what to know when buying a shipping container
Container dimensions by type
Shipping containers and storage containers can come in a range of sizes, 20ft and 40ft shipping containers are the most common container lengths (externally) and 8ft in width as standard. Commonly the height of a container will be 8ft 6” and a high cube will have an additional foot to be 9ft 6”. Our variety of small new build containers are ideal for small areas and tight corners and a solution if you are restricted of space.
The sides of a container in nearly all cases, is corrugated. The depth of the corrugation is usually 1 inch (25mm), which means that 2 inches (50mm) is lost from the external width dimension (1 inch each side). The back (blank end) is also corrugated and the doors are around 2 inches (50mm) thick meaning that approximately 3 inches (75mm) is lost from the length.
The main reduction from external to internal dimensions is with height. The floor of a standard container has an underside clearance of approximately 6 inches (150mm) and the floor has a thickness of 27mm (1.1 inches). As the roof is corrugated another 1 inch (25mm) is lost resulting in an internal dimension of around 8 inches less than external – 7ft 10 inches (2.39m), though this can vary slightly either way depending on the floor thickness and construction method used.
Though the door height is additionally reduced because of the steel top rail above the door, this is a part of the structural integrity of the container, typically it’s 4 inches (100mm) thus reducing the entrance height to 7ft 6ins (2.28m), though this can vary slightly either way.
There are three relevant weights, the Tare weight, the Gross weight, and the Payload. These are painted onto the outside of the container doors when it is in service or before it has been repainted for another application.
The container Tare weight is the weight of the container without cargo or contents.
The container Gross weight is the weight of the container plus the maximum Payload it can hold i.e. the maximum total weight of the container.
The Payload (or Net weight) is the weight of the cargo or contents that a container can hold.
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