One of the most crucial aspects when planning container shipments is optimizing the load.
To achieve this, you need to consider factors such as container size, special characteristics, the type of cargo it can hold, and, of course, the weight of each item intended to be placed inside.

Conducting a thorough study in this regard is essential to maximize space and minimize transportation costs. That’s why at Boxxport, we’ve compiled the best tips for calculating container loading.

What is container loading

Container load is a term widely used in the transportation industry to describe the process of filling a maritime container with goods for shipping. It plays a crucial role in the global supply chain and is vital for the world economy.

Loading a container involves more than just placing objects inside it. It requires careful planning and various calculations to optimize space and ensure the safe arrival of goods at their destination.

The container loading weight is a crucial factor to consider. Each container has a maximum weight it can carry, known as the “maximum gross weight”. Exceeding this weight limit can lead to overloading, which increases the damaging of the container and its contents, endangering other cargo and transportation personnel.

When calculating container load, it’s also important to consider the type of goods being transported. Certain cargoes may require specialized containers, such as refrigerated containers for perishable products or containers with special linings for chemicals.

Steps to Calculate Your Container Load

Calculating the load of a maritime container involves a series of steps that must be carefully followed to ensure proper and secure loading:

  1. Container Identification: The first step is to identify the type and size of the container you plan to load. This is crucial because each container type has a different load capacity.
  2. Container Measurement: Determine the total volume of the container by multiplying its length, width, and height.
  1. Evaluation of Unused Space: Measure any sections of the container that won’t contain cargo. These areas may include empty spaces or areas reserved for access and circulation. Calculate the volume of these areas and subtract it from the total container volume to determine the available volume for loading.
  1. Determination of Cargo Weight: Estimate the weight of the cargo that will be placed in the container. This may involve weighing individual items or using information provided by the manufacturer or supplier.
  1. Calculation of Container Load: Divide the available volume of the container by the weight of the cargo to determine the maximum load capacity of the container.

What problems can occur when calculating your container cargo and how to avoid them?

Calculating the load of a container can present several challenges. Here are some of the most common ones and how to overcome them:


As mentioned earlier, overloading a container can cause damage and be dangerous. It’s crucial to use a reliable online container loading calculator to ensure you don’t exceed the maximum weight capacity of the container

Incorrect Weight Distribution

The weight of the load should be evenly distributed within the container. Uneven weight distribution can make the container unstable during transportation, leading to damage to the cargo and the container.

Unsuitable Goods

Not all goods are suitable for transport in containers. Some items may require special conditions, such as controlled temperature or ventilation. Make sure that the goods you load are appropriate for container transportation.

Measurement Errors

Errors in measuring the container or the load can result in incorrect load calculations. Use precise measuring instruments and double-check your measurements. If renting a container, request measurements from the provider.
To avoid these problems, it’s crucial to plan ahead, use the right tools – such as a sea container loading calculator – and follow industry regulations and guidelines.

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Container Size: Simplifying Container Load with the Right Box

Choosing the correct container size can significantly streamline the loading process.
Remember that containers come in different sizes, each offering specific advantages and load capacities.

The most common container sizes are 20 and 40 feet. A 20-foot container has a volume of approximately 33 cubic meters, while a 40-foot container has a volume of approximately 67 cubic meters. However, the container size you’ll need depends largely on the volume and weight of your cargo.

If the cargo is bulky but light, you may require a larger container. However, if the cargo is heavy, consider the maximum load capacity of the container. Even if the cargo fits in a 20-foot container, you may need a 40-foot container to handle the weight.

Moreover, if you’re transporting goods that require special conditions, such as perishable or chemical products, you’ll need a specialized container, such as a refrigerated container or a container with stainless steel lining.

👉 Find out more: The ultimate guide to handle dangerous cargo shipment safely

Buy a Container for Your Load with Boxxport

At BOXXPORT, we understand that choosing the right container is crucial for the success of your transportation operations.

That’s why we offer an innovative platform where you can find a wide variety of high-quality containers to meet your needs, from 20- and 40-foot containers to specialized containers for specific cargo.

Our team of experts is available to assist you in calculating your container load and selecting the container that best suits your requirements. With the help of our advanced container loading calculator, we can provide accurate load calculations and offer valuable insights into finding the ideal container. Discover the most competitive prices and experience a seamless, transparent acquisition process with us.

With BOXXPORT you can be confident that you’re getting the best container for your load. And remember, the right container not only simplifies the loading process but also helps prevent issues during transportation, ensuring the safe and efficient arrival of your goods. Buy your shipping container here!