How Much Does a 40-foot Shipping Container Hold?

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A shipping container, also known as a dry van container, is primarily used for transportation

Assume you'll get around 2300 ft.3, or about 68 m3, of space on the inside of a 40-foot shipping container as a good rule of thumb."

If you've been looking for a new or used refrigerated container for sale, you've probably noticed that the 40-foot container is quite popular.

But the real question is: how much can a 40-foot shipping container or used 40 foot refrigerated container for sale actually hold?

Let's take a look.

How Big Is a 40-Foot Shipping Container?

Hopefully, it's obvious that 40ft dry shipping containers for sale don't provide 40 feet of horizontal and vertical space. Instead, you'll need to figure out the exact interior and exterior dimensions to get a good idea of how much it can hold.

The exterior dimensions of a standard height 40-foot long container are as follows:

  • 40’ long x 8’ wide x 8’6” high, with mild variations depending on the shipping container manufacturer
  • In meters, a 40-foot shipping container’s dimensions are 12.192 m long x 2.438 m wide x 2.591 m high. Again, you’ll find small variations from company to company.
  • Doors are around 7’8″ tall and 7’5″ wide for 40-foot shipping containers.


The interior dimensions will vary depending on the thickness of the doors and the steel thickness of the container. Interior dimensions are, in general, as follows:

  • 39’6” long x 7’6” wide x 7’10” high
  • 12.19m long x 2.44m wide x 2.59m high

On the inside of a 40-foot shipping container, a good rule of thumb is that you'll get around 2300 ft.3, or about 68 m3, of space.

How Much Can You Move or Store with a 40-foot Shipping Container?

A 40-foot sea box for sale can probably hold the contents and belongings of a three- to four-bedroom family home. Items with odd shapes or certain types of furniture may take up more space than boxes of equal size.

In other words, depending on the size of each car, you'll be able to fit three or four cars in a standard 40-foot shipping container. Alternatively, you can fit up to 400 mattresses!

Don't be fooled by a shipping container's exterior dimensions. When it comes to packing and storing items efficiently, you need to know the internal dimensions.

You'll also want to think about how many non-boxed items you'll be able to fit inside and whether you'll be able to use the entire height of the container (consider shelving, stackability, etc.).

It also depends on how well you organise the items you intend to place in the container. Please don't close your eyes and throw your belongings into a 40-foot shipping container and then wonder why it won't hold as much as you'd like.

In fact, when you're packing your container, imagine it as a game of real-life Tetris.

40ft as well as 10 foot container for sale are available as per your requirement