Understanding shipping container sizes can help you ship your cargo safely. This blog will give you a rundown on different container sizes and help you find your desired units at the best price, from vetted suppliers on Container xChange.

With so many shipping container sizes available, you must choose the right one. It’s one of the most important business decisions you’ll make to keep your cargo safe. 

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has ensured that all containers of a specific type adhere to strict size, shipping container dimensions, and construction guidelines. This was done because standardized container sizes cut the loading times by up to an astonishing three weeks.

Typically, shipping containers come in three popular sizes 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft with an approximate width of 8 feet. They are available in two height variations – the standard height is 8 feet 6 inches and the high cube version measures 9 feet 6 inches tall. The high cube offers extra storage capacity and improved air circulation.

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    Shipping Container Dimensions (Metric)

    For a detailed look at the measurements and specifications of shipping containers, we have curated a table (below) with Metric sizes. Click here for Imperial measurements

    Container type Internal Dimensions
    (LxWxH)
    Cubic Capacity
    (m3)
    Payload capacity
    (kg)
    Tare weight
    (kg)
    Standard Dry Containers
    10ft Standard Dry Container 3.5m x 2.44m x 2.59m
    20ft Standard Dry Container 5.9m x 2.35m x 2.39m 33.2 m³ 25,000 kg 2,300 kg
    40ft Standard Dry Container 12.03m x 2.4m x 2.39m 67.7 m³ 27,600 kg 3,750 kg
    High Cube Containers
    10ft High Cube Container 3.5m x 2.44m x 2.89m
    20ft High Cube Container 5.90m x 2.35m x 2.69m 37.2 m³ 28,160 kg 2,315 kg
    40ft High Cube Container 12.03m x 2.35m x 2.7m 76.4 m³ 28,600 kg 3,900 kg
    45ft High Cube Container 13.55m x 2.35m x 2.7m 86.0 m³ 27,700 kg 4,800 kg
    53ft High Cube Container 16.15m x 2.44m x 2.89m
    Reefer Containers
    20ft Reefer Container 5.44m x 2.29m x 2.27m 28.3 m³ 27,400 kg 3,080 kg
    40ft Reefer Container 11.56m x 2.28m x 2.25m 59.3 m³ 27,700 kg 4,800 kg
    40ft Reefer High Cube Container 11.56m x 2.29m x 2.55m 67.3 m³ 29,520 kg 4,480 kg
    Double Door Containers
    20ft Double Door Container 3.5m x 2.35m x 2.39m 33.0 m³ 25,000 kg 2,300 kg
    40ft Double Door Container 12.03m x 2.4m x 2.39m 67.7 m³ 27,600 kg 3,750 kg
    40ft Double Door High Cube Container 12.03m x 2.34m x 2.69m 76.3 m³ 27,600 kg 5,200 kg
    Open Top Containers
    20ft Open Top Container 5.89m x 2.35m x 2.35m 32.7 m³ 28,220 kg 2,260 kg
    40ft Open Top Container 12.03m x 2.4m x 2.34m 66.7 m³ 26,500 kg 3,980 kg
    40ft Open Top High Cube Container 12.03m x 2.35m x 2.7m 74.9 m³ 28,250 kg 4,250 kg
    Pallet Wide Containers
    20ft Pallet Wide Container 5.89m x 2.44m x 2.39m 34.3 m³ 28,080 kg 2,400 kg
    40ft Pallet Wide Container 12.03m x 2.44m x 2.38m 69.8 m³ 26,680 kg 3,800 kg
    40ft Pallet Wide High Cube Container 13.55m x 2.41m x 2.69m 86.2 m³ 29,720 kg 4,280 kg
    Flat Rack Containers
    20ft Flat Rack Container 5.94m x 2.35m x 2.35m 32.7 m³ 30,140 kg 2,360 kg
    40ft Flat Rack Container 12.13m x 2.4m x 2.14m 62.2 m³ 40,000 kg 5,000 kg
    Side Door Containers
    20ft Side Door Container 5.9m x 2.35m x 2.34m 33.0 m³ 27,780 kg 2,700 kg
    40ft Side Door Container 12.03m x 2.28m x 2.29m 64.0 m³ 27,300 kg 4,700 kg
    40ft Side Door High Cube Container 12.03m x 2.34m x 2.69m 76.3 m³ 28,600 kg 5,200 kg
    Hard Top Containers
    20ft Hard Top Container 5.89m x 2.35m x 2.35m 32.7 m³ 28,220 kg 2,260 kg
    40ft Hard Top Container 12.03m x 2.4m x 2.34m 66.7 m³ 26,500 kg 3,980 kg
    40ft Hard Top High Cube Container 12.03m x 2.4m x 2.69m 76.3 m³ 28,600 kg 5,200 kg
    Tank Containers
    20ft Tank Container 6.05m x 2.438m x 2.59m 26,000 liters 31,940 kg 4,060 kg
    Insulated Containers
    20ft Insulated Container 5.75m x 2.26m x 2.11m 27.4 m³ 21,350 kg 2,650 kg
    40ft Insulated Container 1.561m x 2.28m x 2.249m 59.1 m³ 27,700 kg 4,800 kg
    Half Height Containers
    20ft Half Height Container 5.88m x 2.22m x 0.94m 12.2 m³ 10,000 kg 2,378 kg

