Are you unsure whether to buy a 20ft or 40ft shipping container or how to put up 20ft and 40ft shipping containers for sale? Well, you are not alone. Many more are sailing in the same boat of perplexity. As the global container market is brimming with a multitude of options, thus, when it comes to purchasing shipping containers for one’s business, it becomes quite imperative to choose the best pick. To do so, the right set of relevant information and data is of paramount importance. It is quintessential to know what are the different types of containers available in the market and how to choose the best-suited one.

Around millions of commodities are shipped all over the world on a day-to-day basis. The shipping industry is the indispensable means to keep up with the incessant demands of the people. As a result, there has to be a balance between the global demand and supply chain. Shipping containers supply the kind of demand in which they ship different types, shapes, and sizes of commodities. There are about a hundred varieties of containers that are slightly adjusted from the original set of reference containers to make them suitable for particular needs.

The 20ft and 40ft shipping containers are the most commonly used and universally used standard shipping containers. A set of standard measurements is used as a reference for these containers- The twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) for 20ft containers and the Forty-foot Equivalent Unit (FEU) for 40ft containers. In addition, there are many modified kinds of containers, for example high cube, pallet wide, double door containers, single door containers, flat racks, reefers, bulkers, etc. They also come in different sizes apart from 20ft and 40ft, for instance, 8ft, 10ft, 53ft, etc. to name a few.

20ft and 40ft shipping containers for sale

20ft and 40ft shipping containers are the go-to containers for all kinds of goods and freight to be shipped. These are by far the most common type of shipping container dimensions that the freight forwarders use as they are quite suitable for the shipment of cargoes requiring minimal protection. Moreover, these shipping containers are completely enclosed and weatherproof. These cargo containers are made up of aluminum or steel. Both, the steel containers and aluminum containers are usable for the same kind of cargo. Aluminum’s greatest advantage over steel is that it is corrosion resistant without any further treatment, but it is also more costly than a shipping box made of steel.

Load capacity of 20ft and 40ft containers

We will understand this in terms of different sizes of euro pallets. Few standard sizes of euro pallets and their quantity that can be accommodated in the two different types of containers are mentioned below:

The number of euro pallets can be adjusted in the standard containers. 

Euro Pallets Size of pallets 20ft container 40ft container
EU pallet 1.2 m×0.8 m 11 23-24
EUR2 pallet 1.2 m×1 m 10-11 20-21
North American standard pallet 1.016 m×1.219 m 10 20

20ft shipping containers

Dimensions of a 20-foot shipping container

Features 20ft Standard 20ft High Cube
External Length 20 ft 20 ft
External Width 8 ft 8 ft
External Height 8 ft 6” 8 ft 6”
Internal Length 19 ft 8” 19 ft 8”
Internal Width 7 ft 8” 7 ft 8”
Internal Height 7 ft 10” 8 ft 10”
Floor Space 160 sq. ft. 160sq. ft.
Weight 4800 lbs 5100 lbs
Advantages of a 20ft shipping container
  • Firstly, these are the most commonly used and the most preferred shipping boxes as they are small enough to fit in compact spaces and large enough to carry sufficient goods in one trip.
  • Secondly, when you need to transport a less than container load (LCL), it seems like the right choice to pick a 20ft container as the cargo won’t fit in a 40ft container.
  • They are easily stacked on the vessel in turn making them cheaper to ship.
  • These are quite popular as they are portable and relocation is easier to quickly adapt to your site requirements.

We, at BOXXPORT, help you in choosing the right box for you, contact us and tell us about your budget, desired timeline, and extra considerations altogether. We will help you devise a custom-made list of options for you to find the solution that is most befitting to your requirements. Or simply browse on our container marketplace for the right box you need and purchase it with one click.

40ft shipping containers

Dimensions of a 40-foot shipping container

Features 40ft Standard 40ft High Cube
External Length 40 ft 40 ft
External Width 8 ft 8 ft
External Height 8 ft 6” 9 ft 6”
Internal Length 40 ft 40 ft
Internal Width 7 ft 8” 7 ft 8”
Internal Height 7 ft 10” 7 ft 10”
Floor Space 320 sqft 320 sqft
Weight 10400 lbs 10800 lbs
Advantages of 40ft shipping container
  • Since a 20ft container occupies half of the cargo as that of a 40ft container. But it costs nearly 75% that of a 40 ft box. Thus, purchasing a 40ft container is cost-effective.
  • If a shipment is done by rail, it may take longer to ship as 20ft boxes are moved in pairs. Thus, that makes 40ft boxes a wise choice for a faster shipment.
  • It offers better storage options as the bigger the container, the more cargo it will contain. So, a 40ft unit can be used for the storage of goods on container depots.
  • In the same vein, in the case of building temporary offices, residencies, these prove to be by far the most reliable choice.

