Do ocean containers spark an interest in you? Well, you’re in the right place! This blog has everything you need to know about these big metal boxes. Read on to know the 10 different types of ocean containers and their cost.

In this blog, you’ll learn:

  • Ocean containers are large boxes made of steel and are mainly used to ship cargo.
  • 20ft, 40ft and 40ft HC containers are the most popular ocean container sizes.
  • The price of ocean containers vary depending on box types, conditions, location, demand and supply.
  • The average price of an ocean container on xChange is US $2000.
  • xChange can help you get your hands on the ocean container that you’re looking for easily.

Find ocean containers

So you have some cargo that needs shipping, but the thought of having to sift through a hundred different options online is driving you insane. It can be pretty intimidating to process all this information at once, which often leads to impulsive decisions that might not be the best for your company. This is where Container xChange fits in! We can help you choose what suits you best. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, or just trying to learn more about the industry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s all you need to know before buying an ocean container:

What is an ocean container?

An ocean container, also known as a shipping container, is a large, heavy-duty box made of corten steel or aluminum. They vary in size and shape, and are widely used for shipping various types of cargo. Ocean freight has proven to be much more affordable as well as economically viable for heavier cargo loads. However, there are some things to consider before purchasing your ocean container.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you are purchasing an ocean container:

Size of the ocean container

It’s important to keep the size of a container in mind when making the decision to purchase. Essentially, this box carries your goods, and you definitely don’t want your cargo to be compromised during transportation.

Type of the ocean container

The container type you need is usually determined by the kind of cargo you’re shipping. Thus, understanding what type of container you need is important before you make a decision.


Durability is a vital factor to consider when you’re thinking of purchasing a container. The durability determines whether or not a box can survive an entire trip and protect your cargo at the same time.

Structural integrity

It’s extremely important to be aware of the structural integrity of any container. It determines the strength of the structure of the container itself.


Pointing out or noticing inconsistencies in the structure and design of your container can be a life-saver – don’t forget to be wary of this when you’re on the search for your container.

Ocean container vs Intermodal container

Ocean containers and intermodal containers are both containers that are designed for freight transportation. Intermodal only means that there is more than one way of transportation in conveying goods. It is much more cost-effective and less fuss about loading and unloading cargo throughout the process. It also offers increased capacity by integrating more than one mode of transport and is much safer as well as way more convenient.

Different types of ocean shipping containers

There are many different types of containers with different names, and each serve a unique purpose to the logistics industry. It’s great to be informed about each different type of ocean container, their sizes and general pricing, and if you’re feeling a little confused, no need to panic because we’ll go through it together below.

20ft ocean container + specifications

A 20ft container is exactly what the name suggests; it is a container type with the length of about 20ft and is the most commonly purchased container type as it is generally a lot more affordable than any special, specific container type. They are equipped with timber flooring and lashing points to ensure secure cargo.


20ft container type

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

40ft ocean container type + specification

Other than the usual 20ft containers, another most commonly purchased container is a 40ft dry shipping container. Dry containers are generally used for shipping paper or clothing as there is no insulation in the actual container, making it ideal for such materials. 40ft containers are more or less the same as 20ft ones, only they are a little bit larger in size.


40ft container type

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

40ft HC ocean container type + specification

Then we have the 40ft high cube ocean container, which is also very commonly purchased. They are similar to the standard 40ft dry ocean containers, differing in height by only 1 foot. This means that high cube containers have an additional 344 cubic feet of storage, which can be appealing to customers with more cargo load than anticipated.


