The magic of containers is that they are standardized like Lego bricks. In this way they can be stacked easily on top of each other and be transfered seamlessly between road, rail, and sea. All the ships, trucks, and cranes are designed to handle these globally standardized units.
The advantage is that, as a buyer of a new or used container, you can count on the dimensions to be within the clearly defined ISO standard specifications. This is very useful when you are trying to decide how much storage you need for your project, or what dimension to input if you are converting the container into e.g. a summer house or other alternative structures.
Below we have listed the standard specifications for most common container sizes, namely the 20ft and 40ft standard containers as well as the 40ft and 45ft “high cube” containers.
Knowing the dimensions make it relatively easy to figure out how much you can actually store in a container. A rule of thumb is that a standard 20ft container can hold 11-12 “euro pallets” of goods while a 40ft container has enough space for 24-25 pallets. This roughly equates to the following items:
Movehub.com has made a great guide to how to load a 20ft container, which should give you a great idea of how much space is actually available in a "20-footer": movehub.com/advice/loading-20-foot-shipping-container
If you want to see how this is done in practice, this time-lapse video of stocking a 20ft containers also illustrates very well how much you can actually store: Link
If you need more detailed calculations, you will also need to consider the weight as well as volume.
This means that you can ship or store more than double the volume in a 40ft container, but carry slightly more weight in a 20ft container.
There are various free tools online to calculate how many units will fit into your container. One example is www.cbmcalculator.com
We hope you found this guide useful, we look forward to help you in selecting the container size and type that is right for your need. When you are ready, head to www.boxhub.com and find the right container at the best price, delivered straight to where you need it.