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What are the Dimensions and Weight of Shipping 20ft & 40ft Containers?

Container Lengths

20ft (6.09m) and 40ft (12.19m) are the industry standard container lengths.

For storage and other non-shipping applications other sizes are created by cutting down larger containers to the required size. The most common cut-down sizes are 8ft (2.44m), 12ft (3.66m), 16ft (4.88m), 24ft (7.32m) and 32ft (9.75m). Other bespoke sizes can also be manufactured to order. Take a look at our Shipping Container Conversions page for more conversion ideas – on how you can modify your container.

What are the dimensions (length, width and height) of the shipping container

20-foot and 40-foot Shipping Container Types and Sizes

Container Heights

A standard container is typically 8ft 6 inches (2.59m) high.

High Cube Containers are typically 9ft 6 inches (2.90m) high.

The most common height of a container is 8ft 6ins (2.59m), though 9ft 6 inches (2.90m) high-cube containers are becoming increasingly common. In the past 8ft high (2.44m) was very common and there are some containers 9ft (2.74m) available but these are rare.

Container Widths

The standard width of a container is 8ft (2.44m). To accommodate some types of pallets, particularly in Europe 2.5m (8ft 2.4 inches) wide containers are available though they are less commonly available to buy on the second-hand market.

What are the dimensions and weight of a 20ft container?

It is the most commonly used type for transporting dry cargo, including machinery and equipment, textiles, medical equipment, electronics and other non-perishable items.

The following are the standard dimensions of 20-foot GP containers for your reference:

External dimensions:
Length: 20 feet (6.06m)
Width: 8 feet (2.44m)
Height: 8 feet 6 inches (2.59m)

Internal dimensions:
Length: 19 feet 4 inches (5.60m)
Width: 7 feet 9 inches (2.35m)
Height: 7 feet 10 inches (2.39m)

Tare weight:
Approximately 4,850 lbs (2,200 kg)

Maximum payload 20-foot container:
Approximately between 48,000 and 52,000 pounds (21,770 and 24,000 kilograms)

Cubic capacity:
Approximately 1,172 cubic feet (33CBM)

How Much Does A 20ft Shipping Container Weigh

The load-bearing capacity of a 20-foot container depends on its type and design. However, the general guideline is:

Payload Capacity: The amount of cargo that can be carried within a container, typically ranging from 26,000 to 28,000 kilograms (57,320 to 61,730 pounds).
Tare: The weight of an empty container, usually about 2,200 to 2,400 kilograms (4,850 to 5,291 pounds).
Gross weight: The maximum allowable weight of a container and its cargo, usually approximately 28,000 to 30,000 kilograms (61,730 to 66,139 pounds).

Learn more: 20ft Shipping Container Dimensions

What are the dimensions and weight of a 40ft container?

External dimensions:
Length: 40 feet (12.19m)
Width: 8 feet (2.44m)
Height: 8 feet 6 inches (2.59m)

Internal dimensions:
Length: 39 feet 5.5 inches (12.03m)
Width: 7ft 8in (2.35m)
Height: 7 feet 9.5 inches (2.38m)

Tare weight:
Approximately 8,200 lbs (3,720 kg)

Maximum payload of 40-foot container:
58,920 lbs (26,760 kg)

Cubic capacity:
2,389 cubic feet (67.7CBM)

Learn more: 20ft, 40ft and 40ft HC Shipping Containers Guide

Internal Shipping Container Dimensions

The sides of a container are in nearly all cases, corrugated. The depth of the corrugation is usually 1 inch (25mm), which means that 2 inches (50mm) is lost from the external width dimension (1 inch each side). The back (blank end) is also corrugated and the doors are around 2 inches (50mm) thick meaning that approximately 3 inches (75mm) is lost from the length.

The main reduction from external to internal dimensions is with height. The floor of a standard container has an underside clearance of approximately 6 inches (150mm) and the floor has a thickness of 27mm (1.1 inches). As the roof is corrugated another 1 inch (25mm) is lost resulting in an internal dimension of around 8 inches less than external – 7ft 10 inches (2.39m), though this can vary slightly either way depending on the floor thickness and construction method used.

Through the door height is additionally reduced because of the steel top rail above the door, this is a part of the structural integrity of the container, typically it’s 4 inches (100mm) thus reducing the entrance height to 7ft 6ins (2.28m), though this can vary slightly either way.

ocean freight

Shipping Container Weights (Tare Weight, Gross Weight and Payload)

There are three relevant weights, the Tare Weight, the Gross Weight and the Payload. These are painted onto the outside of the container doors when it is in shipping service or before it has been repainted for another application.

  • The Container Tare Weight is the weight of the container without cargo or contents.
  • The Container Gross Weight is the weight of the container plus the maximum payload it can hold i.e. the maximum total weight of the container.
  • The Payload (or Net Weight) is the weight of the cargo or contents that a container can hold.

Related reading:

20ft & 40ft Container Cost From China To UAE

Cost Of Shipping 20ft & 40ft Container From China To Kenya

20FT And 40FT Container Shipping Cost From China To Canada

20FT Container Shipping Cost From China To Australia

20 FT & 40 FT Container Shipping Cost From China To USA

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