    The above dimensions and weights are approximate as they vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    Standard shipping container sizes: An overview

    The most popular container sizes are 10ft,  20ft, and 40ft, long, each at around 8 feet wide. The height of each shipping container varies between standard height (8 feet 6 inches) and high cube (9 feet 6 inches), which are often used to increase storage space, especially for cargo with greater heights. Apart from these, the 10ft HC, 40ft HC 45ft HC, and 53ft HC are also favored picks among industry veterans. We’re going to explore all of them in detail below so you can pick the right container size to keep your goods safe for your next shipment. 

    Standard containers: 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft containers 

    As previously stated, the most common and popular container sizes in the market are standard dry containers. These units are capable of transporting most kinds of dry freight, including barrels, bags, pallets, and cartons. Additionally, they can have interior customizations made to hold particular kinds of goods. Hangers, for example, can be inserted to hold clothing that will be taken straight to the retailer.

    These standard shipping containers are usually made of steel or aluminum and come in two main sizes: 20ft and 40ft, and their smaller counterpart the 10ft. They’re also airtight and water-resistant, preventing container damage from the outside. And the best part, is they’re also one of the most affordable sizes in the market. 

    Let’s take a deeper look into their sizes and dimensions now.

    20ft container size

    20ft container dimensions
    Internal length 5.9m / 19.4ft
    Internal width 2.35m / 7.8ft
    Internal height 2.39m / 7.9ft
    Tare weight 2,300kg / 5,071.5 lbs
    Payload capacity 25,000kg / 55,126.9 lbs
    Cubic capacity 33.2m3 / 1,172 cu ft

    20ft containers are one of the most affordable containers in the market. You can get 20ft containers for $800 in some locations on our platform (such as India)! Click here to check out the prices of 20ft containers in your preferred location.

    40ft container size

    40ft container dimensions
    Internal length 12.03m / 39.5ft
    Internal width 2.4m / 7.9ft
    Internal height 2.39m / 7.9ft
    Tare weight 2,389 cu ft / 67,7 cu m
    Payload capacity 61,200 lbs / 27,600 kg
    Cubic capacity 8,268.8 lbs / 3,750 kg

    The 40ft container has twice the height of a 20ft container. This is suitable if you have cargo that won’t fit inside a 20ft container. Choosing one 40ft container in this case will be more cost-effective than choosing two 20ft containers, as one 40ft container is just 30% more expensive than one 20ft unit. 

