Why you need to know what fits in a 20 foot shipping container

Challenge: If you are new to the business of ocean freight it can be hard to determine the size of your shipment and what type of container will be most cost effective.
Is my shipment LCL, (less than a container load) or FCL, (full container load)?
Do I need a 20-foot container or a 40-foot container?
Importers and exporters will be at an advantage since most products are usually boxed and often shipped from the manufacturer, so assessing how many boxes fit on a pallet is fairly simple. If you are moving overseas, it is difficult to know exactly how big your shipment is without a professional estimator coming to your house to assess your shipment needs. However, the following information will help guide you as you take the first steps of your literal journey!

What fits in a 20 foot container: a 1200 SQFT apartment

How to estimate the volume of your shipment

As a general rule, most moving companies estimate that a one − two bedroom apartment will fit into a 20-foot container.
Using a typical 1,200 square foot apartment as an example. If you pack very well, using bubble wrap and moving boxes, you can easily fit all of your belongings into a 20-foot container. . The same would be true for 2-3 bedroom house of approx. 2,000 square feet, with living room, dining room, den and kitchen, in a 40ft standard container.

What fits in a 40 foot container: a 1200 SQFT apartment and a car

Where to begin packing your shipment

First, take apart anything that can be re-assembled at your destination and carefully pack it in boxes, using plenty of bubble wrap to insulate your items. Stack the boxes that can be placed on top of one another without damage. Be sure to place the heavier items on the bottom.

Shipping Vehicles

When shipping a vehicle, an FCL shipment is required. The possibility of damage to other shipments is too great to ship a vehicle LCL.
Most cars will fill a 20-foot container with a small amount of space left over for other cargo, depending on the size of the car. It is possible to fit two small cars into a 20-foot container, but it is not recommended. If shipping two cars together, They will need to be partially overlapping and will require straps to suspend one over the other. If you select a 40-foot container, it is possible to fit a car and the furnishings of a 1-2 bedroom apartment.

Get a rough estimate of your shipment

By using our Freight Calculator you can get an idea of the size of your shipment.
Enter the size and number of boxes and furnishings you are shipping, and let the freight calculator determine the best option. If your shipment is larger than the capacity of a 20-foot container, you will automatically be charged for a 40-foot FCL (full container load), Because consolidating fees, taxes and customs of LCL shipping in a 40 foot container will exceed the price of sending a half full 40-foot container.

Dimensions and Capacity of a 20-foot Standard Container

A 20-foot container has an interior dimension of 19’3”L X 7’8”W X 7’9”H (L 5.86m X 2.33m X 3.38m.). It has 146 square feet (13.86sqm) of floor space and 1,172 cubic feet of volume (33.2cbm.). It will hold 10 standard pallets (12 Euro pallets) without stacking

Dimensions and Capacity 40-foot Standard Container

A 40-foot container has an interior dimension of 37’5 58” L X 7’8” W X 7’9”H (L12.01m X W 2.33m X H2.38)
It has 285 square feet of floor space and 2,120 cubic feet of volume (60CBM.) It will hold 22 standard pallets (27 Euro pallets) without stacking.

A 20-foot container can hold:

  • 200 full size mattresses
  • 48,000 bananas
  • 50-60 refrigerators
  • 400 flat screen tv’s