type of shipping container

If you have a lot more freight to send than you ever have before – great!  Business is booming!  You’ve moved from LCL (less than container load) to FCL (full container load) freight.  

You might be wondering what size container to use?  Are there different types of shipping containers?

There are many different sizes and types of shipping container.  When shipping cargo it is helpful to know what type of shipping container will best suit your needs.  Often the dimensions and maximum weight will impact on what type of equipment can be used.

The following guide shows the different types of shipping containers that can be used as a starting point for determining your shipping requirements.
 
Note:  Exact dimensions can differ slightly due to manufacturer, and load regulations may restrict operation to less than maximum weight. Use this information as a guide only.

 Container TypeInternal Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Door Opening
(W x H)
Cubic CapacityCargo Weight
20FT General5.89 x 2.35 x 2.36m2.33 x 2.26m33m³21,700kgs
20FT High Cube5.89 x 2.35 x 2.69m2.33 x 2.59m37m³21,700kgs
40FT General12.05 x 2.35 x 2.36m2.33 x 2.26m66m³26500kgs
40FT High Cube12.05 x 2.35 x 2.69m2.33 x 2.59m76m³26500kgs

Notes – 

  • Heavy Rated shipping containers which support a heavier load are available, additional surcharges may apply
  • Food Grade shipping containers for carrying foodstuffs are available, additional surcharges may apply
  • A 20FT High Cube shipping containers (higher height that standard) are only available for designated origin/destination pairings 
  • Additional charges may apply for High Cube containers 
 Container TypeInternal Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Door Opening
(W x H)
Cubic CapacityCargo Weight
20FT Flat Rack
with sides
5.89 x 2.35 x 2.23mSide Opening
W – 2.59m
30m³26500kgs
20FT Flat Rack
without sides
6.00 x 2.35 x 0.23m 33m³ 
Max Height 2.36m
23500kgs
40FT Flat Rack
with Sides
12.05 x 2.35 x 2.23mSide Opening
W – 11.66m
63m³3600kgs
40FT Flat Rack
without sides
12.20 x 2.35 x 0.65m 67m³
Max Height 2.36m
39000kgs

Notes – 

  • This shipping container is used for over-dimensional (out of gauge) cargo. It is available with or without sides 
  • Survey reports may be required when shipping out of gauge cargo 
  • If out of gauge additional surcharges will apply
  • Flat Rack containers are subject to availbility and additional surcharges will apply
 Container TypeInternal Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Door Opening
(W x H)
Cubic CapacityCargo Weight
20FT Open Top5.89 x 2.35 x 2.36m2.33 x 2.29m32m³21700kgs
40FT Open Top12.05 x 2.35 x 2.36m2.33 x 2.29m66m³26500kgs

Notes – 

  • Open top containers allow you to load over height cargo or allows easier loading by crane
  • If out of gauge additional surcharges will apply
  • Open Top containers are subject to availbility and additional surcharges will apply
 Container TypeInternal Dimensions
(L x W x H)
Door OpeningCubic CapacityCargo Weight
20FT Reefer5.44 x 2.26 x 2.24m2.26 x 2.20m27m³21700kgs
40FT Reefer11.55 x 2.26 x 2.24m2.26 x 2.20m58m³25000kgs

Notes –

  • Refrigerated shipping containers can be set at a required temperature for the duration of the voyage 
  • Commonly used for food/dairy products
  • The smaller dimensions are due to thicker walls
  • Reefer containers are subject to availbility and additional surchrges
  • will apply  

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