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    Shipping container sizes


    Shipping container sizes

    Here at Gap Containers, we’re committed to providing the best possible service for our customers. Our goal is to ensure you identify the ideal container size for your needs. And to help with your purchase, here we’ve created a detailed conversion chart for some of the main shipping container sizes.

    These include 20ft container dimensions and 40ft container dimensions – which tend to be the most popular – as well as dimensions for 10ft and 30ft structures. External and internal measurements are listed in both imperial and metric units and given for both standard and high cube containers.

    Please note, the container dimensions provided are as accurate as possible – but they are just an approximate indication. The exact size of a container can vary depending on the manufacturer. Therefore, it’s important to use these measurements as a guide only.

    If you’d like further guidance on which container size is best for you, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. Either give us a call on 0870 240 9405 or send an email to We’re always happy to help and, after a quick chat, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.


    Standard external container dimensions


    Shipping container dimensions

    Shipping container dimensions are standardised for shipping purposes. They can be of different lengths and heights. But to conform with ISO regulations, they must be 8ft (2.44m) wide – allowing them to be stacked together safely onboard cargo vessels, cranes, and other modes of transport.

    Here we detail the standard length, width and height of the four most popular container sizes:

    Imperial measurements

    Container Length 10ft 20ft 30ft 40ft
    Container Width 8ft 8ft 8ft 8ft
    Container Height:
    » Standard 8ft 6ins 8ft 6ins 8ft 6ins 8ft 6ins
    » High cube 9ft 6ins 9ft 6ins 9ft 6ins 9ft 6ins

    Metric measurements

    Container Length 3.05m 6.06m 9.12m 12.19m
    Container Width 2.44m 2.44m 2.44m 2.44m
    Container Height:
    » Standard 2.59m 2.59m 2.59m 2.59m
    » High cube 2.89m 2.89m 2.89m 2.89m

    Standard internal container dimensions

    All of our shipping containers are made from corrugated steel. This corrugation has a depth of around 1 inch (25mm) and, therefore, slightly affects the internal width and length of the structure.

    The doors and floor of the container also impact its interior measurements. And although they don’t make a huge difference, it’s still worth taking this into account when selecting the ideal container dimensions for your needs.

    Here we list the internal length, width, height, end door aperture width and height, floor area, cubic capacity, and weight of the four most popular container sizes (10ft, 20ft, 30ft, and 40ft).

    Imperial measurements

    Internal Length 9ft 2ins 19ft 3ins 29ft 4ins 39ft 4ins
    Internal Width 7ft 7ins 7ft 7ins 7ft 7ins 7ft 7ins
    Internal Height:
    » Standard 7ft 9ins 7ft 9ins 7ft 9ins 7ft 9ins
    » High cube 8ft 9ins 8ft 9ins 8ft 9ins 8ft 9ins
    End Door Aperture Width as req. 7ft 6ins 7ft 6ins 7ft 6ins
    End Door Aperture Height:
    » Standard as req. 7ft 5ins 7ft 5ins 7ft 5ins
    » High cube as req. 8ft 5ins 8ft 5ins 8ft 5ins
    Floor area 72sq ft 150sq ft 227sq ft 305sq ft
    Cubic capacity:
    » Standard 560cu ft 1160cu ft 1760cu ft 2360cu ft
    » High cube 630cu ft 1310cu ft 1985cu ft 2660cu ft
    Weight 1.5 tons 2.4 tons 3.2 tons 4 tons

    Metric measurements

    Internal Length 2.80m 5.87m 8.93m 12.00m
    Internal Width 2.33m 2.33m 2.33m 2.33m
    Internal Height:
    » Standard 2.35m 2.35m 2.35m 2.35m
    » High cube 2.65m 2.65m 2.65m 2.65m
    End Door Aperture Width: as req. 2.28m 2.28m 2.28m
    End Door Aperture Height:
    » Standard as req. 2.26m 2.26m 2.26m
    » High cube as req. 2.56m 2.56m 2.56m
    Floor area 6.69m2 13.93m2 21.09m2 28.33m2
    Cubic capacity:
    » Standard 15.89m3 32.85m3 49.84m3 66.83m3
    » High cube 17.84m3 37.09m3 56.21m3 75.32m3
    Weight 1.52 tonnes 2.44 tonnes 3.25 tonnes 4.06 tonnes

    Need a bespoke shipping container size?

    Shipping container sizes available at Gap Containers

    The shipping container sizes outlined above are those we have in stock as standard, particularly 20ft and 40ft structures. But as a leading supplier, we appreciate – these standard dimensions are not suitable for everyone. And therefore, we also offer a bespoke shipping container service.

    We can manufacture a shipping container to meet your exact size requirements, from 6ft to 40ft and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for a small shipping container for personal storage purposes or a large shipping container for a particularly bulky item. Our in-house experts will build the perfect container size for your needs, bespoke to order, for a highly competitive price.

    Just call us on 0870 240 9405 to discuss your requirements with a member of the team.


    What size shipping container do I need for international shipping?

    While most international shipping companies can move shipping containers of many different sizes, the ISO standards are 20 and 40-foot containers.

    20 and 40-ft containers differ in length but not width as they must all be 8ft to comply with ISO regulations.

    This allows them to be stacked and transported safely, ensuring your cargo reaches its end location in the best condition possible.

    If you require any specific information relating to international shipping requirements, reach out to our friendly, experienced office staff today by calling 0870 240 9405 or filling in our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    How big is a standard shipping container?

    Here at Gap Containers, we understand that visualising measurements can be tricky. As such, here are a few things similarly sized to our most popular 20 and 40ft shipping containers.

    20ft shipping containers

    Most 20ft shipping containers will hold the following lengthways:

    • A maximum of 2 cars end to end
    • Just over 2 red telephone boxes, laid end to end
    • Over 6 standard, one-seat shopping trolleys
    • 10 standard pallets or 11 Euro pallets
    • Equivalent to just over 2 garden sheds

    40ft shipping containers

    Most 40ft shipping containers will hold the following lengthways:

    • Around 4 standard-sized cars
    • Just over 12 standard, one-seat shopping trolleys
    • 20 standard pallets or 24 Euro pallets
    • Just over 4 red telephone boxes laid end to end
    • Equivalent to 4 garden sheds

    For more help with shipping container capacity, call us on 0870 240 9405 or send us a quick email and we’ll get back to you with more information.

    Are larger shipping containers more expensive than smaller sizes?

    Many customers assume that 40ft shipping containers will be twice the price of our 20ft models and that by that logic, 20ft shipping containers will be half the price of a 40ft model.

    While there is a price difference between shipping containers, the price per container is calculated based on several factors including:

    • Size
    • Condition
    • Type
    • Quantity
    • Requested modifications and accessories

    As such, it is best to request a full quote based on your exact circumstances, rather than assuming. You may be surprised to find that the best shipping container for you is not the size you had in mind.

    For a quick quote, fill in our quick quote form to the right of your screen or give us a call today on 0870 240 9405, and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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