The 20ft and 40ft containers are the most commonly used containers for shipping. That makes them cheaper to buy than special container types. Talk to one of our experts to find the best prices for 20ft. and 40ft. containers.

With the millions of commodities being shipped around the world each year, it can come as no surprise that the containers have developed to keep up with the demand. A demand that leads to things in odd shapes and sizes needing to find a way into a container.

Exactly because of the large demand for containers, there is a need for special containers and standard containers. The standard containers must be easy to stack in a way to save space, streamline the logistics, and be able to handle many types of shipments.

Firstly, we’ll give an overview of the 20ft container, and afterward, we’ll dive into the 40ft container.

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What are dry containers?

Essentially, dry containers are steel boxes used to ship a wide variety of cargo. Commodities in dry containers have to be temperature resistant, as there’s no insulation in the boxes. Therefore, in dry containers, you’ll often ship papers, clothes, etc.

3 facts about 20ft and 40ft containers

The 20 and 40-foot containers are two of the most commonly used container types today. And in everyday life, you can hear them referred to as Conex boxes – the very container that kickstarted shipping as we now know it – and dry containers. The 20ft container, which is referred to as the Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) has become the standard measurement reference. Now, the volume of cargo and the capacity on a vessel are often measured in TEU.

At the same time 40ft containers, which are the same as two TEUs, are known as the Forty-foot Equivalent Unit. Abbreviated FEU.

Are you looking to buy or sell 20ft or 40ft containers? Try the neutral online trading marketplace at xChange. Get global buying and selling options available and gain market transparency within seconds.

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The looks of 20ft and 40ft containers

48,000 bananas. 200 full-sized mattresses. Or if you’re shipping electronics, 18,000 iPads can also be packed into a 20-foot container. And with the 40-foot container, you can load it with double the amount.

The vast majority of containers are made of steel or aluminum. The containers need to have a standardized size, so they can be stacked most efficiently. Across the industry, the containers now have to have standard sizes set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The same goes for the 20ft and 40ft container types are also known as Dry Van. They’re called dry vans because they can carry most kinds of dry cargo. It can be everything from boxes, pallets, and barrels to for example clothes already hanging on the hangers. As well as anything in between.

You can customize the inside of the containers, so they accommodate most dry cargo.

Have a look at the picture below – that’s how our most common container types, 20ft and 40ft containers, look like👇

20ft and 40ft container

Advantages with a 20ft container

20ft containers are one of the most used container types out there, and that’s for a reason. They’re easy to stack on the vessel, which means they’re cheaper to ship. Seeing as they’re pretty simple to produce the 20ft container is also cheaper to buy than the more specialized equipment such as reefer containers or flat racks.

On top of all this, there are many types of commodities you can carry in these steel boxes.

Going technical here are a few more advantages with a 20ft container:

  • Heavy-duty timber flooring
  • Lashing points in the floor to secure cargo
  • Easy access through the doors that open 270 degrees.

20ft container size and dimensions

Measure 20ft container
Internal length 5.9m / 19.4ft
Internal width 2.35m / 7.8ft
Internal height 2.39m / 7.9ft

Capacity of 20ft container

Measure 20ft container
Tare weight 2,300kg / 5,071.5 lbs
Payload capacity 25,000 kg / 55,126.9 lbs
Cubic capacity 33.2 m3 / 1,172 cu ft

How many pallets can fit into a 20ft container?

The answer depends on the pallet type. But a 20ft container can carry 11 Europallets in one tier. When it comes to the standard pallets, a 20ft can hold 9-10 pallets in one tier.

Interested in 20ft containers? Then have a free 15 minutes chat with our team, who’ll show you around on the platform and how many 20ft containers are available where you need them.


Now, let’s move on to the 40ft container.

40ft container size and dimensions

Measure 40ft container
Internal length  12.03m / 39.5ft
Internal width  2.4m / 7.9ft
Internal height 2.39m / 7.9ft

Capacity and maximum load of 40ft container

Measure 40ft container
Tare weight 3,750kg / 8,268.8 lbs
Payload capacity  27,600kg / 61,200 lbs
Cubic capacity 67.7 m3 / 2,389 cu ft

How many pallets can fit into a 40ft container?

Given the larger size of the 40ft container, this container type, understandably, carries more cargo than a 20ft container. A 40ft container can carry between 23 and 24 Europallets in one tier. When it comes to the standard pallets, this container type can carry 20-21 standard pallets in one tier.

Prices for 20ft and 40ft containers

average prices on 20ft and 40ft containers

Container prices vary widely depending on the location of the boxes. If the containers are located at a deficit location, you’ll have to pay a significantly higher price, than if you were to buy them at a surplus location. Here’s the average price for 20ft and 40ft containers to give you an overall feeling of the amount of money we’re talking about.

Do you already have a specific location where you want to buy your next containers? Then reach out to our team and get a 15 minutes free call. They’ll show you the platform, how many containers are available at your preferred location, and at which price.


Trading 20ft and 40ft containers

20ft and 40ft containers are useful for many different types of commodities. On top of that, they save space on the vessels, as you can stack them. That’s something that saves you money. So, if you’re looking to buy or sell containers, check out the container trading platform at xChange!

At xChange, we now offer a neutral online marketplace where you can sell and buy containers.

All the members of the trading marketplace have been vetted by the xChange team. Making sure that you only deal with reliable partners.

The marketplace is 100% transparent. This means that you know exactly who you are doing business with, and there are no added commission fees.

Find the containers you’re looking for and activate the market scanner and get notified about new offers that fit your needs.

You can also offer your sales stock to a global network with more than 150+ certified partners.

Click on the banner below and schedule a demo with our team. We will you what the xChange trading marketplace can do for you.


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20ft [& 40 ft] Shipping Container Dimensions, Size & Capacity
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20ft [& 40 ft] Shipping Container Dimensions, Size & Capacity
20ft and 40ft containers are the most commonly used containers in shipping. It makes them cheaper to buy than a special container. Learn more about 20ft and 40ft.
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