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Dimensions of the most purchased and used shipping container sizes

Did you know that around 90% of the world’s cargo is moved by ships? There is no surprise that to accommodate such a variety of goods, there are many different types of shipping containers, each used for a different purpose.

USA Containers Co. supplies new and used shipping containers in a wide variety of sizes. There are numerous designs of shipping container, but the majority are what are termed “dry van containers”, these carry general freight. We offer from the smallest 20ft, 40ft standard, 40ft High Cube, to the largest 45ft High Cube, with regular doors or doors on both ends for the new boxes. Because containers are mass produced and designed for a harsh marine environment, they lend themselves to a cheap, movable, and secure storage unit. USA Container Co. is trying to help you understand better the inside and outside dimensions, so you can better choose the right type of container that meets your needs, whether that is for shipping cargo or for storage purposes.

20ft Standard Shipping Container – We have them Used or New

General Container Information
Capacity – 33.2 cbm / 1,172 cbft
ISO Type Group – 22 GP
ISO Size Type – 22 G1

Inside Dimension in feet
Length – 19′ 4 1/4″
Width – 7′ 8 5/8″
Height – 7′ 10 1/4″
Door Opening in feet
Width – 7′ 8 1/8″
Height – 7′ 6 1/4″
Weight in pounds
Max Gross – 67,197
Tare (Weight) – 5,181
Max Payload – 62,016

40ft Standard Shipping Container – We have them Used or New, on the new ones with regular doors or some with doors on both ends in certain terminals.

General Container Information
Capacity – 67.7 cbm / 2,390 cbft
ISO Type Group – 42 GP
ISO Size Type – 42 G1

Inside Dimension in feet
Length – 39′ 5 5/8″
Width – 7′ 8 5/8″
Height – 7′ 10 1/4″
Door Opening in feet
Width – 7′ 8 1/8″
Height – 7′ 6 1/4″
Weight in pounds
Max Gross – 71,650
Tare (Weight) – 8,267
Max Payload – 63,383

40ft High Cube Shipping Container – We have them Used or New, on the new ones with regular doors or some with doors on both ends in certain terminals.

General Container Information
Capacity – 76.3 cbm / 2,694 cbft
ISO Type Group – 45 GP
ISO Size Type – 45 G1

Inside Dimension in feet
Length – 39′ 5 5/8″
Width – 7′ 8 1/2″
Height – 8′ 10 1/4″
Door Opening in feet
Width – 7′ 8 1/8″
Height – 8′ 6 1/4″
Weight in pounds
Max Gross – 71,650
Tare (Weight) – 8,598
Max Payload – 63,052

45ft High Cube Shipping Container – We have them Used

General Container Information
Capacity – 86,0 cbm (3,037 cbft)
ISO Type Group – L5GP
ISO Size Type – L5G1

Inside Dimension in feet
Length – 44′ 5 5/8″
Width – 7′ 8 5/8″
Height – 8′ 10 1/4″
Door Opening in feet
Width – 7′ 8 1/8″
Height – 8′ 6 1/4″
Weight in pounds
Max Gross – 71,650
Tare (Weight) – 10,552
Max Payload – 61,067

I hope that will answer many questions and if you still need some answers, feel free to contact us and we would gladly help!

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Amazing Shipping Container House Design

Completed in May 2010, this 1,517 square foot, solar-powered house is located in Nederland, Colorado, USA.

This project questions the need for excessive space and challenges occupants to be efficient. Two shipping containers saddlebag a taller common space, that connects local rock outcroppings to the expansive mountain ridge views. The containers house sleeping and work functions, while the center space provides entry, dining, living and a loft above.

The loft deck invites easy camping as the platform bed rolls between interior and exterior. The project is planned to be off-the-grid using solar orientation, passive cooling, green roofs, pellet stove heating and photo voltaic to create electricity.

Credits for design and pictures: Studio H:T

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USA Containers Co. Depot Map

We thought to share this map with everyone, for better understanding of our coverage network. Also you can check what depots we have in your area and from where we are delivering to you in the surrounding areas. Feel free to send us a message if you are interested in purchasing a shipping container or go on the website and check up the prices. You can access the larger map here

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What about building a luxury beach house from shipping containers?

We saw how versatile shipping containers are when building different structures, why not build a luxury beach house out of them. We can get inspired from The Redondo Beach House project, which turned out to be a award winning family residence.

Built by the famous architect Peter DeMaria, one of the country’s first architects to incorporate steel cargo containers into residential designs, located in Southern California, the house won the American Institute of Architecture’s Excellence in Design Innovation Award in 2007.

