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40-Foot high cube container [Updated: Apr 2022]

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Updated on 15 Mar 20224 min read

Measurements of the 40-foot high cube container

A 40-foot high cube container has overall dimensions of 20 ft x 8 ft x 8.2 ft (length x height x width). To put it in perspective, a 40-foot long truck is 52" wide, while a 40-foot high cube container is 83". This means that a vehicle can easily fit through a standard opening which would be tight for any normal size cargo van. If you are utilizing transit mixers, they are 24'3" tall by 7'6" wide.

If purchasing new, the price for a 40-foot high cube container can vary from around $1,100 to as much as $10,000.

How many pallets can fit into a 40-foot high cube container?

The capacity of a container is normally expressed in the twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) and is commonly used as a standard measure. One TEU is equivalent to 1 20-foot long, 8 feet wide, 8.5 high standard international shipping containers or 2 TEUs are equivalent to 40-foot freight. This means that you can store 40 TEU's into a 40' Hc container, which results in 160 pallets!

This only works if the racks are 4' wide inside the container though. The number might decrease slightly depending on seasonable factors such as temperature variation etc. The reason for this phenomenon is that the volume of the empty space inside an intermodal container depends on its "cube". That is to say that the volume of the container increases exponentially with its length. Considering this, it's easy to see why a 40' high cube container has over three times more capacity than an equivalent-sized open-top flat rack.

Character next to pallets wandering how many pallets fit in a 40-foot high cube container when shipping with Shipa Freight

How do I know if my pallets will fit into a 40-foot high cube container?

The best way to know for sure is to measure your pallets and make sure they are 4ft wide before considering whether or not they will fit into the container space. Make sure you remember all your measurements because these are dead-on measurements!

Maximum load for a 40-foot high cube container

In reference to pallet loads, the ISO standard states that a maximum load of 750 kg/1,650 lbs can be loaded onto each 40-foot high cube container. This is regardless of the size or weight of the goods within the container. It also doesn't matter whether you're dealing with semi-trailers, flat racks, or any other type of intermodal containers for that matter because they all have this same capacity limit.

The gross weight capacity is 11,300 kg or 24,000 lbs. These are still subject to their own rules and regulations which vary according to where you'll need your freight shipped so it's best if you study up on those details before making your purchase.

Different countries will have different rules with regard to weight limits per container. If you don't check and abide by these limits, you can incur extra charges or will need to rent a second container to break the load into two parts. These issues can be avoided by simply doing your due diligence and checking the weight limits between ports.

Uses of the 40-foot high cube container

The 40-foot high cube container is used almost exclusively in shipping ocean freight or transporting goods via trucking companies. It has become one of the most necessary pieces within supply chains across America since it offers more cubic volume than any other common container, and also because you can fit longer items inside of it.

The best way to explain the purpose of a 40-foot high cube container is via an example: If you were transporting pool supplies such as pumps and filters, pool liners that are very long when laid out flat, or trimming trees that would not fit in a standard 53' trailer, the 40-foot high cube container will be able to facilitate these kinds of cargo much more easily than any other kind of standard-sized intermodal shipping container.

40 foot high cube container being lifted to to be placed on a ship to represent the maximum load when shipping contaienrs with Shipa Freight

Benefits of utilizing a 40-foot high cube container

Most obviously, you get a lot more cubic feet within a 40' HCC vs a 20' or an 8' one. More cubic feet means you can fit more cargo within the same square footage of space allocated for haulage. A 40' HCC will allow you to transport roughly twice as much cargo versus a 20' or an 8'.

Most businesses and companies do not own their own fleet of trucks and must rely upon third-party carriers. These trucking companies usually charge by weight or by volume. When utilizing a 40-foot high cube container you get double the benefits of what would be transported in a 20-foot container, while paying the exact same price per unit on average (depending on your location). This can add up quickly when moving large, heavy items such as machinery or equipment that cannot easily remain upright without assistance.

Most importantly, a 40-foot high cube container is incredibly versatile and can be used for other things besides shipping.