Understanding shipping container weights is essential for the safe transport of your cargo. Read this blog to learn all about container weights. Additionally, we’ll also give you insights on how to buy containers at competitive prices through Container xChange.

Understanding container weights is crucial for safe transport and logistics planning, yet it’s often overlooked. Overweight containers can attract fines, cargo damage, and delays. We’ll explore more about container weights later in the blog.

But if you’re looking to expand your fleet, explore our platform for shipping containers for sale and connect with trusted suppliers. At Container xChange, you can choose from 100,000+ containers available in 2,500+ locations globally.

Try our public search below to meet your regular container demands or your one-time needs.

0 results found on the platform.

Container prices start from 0/unit.

Currently no match for your search

Change your search criteria or fill out the form below to get notified via email when there is a new match for you on xChange!

    Looking for something in particular?

    Let's schedule a call, and we'll help you out.

      Showing 0 of 0 results

      Load more

        Looking for something in particular?

        Let's schedule a call, and we'll help you out.

          Interested in this deal? Let us give you a call and fill you in on all the details

            Interested in xChange and want to learn more about container opportunities in your area?

            Call one of our experts at +1 (213) 458-5411, or simply fill out the form, and we will get back to you promptly.

            How much does a shipping container weigh? 

            On average, an empty 20 foot shipping container weighs between 1.8-2.2 metric tonnes (2,300kg or 5,071.5 lbs). A 40 foot shipping container weighs 3.8 – 4.2 tonnes (3,750kg or 8,268.8 lbs) and an empty 40-foot high cube is 3,900kg / 8,598 lbs.

            Shipping container weight

            3 types of shipping container weights 

            When we discuss how much a shipping container weighs, there are 3 different types of container weights we’re talking about. Let’s understand them.

            What is tare weight?

            The tare weight is the weight of a container when it’s empty. This includes the container itself and the doors, roof, and fixtures. For example, the tare weight of an empty 20ft container is around 2,300kg or 5,071.5 lbs. This weight is essential for calculating the total weight of a loaded shipping container accurately. However, considering only tare weight can be inaccurate in cases where other variables, such as fuel in transportation trucks, are involved.

            What is payload (net weight)?

            The payload weight is the total weight of cargo that can be loaded into an empty shipping container. This weight measurement represents the weight of the actual cargo itself. Every container type and size is designed to carry a specific payload capacity, and this should never be exceeded. For example, the payload capacity of a 20ft container is around 25,000 kg / 55,126.9 lbs and you should ensure that you limit your cargo weight to this. 

            What is gross weight? 

            The gross weight is the combination of the tare weight and the payload capacity. In other words, gross weight is the total weight of a loaded container. Calculating maximum gross weight is crucial in transportation and logistics, as it helps to ensure that containers are fully loaded and that all regulations are met. 

            Container in container yard

            20ft shipping container weight & dimensions

            20 ft shipping container dimensions are 5.9m x 2.35m x 2.39m. Whereas a 20 ft shipping container weighs 2,300kg / 5,071.5 lbs. 

            Measure 20ft
            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 25,000 kg / 55,126.9 lbs
            Cubic capacity 33.2 m3 / 1,172 cu ft

            20ft containers are popular due to their lightweight nature and you can easily get these containers under $1,000 on the Container xChange marketplace

            40ft shipping container weight & dimensions

            40ft shipping container dimensions are 12.03m x 2.4m x 2.39m and 40ft container weight is 3,750kg / 8,268.8 lbs

            Measure 40ft container
            Internal length 12.03m / 39.5ft 
            Internal width 2.4m / 7.9ft
            Internal height 2.39m / 7.9ft  
            Tare weight 3,750kg / 8,268.8 lbs
            Payload capacity 27,600kg / 61,200 lbs 
            Cubic capacity 67.7 m3 / 2,389 cu ft

            40ft is usually only around 30% more expensive than 20ft. So it makes more sense to opt for one 40ft rather than two 20fts, especially if you have larger cargo requirements. Check out deals for 40ft containers here. 

            40ft HC shipping container weight & dimensions

            40ft high cube shipping container dimensions are 12.03m x 2.35m x 2.70m. The high cube 40’ shipping container weight is 3,900kg. High cube containers are ideal if you have slightly taller cargo, or simply want to pack in a little more as they have an extra foot in height.

