Are you looking for a simplified guide to get in-depth information regarding all shipping containers? In this blog, we have provided detailed information regarding shipping containers, dimensions, ISO codes, and signs.

The centralization strategy enables retailers to load containers at their facilities and send them to warehouses. They can avoid loading and unloading their merchandise along the road by using this. Knowing the various container measurements will be beneficial if you’re purchasing a container for shipping your products.

We will give you all the information you require to make an informed shipping container purchase. The weight of the shipping container is particularly important for both the purchase strategy and for effectively loading the products.

Widely Used Shipping Container Dimensions for Shipping

Container size

The goods were loaded into trucks before being transported to ships. It was an extremely laborious and time-consuming process. Container enters the market to simplify this process.

20 ft. Shipping Container Dimensions

It is the market’s most often utilized shipping container dimension. It is well-liked because of its portability and lightness. Aluminum and steel were used to build it.

The 20-foot container has a weight limit of 30480 kilograms (67200 pounds). The payload capacity of the 20-foot reefer container is 25,000 kilograms.

Two other uncommon container types are those with a double door and a flat rack. The imperial system is used to measure 20-foot containers and gives both outside and internal measurements.

Two SUVs may be transported in a 20-foot container, according to the professional assignment.

a. Dimensions of 20 ft. container

Height2.39m / 7.9ft
Length5.9m / 19.4ft
Width2.35m / 7.8ft
Payload capacity25,000 kg / 55,126.9lbs
Cubic capacity33.2 m3 / 1,172cu ft

b. Advantages of 20 ft. containers

The 20ft container will be your best bet if you need to move 48,000 apples, 200 mattresses, and technological items like laptops or 18,000 iPods.

The 20ft container has various benefits, including heavy-duty flooring, lashing points on floors, access doors, affordability, and adaptability.

40 ft. Shipping Container Dimensions

In comparison to 20 feet containers, 40 feet shipping containers have different heights but the same width and length. A 40-foot container is a suitable option if you require a container for cargo with a greater height.

The benefit of a higher height is that it will take up less room in cargo and be able to carry more items. Four mid-size cars may be transported in a 40-foot container, according to the professional assignment.

a. 40 ft. container dimensions

Height2.70m / 8.10ft
Length12.03m / 39.5ft
Width2.35m / 7.8ft
Payload capacity28,600 kg / 63,052lbs
Cubic capacity76.3 m3 / 2,695.5cu ft

b. Advantages of 40 ft. containers

A 40-foot container is a decision you won’t ever regret making. It has a lot of advantages. It is reasonably priced and has a sturdy floor, more storage, a built-in lashing point for security, quick access doors, and extra space.

45 ft. Shipping Container Dimensions

The 45-foot shipping container has a somewhat higher cubic capacity, which is better for moving cargo, and may be less expensive. The payload capacity is most similar between 40 and 45 feet.

Height2.89m / 9.48ft
Length13.71m / 44.98ft
Width2.44m / 8.00ft
Payload capacity28,600 kg / 63,052lbs
Cubic capacity76.3 m3 / 2,695.5cu ft

There are a variety of alternative shipping container sizes available on the market, including 8′, 10′, 53′, and 60′.

20 and 40 ft. Open Top Containers

The top of these containers is open. Only goods that cannot fit into a regular container due to size are placed in these containers.

For instance, top open containers are used to transport big machines because machines cannot be loaded inside typical containers. Therefore, they used cranes to raise this machinery into the tops of open containers. Bulky raw materials like pipes and cables are put into open-top containers.

a. Dimensions of open top containers

Length5.89 / 19.4ft12.03m / 39.5ft
Width2.35m / 7.8ft2.4m / 7.9ft
Payload capacity28,220 kg / 62,214lbs26,500kg / 58,422lbs
Cubic capacity32.7 m3 / 1,155cu ft66.7 m3/2356 cu ft
Height2.35m/7.8ft2.34m / 7.8ft

20 and 40 ft. Double Door Containers

Cars and bikes are transported in these containers. The double door has an exterior opening. Vehicles may be loaded into this container with ease. Even without having to reverse, you can drive a car directly into it. Your time will be greatly saved.

