Shipping Container Dimensions:
Ocean cargo containers are held to a rigid standard to ensure that there are no issues during shipping. Each intermodal shipping container (sometimes called "conex" containers) must be able to not only stack perfectly on a cargo ship, but also lock into chassis trailers safely and securely stack on rail cars. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets the standards for shipping container dimensions (via ISO 668).
Shipping Container Dimensions & Specifications
The exterior dimensions of ISO Shipping Containers are 8'0" (2.438m) wide, and 8'6" (2.591m) tall. The most common lengths are 20' (6.058m) and 40' (12.192m). There are also "High Cube" containers, which are most common in 40' lengths, and are a foot taller at 9'6" (2.896m) tall.
Shipping container dimensions are held to very specific standards. The International Standard for Organization (ISO) requires that all containers are built to within a few millimeters of one another so they can be stacked on container ships without issue.
Containers are normally quantified in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU's) and are most commonly built in 20' and 40' lengths. Standard containers have an outside height of 8'6" tall, and "High Cube" containers have an outside height of 9'6".
The information listed on intermodal shipping container doors is standardized so that the container can be handled at any port in the world. From the manufacturer information on the CSC plate, to the size & capacity information, to the container identification number, everything is standardized on a shipping container. Furthermore, to ensure the same equipment can safely handle the containers anywhere in the world, shipping containers are held to a very specific set of specifications and dimensions.
A sticker or plate to identify such things as High Cube containers, hazardous cargo, or other such labels. High Cube shipping containers will also have yellow decals at the top of the frame on each end, to make the extended height more noticeable. High Cube containers have an outside height of 9'6" (one foot taller than standard shipping containers, which are 8'6" tall).