Shipping Container Sizes Guide

Shipping Container Loading In Dock

Shipping container loading in dock

What are common sizes of shipping containers?

The most common sizes of shipping containers are 10ft, 20ft and 40ft, with 20ft containers being considered the ‘standard’ size of shipping container. All these shipping container sizes have a width of 8ft, or 2.44metres.

10 ft Shipping Containers

10ft or 10ftX8ft shipping containers are cut from larger containers and custom-made and fitted with a door or panel at the cut end. These shipping containers are best used for sheds, robust storage, or even fishing trips and camping – as they’re highly portable.

20 ft Shipping Containers

20ft or 20ftX8ft shipping containers are considered standard-sized shipping containers. For this reason, these are usually the containers most used for shipping. Other uses include building small homes, offices, pop-up cafes and even pools, as seen on The Block. For these purposes, you can get 20ft containers with higher rooves, making them more spacious.

40 ft Shipping Containers

40ft or 40ftX8ft shipping containers can be used for the same creative purposes as 20ft containers, though your home, office or café will be less compact. Generally, these shipping these containers are best suited to shipping dangerous goods. See “Dangerous Goods Containers” below.

Containers with Specialised Sizing

Specialised sizing is available for shipping container hire/ purchase. These are custom cut from larger containers and can be fitted with refrigeration if storing perishable goods or if temperature regulation is important. Increasing the height of a 20ft container is a popular example of custom-cutting, with these shipping containers being nicknamed “high-cube” containers.

Dangerous Goods Containers

Dangerous goods containers aren’t a size but rather a type of shipping container. Although most commonly seen as 40ft containers, they can come in any size, including a smaller than 10ft ‘chemical storage cupboard.’ Dangerous goods containers can be customised with either a double or single side door. These are good for storing chemical liquids or powders, or anything you want to remove from your workspace behind a locked door. You can hire these through iSeekplant here.

Shipping container houses

What are some common uses of shipping containers?

Shipping containers are historically used for… shipping. But other uses are becoming popular, such as on-land storage or hauling and conversion into usable spaces. Refrigerated shipping containers or ‘reefers’ can be used to store perishable items or items that require temperature regulation. Other shipping containers can be workspace storage, portable storage, sheds, granny flats, and as previously stated – pop-up cafes, office spaces and homes – even swimming pools.

Need to hire a shipping container?

The simplest way to get a quote for a shipping container in your area is to use iSeekplants ‘get a quote’ tool.

Alternatively, call us on 1300 691 912 or email us at

Browse our shipping container hire listings here.

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