Standard Containers

Standard Containers

The 20 foot standard container is also known as 20 foot general purpose or 20 ft dry van. It is the standard unit that container ships are measured by, the vessel will be described as having a capacity in TEUs or twenty foot equivalent units.

The largest vessel currently on order will have a 19000 teu capacity.

As a general purpose container it can carry a wide range of products from high value cars, electronics, foodstuffs and personal household removals.

Internal Dimensions of a 20ft Container:

The internal dimensions vary slightly from container to container, but are approximately

Length: 5.90m x Width: 2.35m x Height: 2.39m

The door opening is: Width: 2.34m x Height: 2.28m


40 foot standard containers are also known as 40 foot general purpose or 40 ft dry vans.

Some charges are traditionally quoted per teu or twenty foot equivalent unit so they must be doubled for a 40 foot container. Like 20 ft standard containers they are used to carry a wide range of products and are regularly used for groupage or consolidated services, as they are more cost effective than shipping 2 x 20 foot containers.

Advantages: They are usually available as they are the most widely used containers. They are cost effective when shipping large consignments. They are secure and will keep cargo dry.

Disadvantages: 40ft containers are not accepted at all container ports in the world. They can get hot inside during the summer months so are not suitable for perishable goods.

Standard Shipping Container Specifications