    Compare prices of two 20fts to one 40ft on our dashboard and see for yourself how 40ft containers are more cost-effective for larger volumes of cargo.

    10ft container size

    In contrast to large volumes of cargo, say you need a little less space for your freight instead. Our 10ft shipping container is a compact powerhouse designed for space and efficiency. At just 10 feet in length, this shipping container may be small, but it packs a punch. Perfect for urban spaces, small businesses in need of storage, or even personal use, it’s your solution to storage constraints without sacrificing capacity. Take a look at the dimensions below.

    Measure  10ft container dimensions
    Length  10ft/3.5m
    Width 8ft/2.44m
    Height 8.5ft/2.59m

    Find an easy solution to your more tailored needs and learn how you can get your hands on this box over on the Container xChange platform.

    High cube containers

    High cubes (HC) are similar in structure to dry containers. The length and width remain the same but the height increases by 1 foot. This enables them to meet more cargo demands and makes for good storage space for inventory. High cube container sizes include 10ft HC, 40ft HC, 45ft HC, and 53ft HC. Since these containers have additional height, they serve as storage containers for your cargo in comparison to 20ft or 40ft sizes. They’re also used to transport large, bulky, and higher-volume cargo that does not fit well in standard containers.

    Let’s explore their sizes and dimensions in detail below.

    10HC container size

    With an extra foot of height compared to the standard 10ft containers, the 10ft high cube variant makes it ideal for transporting taller items, setting up unconventional pop-up spaces, or creating innovative mobile offices. Have a look at the dimensions below:

    Measure  10ft HC container dimensions
    Length  10ft/3.5m
    Width 8ft/2.44m
    Height 9.5ft/2.89m

    If you want a 10ft HC on our platform you can find your unit at top deals from top companies at competitive rates with no hidden fees.

    40HC container size

    A 40ft high cube shipping container is the same size as a 40ft container – but with an additional foot in height. Take a look at the 40ft HC shipping container size chart below.

    Dimensions of 40ft HC container
    Internal length 12.03 m / 39.5 ft
    Internal width 2.35 m / 7.8 ft
    Internal height 2.67 m / 8.9 ft
    Tare weight 3,940 kg / 8,687 lbs
    Payload capacity 28,600 kg / 63,052 lbs
    Cubic capacity 76.3 m3 / 2,694.5 cu ft

    Cargo-worthy 40ft HC containers cost anywhere between $1600 to $2000. But on our platform, you can get these containers for as low as $1,500! Click here to check out more such offers in 2500+ locations globally.

    45ft HC container size

    45ft high cube standard shipping containers give you maximum space for your cargo. Take a look at the dimensions of this container in the table below.

    Dimensions of 45ft HC container
    Internal length 13.55 m / 44.5 ft
    Internal width 2.35 m / 7.8 ft
    Internal height 2.67 m / 8.9 ft
    Tare weight 4,820 kg / 10,628 lbs
    Payload capacity 27,860 kg / 61,431 lbs
    Cubic capacity 86 m3 / 3,036 cu ft

    45ft HC containers are more expensive than 40ft HC containers. Click here to check out the price difference between the two in your location.

    53ft HC container size

    Looking for a little more size? Well, the 53ft high cube container is the perfect solution for voluminous storage needs and seamless transport of oversized cargo. This container has an expansive 53-foot length, so it’s a better choice for efficiently storing large quantities of goods during shipping. This container can transport machinery and oversized equipment or serve as a central hub for storage in industrial settings. So, it’s the ultimate box regardless of what you’re looking for. 

    Below are the dimensions for the 53ft HC shipping container.

    Measure  53ft HC shipping container dimensions
    Length  53ft/16.15m
    Width 8ft/2.44m
    Height 9.6 ft/2.89m

    If you want a 53ft HC, you can connect with 1500+ vetted members to buy containers from. Our platform allows you to connect directly with vetted container suppliers, negotiate better offers, and make secure payments. Try it today!

