The 40-foot container’s dimensions are usually measured using the imperial system (feet) and specifies both the exterior dimensions and the interior (usable) dimensions.
The dimensions of a 40-foot container are:
Exterior Dimensions (in feet): 40’ long x 8’ wide x 8’ 6” high
Exterior Dimensions (in meters): 12.19m long x 2.44m wide x 2.59m high
Interior Dimensions (in feet): 39’ 6” long x 7’ 9” wide x 7’ 10” high
Internal Dimensions (in meters): 12.025m long x 2.352m wide x 2.393m high
Usable Capacity: 67.7m3
In terms of Euro pallet types (European pallets), whose dimensions are 1.2m x 0.8m, the base of the 40-foot container can hold up to 25 Euro pallet stacks as long as the load is not hanging over the sides. Generally, the optimal way of fitting pallets inside the container is with one row along the length and another row along the width. More information.
For the standard American pallet type with dimensions 40” x 48” (1.016m x 1.219m), the base of a standard 40-foot container can hold 21 pallets as long as the load is not hanging over the sides. More information.
A 40-foot container’s empty weight is 3,750kg and can be loaded to a maximum overall weight of 29 tons (26,300kg). But the amount of cargo you can load would depend in large on possible restrictions and/or limitations of the shipping line, the nature of the cargo and specific details of the shipment.
"The problem with these costs is that they’re often impossible to predict and are thus hardly ever considered when analyzing and comparing ocean freight rates"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers