Shipping Container Dimensions

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Shipping Container Dimensions:

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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).

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PLEASE NOTE: Dimensions may vary slightly, based on manufacturer.  But these numbers should be very close.

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".

More Information About Shipping Containers:

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SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS

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).

CSC PLATE

The Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) Plate includes information on the date and location of manufacture, as well as other specifications.  Learn more about the Convention for Safe Containers on the International Maritime Organization's website. And make sure to purchases CSC survey if you need to use your shipping container for export.

LOCKING RODS & HANDLES

Locking rods are bolted to the exterior of the shipping container cargo doors and frame, that seal the door tightly when twisted closed and clasped. A broken or bent locking rod can mean that a door won't seal properly.  We guarantee doors will seal on every shipping container we sell, but it's always a good idea to grease the hinges and make sure the door frame is square.

CONTAINER ID NUMBER

Each shipping container has a unique identification number. The first three letters represent the container owner (registered with the Bureau International des Containers "BIC"), and those are followed by a "U" for dry containers, and then six more numerical digits for the unit number.  The 7th number is a "check digit" used by calculating the value of each letter and number in the ID. Check your check digit with BIC.

SIZE & CAPACITY SPECS

To ensure safe handling, and stacking on ships, containers should not be loaded heavier than the weight specifications listed on the door and CSC plate.  Please note, however, that local shipping weight regulations may be much lower than the maximum payload of the container. For instance, many shipping containers can handle over 65,000 lbs of cargo, but loading them that heavy would exceed FMCSA regulations.

DOOR GASKET

Each of the shipping container cargo doors is fully surrounded by a rubber gasket.  The gasket allows the steel doors to be shut tightly to prevent both weather getting into the the container. It also helps keep cargo from spilling out if the freight shifts or pallets fail during transport. Good gaskets are essential to a cargo container being wind/water tight. Cargo door gaskets are covered by our 1-year warranty.

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