A flat rack container is used to ship uniquely shaped or oversized goods that can’t fit inside a standard container. Read this blog to find out all about flat rack container dimensions and uses now. Plus, how you can source them at the best prices. 

Flat rack containers are one of the most versatile containers in the market. They make it possible for you to ship a variety of heavy duty and high-volume cargo hassle-free. If flat racks sound like the solution to your shipping problems, the first step is out of the way.

Next, you’re probably wondering how to buy flat racks from reliable suppliers at prices that suit your budget. We’ve got this covered too. Welcome to Container xChange, a secure online marketplace for trading and leasing shipping containers from reliable partners at budget-friendly prices.

Want to make use of our wide container network and browse flat racks in over 2,500 locations right now? Choose the size you’re looking for, plus your location, then press ‘search’ to find the containers you need today.

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          What is a flat rack container?

          A flat rack container is a special container with no roof or walls on its longer sides. This makes loading cargo of various sizes and shapes quick and convenient. 

          As a result, this special container can ship and store out-of-gauge cargo such as machinery, timber, pipes, vehicles and more.

          Flat rack shipping container

          Flat rack containers are built with reinforced frames and strong corner posts in order to withstand heavy loads and provide stability during transportation.

          The biggest advantage of this container type is its versatility. You can load a flat rack with almost any size or type of cargo as long as it meets the payload criteria. 

          Flat rack dimensions and weight

          Flat rack containers have the same dimensions as their standard container counterpart. However, since these containers only have walls on the short ends, their dimensions are based on an imaginary volume placed between the internal dimensions of the container. 

          Flat racks come in the standard 20ft and 40ft sizes. But they’re designed to carry heavier and more concentrated loads than standard containers. Up to 2,000kg for the 20ft variety and 4,000kg for 40ft. 

          Let’s take a look at the dimensions of flat racks in more detail now:

          Flat rack container types

          20ft flat rack dimensions

          Here are the dimensions of a 20ft flat rack container:

          Dimensions of 20ft flat rack container
          Internal length 5.94 m / 19.5 ft
          Internal width 2.35 m / 7.7 ft
          Internal height 2.35 m / 7.7 ft
          Tare weight 2,360 kg / 5,203.8 lbs
          Payload capacity 30,140 kg / 66,458.7 lbs
          Cubic capacity 32.7 m³ / 1,154.3 cu ft

          Are 20ft flat racks perfect for your cargo needs? Browse this container size in 2,500+ locations on xChange right now to buy them at prices that suit your budget.

          40ft flat rack dimensions

          If your cargo requires a higher payload capacity than a 20ft flat rack can offer, opt for the 40ft variety. Check out the dimensions below to make sure your cargo will fit:

          Measurement of 40ft flat rack container
          Internal length 12.13 m / 39.8 ft
          Internal width 2.40 m / 7.9 ft
          Internal height 2.14 m / 7 ft
          Tare weight 5,000 kg / 11,025 lbs
          Payload capacity 40,000 kg / 88,200 lbs
          Cubic capacity 62.2 m³ / 2,195.7 cu ft

          Checked out the dimensions and realized that 40ft flat racks are the perfect size to transport your heavy or out-of-gauge shipments? You’re in luck! Get 40fts at the best prices from 1,500+ trusted suppliers today. 

          40ft HC flat rack dimensions

          Apart from the 20ft and 40ft varieties, you can also get 40ft high cube flat rack containers in the container market. These have an extra foot of height. Here are the dimensions of 40ft HC flat racks:

          Measurement of 40ft HC flat rack container
          Internal length 12.13 m / 39.8 ft
          Internal width 2.40 m / 7.9 ft
          Internal height 2.29 m / 7.5 ft
          Tare weight 5,200kg / 11,460 lbs
          Payload capacity 47,300 kg / 104,280 lbs
          Cubic capacity 66.7 m³ / 2,354.3 cu ft

          Once you’ve decided between 20ft, 40ft and 40ft HC flat racks, the next step is to start using a safe online marketplace like Container xChange to find the containers you need. So what are you waiting for? 

          Click the banner below to schedule your free demo today. You’ll be trading and leasing flat rack containers from vetted partners in no time at all.

          Buy flat rack containers

          Types of flat rack shipping containers

          Besides the different sizes, you also get two types of flat rack container: Collapsible and Non-collapsible. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two now.

          Collapsible flat rack

          As the name suggests, collapsible flat rack containers have detachable or foldable walls. This makes storing and transporting this container type convenient and cost-effective since they take up minimal space. 

          Did you know that four collapsible flat racks, when stacked on top of each other, take up the space of a single standard container?

          This is especially helpful if you’re repositioning containers empty and don’t want to pay full price for vessel slots. 

          Collapsible and non-collapsible flat racks

          The only disadvantage of collapsible flat rack containers is that the absence of permanent walls makes them structurally weaker than non-collapsible containers.

