Shipping Container Dimensions

A typical ISO shipping container is made from Cor-ten steel also known as  “weathering steel”. Cor-ten steel is a corrosion resistant steel that is used within many industries where exposed steel is in harsh conditions.

  1. Steel corrugated sheet sidewalls, roof, and back panel
  2. Purin reinforced 1-⅛” Marine Plywood Floors
  3. All-welded-steel, continuously
  4. Floor structure is 6” steel cross members

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Container Dimensions

10 ft Collapsible (8’6″ x 8′ x 10′)

10 foot Shipping Container

Weight 2200lbs

Interior Dimensions:

Length: 9′ 4″
Width: 7′ 8-⅛”
Height: 7′ 9-⅝”

Door Opening:

Width: 7’ 8-½”
Height: 7’ 5-¾”

20 ft Standard Dry (8’6″ x 8′ x 20′)

20 ft Standard Container Measurements

Weight: 4500lbs
Max Gross Weight: 66,139lbs

Interior Dimensions:

Length: 19′ 5″
Width: 7′ 8-⅛”
Height: 7′ 9-⅝”

Door Opening:

Width: 7’ 8-½”
Height: 7’ 5-¾”

40 ft Standard Dry (8’6″ x 8′ x 40′)

40 ft Standard Container Measurements

Weight: 8500lbs
Max Gross Weight: 66,139lbs

Interior Dimensions:

Length: 39′ ⅜”
Width: 7′ 8-⅛”
Height: 7′ 9-⅝”

Door Opening:

Width: 7’ 8-½”
Height: 7’ 5-¾”

40 ft High Cube (9’6″ x 8′ x 40′)

40 ft High Cube Container Measurements

Weight: 8750 lbs
Max Gross Weight: 68,008lb

Interior Dimensions:

Length: 39′ 4”
Width: 7′ 7”
Height: 8′ 9″

Door Opening:

Width: 7’ 8″‘
Height: 8’ 5”

53 ft High Cube (9’6″ x 8’6″ x 53′)

53 foot Shipping Container


Weight: 12,500 lbs
Max Gross Weight: 67,200lb

Interior Dimensions:

Length: 52′ 6″
Width: 8′ 2”
Height: 8′ 11”

Door Opening:

Width: 8’ 2”
Height: 8’ 10”

Shipping containers, whilst appearing to just be a hunk of steel on the outside, are actually one of the world’s most versatile storage solutions. They’re used for freight to cross the seas day in and day out, but many people don’t realize that you can actually buy them (very easily) from the internet for your own personal use.

Shipping containers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, meaning there’s a perfect shipping container match for you out there somewhere.


Shipping containers are essentially steel boxes that are made initially to be incredibly secure- i.e., let in no water, wind, residue, damp, etc. They are probably the sturdiest non-built storage option out there. You’re probably familiar with shipping containers given that they’re highly visible- they make up a large majority of all overseas trade, and are traditionally stacked in shipping ports.

In this context, shipping containers give away their primary function in their name- they ship things! They’re the favorite choice for businesses that need to transport cargo internationally for trade. That’s largely down to their sturdiness and reliability, as well as the fact it’s much cheaper to ship cargo this way than to send it via air travel.

In the cargo shipping industry, they’re often referred to by a multitude of different names. ‘Conex box’, ‘ISO box’, ‘ship container’- the list goes on. Each of these terms is completely fine to use as they are all interchangeable.

The only difference between shipping containers that are used for cargo shipping and  those that are used as storage solutions on-land is that cargo containers must adhere to a set of standards outlined by the International Organization for Standardization regarding their size and stability. They must receive a certificate that rules them as cargo worthy in order to legally be used as cargo shipping containers.

Many of the shipping containers you see being used as storage on land are often second-hand containers that were formerly used for shipping cargo, but are no longer suitable for traveling across the seas. In this sense, their condition is usually slightly worse than those containers in shipping jobs, but they’re still in a good enough condition to be used for storage or other on-land purposes.

How are shipping containers used on land?

As touched on previously, shipping containers these days are used for a vast array of on-land ventures.

Home Storage

Looking for a garden shed but just can’t quite get something big enough within your budget? Or are you someone with a lot of cars or bikes that need more space for storage than the average home garage? The humble shipping container could be the answer to your prayers.

In recent years, due to the increasing amount of used shipping containers that are now being sold online due to their not being fit for cargo anymore, there has been a huge rise in the number of people purchasing shipping containers for personal home storage solutions.

Buying a shipping container for this purpose has many benefits. It’s cheaper than investing in a garage extension, and 9 times out of 10, they’re bigger than any garden shed you could buy. Even if they’re no longer worthy as a cargo container for shipping, they’re still incredibly protective against the elements, and are always wind and water tight. That means you can rest assured knowing that your possessions are safe and sound in a shipping container.

Purchasing a shipping container for home storage purposes is also, oftentimes, much easier in trying to gain planning/property permission than it is to build an extension on a home or garage. Doing so usually takes a lot of time and effort- a shipping container is a quick and easy fix to this arduous wait.

Commercial Purposes

Many businesses have taken to using shipping containers in a variety of ways in the past few years. Not only is the concept of the shipping container office really taking off, but businesses are also starting to realize that shipping containers offer a fantastic storage solution for them.