At BOXXPORT, we help you to create the right LCL solution for you. In other words, all you’ve got to do is to place your belief in us, keep an open mind around logistics and share your viable concerns. We’ll be happy to help.

What are 40ft High Cube variants?

A 40ft High Cube container is a 40ft general purpose container with the only difference being that these cargo containers are taller by 1 foot in height. As a result, when the cargo requires a greater volume capacity, these units come to the rescue. A specific feature of these cargo units is ‘gooseneck chassis’. It is a recess in the floor at the front end that makes the container taller and enables it to lie lower. In addition, they also come in a 45ft High cube size variant.

But what makes the two types of containers- 20ft and 40ft different from each other, making it difficult for the buyer to choose? Let’s delve into a few differences to make it even easier to decide on one of them.

What are the differences between  20ft and 40ft shipping containers?

It’s not that a 20ft container is exclusively better than a 40ft container or vice versa per se. In short, it is the usage, requirements, and sturdiness of the containers that help us decide on the type of containers needed. Thus, the choice may vary according to the different needs of different customers.

Few dimensional differences between the two types of containers are mentioned below:

Differentiating features 20ft shipping container 40ft shipping container
External Length 20 ft 40 ft
Internal Length 19 ft 8” 40 ft
Floor Space 160 sq. ft 320 sq. ft.
Tare weight 5071.5 lbs 8268.8 lbs
Payload capacity 55126.9 lbs 61200 lbs
Cubic capacity 1172 cu ft 2389 cu ft

A few other differences between the two types of shipping containers are:

  • Each of these types of containers is particularly designed to carry a specific variety of cargo. For instance, a 20ft container specializes in the transportation of carrying freight that has more weight than voluminous cargo whereas a 40ft container is custom-designed in voluminous cargo.
  • A 20ft cargo container carries bulk cargo. For instance, minerals, metals, sugar, paper, cement coils, etc. On the other hand, a 40ft cargo container usually provides the means of shipment to voluminous cargo. For example, furniture, steel pipes, cotton, tobacco, paper scrap, etc.
  • To sum it up, the basic difference between the two arises as a result of underlying differences in the structural integrity, design, weight distribution, and weight to volume ratio as aforementioned in table no. 4 above.

Making the right choice 

The pursuit of making the right and the apt choice lies within the perimeter of taking into consideration of various related factors. As a result, the volume of the goods is the most important factor calling the shots in choosing the right container is the volume of the goods. So, the type of goods, the budget, desired timeline of shipment, extra careful handling of the freight in case of delicate shipment, the final cost of the units charges levied on the shipments, procurement charges, cargo taxes, etc. are the other factors responsible for determining the right pick.

Before reaching a final decision, just make sure to get enough opinions & remarks from experienced personnel after diligently and carefully weighing down all the options. In short, spending a little time researching the market might appear tedious and time-consuming in the early stages of one’s business but will undoubtedly prove to be yielding and rewarding later on. After you analyze all the pros and cons of both types of containers, decide which container type will be the best suited for you in terms of being cost-effective and fulfilling the requirements.

Where do I buy or put up 20ft and 40ft shipping containers for sale?

In conclusion, in this article, we aimed to help the consumer to understand the differences between the 20ft and 40ft containers better. Well, many container selling companies have tried to make it easier for customers to make the right choice without getting all puzzled up with the numerous options. That is to say, ours is unquestionably one of them. We strive to help our customers to the best of our ability. To sum it up, if you’re someone with zero or minimal experience, your best bet is to consult a professional. We will cover your back. As a result, it will help you save both time and money.

So, if you’ve got a boatload of freight to ship, worry not, we at BOXXPORT are here to help. All you have got to do is visit our website, register mention the details of the type of container you wish to purchase or sell, and then take advantage of our large network of buyers and sellers in order to trade containers. In case of any further queries, you may contact our customer support provider to get clarified of all your perplexities. And voila! Now you’re all ready to sail out on a hassle-free and comfortable journey.