Shipping container sizes follow the international standard called the ISO (Industrial Standards Organization). They have been customized to meet the demands of exporters and importers in international trade. With 12 different types of ISO containers and a variety of sizes to choose from within those types, it’s possible to ship everything from bulk grains and raw materials to perishable commodities.

The different shipping containers sizes and their dimensions

20-foot Dry Container Dimensions

The 20-foot Dry Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

22GP

Container Application:

The 20-foot dry container is for general purpose cargo.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 8 ⅛" 7' 6 ¼"
Door opening in meters 2.34 m 2.29 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 8 ⅝" 7' 6 ¼" 19' 4 ¼"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.34 m 2.29 m 5.9 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 52,831 lbs 4,914 lbs 47,899 lbs
Weight in kg 23,956 kg 2,229 kg 21,727 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 1,172 CFT 33.2 CBM

20-foot Flat Rack Container Dimensions

The 20-foot Flat Rack Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

22PC

Container Application:

The 20-foot flat rack container is for especially heavy loads, over-sized cargo, construction equipment, building supplies or heavy machinery.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Interior dimensions in feet 8' 7' 3 ⅞" 19' 9 ¾"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.438 m 2.233 m 5.638 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 99,200 lbs 6,400 lbs 92,800 lbs
Weight in kg 45,000 kg 2,900 kg 42,100 kg
Load Capacity 1,154.3 CFT 32.7 CBM

20-foot Open-Top Container Dimensions

The 20-foot Open-Top Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

22U1

Container Application:

The 20-foot open-top container is for over-height cargo and top loading.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 8 ⅛" 7' 6 ¼"
Door opening in meters 2.34 m 2.29 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 8 ⅝" 7' 10 ¼" 19' 4 ¼"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.352 m 2.395 m 5.9 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 52,897 lbs 5,297 lbs 47,619 lbs
Weight in kg 23,994 kg 2,394 kg 21,600 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 1,172 CFT 33.2 CBM

20-foot Ventilated Container Dimensions

The 20-foot Ventilated Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

22VH

Container Application:

The 20-foot ventilated container is for cargo that requires ventilation, typically used to transport green coffee beans or similar cargo.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 8 ⅛" 7' 6 ¼"
Door opening in meters 2.34 m 2.29 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 8 ⅝" 7' 10 ¼" 19' 4 ¼"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.352 m 2.395 m 5.9 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 52,897 lbs 5,297 lbs 47,899 lbs
Weight in kg 32,500 kg 2,394 kg 21,727 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 1,172 CFT 33.2 CBM

20-foot Refrigerated Container Dimensions

The 20-foot refrigerated Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

22RT

Container Application:

The 20-foot refrigerated container is for cargo that requires temperature control.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 8 ⅛" 7' 6 ¼"
Door opening in meters 2.34 m 2.29 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7'6" 7' 4 ⅞" 17' 11 ⅝"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.28 m 2.33 m 5.45 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 67,200 lbs 6,970 lbs 60,230 lbs
Weight in kg 30,480 kg 3,160 kg 27,320 kg

40-foot General Purpose Dry Container Dimensions

The 40-foot  Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

42GP

Container Application:

The 40-foot dry container is for general purpose cargo.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 8 ⅛" 7' 6 ¼"
Door opening in meters 2.34 m 2.29 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 8 ⅝" 7' 10 ¼" 37' 11 ¼"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.352 m 2.395 m 12.01 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 67,199 lbs 5,220 lbs 59,039 lbs
Weight in kg 30,481 kg 3,701 kg 26,780 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 2,389.75 CFT 67.67 CBM

40-foot Open Top Container Dimensions

The 40 Open-Top Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

42OT

Container Application:

The 40-foot open top container is for top loading for excessively long or high cargo.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 8 ⅛" 7' 6 ¼"
Door opening in meters 2.34 m 2.29 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 8 ⅝" 7' 10 ¼" 39' 5 ⅝"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.352 m 2.395 m 12.01 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 67,196 lbs 8,487 lbs 58,709 lbs
Weight in kg 30,480 kg 3,850 kg 26,630 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 2,389.75 CFT 66.67 CBM

40-foot High Cube Container Dimensions

The 40-foot High Cube Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

40HQ or 40HC

Container Application:

The 40-foot High Cube container is larger than the 40-foot standard dry container.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 8 ⅛" 8' 6 ¼"
Door opening in meters 2.34 m 2.56 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 8 ⅝" 8' 10 ⅛" 39' 5 ⅝"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.352 m 2.69 m 12.01 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 67,196 lbs 8,747 lbs 58,448 lbs
Weight in kg 30,480 kg 3,968 kg 26,512 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 2,694 CFT 76.3 CBM