Length5.9 / 19.4ft12.03m / 39.5ft
Width2.35m / 7.8ft2.4m / 7.9ft
Payload capacity25,000 kg / 55,126lbs27,600kg / 61,200lbs
Cubic capacity33.2 m3 / 1,172cu ft67.7 m3/2389 cu ft
Height2.39m/7.9ft2.39m / 7.9ft

20 and 40 ft. Reefer Containers

Reefers containers are like moving refrigerators. It is frequently utilized in pharmaceuticals, dairy ice cream products, and see food transportation. These containers are kept at a temperature of between -30 and +30 degrees Celsius.

The refrigerator is connected to the container which gets the electric power from the ship grid. A 20-foot used reefer container average costs $4,730 in Europe, and a 40-foot used reefer container average costs $4,951 in the US.

a.Dimensions of reefer containers

Length5.44 / 17.9ft11.56m / 37.9ft
Width2.29m / 7.5ft2.28m / 7.5ft
Payload capacity27,700 kg / 61,078lbs29,520kg / 65,080lbs
Cubic capacity59.3 m3 / 2,093cu ft67.3 m3/2,380 cu ft
Height2.27m/7.5ft2.25m / 7.4ft

Meanings of Different Markings Provided in an ISO Container

Container Number

On containers, the container number is written in the upper right corner of the front door. It has four alphabet and seven digits. The International Standard Organization, under the code IS06346:1995, created the container number. There are various components to the container number.

The company code for FXL is the first three letters. The fourth letter, donated as a freight container, is U, while J stands for a detachable container and S for trailers and chaises. The final number, which is the check digit, is followed by six serial numbers.

The owner code, which is UNIQUE to the owner of the container, must be registered with the Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal (BIC). By doing this, any shipping firm or container operator will be unable to duplicate any code.

You only need to look up the (BIC) code to find out who owns the container. But be cautious—possible it’s that the owner’s name isn’t actually on the container. Instead, it’s possible that the container was leased to another business or shipping line.

Check Digit

Under the container number is the check digit. It is a crucial number since it enables the workers to determine whether the container number mentioned above is accurate or not.

If you want to check the numbers in detail, go to BCI, check the digit number, and look for the container number. You will then understand that the container numbers and prefixes of numbers are not just numbers.

Container owner name

In the upper right corner is written the name of the owner of the container. The designated party is the one that owns and manages the container. 

It could be a shipping line or a leasing firm that rents out the containers to businesses. It is a firm named LGI that leases ships in our example.

Max Gross

Container Number

It is written beneath of check digit. Max gross means the maximum weight you can carry with container weight. The maximum weight can vary from container to container.

It’s crucial to be aware of how much weight you can carry within the container. The most weight you can transport in a 40-foot container is 59,200 pounds, while the most weight you can transport in a 20-foot container is 25,400 kg.

Tare Weight

It appears below max gross. The container’s tare weight is mentioned on the container. Hence it is also referred to as the weight of the container itself. After the container’s production, the producer delivers it.

Before shipping, the container’s weight should be taken into account because, if ignored, it may have an impact on weight calculations.

Net Weight

Below Tare weight, it states Net weight. It represents the most weight that can fit inside your container. A weight calculation error can be exceedingly damaging for both goods and cargo. It is listed on the bill of loading and does not contain the tare weight.

No one would claim that they are unaware of the maximum range because the front door has indicated the maximum weight. Maximum weight range is mentioned in the example container shown above.

Cubic Capacity

Cubic capacity is written beneath the Net weight. Cubic capacity means the maximum volume of the container to load. It is the capacity that cannot be overloaded Misdeclaring volume on a bill of lading may not have any physical repercussions, but it may have financial repercussions for the buyer or seller, particularly if the cargo is sold by volume.

The material of the plate is brass, aluminum, or stainless steel. The owners are required to maintain this plate in brand-new condition, otherwise, they risk being fined.  

Even chemicals and high temperatures do not affect aluminum plates. Because the information on the plate must be readable.

