40 ft Container Dimensions – Weight & Measurement

Whether you are shipping goods across shores or just moving from one state to another, 40′ shipping containers may be just what you need to ease your logistical burdens. As one of the most commonly used containers, 40ft container dimensions are sufficient enough for all your storage needs.

40-Foot Shipping Container Dimensions

The dimensions of a single 40-foot shipping container are  often measured using the imperial system.  This system takes into consideration both the exterior and interior measurements of the iso containers.

Standard 40′ Dry Container

The dimensions of a standard 40 ft container are as follows:

Exterior Dimensions

  • External Dimensions (feet): 40 ft long x 8ft 6 in high x 8ftwide
  • External Dimensions (meters): 12.2m long x 2.60m high x 2.44 m wide

Interior Dimensions

  • Internal Dimensions (feet): 39 ft 5 in length x 7 ft 10 in high x 7ft 9 in wide
  • Internal Dimensions (meters): 12.03m long x 2.39m high x 2.35m wide
  • Door width (feet): 7 ft 9 in
  • Door Width (meters): 2.34 m
  • Door height (feet): 7 ft 6 in
  • Door height (meters):2.28 m

volume/weight

  • Volume: 2,350 cubic feet (33 cubic meters)
  • Weight: It has a tare weight of 8,554 lbs. (3,880 kg), a maximum gross weight of 67,196 lbs. (30,480 kg), and a maximum payload weight (max cargo weight) is 58,642 lbs. (26,600 kg).

High Cube 40-Foot Container Sizes

high cube container height
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The 40ft HC container is 1ft taller than a standard dry container

High cube containers are no different than standard containers aside from their height. They measure one foot taller than standard container sizes. Here are the interior and exterior dimensions for the HC 40-foot shipping container.

Exterior Dimensions

  • External dimensions (feet): 40ft long x 9 ft 6 in high x 8 ft wide
  • External dimensions (meters): 12.2m long x 2.90 m high x 2.44m wide

Interior Dimensions

  • Internal dimensions (feet): 39 ft 5 in length x 8 ft 9 in height x 7 ft 9 in width
  • Internal dimensions (meters): 12.03m length x 2.69m height x 2.35m width
  • Door width (feet): 7 ft 8 in
  • Door width (meters): 2.34m
  • Door height (feet): 8 ft 6 in

volume/weight

  • Volume: 2,694 cubic feet (33 cubic meters) – this provides an additional 344 cu ft of storage space.
  • Weight: It has a tare weight of 8,554 lbs., a maximum gross weight of 67,196lbs, and a maximum payload weight (max cargo weight) is 58,642 lbs.

Benefits and Commons Uses

As the largest of the standard size shipping containers, 40-foot conex boxes are beneficial in the large-scale transportation of cargo. Their sizes allow them to carry more cargo at once, making them an economical alternative for cargo transportation. Their sturdiness, watertight nature and toughness make them ideal for theft and damage prevention.


The 40 foot metal shipping container can also be an ideal go-to storage unit. It has a tone of storage space, making it easy for you to store up as many items as you want. From motor vehicles and sporting equipment to tools and non-perishable items, the 40 ft shipping container will take in just anything.


One remarkable trait is their versatility. They can be customized for a wide range of uses, including office space, restaurant, family home, swimming pool, and many more.

How Much can you Fit Inside a 40 foot Storage Container?

40-foot loaded container
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40′ containers offer a generous amount of space. Taking into consideration the dimensions highlighted earlier, it is reasonable to estimate that the contents of a 4-bedroom house can easily fit into a 40 ft shipping container.

Nevertheless, this will greatly depend on the nature of the items. A 40 ft container can easily hold up to 20 tons worth of items without experiencing a heavy weight surcharge.

Put differently, you can fit up to 4 cars in a 40 ft shipping container, depending on the cars’ sizes, or up to 400 mattresses. Incredible. Right?

40 ft container dimensions
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What is the maximum load for a 40 foot shipping container?

