20 Foot Shipping Containers
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If you want more information regarding the 20-foot shipping container, you have come to the right place. Want to know how much you can load into it? What about knowing more about the components that make it up? There are also some important numbers when it comes to buying a leasing, the dimensions and weight limitations.

Dimensions of the Twenty Foot Shipping Container

As you may have suspected, the 20-foot shipping container is 20 feet in length. If you need to know the measurements of the entire container, they are 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet six inches high. In metric that is 6 meters long, 2.4 meters wide and 2.6 meters high. Internally, the container is 5.9 meters long, 2.3 meters wide and 2.4 meters high.  Depending on who manufactured the container, those numbers may be a little bit different.  Since 20 ft shipping containers are designed to be used in intermodal transportation – by train, land, or sea, they need to be of a standard size so that they can be moved between carriers without any issues.

20 ft shipping containers have a capacity of about 37 cubic meters.  The actual capacity of these containers can vary a little bit because the interiors can be slightly different. In general, the interior of these shipping containers is slightly less than the exterior size because of air space that is left in between items inside of the container.

Shipping Container Components and Structure

Shipping containers are made up of a variety of parts including the frame, floor, side walls, front wall, rear wall and door, fittings to hold the corners together and the roof panel. Corrugated steel is commonly used for the main parts of the container including the walls, rails, corners, and posts. For specialty containers such as refrigerated containers, the various components including the ends, roof and walls are comprised of aluminum that is reinforced using steel parts. The aluminum is affixed to the frame with rivets and then steel is used to reinforce that structure on the end frames and the side rails.

The interior of the container may contain a floor constructed from plywood to provide a flat surface. There are often door gaskets comprised of rubber and the entire container is painted with industrial paint to coat the metal surfaces to five it an esthetically pleasing look as well as to protect the container from rust.

What is Weight Limit for 20 ft Shipping Containers?

A 20 ft shipping container does have a weight limit. The container should weigh no more than 24 tons including the weight of the container and the cargo it contains. This limit is generally stamped somewhere on the container as follows: ISO 668:1995.

If this weight limit is exceeded it could lead to fines, damage to equipment that is carrying the overloaded container, liability suits and extra expenses including forced transloading. So just how much is the payload or the net cargo amount when a 20-foot shipping container is loaded? To know this, you must first know the actual weight of the container prior to loading it. You can load the container as much as you need to just as long as the gross weight – that is the weight of the container and the cargo, doesn’t surpass the limit of the container which is 24 tons.

The amount loaded into the container can also depend on which country it is being shipped from. Some countries have different load limits, so it is important to know what those are before you ship anything if that is what you plan to do.


A common term in the shipping industry is TEU which means Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit.  This is a unit and not a container and it is a term which defines capacity when referring to the 20-foot shipping container.Shipping companies use tis unit to determine what the capacity is of their container ships. If a container ship has a total capacity of 8,000 TEU then there is space for 8,000 20-foot shipping containers.

Logistic companies will order thousands of containers of many different sizes. They generally deal with container manufacturers or companies that trade in containers. If you are interested in purchasing containers for some type of personal use, you would contact a company that deals with used shipping containers such as Tiger Containers. 

20 ft shipping containers are one of the most commonly used containers in the secondary market. When you are looking to purchase these containers you want to find the best price, a company that will deliver the container to your location, a good variety of payment methods and the best place to purchase the containers.

If you do not want to purchase 20 ft shipping containers, you may also consider renting them if you only have a temporary need for them. Many people have these containers delivered, they fill them with their household goods and then they have the container shipped to a new location if they are moving across the country or even across the world (transmodal moving).

The 20 foot shipping container is an extremely popular option for shipping containers and is the one most often used by shipping companies and by people who purchase through the secondary market for a wide range of purposes including storage, secondary buildings, tiny homes, temporary shelters and pop up bathrooms for events.

News Reporter

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