Container measurements

Container measurements

Containers: various types exist within transport and logistics. For example, there are different types of containers for air cargo and sea freight. Do you know which containers you need for your shipments? For a certain number of pallets or for different dimensions? Of course we will gladly advise you on which container best fits your needs. Please contact us in case of any questions.

Below you will find a number of examples of containers: dimensions and types.

What is a container?

A container is a standardized metal container for the transport of goods. From cars, electronics, building materials, raw materials and chemical products to foodstuffs and pallets with various goods. Due to the use of international standard dimensions, containers are suitable for road, rail and water, such as during transshipment from seagoing vessels to road or inland waterways.

What are the standard sizes?

TEU is the standard size of a container and stands for Twenty feet Equivalent Unit. Usually a container is:
– 20 feet (about 6 meters = 1 TEU);
– 40 feet (2 TEU = 1 FEU).
FEU stands for Fourty feet Equivalent Unit. In addition, there are also containers with different sizes.

Types of containers

In addition to the TEUs and FEUs, there are also different types of containers. Below you will find the most important ones at a glance.

The standard: dry container

A standard container is made of steel and intended for general cargo that is not too long, too wide, too high, too heavy or bulky. We also call a standard container ‘dry container’.

What to do with temperature-sensitive products?

When a container transports temperature-sensitive products, such as food, films, plants or pharmaceutical products, it is of course important that the right temperature is kept. This is done in so-called reefer containers that contain cooling units on the side of the container. Cold or warmer air then constantly circulates around the load. This ensures the quality of the cargo throughout the journey.

Special dimensions: Flat Rack

Do you have to carry heavy loading, overhaul and / or transshipment freight? Then Flat Racks are the most suitable. Flat Racks have collapsible end frames, lashings on the rails at the bottom and corner supports that protect the load with tires or chains.

Open top container

These containers do not have a solid roof but are covered with waterproof tarpaulin that is fastened with ropes. In addition, an open top container has lashings on the inside so that the load will not slide. Well suited for over-height and / or long loads.

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Measurement overview

Below you will find an overview of existing container dimensions. Note: these sizes are indicative. Per shipping company or manufacturer dimensions can save a few millimeters to centimeters.

Standard dry containers

20 FT Standard 40 FT Standard
Capacity 33 cbm 67.4 cbm
Inside dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 5,888 x 2,340 x 2,387 12,031 x 2,346 x 2,383
Door opening (WxH) 2,280 x 2,275 2,338 x 2,272
Weight (max. Gross / total weight) 30,480 kg 30,480 kg
Tare (container) weight 2,200 kg 3,740 kg
Max. weight of cargo 28,280 kg 26,740 kg
40FT High Cube 45FT
Capacity 76.2 cbm 86.0 cbm
Inside dimensions in mm (LxWxH) 12,031 x 2,350 x  2,694 13,556 x 2,352 x 2,697
Door opening (WxH) 2,338 x 2,585 2,340 x 2,585
Weight (max. Gross / total weight) 30,480 kg 30,480 kg
Tare (container) weight 3,830 kg 4,780 kg
Max. weight of cargo 26,650 kg 25,700 kg

Open Top containers

20FT Open top

40FT Open Top


32.4 cbm

66.2 cbm

Inside dimensions in mm (LxWxH)

5,893 x 2,346 x 2,348

12,022 x 2,346 x 2,348

Door opening (WxH)

2,336 x 2,244

2,336 x 2,244

Roof opening (BxL)

5,760 x 2,228

11,891 x 2,184

Weight (max. Gross / total weight)

30,480 kg

30,480 kg

Tare (container) weight

2,380 kg

3,880 kg

Max. weight of cargo

28,100 kg

26,600 kg

Reefer containers

20FT Reefer

40FT Reefer HQ


28.2 cbm

64.9 cbm

Inside dimensions in mm (LxWxH)

5,446 x 2,268 x 2,260

11,558 x 2,284 x 2,522

Door opening (WxH)

2,290 x 2,264

2,286 x 2,542

Weight (max. Gross / total weight)

30,480 kg

34,000 kg

Tare (container) weight

3,080 kg

4,720 kg

Max. weight of cargo

27,400 kg

29,280 kg

Flatrack containers

20FT Flat Rack

40FT Flat Rack


28.4 cbm

53.2 cbm

Inside dimensions in mm (LxWxH)

5,652 x 2,438 x 2,213

12,082 x 2,438 x 1,955

Weight (max. Gross / total weight)

34,000 kg

45,000 kg

Tare (container) weight

3,050 kg

6,200 kg

Max. weight of cargo

30,950 kg

38,800 kg

Source measurements of containers: Ocean Network Express

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Air freight containers

Below you will find some examples of containers used for air freight.

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