40ft or 10ft Container? Choosing the Best Size for Your Specific Industry

Whether you are looking to buy a container to move products or belongings around the world, for storage, or to convert into a building such as a bar, modular classroom, or lab, you have several options available to you in terms of size.

The standard sizes of shipping containers that are available are the 10ft standard height, 10ft high cube, 20ft standard height, 20ft high cube, 40ft standard height, and 40ft high cube. This gives you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to choosing the best-sized shipping container for your needs.

Choosing a Shipping Container

When you are considering which shipping container to buy, the decision should be based on your reason for getting one. The number of things that you want to be able to store in it, or what you are looking to convert your shipping container into are important considerations.

Although we can offer an 8ft container, the 10ft standard height is the smallest standard shipping container that we supply. Likewise, the 40ft high cube is the largest. To be able to decide which one is best for you, we’ll have a look more closely at these two.

10ft Shipping Container


Floor Area: 72ft² (6.69m²)

Cubic Capacity: 560ft³ (15.89m³) – High Cube: 630ft³ (17.84m³)

Weight: 1.5 tons (1.52 tonnes)

External Length: 10ft (3.05m)

External Width: 8ft (2.44m)

External Height: 8ft 6in (2.59m) – High Cube: 9ft 6in (2.89m)

Internal Length: 9ft 2in (2.8m)

Internal Width: 7ft 7in (2.33m)

Internal Height: 7ft 9in (2.35m) – High Cube: 8ft 9in (2.65m)

The smaller, 10ft shipping container is compact and neat, and although it is relatively small compared to the others, it still has a good storage capacity. We suggest that a standard 10ft container can hold the contents of a one-bedroom flat or be converted into a small building. This would be ideal for a garden office conversion or small exhibition stand – somewhere with not much furniture and few people.

Remember, of course, that our fabrication team can join two or more containers together to create a larger space.

40ft Shipping Container


Floor Area: 305ft² (28.33m²)

Cubic Capacity: 2360ft³ (66.83m³) – High Cube: 2660ft³ (75.32m³)

Weight: 4 tons (4.06 tonnes)

External Length: 40ft (12.19m)

External Width: 8ft (2.44m)

External Height: 8ft 6in (2.59m) – High Cube: 9ft 6in (2.89m)

Internal Length: 39ft 4in (12m)

Internal Width: 7ft 7in (2.33m)

Internal Height: 7ft 9in (2.35m) – High Cube: 8ft 9in (2.65m)

The large 40ft shipping container is made from steel with a 30mm marine-plywood floor that can take heavy weights. These are commonly used for bigger conversions as they offer a large amount of floor area, and are ideal for building modular classrooms, plant storage, or accommodation units, for example.

We suggest that a 40ft shipping container should easily hold the contents of a three-bedroom apartment, including larger furniture items such as washing machines, beds, wardrobes, and tables.

40ft shipping containers can also be joined together to create a larger space during a shipping container conversion.

The Right Shipping Container

Armed with this knowledge you are in a better place to decide which sized shipping container is best for you and your needs. If you have any queries you can speak to our expert team here at SJ Containers who will be able to point you in the right direction depending on what you are planning on using your shipping container for.

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