In DeMaria’s hybrid design for the Redondo Beach container house, conventional stick-frame construction combined eight re-purposed steel shipping containers to form the two-story home. The containers were retrofitted off-site, helping to reduce labor costs during installation.

To play up the industrial good looks of the containers, the homeowners chose not to cover-up the corrugated steel walls with siding or to replace the sturdy maritime wood floors that come standard in cargo boxes. In addition to the open main living area, the Redondo Beach container house has four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths.

Thanks to the solar energy and placing the building facing the sun, the Redondo Beach container house remains cool and comfortable all year long. The swimming pool is also a re-purposed container.

The architect choose shipping containers because of their sturdy structure, cost effectiveness, resistant to fire, mold, termites, and made of heavy-gauge steel, a material meant to last for centuries.

For long-term energy savings and environmental protection, low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lights, and Energy Star appliances were installed throughout the house. Stick-frame walls were insulated with UltraTouch, a recycled denim material, and the rooftops and walls of the containers were painted with a thick coat of white ceramic insulating paint originally developed by NASA.

Also the Redondo Beach container house features a wide opening of 20-foot-high living room, outfitted with glass-panel airplane hangar doors that fold out to create a seamless indoor-outdoor living space.  

It is a perfect house for nature lovers. During this project, you can see how a common shipping container is transformed into a residence. When all light turns on, it views a marvelous look at night.

Credits: DeMaria Design and

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Wedding, save the date and trash the dress trends you should consider.

wedding container

Maybe you think shipping containers cannot create a romantic and beautiful image, but most of the time, unconventional places, can create more memories and remains in people minds for longer than traditional ones. So people have figured out a way to blend them in their wedding parties and photo sessions. We’ve seen the trusty shipping container modified to serve as pop-up retail shops, tiny homes, hospitals, and even swimming pools. Now, containers are starting to take their place on the biggest day of some couples’ lives. From portable bars to colorful backdrops, the shipping container wedding trend is beginning to make its mark on weddings and engagements.

Most people think that in order to reuse an old shipping container, they need to be stripped clean and built up with expensive new materials. One couple decided they loved the Shipping Container just as it is! And what a beautiful gallery they’ve got! They chose to use the colorful, textured stacks of steel boxes as the backdrop for their Wedding photos. They knew it would be the spot for their treasured photos and that the harsh, dirty containers create a rough, industrial look that will overlap and blend with the soft, lovely and romantic atmosphere, creating a striking image.

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Are you ready to receive your shipping container?


After so many deliveries and so many questions we decided to help you with some tips and information that might help you when purchasing a shipping container. As a company that respects its customers and employees, we prioritize the safety, security and integrity of all our storage containers.

Before any site modification is made, contact your local council to inquire it is legal to do so without a permit (which may be required) – a phone call is cheaper than a fine or the cost of relocating the container.

As part of our delivery process, we inspect each container to ensure its structural integrity and security when picking them up. We also take steps to protect our crew, as well as our customers on site. This includes asking our customers to take responsibility in preparing the delivery site.

Decide on an area

Storage containers are big. Sounds obvious, but it can be hard to visualize just how much space a 20ft or a 40ft storage container will take up. Furthermore, once the container has been delivered, you won’t be able to move it on your own, unless you have the proper equipment ( crane or heavy forklift ). Therefore, the first step to take when preparing for delivery is deciding on the best location to place it, of course this after you already decided on a size that fits your needs.

To work out just where you’d like your container to go, it’s a good idea to mark out the area with cones or rope. This will give you an accurate representation of exactly where your container will be placed. Plus, it will provide you with the opportunity to check that you’ll be able to enter and exit your container seamlessly. Make sure not only that you can get into your container, but also that you have spare room for it to be unloaded from the trailer. A rule of thumb is to leave enough space for two containers for delivery. For instance, for a 20ft container, give yourself 50-60ft of room for a stress-free delivery.

Think also about how the driver should get on your property, so when we ask you, how the container should be positioned on the trailer, with the doors facing towards the cab of the truck or towards the rear of the truck, you already know the right answer.

Make sure you have enough space for the delivery truck

Think about the size of the container. The truck will need enough space to make very wide turns and to get in your property / delivery area, around, and out of the property. Make sure there’s plenty of clearance to get through gates, under tree limbs, power lines and other obstructions. We always ask about an ideal width clearance is at least 15 feet, though our drivers can work with 10.