Similarly to using a shipping container for home storage, ship containers provide storage for businesses who don’t want, or can’t afford, to fork out for the building or rental of traditional business storage  such as warehouses. It allows businesses to start out small with their storage and get bigger over time as their business grows; the bigger your business grows, the more storage you need, and you can simply add more shipping containers to your inventory.

In terms of commercial purposes for shipping containers beyond storage, many businesses have now begun operating out of the containers themselves. They can easily be renovated into offices, food trucks, venues- you name it, and we’ll bet there’s a commercial shipping container structure out there operating as one!


Given the wind and water tight nature of shipping containers, they’re perfect for growing food in. Many people have taken to growing hydroponics in shipping containers, particularly in harsh climates where growing crops is traditionally hard.

This opens up a fantastic avenue for those looking to grow food for commercial purposes, such as restaurant owners, but who are perhaps located in the inner cities or suburbs where there are no green spaces to grow food. It also offers a whole new opportunity in the community gardening field, as efforts could be far more successful in a space where the plants are not affected by the cold or windy climate.

Outdoor Recreation

One often overlooked use for standard shipping containers is for outdoor recreation. We’re talking about hunting cabins, ‘survivalist’ type camps,  equestrian storage etc.

Storage containers are relatively cheap- usually much cheaper than building or continually renting something like a hunting cabin. A shipping container offers a cheap alternative, and one that can easily be customized by you to suit your needs.

The only thing to bear in mind when using a shipping container for outdoor recreation purposes is that you will likely have to gain some kind of formal permission from whoever owns the land to keep a shipping container there.


Shipping containers come in many different sizes, and these often depend on the container type. At Container One, we only sell three sizes of container: 10 foot, 20 ft, and 40 ft. ‘Foot’ refers to the length of the container.

10 Ft Shipping Container Dimensions

10 foot standard shipping containers have a length of 10 feet, a height of 8’6″, and a width of 8 feet. Container One is proud to be the only company currently offering a collapsible version of the 10 foot shipping container, a container that is perfect for people who want a highly portable container or have varying storage needs month to month.

10 foot shipping containers have a weight of around 2,200 lbs. On the interior, they have the shipping container dimensions of 9’4 feet long, a width of 7’8-1/8″, and a height of 7’9-5/8″. The door opening is 7’8.5″ wide and 7’5.75″ tall.

20 Ft Shipping Container Dimensions

20 foot shipping containers have a length of 20 feet, a height of 8’6″, and a width of 8 feet. This is unless you buy a high cube 20 ft container, which has the same dimensions apart from having a height of 9’6″. Internally, their dimensions are 19’5″ long, 7’8″ wide, and 7’9″ high. Their gross weight is 4,500 lbs. The door opening is 7’8.5″ wide and 7’5.75″ tall.

20 ft containers are probably some of the most common shipping containers out there. They’re also a great option for living spaces and offices, as they provide a higher ceiling which makes the structure feel less small.

40 ft Shipping Container Dimensions

40 ft shipping containers are also incredible, and are most often used as freight shipping containers for big businesses trading overseas. The shipping container dimensions for a 40 ft container are 40 ft long, 8’6″ high (or 9’6″ for a 40ft high cube container), and 8 feet wide. Internally, these dimensions are 39″ long, 7’8″ wide, and 7’9″ high. They have a gross weight of 8,500 lbs. The door opening is 7’8.5″ wide and 7’5.75″ tall.

40 ft High Cube Container

High cube containers in the 40 ft size are especially popular with those using it for storage, as it effortlessly adds more storage space without taking up more room on the ground.

Should I buy standard containers or a high cube shipping container?

The answer to this question really lies in your usage of the container itself. If you’re looking to use high cube container for storage that can be stacked high, or you want the height of a high cube shipping container for a home or office storage, then it definitely makes sense to invest just that little bit more for the sake of adding another foot of storage space.

If you’re using the shipping container for something less tall such as cars, bikes, or hunting equipment, then it likely doesn’t make much sense to invest in a high cube shipping container.

Shipping container dimensions are fairly simple to understand as the only thing that really changes is the length of the shipping container, or the height if you’re looking into high cube containers.

Things to Consider

There are other things to consider besides whether or not to buy a high cube shipping container. Be wary of the weight of the container, particularly if opting for a high cube shipping container, as this might determine how portable the container is in the future. If you need something highly moveable, perhaps opt for more, smaller containers that can easily be transported by semi. If that’s not an issue for you, and your shipping container will remain static, then the height will probably bear more weight on your decision than the height.

If you’re using the containers for shipping overseas, ensure that the dimensions fit the criteria of the ISO’s outlined height and weight, otherwise you run the risk of not being able to use your shipping container.

Consider the door opening and how close it will be to other buildings/structures around.


Shipping container prices naturally depend upon the condition and dimensions of the container in question. A used 20 ft container averages at around $2100, while a new one is around $3500. For the 40 ft containers, they cost around $2500 used and $5000 new. At Container One we offer a variety of conditions, ranging from Wind and Water Tight all the way up to 1 trip.


So you might be asking, what sets Maine Distributors above others in the shipping container industry? Besides being the only company to offer a collapsible 10 ft shipping container, we also feature free shipping on all of our container sales (including 40 ft high cube) and a 5-year structural guarantee which includes a 1-year no-leak guarantee. Having been in the game for 28 years, we know exactly what we’re talking about when it comes to shipping container dimensions and sales. Put your zip code into our website today to find the best shipping containers in your area.