A Guide To Shipping Container Heights

Sarah Green

Sarah Green

11th February 2020

Regardless of what you are planning to do with your unit, it is important that you know its dimensions to ensure it meets your needs and that it fits properly into the proposed space.

If you intend to use your unit for storage or shipping, it is useful to know how much you would be able to fit in there, and if you are thinking about using it to create some sort of structure such as a home or pop-up café, you will need to be familiar with the various dimensions and sizes, so you’re able to build from the most appropriate foundation.

Similarly, although containers are constructed in a way that makes it easy for them to be stored and moved, you will need to choose from a range of sizes and dimensions when you are renting or buying a freight unit.

Shipping Container Heights

From the outside, all units are one of two heights – depending on whether you choose the ‘standard’ height or the ‘high cube’ version.

Most units come in one of five different lengths:

  • 8ft length (7ft 1 width x 7ft 5 height or 2.42m x 2.17m x 2.26m)
  • 10ft length (8ft width x 8ft 6 ins height or 3.05m x 2.44m x 2.59m)
  • 20ft length (8ft width x 8ft 6 ins height or 6.06m x 2.44m x 2.59m)
  • 30ft length (8ft width x 8ft 6ins height or 9.12m x 2.44m x 2.59m)
  • 40ft length (8ft width x 8ft 6 ins height or 12.19m x 2.44m x 2.59m)

The ‘high cube’ version has an external height of 9ft 6ins or 2.89m.

If you are looking at the internal measurements of your unit its size – and volume – will depend on its lining. However, a standard-issue unit will have the internal measurements roughly as follows:

  • 7ft 6ins length (6ft 11ins width x 6ft 8ins height or 2.28m x 2.10m x 2.04m)
  • 9ft 2ins length (7ft 7ins width x 7ft 9ins height or 2.80m x 2.33m x 2.35m)
  • 19ft 3ins length (7ft 7ins width x 7ft 9ins height or 5.87m x 2.33m x 2.35m)
  • 29ft 4ins length (7ft 7ins width x 7ft 9ins height or 8.93m x 2.33m x 2.35m)
  • 39ft 4ins length (7ft 7ins width x 7ft 9ins height or 12m x 2.33m x 2.35m)

The ‘high cube’ version has an internal height of about 8ft 9ins or 2.65m.

You can find more dimensions here.

What Size Do You Need?

It can sometimes be difficult to envisage the exact size you would need for your items if you are planning to use it for storage or shipping. As a general rule, a regular 20ft unit will hold:

  • 10 standard pallets
  • 12 Euro pallets
  • The household goods of a one or two-bedroom apartment (roughly 80m² in size)
  • 200 full-sized mattresses
  • 50-60 refrigerators

In any case, it is important that you pack your items carefully and use bubble wrap or some other padding to help protect them.

The range of intermodal’s that are available means that you have a number of options when choosing one for your needs. Fortunately, over a century of experience means we are able to advise you on the most appropriate Intermodal or customisation, regardless of your intended use.

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