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Dimensions Of A 40 Foot Container

Published on 2022-08-22

Dimensions Of A 40 Foot Container
Dimensions Of A 40 Foot Container

40 foot containers are the largest size of container which is best for shipping. The shipping containers come in a standard high cube height, giving the customer space, a great way to move items, and portability. Also known as an FEU, a 40-foot container is equivalent to two TEUs. A TEU simply refers to a twenty-foot equivalent unit, while an FEU stands for a forty-foot equivalent unit. These acronyms describe the size of the shipping container and are used as standardized measurements for the volume of goods being transported. For instance, if you are shipping four 20-foot containers and one 40-foot container, you are essentially shipping six TEU or three FEU.

The dimensions of a 40-foot shipping container are generally measured using the imperial system (feet). Though we’ve also included the metric measurements for reference.

  • Interior Dimensions (feet): 39’ 6” long x 7’ 9” wide x 7’ 10” high
  • Exterior Dimensions (feet): 40’ long x 8’ wide x 8’ 6” high
  • Interior Dimensions (meters): 12.025 m long x 2.352 m wide x 2.393 m high
  • Exterior Dimensions (meters): 12.19 m long x 2.44 m wide x 2.59 m high
  • Doors: 7’8″ tall x 7’5″ wide
  • Usable Capacity: 67.7 cubic meters, or around 2,300 cubic feet.

If your goal is to import as much as you can, you may want to consider the dimension of a 40 foot container. The only difference between a standard 40-foot container and a 40-foot High Cube is the additional 27cm in height. Internally, these containers are 2.65 meters high, adding a total extra volume of 9 cubic meters. While this doesn’t seem like much, it often allows importers to add an entire extra row of goods to the container. 

How Many Boxes Can Fit In A 40 Feet Container Size?

The first step of an overseas relocation is to determine what type of shipping container you will need to ship your household goods to your new country. Aside from the standard 20-foot container, or “dry van,” the 40-foot container is another popular choice for international relocations because of its increased size and capacity. Though, you may be wondering: “How many boxes can fit in a 40 feet container size ?

A 40-foot container can hold an average of 22 standard pallets, unstacked. So, if a standard pallet fits around 60 boxes, the dimensions of a 40-foot shipping container can fit approximately 1,320 boxes. Though, this number will vary if you use Euro pallets, as they are much smaller than standard pallets. 

What Is The Maximum Weight For A 40 Foot Container?

The empty weight of a 40-foot container is 3,750kg and their maximum weight is 26,300kg or 29 tons. Though, the maximum load for a 40-foot container will largely depend on the restrictions in place by the shipping line and the capacities of the cranes at the origin port. There are some ports that won’t allow containers that exceed 14,000kg to 18,000kg. Make sure that you check with your shipping company so that you can avoid a ‘heavy weight surcharge.’ 

While dimensions and weight restrictions are important to be aware of, the real question is: what can you actually fit inside of a 40-foot container?

What Fits Into the Dimensions of A 40 Foot Shipping Container?

Overall, a 40-foot container gives you a substantial amount of storage space. When you factor in the dimensions outlined above, it’s reasonable to assume that you can fit the contents of a three- to four-bedroom home inside of a 40 feet container size. Though, it’s important to keep in mind that your irregularly shaped goods and furniture items are going to take up much more space than moving boxes of equal sizes. 

From a different perspective, a 40-foot shipping container can house three or four cars or roughly 400 mattresses. The average number of pallets that you can fit our 22 and since a standard pallet fits approximately 60 boxes, a 40-foot container will approximately 1,320 boxes. That’s a lot of space! 

However, what is actually going to fit inside of your container ultimately depends on how well the items are organized inside. So, smart and strategic packing is crucial. If you plan carefully you should have no trouble packing your container to 90% capacity. Though, you should always estimate less and leave extra room for errors. 

How to Load In The Dimensions Of A 40 Foot Container?

Fortunately, most, if not all, shipping companies will offer to handle the loading and packing of your 40-foot container for you. Though, if you’ve chosen to do the packing yourself, you’re may need a little guidance. Consider the following tips when loading a 40-foot shipping container:

  1. Plan ahead how you’re going to load the container in such a way that maximizes the space. Then, arrange your goods inside your home in the order that they will go into the container. This will save you a lot of time, effort, and stress on loading day. 
  2. Disassemble items that can be re-assembled easily at your final destination and pack them carefully in moving boxes. 
  3. Place lighter items on top of heavier items. While this may be a no-brainer, you want to avoid the lighter items getting crushed by heavier pieces. This also helps to keep the base of your container stable during transport.
  4. Use pallets! This may be one of the most important tips we can give you. Packing your boxes, furniture, and goods atop standardized platforms is incredibly beneficial to the loading and unloading process. Not only are pallets easier to maneuver, but breaking up the space inside your container into smaller platforms can simplify measuring and planning out how you’re going to use the internal space. 
  5. Consider the container’s doors. The doors that your container has on them will directly impact how you load your goods. If the container only has one set of cargo doors, make sure that you don’t need access to anything in the back of the container immediately. Side-open doors will give you access to the contents along the length of the container and double-door containers offer access on both ends. 
  6. Be generous with bubble wrap, newspaper, and other essential packing materials to ensure the protection of your items. You can also make good use of towels, rugs, blankets, and linens. 

A 40-foot container is ideal for temporary storage, your family’s big overseas relocation, or for companies that need to move a large volume of products or materials from one place to another. Understanding how much a 40-foot container can fit and making good use of the internal space will help ensure the protection of your items and that you’re getting your money’s worth. 

40-Foot Shipping Container Movers

Not only will the 40-foot shipping container movers from Three Movers transport containers around your own property, we also provide shipping container pick-up and delivery services across the globe. Whether you want to have your own shipping container transported, or you need a container to temporarily store your belongings for an upcoming move, we’ve got you covered! 

In need of the dimensions of a 40-foot container or a 40-foot shipping container mover? Look no further than Three Movers! Give us a call today or fill out our convenient online request form to receive your free, no-obligation moving quote and we’ll show you how simple it can be to transport these massive containers anywhere in the world! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do If I Need To Move A 40-Foot Empty Container?

We can assist with moving a shipping container, even if it is empty, if you have one or more empty containers arriving for you from abroad; or if you need to relocate it from one area of the US to another. Any type of container can be moved with the help of our shipping container movers.

How Should I Pack a 40-Foot Container?

Following these guidelines will help you safely and securely pack your 40-foot shipping container once you’ve chosen a loading strategy: Plan ahead, Disassable items, Be prepared, Make use of pallets, Wrap everything tightly, Pack heavier things on the bottom, and lighter things on top, Be mindful of the doors, Place the boxes you’ll need immediately close to the doors, and Pack the goods tightly inside the container.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at Chris@threemovers.com

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