Shipping Container Types and Their Common Uses

Loaded shipping container

It's common knowledge that shipping containers come in different sizes, the most common being 20' and 40' containers; what many people don't think about is that there are several types of shipping containers, each designed for different uses. The history of intermodal shipping is relatively short, but in that short period of time shipping lines have been very effective at designing the most efficient ways to transport all types of goods around the world.

The following paragraphs focus on some of the most common containers and their intended uses. If you're interested in shipping/cargo container dimensions, please refer to this page [ ].

Standard Dry Container

Standard shipping containers typically come in 20' and 40' lengths. Worldwide, they are the most common containers available and are used for shipping almost anything and everything that you can think of. Typically, goods are boxed, placed on pallets, and loaded into the container. Once in the container they can be easily loaded and unloaded to ships, trains, and trucks.

High Cube Container

A high cube container is similar in use and design as a standard dry shipping container. The key difference between a standard dry container and a high cube container is that a high cube container is 9'6" tall; while a standard container is 8'6" tall. In a 40' container this extra height gives the high cube 2,694 cubic feet, 344 cubic feet more than a standard container which has 2350 cubic feet.

Read more about container types and their uses