Usually for the deliveries to go smooth for a 20ft container the requirements are:

  • 14-16 ft height clearance
  • 50-60 ft length for a straight shot unloading when they are coming on a 20ft roll off trailer, otherwise take in consideration the same length requirements as a 40ft container
  • 15 ft width

For delivering a 40ft container requirements would be:

  • 14-16 ft height clearance
  • 100-120 ft length for a straight shot unloading
  • 15 ft width

The deliveries are made on flat bed trailers or tilt bed trailers, and there could be two types of delivery methods.

1 – Drag Off delivery – also known as customer assisted unloading, inquires that the customer has to use an anchor point to help the driver unload the container. You can watch how a drag off delivery takes place in the video here.

2 – Roll Off delivery – this type of unloading has no requirements for the customer to assist the driver for unloading, it goes smooth and no stress either. You can watch how a roll off delivery takes place in the video here.

The truck will need to maneuver into the space to make the delivery, backing up and pulling in to get the right angle. As a rule, 50-60ft of depth clearance is good for 20ft containers and 100-120ft for 40ft containers, not including space for the delivery truck to maneuver in and out.

Prepare the ground

Once you’ve decided on the area that your container will be delivered to, it’s time to actually prepare the ground for the container. The most important step to take at this stage is to ensure the ground isn’t too soft. Although containers are one of the most weather-resistant and durable storage solutions, at up to 8800-9000 pounds heavy, they’re liable to sink if placed on a particularly soft patch of ground. Additionally, if placed directly onto consistently damp ground, the bases of even the most durable storage containers will eventually be damaged over time.

If you’re stuck for options and you really need to place the container on damp ground, you can consider putting down some gravel or wooden planks as a form of additional support. This also helps keep the door frames square and ensure smooth operation of both doors.  Either 4×4 or 8×8 or even railroad ties would do. After delivery you can also crank it up and put cinder blocks on the corners and sides so you can keep it off the ground level, this will allow for airflow underneath the container to dry out the surface that the unit is placed on. It will prevent the formation of condensation which leads to mold, rot, and (potentially) flooding. If you’re intending on keeping your container indefinitely, it may be worth the investment to simply pave the area where it will be stationed, this ensures the absolute best conditions for your unit.

After delivery

Once the container is in place, check the integrity of the container. Swing the door open and shut, making sure it closes easily and tightly, and ensure the locks function easily. 

We recommend to power wash your shipping container and paint it to increase it’s life and keep it’s durability over time.

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How shipping containers are Loaded, Inspected and Delivered

I guess everyone has questions about how the container looks, if they can see or pick their container out, etc. The video below was made by our owner, in order to explain how the delivery process takes place and maybe answer to a few of your questions.

Most of the time when the driver goes to the depot, he gets in ( sometimes he waits in line from 30 mins up to 3-4 hours to get loaded ). He follows strictly the designated loader or goes to the loading area where he can be loaded.

Once the first out of stack box is brought down, our driver inspects the container, gets inside, checks for holes, gaskets and if doors can be opened and closed.

Once he gives his OK, the shipping container is loaded onto his trailer, he straps it for safety to his trailer, so it doesn’t flip, slide or fall off from it, and then he calls our customer to inform him he is ready and leaving his way, also he gives him an ETA ( Estimated Time of Arrival ).

Last part it’s pretty obvious, he arrives at the destination, unloads the box and returns to his garage, leaving one more happy customer to enjoy his shipping container.

Just so you know the whole process described in the video took about 2 hours, but if we are to put it on a scale from very easy to very hard, this was one of the easy ones, not to much waiting at the yard, not to much traffic and good delivery area, enough space, no obstacles in the way. Sometimes just one delivery takes up to 7-8 hours, depending on waiting time at the yard, on the way and at the delivery site.

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Tips on how to choose the right shipping container

what to think about_

When it comes to building a shed, a garage, a house or any other project that you need to use it, one of the most important steps is purchasing the right shipping container.  Like we presented the types and sizes of shipping containers in a previous article, because of that and not only, container prices tend to move up and down in the market based on many factors, like supply and demand. So it’s important to know where to start, so you can get the best deals available and what to look for. Here are a few tips that can help you decide on what you need and save you some time and money.

