What are the Sizes of Shipping Containers What You Need to Know About Shipping Container Sizes

What are the Sizes of Shipping Containers

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What are the Sizes of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are essential for transporting goods across the globe. They come in various sizes, but the most common ones are the 20-foot and 40-foot containers. These standard sizes, set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), are widely used in North America and around the world. In addition to these sizes, there are also custom containers available, as well as high-cube containers that offer extra height.

Standard Shipping Container Sizes

20-Foot Containers

20-foot shipping container

The 20-foot shipping container is a popular choice for renting and transporting goods. Its dimensions are approximately 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8 feet 6 inches in height. This size is versatile and can fit in a wide variety of locations, making it ideal for businesses and individuals who require a compact yet spacious storage solution. The cubic capacity of a 20-foot container is around 1,173 cubic feet, providing ample space for goods.

40-Foot Containers

40-foot shipping container

The 40-foot shipping container is the most common size for those looking to buy a container. It is widely used in cargo ships, container depots, and transportation on semi-truck chassis. The dimensions of a standard 40-foot container are approximately 40 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8 feet 6 inches in height. With a cubic capacity of about 2,389 cubic feet, it offers a significant amount of storage space for larger shipments.

High-Cube Containers

High-cube shipping container

High-cube containers are a modified version of the standard 20-foot and 40-foot containers. They are taller, with an additional foot of height, providing more headroom inside the container. The dimensions of a high-cube container are approximately 20 feet or 40 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 9 feet 6 inches in height. These containers are beneficial for cargo that requires extra vertical space, such as machinery or oversized goods.

Other Container Sizes

While the 20-foot and 40-foot containers are the most common sizes, there are other options available to meet specific needs. These include custom-sized containers and containers with different lengths, such as 10-foot, 30-foot, 45-foot, and even 53-foot containers.

Custom Container Sizes

Custom container sizes are manufactured to cater to specific requirements. They can range from as short as 8 feet to as long as 45 feet, 48 feet, and even 53 feet. These containers are designed to provide flexibility and accommodate unique cargo dimensions. When opting for a custom container size, it is essential to consult with a reputable container provider to ensure that the container meets your specific needs.

Other Container Types

In addition to standard and custom container sizes, there are also various types of containers available for specific purposes. These include open-top containers, dry tunnel containers with openings on both ends, insulated containers, refrigerated containers, and side-open containers. Each type serves a different function and is suitable for specific cargo requirements.

Comparison of Container Sizes

To help you better understand the dimensions and capacities of different container sizes, here is a comparison chart:

Container SizeExternal DimensionsInternal DimensionsCubic CapacityApprox. Weight
20′20′ x 8′ x 8’6″19’5-1/2″ x 7’8″ x 7’9-7/8″1,173 Cubic Feet4,874 lbs.
40′40′ x 8′ x 8’6″39’5″ x 7’8″ x 7’9-7/8″2,389 Cubic Feet8,891 lbs.
40′ High-Cube40′ x 8′ x 9’6″39’5-1/2″ x 7’8″ x 8’9-7/8″2,694 Cubic Feet9,648 lbs.

It is important to note that while these dimensions represent standard sizes, there may be slight variations based on the manufacturer, location of production, and age of the container. For precise measurements, it is recommended to consult with a reputable container provider.

Choosing the Right Container Size

When determining the size of the shipping container you need, it is crucial to consider the amount and dimensions of the cargo you will be transporting or storing. If you are unsure about the cargo capacity you require, it is advisable to consult with experts in the field who can help you calculate the space needed. Reliable container providers, such as Eagle Leasing, have extensive experience in the shipping industry and can assist you in determining the appropriate container size based on your specific needs.


Shipping containers come in various sizes to accommodate different cargo requirements. The standard 20-foot and 40-foot containers are the most common sizes, offering versatility and ample storage space. High-cube containers provide extra height for cargo that requires additional vertical clearance. Additionally, there are custom container sizes and various container types available to meet specific needs. Understanding the dimensions and capacities of different container sizes is essential when choosing the right container for your shipping or storage needs. By consulting with reputable container providers, you can ensure that you select the appropriate size container to safely and efficiently transport or store your goods.