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Dimensions of Ocean Freight Containers
 
These technical specifications reflect the container manufacturer's suggested maximum weight and cube and do not reflect the legal, permissible or recommended weight limitations. Loading a container to these limits may require special permits or may not be legal for transport. Please make sure to check with your account representative for legal limits in your state as well as any special requirements of the inland or ocean carrier or other agency.
 
Introduction

The following Guide to Ocean Freight Container Specifications. The container specifications listed are virtually standardized world-wide. However, the possibility exists that individual container manufacturers and shipping lines will have container specifications which vary somewhat from those listed in this section. Be certain to inquire about precise specifications from your shipping line or forwarder when you arrange for a shipment.

 

Values / Details

All values listed in the tables are given in metric. Ft and lbs values are for easy reference only.  All details listed are nominal figures. Apart from the tolerances given on internal dimensions below the tare weight can vary 2%.

 

General Information

External and Minimum Internal Dimensions

The following table gives the overall external dimensions as standardized in ISO and the minimum internal dimensions and door openings for General Purpose Containers as standardized in ISO.
 
 
Length
Width
Height
Dimensions 20'
6,058 mm
40'
12,192 mm
8'
2,438 mm
8'6"
2,438 mm
8'6"
2,438 mm
9'6"
2,896 mm
Minimum Internal Dimensions 5,867 mm
19'3"
11,998 mm
39' 4 3/8"
2,330 mm
7'7 3/4"
2,197 mm
7'2 1/2"
2,350 mm
7'8 1/2"
2,655 mm
8'8 1/2"
Minimum Door Opening Dimensions - - 2,286 mm
7'6"
2,134 mm
7'

2,261 mm
7'5"
2,566 mm
8'5"
 

Internal Dimensions

The internal dimensions and door openings of most containers exceed the above given dimensions. However, the dimensions mentioned on the following pages are nominal figures. Because of production tolerances a difference in measurements is possible:

 
Tolerances Length Width Height
Maximum Difference 10 mm
3/8"
10 mm
3/8"
10 mm
3/8"
 

Maximum Gross Weights

20' containers:
24,000 kg (52,910 lbs) according to the latest issue of ISO 668;
30, 480 kg (67,200 lbs) valid for most 20' containers; exceeds ISO minimum standards.
40' containers:
30,480 kg (67,200 lbs).
 

Floor Loads

A container floor is capable of carrying a fork-lift truck with a maximum axle load of 5,460 kg (12,040 lbs), if the contact area per wheel is at least 142 cm2 (22 sq.in) (ISO 1496/I).

 

Concentrated Loads

When stowing heavy cargo in containers other than flats or platforms due care has to be taken that concentrated loads will not exceed the strength of the bottom construction of the container.
The maximum spreaded load should not exceed
-for 20' containers 4 tons per running meter in length (3' 3.5")
-for 40' containers 3 tons per running meter in length.
 
  Inside Length Inside Width Inside Height Door Width Door Height Cubic Capacity Tare Weight Maximum Payload
20' Standard 19'4 7'8 7'10 7'8" 7'6" 1,172 cft 4,916 lbs 47,900 lbs
5.900 m 2.350 m 2.393 m 2.342 m 2.280 m 33.2 cbm 2,230 kg 21,770 kg
40' Standard 39'5" 7'8" 7'10" 7'8" 7'6" 2,390 cft 8,160 lbs 59,040 lbs
12.036 m 2.350 m 2.392 m 2.340 m 2.280 m 67.7 cbm 3,700 kg 26,780 kg
40'H.C.(High Cube) 39'5" 7'8" 8'10" 7'8" 8'5" 2,694 cft 8,750 lbs 58,450 lbs
12.036 m 2.350 m 2.697 m 2.338 m 2.585 m 76.3 cbm 3,970 kg 26,510 kg
20' Reefer 17'8" 7'5" 7'5" 7'5" 7'3" 1,000 cft 7,040 lbs 45,760 lbs
5.425 m 2.275 m 2.260 m 2.258 m 2.216 m 28.3 cbm 3,200 kg 20,800 kg
40' H.C.Reefer 37'11" 7'6" 8'2" 7' 8'0" 2,344 cft 9,900 lbs 57,561 lbs
6"
11.557 m 2.294 m 2.500 m 2.294 m 2.440 m 66.6 cbm 4,500?kg 25,980 kg
20' Open Top 19'4" 7'7" 7'8" 7'6" 7'2" 1,136 cft 5,280 lbs 47,620 lbs
5.894 m 2.311 m 2.354 m 2.286 m 2.184 m 32.2 cbm 2,400 kg 21,600 kg
40'Open Top 39'5" 7'8" 7'8" 7'8" 7'5" 2,350 cft 8,490 lbs 58,710 lbs
12.038 m 2.350 m 2.345 m 2.341 m 2.274 m 65.5 cbm 3,850 kg 26,630 kg
20' Flat Rack 18'5" 7'3" 7'4" - - - 5,578 lbs 47,333 lbs
5.620 m 2.200 m 2.233 m - - - 2,530 kg 21,470 kg
40'Flat Rack 39'7" 6'10" 6'5" - - - 12,081lbs 85,800 lbs
12.08 2.438 m 2.103 m - - - 5,800 kg 39,000 kg
 

Gooseneck Tunnel on 40' Containers

All 40’ containers are fitted with a Gooseneck tunnel to enable the transport on Gooseneck chassis.

 

Timber Treatment

Exposed timber is treated according to Australian requirements (exceptions: 40' flats and platforms).

 
Electric Plugs

The following are electric plug configurations for refrigerated containers.

  • Depending on power sources refrigerated containers are equipped with 1 or 2 plugs
    380V/50Hz to 460V/60Hz (32 A),
    200V/50Hz to 220V/60Hz (60A).
  • There are fixed cables with a length of 15 m (49 ft).
  • Couplings for adapters are available.
  • Adapters are subject to corresponding safety regulations.
    380/460 V plugs
  • 4 poles according to CEE.
  • According to ISO 1496-2 annex M.
  • Earth contact in 3rd position according to socket.
    200/220 V plugs
  • 4 poles
  • According to ISO 1496-2 annex O.
  • Position of earth contact according to illustration.