40-foot Flat Rack Container Dimensions

The 40-foot Flat Rack Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

42PC

Container Application:

The 40-foot flat rack container is for over-sized cargo, heavy machinery, construction equipment, or supplies.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet NA NA
Door opening in meters NA NA
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 4" 7' 5 ⅓" 39' 3 ⅞"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.23 m 2.27 m 11.98 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 98,326 lbs 12,897 lbs 85,429 lbs
Weight in kg 44,600 kg 5,850 kg 38,750 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 1,860 CFT 52.7 CBM

40-foot Refrigerated Container Dimensions

The 40-foot refrigerated Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

42RT

Container Application:

The 40-foot refrigerated container is for cargo that requires temperature control or perishable cargo.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 5 ⅜" 6' 11 ⅞"
Door opening in meters 2.26 m 2.13 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7'5 ⅜" 7' 1 ⅞" 37' 11 ¼"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.26 m 2.18 m 11.48 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 67,053 lbs 10,778 lbs 56,275 lbs
Weight in kg 30,415 kg 4,889 kg 25,526 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 2,039.7 CFT 57.76 CBM

45-foot High Cube General Purpose Container Dimensions

The 45-foot High CubeContainer Specifications

Container Reference Code:

L5GO

Container Application:

The 45-foot high cube dry container is for general purpose cargo.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Door opening in feet 7' 9½" 8' 5 ¾"
Door opening in meters 2.37 m 2.58 m
Interior dimensions in feet 7' 11" 8' 10" 44' 4 ¾"
Interior dimensions in meters 2.41 m 2.69 m 13.53 m

Container Weight

Max Gross Tare Max Payload
Weight in lbs 74,960 lbs 10,910 lbs 64,050 lbs
Weight in kg 3,4000 kg 4,950 kg 29,050 kg
Container Volume In CFT In CBM
Load Capacity 3,122 CFT 88.4 CBM

20-Foot Tank Container Dimensions

The 20-foot Tank Container Specifications

Container Reference Code:

22TO

Container Application:

The 20-foot tank container is for food stuffs, oils, and chemicals.

Container Dimensions:

Width Height Length
Exterior dimensions in feet 8' 8' 6" 20"
Exterior dimensions in meters 2.43 m 2.59 m 6.09 m
Container Volume In U.S. Gallons In Liters
Load Capacity 6,450 gl 26,001 lt

Identifying the shipping container size you need

All shipping containers have serial numbers that serve as an identifying mark that helps shippers and freight forwarders track containers as they move through the shipping process.

This is what the identifying mark looks like:

shipping containers have serial numbers that serve as an identifying mark that helps shippers and freight forwarders track containers

  • The first three letters are the owner code, which is an abbreviation for the name of the owner of the container and is registered with the ICB (International Container Bureau).
  • The fourth letter is the product code: U for all freight containers; J for detachable freight container equipment and; Z for trailers and chassis.
  • The six digits that follow represent the registration number assigned by the owner operator to each container in their fleet.
  • The final digit is the check digit, placed in brackets. This is a control number used to verify the owner, product code, and serial number.

There is also an identifying code for the container type, the tare weight (weight of the empty container), gross weight and maximum payload.

How to book a non-standard container

When shipping oversized cargo, the dimensions and weight determine which container type best accommodates your shipment. This information and a photograph or spec sheet must be submitted to the freight forwarder, who will handle the booking with the shipping company. They will give you a detailed assessment of fees and customize your cargo solution.

How shipping containers are constructed

Containers are built from 4mm (⅜”) thick non-corrosive steel and square tubing frame. The sides are constructed from 14 gauge, 0.075” non-corrosive rolled steel that is corrugated to add rigidity and then welded to the steel frame.

The floor is made of the same square 4mm steel tubing for the frame and a plywood floor of 28mm (1 ⅛”) screwed to the cross braces.

The corner posts are designed to withstand 153,000 pounds allowing as many as nine containers to be stacked on top of one another, with a 7’2” x 7’6” door opening at one end.

A standard container is 20’ x 8’ x 8’6”. But 40-foot and 45-foot containers are just as common. An empty 20-foot container weighs approximately 5,500 pounds and can carry 65,000 pounds of goods.

Cargo statistics are calculated in TEU (20-foot equivalent units). The 40-foot container is considered to be 2 TEUs. With the arrival of new super freighters, the sizes of containers are increasing as well, some as long as 57ft.

The Eurozone is hesitant to adopt larger sized containers because of the older and narrow streets in many European cities. They make it hard for large trucks to navigate and causes congestions.

At iContainers, we offer the 20-foot and 40-foot general purpose containers, as well as the 40-foot high cube. If you’re interested in booking all other containers, please contact our sales representatives.