40ft HC container type

Internal length 12.25m / 39ft
Internal width 2.35m / 7ft
Internal height 2.58m / 8ft

Find ocean containers

Reefer container

A reefer container is, in the simplest way, a refrigerator but in container form. This type of container is made to transport goods that need to be in certain temperatures to remain intact, such as food, medicine, meat, and poultry. Reefer containers have special flooring that allows temperature-controlled air to flow through constantly, keeping things fresh on arrival.
reefer container specifications


Reefer container type

Internal length 5.5m / 17.9ft
Internal width  2.3m / 7.9ft 
Internal height 2.3m / 7.9ft

Pallet wide container

Pallet wide containers are made to keep cargo sealed tight and safe, there is little to no chance of losing any cargo in a pallet wide container. They are designed specifically for euro pallets which are most used in most of Europe. These containers also carry up to double the amount of pallets as the usual, standard container.

pallet wide container specifications


Pallet wide container type

Internal length 5.9m / 19.4ft
Internal width  2.4m / 8ft
Internal height 2.4m / 7.8ft

Hard top container

Hard top containers are specialized versions of open top containers, which are distinguishable by the removable roof due to which the door can be pivoted from the outside – this makes it much easier to load and unload cargo via forklift.

hard top container specifications


Hard top container type

Internal length 6m / 19.4ft
Internal width  2.4m / 7.8ft
Internal height 2.4m / 7.8ft

Open top container

Open top containers, as the name suggests, are containers which do not have tops and are covered by tarpaulin sheets and are generally used for oversized cargo, making it easier to load from the top. They also have end doors, similarly to closed containers, making loading and unloading flexible.

open top container specifications


Open top container type

Internal length 5.9m / 19.4ft
Internal width 2.3m / 7.8ft
Internal height 2.4m / 7.8ft

Flat rack container

A flat rack container is a special type of container that has no top, and only has sides on the shorter ends of the container – the bulkheads. These are designed specifically for abnormal cargo sizes such as machinery and trucks which don’t fit into other container types.

flat rack container specifications


Flat rack container type

Internal length 6m / 19ft
Internal width  2.4m / 7.7ft
Internal height 2.4m / 7.7ft

Average prices for an ocean container

Container xChange offers you a neutral, lucrative marketplace for its members worldwide, which means that we will connect you to the right trading partner that meets your needs when it comes to the logistics industry. You are able to get your value for money, as we offer some of the most affordable pricing on containers.

There are quite a few factors which can influence the price of a container, such as location, cargo type and demand, to mention a few. The average price of a container can range from anything between $2,000 and $4,000 (USD)

A 20ft new container usually goes for around $2,000, and a 40ft starting from $4,400. The average price of a reefer container starts at $6,070 and an open top container at $2,200.

Apart from location, cargo and demand, the condition of a container can affect its pricing, which is something to keep in mind when you are trying to find what best suits you.

Know the condition of your ocean container

  • Wind and water-tight container – these are containers that very rarely leak or have any holes. If no air or water can penetrate the container, then it is considered wwt.
  • Cargo worthy container – containers are best suited for cargo freight. These are the most commonly used containers, and are also the cheapest depending on the grade.
  • One-trip container – containers are brand new and have only made one trip from manufacturer to country destination, therefore, they are not utilized for international freight. They are mostly blemish-free albeit the minor scratch or bump here and there.
  • As-is container – containers that are no longer cargo worthy. They either have a significant amount of rust or many structural issues, and have the potential to be damaged during the shipping process. They can no longer be used.
  • Grade A container – containers that are of the highest quality grading. These containers are brand new and have little to no scratches or blemishes on them.

Buy your next ocean container at xChange

Here at xChange, we strive to create a safe and neutral platform for those in the trading marketplace to connect with the right partner to suit your needs in every aspect. We offer the best prices and most affordable deals. We know how important trust is within partnerships, and we take pride in being able to find trustworthy partners, with connections in over 1000 different logistics companies in over 2500 locations worldwide. Our platform makes it super easy to find everything you’re looking for under one roof. If you’re looking for some reassurance, head over to our review page, which is made public in order to create a better sense of transparency.

big banner cta

Ocean container: Common FAQs

How much does an ocean container cost?

An ocean container costs around USD $5,000 brand new whereas a used one can range between USD $3,500 - $5,000.

What are the most common types of containers?

The most common types of containers are 20ft and 40ft dry containers as well as double door, high cube and open side containers

What is an ocean container?

An ocean container is a container built to withstand shipment, storage and handling and is usually used for intermodal freight.

[custom-related-posts title=”Related Posts” none_text=”None found” order_by=”title” order=”ASC”]