            Measurements 40ft HC
            Internal length 12.03m / 39.5ft
            Internal width 2.35m / 7.8ft
            Internal height 2.70m / 8.10ft
            Tare weight 3,900kg / 8,598 lbs
            Payload capacity 28,600 kg / 63,052 lbs
            Cubic capacity 76.3 m3 / 2,694.5 cu ft

            Need containers for a one-time use or looking for something for your regular container demands? You can find the best deals on containers in 2,500+ locations globally and we can help you get the right fit hassle-free. Provide your information by clicking the banner below, and we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.

            Shipping container weight small banner

            How to weigh a shipping container? 

            Weighing containers on a chassis: To weigh a shipping container on a container chassis, a weighbridge is usually used. A weighbridge is a large platform scale mounted onto a concrete platform, which weighs an entire road vehicle and its contents all at once. The vehicle is driven onto the weighbridge to be weighed. 

            Crane or hoist: A crane or hoist is another way to measure the weight of a shipping container. This is done by lifting the container off the ground and measuring it as it hangs. The crane method is used when containers can’t be driven onto a weighbridge or there isn’t another type of weighing facility available.

            Lever arm: This is a manual method of measuring container weight using a lever arm, fulcrum, and counterweight. The container is placed on one side of the lever arm and the counterweight is adjusted until the lever is balanced with the container.

            Why is it important to know the container weight?

            Cargo storage capacity: Before you decide which container sizes to opt for, you’ll need to know the container capacity. This will help you figure out if your cargo load will fit without exceeding the weight limits. 

            Calculating freight rates: Shipping lines charge freight rates according to the weight of your cargo load. To get a fair rate for your shipment, you’ll need to know how much your shipping container weighs.

            Shipping compliance: Each shipping container must comply with specific weight and dimension restrictions. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires shippers to disclose the verified gross mass (VGM) of all containers before they’re allowed onboard a ship. Loaded containers that exceed the weight limit for their category can be retained and charged at the port.

            Safety and damage prevention: Overweight containers pose serious safety risks to port workers, containers, and cargo. Loads that are too heavy can damage the container body, as well as the chassis and terminal handling equipment used to lift and move it. 

            Balancing container loads: Besides making sure a container isn’t overweight, it’s also crucial to ensure your container load is balanced. For a load to be balanced, cargo must be evenly distributed. Overloaded or unbalanced shipping containers could topple or buckle, damaging both the cargo and the container itself, and endangering port workers.

            Now that you know all about container weights, it’s time to see how to buy containers online easily.

            Buy shipping containers at the best price online on Container xChange

            Container xChange marketplace allows you to buy, sell, and lease the containers quickly and easily in 2,500+ locations globally. If your business has regular container requirements, Container xChange is the right platform for you. 

            Apart from getting the best deals on containers from vetted sellers, here are some other benefits you’ll get once you subscribe to the xChange platform. 

            • 100,000+ containers available in over 2,500 cities around the world
            • Deal directly with vetted suppliers, with no middlemen
            • 0% commission on deals & no hidden fees

            So why not get started right away with a free demo of our all-in-one shipping container marketplace? As many as1700+ companies have trusted xChange for the last 7 years with their container business; and now, it’s time for you to find out how we can help you with yours. Want to explore shipping container options that will fit your regular demands or your one-time buying needs? Drop us your details, and we’ll reach out within 24 hours to ensure your requirements are fulfilled.

            Shipping container weight big banner

            Shipping container weight: Common FAQs

            How much does a 20ft shipping container weigh?

            A standard 20ft shipping empty container weighs 2,300kg / 5,071.5 lbs. Its payload capacity is 25,000 kg / 55,126.9 lbs

            What is the weight of a 40ft shipping container?

            The weight of a 40ft container is 3,750kg / 8,268.8 lbs. Empty container weight of a container takes into account any fixtures on the container body, plus the roof and container doors.

            How heavy is a shipping container?

            Empty 20ft container weight is 2,300kg / 5,071.5 lbs. 40’ shipping container weight is 3,750kg / 8,268.8 lbs and of a 40ft high cube it’s 3,900kg / 8,598 lbs.