40 ft containers can hold a maximum weight of 29 tons (26, 300 kg). However, the amount of cargo you load will depend on the existing restrictions of the shipping line, the nature of the cargo, and the shipment details. For instance, if your items have an awkward shape, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to pack them to 100 percent capacity.

How many standard pallets can fit into a 40 ft container?

The number of pallets you can load into a 40′ shipping container depends on the nature of the pallets you decide to use. A 40 ft container can hold up to 25 European pallets with dimensions of 1.2m x 0.8m, as long as the load is not hanging on the sides. However, when it comes to the North American pallet type, it can only hold 21 pallets (1.016m x 1.219m) under the same conditions.

Packing Tips to Make the Most of your Shipping Container

Great Use of Space While Packing a Shipping Container
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  • Full-Capacity loading is wishful thinking. Do not fall for the myth that you will load items into your container until there’s no more space left. Some of the interior space will be used as accessibility lanes or to install humidifiers. A rule of thumb here is that: it is better to underestimate than to overestimate.
  • Load larger items like furniture first, positioning them at the back of the container or at the sides. We recommend that you secure these large items with a masking tape to enhance stability. Complete the loading process with soft furnishings, if any. 
  • Try to pack your items as tightly as possible, filling all the gaps so that everything stays in place during transit.
  • Make sure to stack up lighter and fragile items on top of the heavier ones to avoid damage during transit.
  • We highly recommend loading your items on standardized platforms such as pallets. Such a move will ease the loading and unloading processes.

What Types of 40 Foot Steel Containers can I Purchase?

One-Trip

Just like its name suggests, a one-trip container has only made one trip abroad. Hence, they are as good as new. You’re likely to receive them in pristine condition.

Cargo Worthy

These are high-quality used containers that are still in good condition and can be used to hold and transport cargo. A 40 ft cargo-worthy container may have minor imperfections such as dents or surface dust.

Wind and Water Tight (WWT) Containers

As their name suggests, WWT containers will prevent wind and water damage to the contents of your 40 ft container. They are an ideal choice if you intend to store static items.

As-Is

If you are looking for something cheap, the As-Is shipping container is your best bet. However, be prepared to deal with significant defects like holes in the plywood and inoperable doors. If you are handy enough to fix these defects, then why not?

FAQ

What is the internal length of a 40 ft container?

A 40 ft shipping container measures 39 ft 5 in long. Its capacity makes it an economical container option when dealing with large quantities of cargo. Also, if you are looking for shipping containers to customize into a spacious home, a 40 ft container will give you just that.

What is the capacity for a 40 ft High Cube container?

A 40 ft high cube container has a capacity of 76.4 m3 (698 cu ft)

How much does it cost to ship a 40 ft container?

International shipping companies charge an average of $20,250 to ship a 40′ container from Shanghai, China. This price is dependent on the container destination. For instance, a container destined for Los Angeles will cost $18,500, while that same container headed to New York will cost $22,000

What fits in a 40 ft container?

A 40 ft shipping container is spacious enough to hold up to 4 small cars or 400 mattresses. When using it as your relocation tool, a 40 ft steel shipping container can easily hold belongings for a 4-bedroom house. 

What’s the CBM of a 40 foot container?

The CBM of a 40′ ISO container is roughly 69 cubic meters. A standard dry 40 foot shipping container is about 2.4m × 2.4m × 12m. To calculate CBM, we need to multiply the dimensions together to get 69.12 cubic meters.

Conclusion

Whether you are shipping cargo offshore or moving to a different neighborhood, the size of your shipping container is an important element for consideration.

A 40-foot container dimensions will provide sufficient space for you and your family to pack more items and fasten your logistical processes.

Its sturdiness and spacious interior will ensure that even your large cargo is loaded conveniently and that no damages are incurred. Do not hesitate to contact us for a high-quality 40 ft container.

Ryan Stetson

Ryan Stetson

Currently own two 20' and 40' containers converted into an office/workshop. Having worked in the shipping industry for 6 years, my goal is to share my personal experiences as well as connect potential container buyers with suppliers around the US.

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