20 Foot Shipping Container Dimensions

The standard 20 foot shipping container dimensions are 19′ 10 x 8′ 0″ x 8′ 6″. Its interior dimensions are 18′ 8 x 7′ 8 x 7′ 9. Their metric equivalents are 6.058 mx 2.438 m x 2.591 m externally. The container’s internal dimensions in the metric system are 5.710 m x 2.352 m x 2.385 m. These figures are L x W x H.


These containers are known by several names such as intermodal container, sea can, freight container, ISO container and many others.

Markings and Lengths

These 20 ft boxes are designed for securing and moving cargo. These containers are moved in an intermodal freight transport system. All of these units, regardless of length, are marked with a distinct ISO 6346 reporting mark. Although 20 footers are very common, other sizes are used. The sizes range from 8-foot (2.438 m) to 56-foot (17.07 m) lengths. There are about 17 million container variants in the market today.

What are TEUs?

TEU (20 foot equivalent units) are used to determine aggregate container capacity. A TEU is equal to 20 foot shipping container dimensions.


The doors on the standard 20’ will be at one end. Different types of material are used for its construction. The most commonly used is corrugated weathering steel. These units may be stacked if necessary. Castings are positioned at the container’s edges. This is where the twistlock fastener openings are included.

Hi-cube 20 footers are also available. Instead of the 8’ 6’ height, hi-cube units are 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 m) and 10 feet 6 inches (3.2 m) high. Pallet wide units are a couple of inches wider than the regular boxes. These types are 2440 mm wide.

Other Information

Since these containers came out in the 18th century, they have become an integral part of business and commerce. Nearly 90% of all non-bulk cargo are transported using containers. Almost 30% of these are performed in China.

In 2009 alone, over 105 million transhipments were made in China. By contrast, 24 million transhipments were done in America. Stats show that nearly 19 million containers set out for over 210 million trips in 2005. The number is likely to have increased since then.

20 foot shipping container dimensions continue to be among the most widely utilized methods for moving goods and cargo. However, the limitations in their size have led to the production of 40 ft and longer containers.

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