Comparing Shipping Container Sizes and Types

Shipping containers have revolutionized the way we transport goods and store items. These versatile metal boxes have become a cornerstone of modern logistics and storage solutions. Choosing the right shipping container size and type is crucial for various applications, as it can significantly impact efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the safety of your cargo. Read on to learn more.

Standard Container Sizes

Standard shipping containers are the backbone of global trade and logistics. The two most common sizes are the 20-foot and 40-foot containers, each designed to accommodate a wide range of goods. Here’s a breakdown of these standard sizes as offered by Page Street Leasing:

  1. 10-foot Containers
    • Exterior Dimensions: 10 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8’6” feet high
    • Interior Dimensions: 9’4” long, 7’8” wide, 7’10” high
    • Door Dimensions: 7’8” wide, 7’5” high
    • Empty Weight (approximate): 2900 lbs.
    • Cubic Capacity: Approximately 560 cubic feet
    • Common Applications: Construction storage, restrooms, break rooms, guard stations, temporary office space, event storage, concession sales
  2. 20-foot Container:
    • Exterior Dimensions: 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8’6” feet high
    • Interior Dimensions: 19’4” long, 7’8” wide, 7’10” high
    • Door Dimensions: 7’8” wide, 7’5” high
    • Empty Weight (approximate): 4800 lbs.
    • Cubic Capacity: Approximately 1,170 cubic feet
    • Common Applications: International shipping, storage, construction site office space, building blocks for modular structures
  3. 40-foot Container:
    • Exterior Dimensions: 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8’6” feet high or 9’6” feet high (high cube)
    • Interior Dimensions: 39’5” long, 7’8” wide, and 7’10” high (standard) or 8’10” (high cube)
    • Door Dimensions: 7’8” wide, 7’5” high (standard) or 8’5” (high cube)
    • Empty Weight (approximate): 7800 lbs (standard) or 8200 lbs (high cube)
    • Cubic Capacity: Approximately 2,390 cubic feet
    • Common Applications: International shipping, inventory storage, on-site office space, equipment storage, home or retail extension, event space

Custom and Modified Containers

Customization plays a crucial role in the shipping container industry, as businesses often require containers tailored to their unique needs. Here are some examples of custom and modified containers:

  1. Containers with Added Doors, Windows, or Ventilation:
    • These modifications are common for storage containers used in industries like agriculture or as pop-up shops and mobile offices.
  2. Containers with Reinforced Flooring:
    • For heavy machinery transport, containers can be equipped with reinforced flooring to withstand the weight and ensure safe transport.
  3. Containers with Custom Paint and Branding:
    • Businesses often use shipping containers as marketing tools or for events. Custom paint and branding can turn them into eye-catching displays.
  4. Containers with Insulation and Climate Control:
    • Sensitive cargo, such as electronics or pharmaceuticals, may require containers with insulation to protect against mold and environmental contamination.

High Cube Containers

High cube containers are similar to standard containers in length and width but offer increased height. They are typically 9’6” feet tall, providing an additional foot in height compared to standard containers. Here are some scenarios where high cube containers are beneficial:

  1. Bulky Item Storage
    • High cube containers are ideal for storing oversized or bulky items that wouldn’t fit in standard containers.
  2. Pallet Storage
    • High cube containers are better equipped to accommodate stacked pallets and the forklifts that move them due to the additional space overhead.
  3. Tractor Storage
    • People looking to store tractors, skidsteers, or similar equipment usually opt for a high cube container that can fit equipment with tall cabs or roll-bars.
  4. Portable Offices
    • The extra height allows for comfortable standing room, making high cube containers suitable for portable offices, pop-up shops, or housing units.
  5. Retail Stores
    • Businesses looking for distinctive retail spaces often opt for high cube containers. The added height creates an open and inviting shopping environment.
  6. Mobile Bars and Restaurants
    • High cube containers are transformed into mobile bars and restaurants, offering a trendy and customizable space for food and beverage businesses.
  7. Construction and Renovation
    • Contractors use high cube containers as mobile workshops or tool storage units. The extra height accommodates larger equipment and provides a convenient on-site workspace.
  8. Disaster Relief
    • In emergency situations, high cube containers are used as temporary shelters due to their increased height, offering more comfortable living conditions for displaced individuals.

Door Types

Shipping containers come with various door configurations to suit different cargo loading and unloading needs. Understanding these door types can help you choose the best shipping container for your needs. Here are two common door types as offered by Page Street Leasing:

Double Doors

Double door containers are designed with doors at both ends of the container, allowing for easy access to the cargo from either side. These containers are especially convenient for loading and unloading goods quickly and efficiently.

  • Applications: They are commonly employed in construction, event management, and industries that require frequent access to items stored inside.
  • Size Availability: You can find double door containers in both 20-foot and 40-foot sizes, making them versatile options for various cargo volumes.

Open Side Containers

Open side containers, also known as full-side access or side-opening containers, feature doors that span the entire length of one side, offering easy access to the entire width of the container. These containers are excellent for loading and unloading wide or oversized cargo.

  • Applications: They are commonly used in industries dealing with construction materials, machinery, or event equipment. Open side containers are also ideal for automotive storage for easy ingress and egress. Creative uses of open side containers include mobile display cases that can be opened and closed rapidly.

Image of storage containers on a lot

  • Size Availability: Page Street Leasing offers 20-foot open side containers, providing a convenient solution for businesses and individuals in need of side access. Additionally, 40-foot open side containers are available by special order, allowing for larger cargo volumes and more extensive storage options.


In conclusion, choosing the right shipping container size and type is essential for various industries and applications. It’s best to work with a local shipping container service to determine which unit will best suit your specific needs and budget.

Trust Page Street Leasing for Residential and Commercial Storage Container Needs

When it comes to choosing the best shipping container for your residential or commercial needs, trust Page Street Leasing. With our expertise, reputation, and range of container options, we have become a trusted partner for businesses and individuals in New England.

Whether you require standard containers for international shipping, specialized containers for unique cargo, or high cube containers for innovative solutions, we have the right container for you. Our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction ensures that you receive a reliable and cost-effective storage solution.

Contact Page Street Leasing today for more information or to request a quote. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in finding the perfect shipping container to meet your requirements.