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Freight Basics - Shipping Container Specifications

Posted on 14 May 2015

If you have a lot more freight to send than you ever have before – great!  Business is booming!  You’ve moved from LCL (less than container load) to FCL (full container load) freight.  

You might be wondering what size container to use?  Are there different types of shipping containers?

There are many different sizes and types of shipping container.  When shipping cargo it is helpful to know what type of shipping container will best suit your needs.  Often the dimensions and maximum weight will impact on what type of equipment can be used.

The following guide shows the different types of shipping containers that can be used as a starting point for determining your shipping requirements.
 
Note:  Exact dimensions can differ slightly due to manufacturer, and load regulations may restrict operation to less than maximum weight. Use this information as a guide only, and contact your local Mainfreight Air and Ocean office for further information.

  Container Type Internal Dimensions Door Opening Cubic Capacity Cargo Weight
20FT General Container 20FT General

L - 5.89M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.36M

W - 2.33M

H - 2.26M

33 CBM 21700KG
20FT High Cube

L - 5.89M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.69M

W - 2.33M

H - 2.59M

37 CBM 21700KG
40FT General Container  40FT General

L - 12.05M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.36M

W - 2.33M

H - 2.26M

66 CBM   26500KGS
 40FT High Cube

L - 12.05M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.69M

 W - 2.33M

H - 2.59M

 76 CBM  26500KGS

Notes

Heavy Rated shipping containers which support a heavier load are available, additional surcharges may apply

Food Grade shipping containers for carrying foodstuffs are available, additional surcharges may apply

A 20FT High Cube shipping containers (higher height that standard) are only available for designated origin/destination pairings 

Additional charges may apply for High Cube containers 

 

  Container Type Internal Dimensions Door Opening Cubic Capacity Cargo Weight
Flatrack Containers

20FT Flat Rack

with sides

L - 5.89M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.23M

Side Opening

W - 2.59M

30 CBM 26500KG

20FT Flat Rack

without sides

L - 6.00M

W - 2.35M

H - 0.23M

 

33 CBM

(Max Height 2.36M)

23500KG

 40FT Flat Rack

with sides

L - 12.05M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.23M

Side Opening

W - 11.66M

63 CBM   36000KGS

 40FT Flat Rack

without sides

L - 12.20M

W - 2.35M

H - 0.65M

 

67 CBM

(Max Height 2.36M)

 3000KGS

Notes

This shipping container is used for over-dimensional (out of gauge) cargo. It is available with or without sides 

Survey reports may be required when shipping out of gauge cargo 

If out of gauge additional surcharges will apply

Flat Rack containers are subject to availbility and additional surcharges will apply

 

  Container Type Internal Dimensions Door Opening Cubic Capacity Cargo Weight
Open Top Container

 

20FT Open Top

L - 5.89M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.36M

W - 2.33M

H - 2.29M

32 CBM 21700KG

40FT Open Top

L - 12.05M

W - 2.35M

H - 2.36M

 W - 2.33M

H - 2.29M

66 CBM

26500KG

Notes

Open top containers allow you to load over height cargo or allows easier loading by crane

If out of gauge additional surcharges will apply

Open Top containers are subject to availbility and additional surcharges will apply 

 

  Container Type Internal Dimensions Door Opening Cubic Capacity Cargo Weight
Reefer Container

 

20FT Reefer

L - 5.44M

W - 2.26M

H - 2.24M

W - 2.26M

H - 2.20M

27 CBM 21700KG

40FT Reefer

L - 11.55M

W - 2.26M

H - 2.24M

 W - 2.26M

H - 2.20M

58 CBM

25000KG

Notes

Refrigerated shipping containers can be set at a required temperature for the duration of the voyage 

Commonly used for food/dairy products

The smaller dimensions are due to thicker walls

Reefer containers are subject to availbility and additional surchrges will apply

 

In New Zealand there is a general 30 tonne road weight limit for containers and their cargo combined (i.e. gross weight) If gross weight will exceed this amount, approval and additional permits may be required.

If you have any further questions or you have cargo you would like to ship contact your local Mainfreight Air & Ocean Team 

 

 

 

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