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Shipping Containers: A Complete Guide to Its Dimensions

Shipping Containers: A Complete Guide to Its Dimensions

Shipping containers have been able to change the way different kinds of goods are transported all over the world.

The standardization of shipping container size and weight has made it easier for cargo to be loaded and unloaded at ports, which can lessen the time and cost of transporting.

With many types of shipping containers, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best for your needs.

In this detailed article, we will discuss the dimensions of shipping containers so you can make an informed decision when picking the containers for shipping your goods.

Whether you need to transport some items or are a full-blown business owner, having a good understanding of shipping container dimensions will help your cargos arrive safely and efficiently.

Value of Conventional Dimensions of Shipping Containers

The normalization of shipping container dimensions is important for the smooth operation of global trading.

In the global trading industry, almost 90% of all loads are transferred through ocean liners, which shows how much shipping containers play a big role in transporting goods worldwide.

Before the standardization of shipping containers, the different container sizes caused major problems, such as difficulties in stacking boxes, efficiently moving containers from trucks or ships, and accurately estimating the load of the containers.

Because of these serious problems, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has worked to ensure that all shipment containers of a particular kind meet certain guidelines regarding size, dimension, and construction.

ISO certification shows that containers adhere to specific measurements and are durable and reliable.

Structure of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are designed for tough, heavy-duty work and are made to be lifted vertically and transported over long distances via cargo ships, freight trains, or tilt-bed trucks.

The collection of standard shipping containers can also withstand serious weather conditions when placed outdoors.

The durability of SCF shipping containers comes from their materials, such as corrugated thick steel or aluminum in some cases. Shipping containers follow ISO certification, meaning they have standard measurements.

The containers used for cargo are made of strong metal that can withstand heavy usage, which means they are designed for reusing.

The corners are included in the most crucial parts of a shipping container because the twist locks of a container lifting crane engage them. Because of this, they need maximum strength, which they get from corner castings.

The Standard Shipping Container Dimensions

Different kinds of shipping containers come in different lengths and widths. But even with that, these containers follow ISO guidelines to ensure they all have the same dimensions.

The most common shipping container specs are 10-feet, 20-feet, and 40-feet shipping containers. The dimensions of each container can be seen on the container registration number.

20 Ft. Shipping Containers

The 20 ft. shipping container is famous for shipping all kinds of dry goods. This standard ISO container is used by big or small ships.

The 20 ft. shipping container has a length of 6.06m, a width of 2.44m, and a height of 2.59m. This container can carry a maximum gross weight of 30480kg for general-purpose containers and around 45,000kg for flat racks.

20 ft. standard shipping containers are always in demand because of their suitable tiny size. The size of these containers makes it easy for them to be loaded and unloaded out of ships and trains.

They can also be utilized at ports without requiring complicated lifting equipment, making them very convenient. 20 ft. standard shipping containers are also useful for intermodal transportation.

40 Ft. Shipping Containers

Alongside the 20 ft. shipping containers, the 40 ft. shipping container is also popular for dry goods transportation. This kind of shipping container is the mature brother of the 20 ft container, possessing double its length.

If you have more cargo that will not fit inside the 20 ft. shipping container anymore, you can opt for the 40 ft. shipping container since these are only 20%-30% pricier than the 20ft standard shipping container.

With that little price increase, you can increase the space to accommodate the increase in your cargo.

The 40 ft. shipping container has a length of 12.19m, a width of 2.44m, a standard height of 2.59m, and a high cube height of 2.89m.

These containers usually carry a maximum weight of 30480kg for general purpose containers, while 60,000kg for flat racks and 35,000kg for reefer containers.

45 Ft. Shipping Containers

Forty-five ft. shipping containers are slightly increased from the 40 ft. shipping containers, providing a slightly better cubic feet capacity.

Because of the increased cubic feet capacity, 45 ft. shipping containers give you precious extra space, more efficient cargo transportation, and lower transport cost.

The dimensions of the 45 ft. shipping container start with a length of 13.71m, a width of 2.44m, a standard height of 2.59m, and a high cube height of 2.89m.

The payload capacity of 45 ft. shipping containers is almost the same as 40 ft. shipping containers.

What Is a Container Number?

The container number is the main identification marking on the door end of an ISO shipping container. It comprises seven numbers and four letters, which the ISO gives to identify every container to its owner.

All the numbers are unique for everyone and are registered for the records with Burea Internation des Containers (BIC), Paris.

Pick the Right Sized Shipping Containers!

Shipping containers have changed how goods are transported globally because of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standardization of their dimensions.

These standard dimensions have made it easier for cargo to be unloaded and loaded at ports and removed previous problems such as stacking containers.

With a firm understanding of the different types of shipping containers and their dimensions, you can confidently decide what shipping container to get based on your cargo needs.


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