who will be able to plan and coordinate GOH shipments on your behalf. 

Here is a list of some poplar ocean carriers and freight forwarders who offer GOH container services:

How Much do GOH Containers Cost?

GOH container rates vary depending on the carrier and ocean freight rates. Carriers typically add an extra cost component to the standard ocean freight rate for the GOH refitting.

It’s always best to check with your preferred carrier for service details and cargo requirements. Here is just an example tariff from Asia to US/Europe port-to-port rates for GOH containers.

Rates ex-Asia Port-to-Port Service
to US and Europe Based Ports
20’ GOH Container40’ GOH Container
Configuration 11 bars standard 22 bars standard
Additional Bars$65.00 / bar$65.00 / bar

Note: These rates are usually subject to origin and destination charges and applicable duties and taxes. 

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Gerrit Poel

Co-Founder & Writer
at freightcourse

About the Author

Gerrit is a certified international supply chain management professional with 16 years of industry experience, having worked for one of the largest global freight forwarders.

As the co-founder of freightcourse, he’s committed to his passion for serving as a source of education and information on various supply chain topics.