At the top of this plate is written the inspection location. This container plate’s initials stand for Great Britain. The type of container is mentioned on the plate after the location. The name of the manufacturer of the container is also written right next to the type.

The manufacturer and the owner might be the same. You will view the owner and manufacturer information separately if they are not the same. Remember that the details listed here are the same as those on the container. They can quickly locate the shipment container thanks to it.

First Exam Due Date

The plate shows the first examination date and the date on which the container will be reexamined. Shipping containers are inspected after every journey. These containers go through specification exams.

The first exam comes in 5 years then the exams continue every 30 months. These examinations produce different results Depending on the kind of schedule for periodic examinations it is designed to follow.

Inspection of the Shipping Containers

inspection of shipping containers

The containers are being checked at two locations. Inspections of the containers’ interiors and exteriors are performed. We will discuss about the container’s external inspection first.

Shipping Container’s External Inspection

The inspection crew checks to make sure the container’s exterior is free of holes. Additionally, they check to see that the door opens correctly and operates smoothly. It is crucial to keep an eye on the door during an examination because it frequently sustains damage during transportation.

It is necessary to remove all labels from the previous shipment. The temperature should be properly checked for reefers and heat-consuming containers. The roof is also examined; it should not have any damage. On the open-top container, the traps must be in good shape.

Shipping Container’s Internal Inspection

The second one is inside inspection. It is crucial to confirm that the container is waterproof, and the easiest method to do this is for the inspector to lock the door from the inside and look for any cracks that may be letting light in.

The container’s interior ought to be clean and dry. There should be no trash or leftover products from previous shipments, and the container should be clean. There won’t be anything pointy within the container that could harm it.

FQAs of Shipping Container Dimensions

Q1: Why is it important to know the shipping container dimensions?

It’s crucial to initially understand the container’s size if you’re going to purchase one for your requirements. Knowing the measurements will make it simple to choose the container that will best meet your needs.

Whether you want to ship bulk grain or raw materials, knowing the dimensions will be helpful. Consequently, having solid business experience will come from having a solid dimension understanding.

Q2: What is the largest shipping container size?

The biggest container you’re likely to see is a 53-footer. It has corner casting, similar to 48-foot containers. The 53-foot container is 6 inches wider than the 40-foot container, and it has two extensions that are both the same length—6.5 feet.

53-foot containers are used for internal shipping within the US because they cannot travel across oceans due to their fragility. A 53-foot container is a wonderful option if you require a lot of volumes. Compared to using many small containers, it will also be a less expensive enterprise.

Q3: What is a commonly used container?

Dry storage containers are the most used type of container. They are available in 20-, 40-, and 45-foot diameters. The ability to regulate temperature is not present in these containers.

About 17 million inter-modal containers are available. Their innovation lowers the cost of transportation significantly, which promotes the expansion of the commerce sector.

Q4: Do shipping containers require maintenance?

However, despite their strength and durability, shipping containers require routine maintenance. Even so, there is legislation governing container-specific inspections.

Five years after manufacture, the container must be examined by experts in the specification. The inspection will then occur every 40 months after that. So that nobody may be harmed by the container, it needs to be completely fixed.

Q5: Are shipping containers watertight?

Rubber seals are applied during manufacture to the container’s doors and corners to prevent the passage of air or water. The shipping containers are waterproof, thus the answer is yes.

They were constructed to be waterproof since they must go over the ocean, which is excellent for the goods’ security there. Closing the door from the inside and looking for a hole where the light is coming from is the best way to determine whether the container is waterproof.

Q6: Are shipping containers affected by condensations?

Condensation may harm any metal that is exposed to high temperatures or water. Condensation is more likely to occur when a container is put on cold, wet ground, such as exposed soil or a floodplain.

It is important to keep in mind that condensation may be avoided by placing your items in the container on a dry day and using a substance known as an Absorpole to remove moisture from the interior of the container.


The dimensions of shipping containers and their examination are covered in this article. Undoubtedly, shipping containers are an integral part of the supply chain today.

Knowing the measurements up front will be useful whether you’re purchasing a container for residential use or commercial use. We hope that this blog would be helpful for you, if you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below.

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