Shipping Container Dimensions

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You have come to a stage in your life when you are relocating overseas and need to move your entire home. You have probably started thinking about a company to assist in moving your things. Also, you might be wondering about the size of a shipping container for your stuff. In this article, we’ll be talking about the most common shipping container dimensions and try to answer your questions.  

If you need help with international relocation, SDC International Shipping is a mover that can aid you. Based on the type and size of your household items, we will advise you on the container that best works for your situation.  


Standard Shipping Container Dimensions

Typically, shipping containers are associated with ocean freight. This is because most household and commercial goods are shipped via the ocean. At SDC, we move the personal belongings of our clients in the standard container sizes, which are 20ft or 40ft long. The conventional widths are 8ft, and the heights are either 8ft 6 inches or 9ft 6 inches. The precise dimension of these containers are as follow: 

Container SizeExternal DimensionsInternal DimensionsDoor Opening DimensionsCapacity Weight
20ft ContainerLength: 19’10.50Width: 8’0.00Height: 8’6.00Length: 18’8.81Width: 7’8.59Height: 7’9.89Width: 7’8.125Height: 7’5.751,169 Cf.
61,289 lbs.
Empty weight: 4,850 lbs.
40ft ContainerLength: 40’00.00Width: 8’0.00Height: 8’6.00Length: 39’5.70Width: 7’8.59Height: 7’9.89Width: 7’8.125Height: 7’5.752,385 Cf.
57,759 lbs.
Empty weight: 8,380 lbs.

These containers are also known as dry containers because they are ideal for shipping clothes, furniture, and other household items, including vehicles and cars.


The Size of Shipping Container to Move

How will we decide whether your best option is a 20-foot or a 40-foot container? Well, largely, it’s about the size and volume of your shipment. To be exact, with our calculations, we usually arrange a survey of your home to record items to be shipped. This is one of the first steps in deciding on the right shipping container. Our logistics agent can help you figure out how much space you might need. You can start by requesting a shipping quote online.

How Much Can a 20ft Container Fit?

We have provided a table with exact shipping container dimensions, but you might be looking at these numbers and think: “This information doesn’t tell me anything.” And we totally understand if the numbers don’t give you the full picture. For most of us, our brains work better when we visualize things. So how about imagining dozens of fridges, washing machines, or bananas in your container? A 20ft container can fit up to 60 fridges or 100 washing machines, or 48,000 bananas. What about mattresses? 200 full-sized mattresses can be easily loaded into the container.    

How Much Can a 40ft Container Fit?

Reaching this point, you don’t have to be a math genius to conclude that a 40ft container will fit double the amount of those items. It’s perfect for moving large houses, like three-to four-bedroom apartments with a living room, dining room, kitchen, and miscellaneous. Moreover, depending on the volume of your boxes or pallets, you can ship a vehicle along with your household items in this container size.  

Pros for Using a 20ft Container 

20ft containers are the most popular in the household goods shipping industry, and that’s for a reason. Due to their convenient size, they can be easily handled in the vessel, thus, reducing the shipping cost. For taller cargo, we offer its counterpart – a 20ft high cube container, which provides extra headroom.

Pros of Using a 40ft Container 

A 40-foot container can transport larger quantities of household items at once. It’s also an economical and efficient carrier mode. However, no matter the shipping container dimensions, they are tough and water-tight to provide robust protection to your possessions. 

At SDC International Shipping, we offer 20ft and 40ft containers for hire. You are welcome to call us any time and consult with us about your overseas relocation plans.  

FCL or LCL? 

When touching upon shipping container dimensions, we mentioned that the main factors in deciding the type of container for each particular situation are the volume and cargo size. But these are not the only variables. Your budget for the shipping cost is also in play. For instance, if you are sending a two-bedroom home, you may choose between a Full Load Container (FCL) or a Less than a Load Container (LCL). While the FCL option assumes that you pay for the whole 20ft container, even for empty spaces you don’t use, the LCL option is less expensive than FCL because you share the container with other customers. Therefore, it’s a good bet for a smaller amount of belongings and when your budget is the biggest concern. 

How Much Does It Cost To Move a Shipping Container?

The average transportation cost of a 20ft or 40ft shipping container ranges between $2,000 and $3,000. You basically pay for hiring a container. This cost doesn’t include additional services, such as packing, preparing paperwork for customs clearance in the US and destination country, international moving insurance, import duties, taxes, etc.

How Do Shipping Containers Work for Moving?

After all your things are packed, boxed, or crated, we’ll bring a container to your home to load your belongings and transport them to the closest seaport. Once your shipment arrives at a destination and clears from customs, you can arrange its delivery to your new address. You don’t need to do this if you book a door-to-door service. In this case, you just sit back while we do the entire job. 

At SDC, we also provide storage solutions. For example, if you can’t receive your belongings on the day when it is released from customs, we can store your moving container in our warehouse until you are ready to pick it up. 

If you still have questions about shipping container dimensions, please contact us at any time. This is what we are here for.

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