  • Please check with town officials, if there are any restrictions or you need to obtain any permits for having, using or building with shipping containers, even if it is on your property. Make sure you get approval or at least give them a call and ask, never hurts to ask instead of getting fined.
  • Are you going to use the shipping containers for their original use, for storage, business or for living purposes? Getting clear on your purpose will make the selection process a lot easier for you.
  • Shipping containers come in a variety of sizes. Most of them are 8 feet wide and 8.65 feet tall, but they come in varying lengths measuring either 10ft, 20ft, 40ft, 45ft, 53ft long. Take the time to figure out the right size for your project needs to avoid costly mistakes.
  • All options have advantages and disadvantages. Newer models are cleaner and usually problem free however they do cost a little extra money. Used models may have some damage but can be cheaper by around 30% to 50% less than the price of new containers. If you’re on a tight budget, buying used ones might be the best option for you. However, if your project requires pristine containers buying newer ones will give you peace of mind.
  • If you cannot verify or check the container before it’s delivery, which in many cases you won’t be able to do so, because containers are stacked on top of each other and usually it’s first out of the stack when the drivers go and pick them up for delivery, make sure that the containers you’re receiving are in good condition. Take your time to check and ask about any damage, dents, patches, significant rust or any possible leaks in the unit. Make sure that the one you’re getting is at the very least wind, watertight and vermin proof. Keep in mind, that used shipping containers, may have been decommissioned long time ago and surface rust, patches, minor scuffs or dents are normal, and they don’t affect it’s structure.
  • Check the working mechanisms of the containers. These include the doors, locks, hinges, gasket seals, roofs and lower sidewall. They can all acquire some level of damage during their lives, whether in motion or stationary. Hence, checking everything is in good working order must be one of your priorities.
  • Depending on the nature of your project, you can purchase a shipping container that is wired for electricity, or that is refrigerated. Would you need easy access to your container? If yes, consider getting a container with doors at both ends or on one of the sides. Decide on modifications in advance. Some sellers of used shipping containers provide modifications, as well. For example, your containers of choice can have extra doors, windows, ventilation system, security locks and shelves upon your request and before they get delivered to you. Figure out whether it will be more convenient and cost-efficient for you to have such modifications made in advance.
  • Given their size and weight, these containers are difficult and expensive to transport from one location to another. Know the exact position where you want your container delivered and always have a plan B, just in case accessibility is compromised. Getting this right may save you a lot of headaches down the track.

We want you to know finding quality, affordable and good shape shipping containers doesn’t have to be difficult. Get in touch with us today if you need help in choosing the best type of containers suitable for your needs!

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Did you know how shipping containers are made?

container factory

Shipping containers have revolutionized the way cargo is transported on ships across oceans, it helped in ensuring the safety of the cargo but has also improved the overall cargo carrying capacity. As a result, shipping containers of different types are being built and used for transporting a variety of cargo around the world.

Almost all shipping containers are made from steel and have closed-top with hinged doors. They have corrugated walls on the top and bottom sides and are welded to the rails and end frames.

How are shipping containers made?

Shipping containers are made from materials such as steel, aluminum, fibre-reinforced polymer etc or a combination of all. You can watch the video below and understand better how shipping containers are made.

  • Each shipping container starts with a big roll of steel, which is unrolled and cut into several sheets.This is done in dedicated factories with technically advanced machinery systems.
  • Surface preparation of these steel sheets is then carried out using sand blasting and priming to remove rust, dirt, contaminants etc.
  • The sheets are then corrugated to improve the overall strength.
  • Roof panels and floor braces are separately made and sheets for wall panels are then welded together.
  • Square tubing is welded on the top of the walls.
  • Once this is done, floor panels are assembled to form a floor frame.
  • Door assembly and corner post assembly are also separately prepared.
  • The door assembly is then installed on the floor frame followed by installation of wall panels.
  • The corner posts, wall panels and door assembly are welded.
  • The roof panel is then assembled and welded.
  • Priming and painting is carried out.
  • Wooden frames are varnished and prepared for flooring.
  • Once they are installed in to the container floor, holes are drilled to attach flooring panels.
  • The door hardware is finally installed along with rubber seals for watertight doors.
  • The container bottom is then made waterproof followed by watertightness testing.
  • The box is finally inspected to ensure watertightness or any other problem.

We hope you enjoyed this article and you can let us know below, if you will or already used a shipping contaier for different other purpose than it’s main one.

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How shipping containers are loaded

containers are loaded

I believe everybody is asking how the shipping containers are loaded, unloaded and how they are stacked on the large container ships. This video will explain and answer all of your questions and maybe more.

Imagine when they are brought at the port / terminal with trucks or trains, unloaded and stacked in the yard or directly in the cargo ships. After many of these trips overseas containers are being decommissioned and left in the yards, for others to enjoy and purchase them so they can use them for storage, housing and many other useful projects.

Many thanks to JeffHK for posting his video on YT, you can follow him here