    Apart from all these container sizes mentioned above, there are also various special container types you should be aware of. You can get a lowdown on those on our separate blog on 12 container types.

    Here’s a quick overview of the Imperial measurements of container sizes and their specifications. Click here for Metric measurements

    Container type Internal Dimensions
    (LxWxH)
    Cubic Capacity
    (cu ft)
    Payload capacity
    (lb)
    Tare weight
    (lb)
    Standard Dry Containers
    10ft Standard Dry Container
    20ft Standard Dry Container 19.36ft x 7.71ft x 7.84ft 1,172 cu ft 55,126 lbs 5,071 lbs
    40ft Standard Dry Container 39.47ft x 7.87ft x 7.84ft 2,389 cu ft 61,200 lbs 8,268 lbs
    High Cube Containers
    10ft High Cube Container 11.48ft x 8.01ft x 9.48ft
    20ft High Cube Container 19.36ft x 7.72ft x 8.85ft 62,082 lbs 5,103 lbs
    40ft High Cube Container 39.47ft x 7.71ft x 8.86ft 2,694 cu ft 8,598 lbs
    45ft High Cube Container 44.46ft x 7.71ft x 8.86ft 3,037 cu ft 61,067 lbs 10,552 lbs
    53ft High Cube Container 52.99ft x 8.01ft x 9.48ft
    Reefer Containers
    20ft Reefer Container 17.85ft x 7.51ft x 7.45ft 999 cu ft 60,471 lbs 6,791.4 lbs
    40ft Reefer Container 37.93ft x 7.48ft x 7.38ft 2,093 cu ft 61,078 lbs 10,584 lbs
    40ft Reefer High Cube Container 37.93ft x 7.51ft x 8.37ft 2,380 cu ft 65,080 lbs 9,880 lbs
    Double Door Containers
    20ft Double Door Container 11.48ft x 7.71ft x 7.84ft 1,172 cu ft 55,126 lbs 5,071 lbs
    40ft Double Door Container 39.47ft x 7.87ft x 7.84ft 2,389 cu ft 61,200 lbs 8,268 lbs
    40ft Double Door High Cube Container 39.47ft x 7.68ft x 8.83ft 2,694 cu ft 63,052 lbs 11,470 lbs
    Open Top Containers
    20ft Open Top Container 19.32ft x 7.71ft x 7.71ft 1,155 cu ft 62,214 lbs 5,982 lbs
    40ft Open Top Container 39.47ft x 7.87ft x 7.68ft 2,356 cu ft 58,422 lbs 8,774 lbs
    40ft Open Top High Cube Container 39.47ft x 7.71ft x 8.86ft 2,645 cu ft 62,281 lbs 9,370 lbs
    Pallet Wide Containers
    20ft Pallet Wide Container 19.32ft x 8.01ft x 7.84ft 1,213 cu ft 61,905 lbs 5,291 lbs
    40ft Pallet Wide Container 39.47ft x 8.01ft x 7.81ft 2,467 cu ft 58,819 lbs 8,377 lbs
    40ft Pallet Wide High Cube Container 44.46ft x 7.91ft x 8.83ft 3,044 cu ft 65,521 lbs 9,435 lbs
    Flat Rack Containers
    20ft Flat Rack Container 19.49ft x 7.71ft x 7.71ft 1,154 cu ft 66,458 lbs 5,203 lbs
    40ft Flat Rack Container 39.80ft x 7.87ft x 7.02ft 2,195 cu ft 88,200 lbs 11,025 lbs
    Side Door Containers
    20ft Side Door Container 19.36ft x 7.71ft x 7.68ft 1,165 cu ft 61,244 lbs 5,950 lbs
    40ft Side Door Container 39.47ft x 7.48ft x 7.51ft 2,2306 cu ft 60,180 lbs 10,362 lbs
    40ft Side Door High Cube Container 39.47ft x 7.68ft x 8.83ft 2,694 cu ft 63,052 lbs 11,470 lbs
    Hard Top Containers
    20ft Hard Top Container 19.32ft x 7.71ft x 7.71ft 1,155 cu ft 62,214 lbs 5,982 lbs
    40ft Hard Top Container 39.47ft x 7.87ft x 7.68ft 2,356 cu ft 58,422 lbs 8,774 lbs
    40ft Hard Top High Cube Container 39.47ft x 7.87ft x 8.83ft 2,694 cu ft 63,052 lbs 11,470 lbs
    Tank Containers
    20ft Tank Container 19.85ft x 8.00ft x 8.50ft 26,000 ltrs 7041.56 lbs 8950,76 lbs
    Insulated Containers
    20ft Insulated Container 18.86ft x 7.41ft x 6.92ft 970 cu ft 47,070 lbs 5,840 lbs
    40ft Insulated Container 5.12ft x 7.48ft x 7.38ft 2,090 cu ft 61,070 lbs 10,580 lbs
    Half Height Containers
    20ft Half Height Container 19.29ft x 7.28ft x 3.08ft 432 cu ft 22,050 lbs 5,240 lbs