          Non-collapsible flat rack

          Non-collapsible flat rack containers have fixed walls on their shorter ends. This makes them more structurally sound than collapsible flat racks. The only disadvantage of non-collapsible flat racks is that they take up a lot of space when not in use.

          It’s time to weigh up the options and decide if collapsible or non-collapsible work best for your needs.

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          What cargo can be shipped in a flat rack shipping container?

          As you know by now, flat racks can carry various types of cargo that standard containers cannot. From agricultural produce like sugarcane and grain to windmills, flat rack containers can transport them all, especially industrial goods. Let’s have a look at some of the most commonly shipped cargo:

          • Breakbulk goods
          • Heavy machinery
          • Transformers
          • Boilers
          • Tanks
          • Construction equipment
          • Cranes
          • Pipes and tubes
          • Turbines
          • Automobiles
          • Steel
          • Glass

          No matter what cargo you’re planning to ship, it’s important that it’s loaded properly so that there’s no pressure placed on the goods themselves. For this reason, it’s better to store your flat racks either at the top of the container stack or on the ground. This prevents accidental damage due to contact with other cargo or containers. 

          Now, you must be wondering: If three sides of the container are open, how does the cargo remain secure?

          Flat racks come with lashing rings on the side rails, floor and corners. You can keep your goods in place by cross lashing or loop lashing them. Some containers even come with lashing winches, latching belts and stanchions to provide additional support and security for your cargo. You can ask the supplier about this before deciding which containers to buy.

          What to consider before buying flat rack containers

          Now that you know about the dimensions, types and uses of flat rack containers, it’s time to decide which one will fit your needs the best.

          There are a few things to take into consideration before investing in flat racks:

          • Cargo type
          • Concentrated load
          • Payload
          • Loading and unloading process

          There may be times when the unique shape of your cargo doesn’t evenly distribute over the entire length of the container. With such cargo, you’ll need to ensure you’re not going over the concentrated load limit. 

          The concentrated load should not exceed the floor length of the container. The load limit is usually set at 2,000kg for 20ft flat racks and 4,000kg for 40ft flat racks.

          If your cargo is distributed evenly, its collective weight should be within the payload range of the flat rack container. The payload capacity is usually set at 30,000kg for a 20ft flat rack and 40,000kg for a 40ft. 

          You should also figure out your loading and unloading process so that you can choose between the collapsible and non-collapsible variety.

          How much do flat rack containers cost? 

          Another very important aspect to consider before you get started browsing and buying flat racks is the price. Take a look at the table below to get the average price of cargo-worthy flat rack containers in popular locations around the world. 

          Location 20ft flat rack 40ft flat rack
          USA No data $3,500
          China $2,122 $3,176
          India $2,397 $2,113
          Europe $2,324 $2,581
          UAE $1,700 $2,178

          If you’ve had a look at the prices above and don’t want to lay out capital on buying equipment right now, don’t worry. You can also lease out containers for one-way moves on our leasing platform. Check out leasing rates for flat rack containers across 2,500 locations on xChange right now. 

          Whether you choose to buy or lease containers, it’s also possible to keep up-to-date with market prices on our xChange Insights platform. Here you can get the latest trading prices and leasing rates in 180 cities any time, from anywhere. 

          Want to keep your finger on the pulse so that you can make informed trading and leasing decisions and land the best deals? Try Insights for free today.

          Get flat rack containers at the best prices on Container xChange

          Now that you know everything there is to know about flat rack containers, it’s time to use our online marketplace to find container offers for yourself. As a member on Container xChange, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

          • Access 50,000+ containers in over 2,500 locations worldwide
          • Buy and lease containers at better prices than from your current sourcing channels
          • Work with 1,500+ vetted and pre-approved partners
          • Make 100% safe payments with the xChange Wallet, and keep track of all your transactions right on the platform

          Curious about what other members of xChange have to say about using the platform? Here’s Grunsky Trading Company

          “xChange creates an unbelievable level of transparency and flexibility that never existed in this industry. More businesses will need to adapt to this model soon to flourish in the industry!”

          Sounds good, right? So click the banner below to set up your free demo with one of our friendly experts today. You’ll have the opportunity to learn exactly how xChange can work for you, plus get a sneak peek of our easy-to-use platform. Buying flat racks from reliable partners at the best prices is closer than you think.

          Flat rack containers for sale

          Flat rack container: Common FAQs

          What is a flat rack container?

          A flat rack container has no walls on its longer sides, as well as no roof. Flat racks are ideal for shipping overheight and out-of-gauge cargo that won’t fit in a standard container. There are two types of flat rack containers on the market: Collapsible and non-collapsible.

          What are the features of a flat rack container?

          Flat racks have walls on their short sides only, and have no roof. This makes loading and unloading goods quick and easy. You get two types of flat racks: Collapsible and non-collapsible. Collapsible flat racks have removable or foldable walls.

          What are the dimensions of a flat rack container?

          The internal dimensions of a standard 20ft flat container are 19.5ft x 7.7ft x 7.7ft. And for a 40ft flat rack container the measurements are 39.8ft x 7.9ft x 7ft.