    The above dimensions and weights are approximate as they vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    Get real-time shipping container prices for free

    Accessing container prices is important if you want to make the best container deals. However, prices of containers keep changing and depend on a variety of factors like condition, location, and supply & demand. One easy way to keep track of real-time container prices is through xChange Insights. With Insights, you can: 

    • Access real-time container prices in 110+ locations globally 
    • Identify the best cities to buy, sell or lease equipment, 
    • Make a good deal even in a new market, and
    • Maximize your profits

    For example, according to Insights, the price of a 20ft cargo-worthy container in Shanghai, China is around US $1, 150. However, you can get the same container for just US $990 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. This way you’ll end up saving US $160 on your container deal!

    And the best part? You can try Insights for free! Click here to see how Insights works and how it can help your business earn more profits.

    Find shipping containers from vetted suppliers at top rates on Container xChange

    Now that you know how to access real-time container prices and enter new markets, it’s time to see how you can use xChange to find containers of all sizes. Here are some benefits of using xChange over your traditional sourcing methods.

    • Get shipping containers of all sizes on xChange – On our platform, you can find 12 types of shipping containers in 2500+ locations globally. We have 50,000+ containers available – making it easier to find the container you’re looking for.
    • Find vetted partners and make deals. Risk-free- All companies undergo a mandatory vetting process before becoming members. This means that you can do business with all xChange members. Risk-free. On top of this, all companies also have public profiles. Here, you can see reviews from previous partners.
    • Make 100% secure transactions- We also protect the buyers. So, you don’t have to worry about paying and not getting your assets. Our dedicated Customer Service team makes sure that your container operations go smoothly. And that your payments are completely secure through the xChange wallet.

    Still, having doubts? Here’s what founder and managing director, Christian Vostoupal, of the international container trader Versibox, says about xChange:

    “What I like most is the practicality and speed with which I can consult prices and start a negotiation. The information I get is reliable, easy, and quickly accessible.” on xChange than your current sourcing channel.

    Are you ready now to browse through multiple sales offers and choose the best one? Simply click the banner below and find the best container deals in your location.

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    Shipping container sizes: Common FAQs

    What are standard container sizes?

    The most popular standard container sizes are 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft high cubes. Apart from these, the 10ft, 10ft HC, and 53ft HC are also favored picks among industry veterans.

    What is the size of a 40ft shipping container?

    A 40ft box has an internal length of 12.03m / 39.5ft, an internal width of 2.4m / 7.9ft, and an internal height of 2.39m / 7.9ft

    What are 20ft shipping container dimensions?

    A 20ft box has an internal length of 5.9m / 19.4ft, an internal width of 2.35m / 7.8ft, and an internal height of 2.39m / 7.9ft.