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20ft containers VS 40ft containers (Full Guide)

20ft containers VS 40ft containers (Full Guide)

After ordering products in China, you need to transport them to your country. Dry and general goods are the most common ones that a businessman or businesswoman wants to forward. 

A vast majority of containers have a standardized size, and each is designed for one type of goods. 

This article aims to talk about “20ft containers VS 40ft containers”. After finishing this article, you will have enough information. 

Shipping containers size and type

Before we start to talk about 20ft containers VS 40ft containers, it is better to talk a little about the size and type of containers. 

If you, as a businessman and businesswoman, wants to ship containers, you should organize for full container load, which among freight forwarders, it is FCL.

The general standard containers for freight forwarding are 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft high cube. 

It is essential to consider the volume of your goods to choose the most suitable one.

Please pay attention to this matter; if your goods are cumbersome or something odd, you must consult with the supplier or freight forwarder to offer the best choice. 

The appearance of 20ft containers VS 40ft containers

For 20ft containers VS 40ft containers, the first things that should be compared are these two containers’ appearance. 

These tow containers, such as other containers, are made of steel or aluminum. They must be according to the standard. These standards are determined by the International Organization for Standard (ISO)

It is better to know that these containers are famous as “Dry Van.” Because they are the most common containers for shipment, they can ship almost all types of boxes, pallets, etc. 

Another critical point is that you, as a businessman or businesswoman, can customize the inside of these containers according to the type of goods you have!

However, in 20ft containers VS 40ft containers for the appearance, you should know the difference in length, width, height, and capacity. They are as follows:

  • Length: 5.9 m/ 19.4ft for 20ft and 12.03m/ 39.5ft for 40ft
  • Width: 2.35 m/ 7.8ft for 20ft and 2.4m/ 7.9ft for 40ft
  • Height: 2.39 m/ 7.9ft for 20ft and 2.39m/ 7.9ft for 40ft
  • Weight: 2300kg/ 5071.5 Ibs for 20ft and 3750kg/8268.8 for 40ft
  • Pay load Capacity: 25000kg/ 55126.9 Ibs for 20ft and 27600kg/ 61200Ibs for 40ft
  • Cubic Capacity: 33.2 m2/ 1172 cu ft for 20ft and 67.7m2/ 2389cu for 40ft

How much load is placed in 20ft containers VS 40ft containers?

Then, in 20ft containers VS 40ft containers, it is time to talk about how much load is placed in each of them.

Please pay attention that in both containers, the packages don’t hang over the sides!

For better understanding, some standards are described to know how much load you can ship. Consider a pallet. These standards are as below:

  • EU pallet ( it is the European pallet that is 1.2x 0.8m)
  • EUR2 pallet ( it is 1.2x 1m)
  • North American Standard Pallet Type ( it is 1.016mx 1.219m)

According to these standards, in 20ft containers VS 40ft containers, the pallets in each container are as the following:

  • According to the EU, 11 Euro pallets in 20ft container and 23 or 24 pallets in 40ft container
  • According to EUR2, 10 to 11 pallets in 20ft container and 20 to 21 pallets in 40ft
  • According to North American Standard, ten pallets in a 20ft container and 20 pallets in 40ft container

All freight forwarders suggest that to put the pallets in one row along the container’s length and another row along the width. It is the smartest way!

Other types of containers!

We tried to talk about 20ft containers VS 40ft containers to make the difference between them more transparent. 

However, there are many other types of container that you can choose; here, we briefly point to them:

  • Open Top / The Convertible of Shipping Containers (it is suitable for heavy or awkward goods)
  • Ventilated/The Breathable Container (it is ideal for goods that may be damaged easily)
  • Insulated/The ‘Thermos’ Flask Container (it is perfect for pharmaceutical and food processing)
  • Reefer / The Floating Fridge Container (it is perfect for all goods such as food that need a lower temperature than 15 degrees)
  • Flat Racks / More Dance Floor Than Container (this container has no roof, it is suitable for oversized cargo)
  • Flexi Tank / An Inflatable Within a Container (it is ideal for liquid)
  • Dress Hanger/ The Floating Wardrobe (it is perfect for luxury style garments)

Concluding remarks

In this article, we tried to talk about 20ft containers VS 40ft containers and indicate their difference, but, again, remind you that if you are inexperienced or don’t have enough information in this field, it is better to consult with a professional one. 

It will help you to save money. Because if you make a mistake in choosing a container, you will lose a lot of money! No businessman or businesswoman likes to experience such a terrible thing!

Therefore, try to gather information as much as you can and pay attention to professionals’ words!


Dear customers

If you need an impressive rate and competitive offer for Door to Door Rail and Trucking service from China to European countries, please contact our Sale Team.

Can you stack a 20ft container on a 40ft container?

Absolutely. new containers can be stacked 9 high.

5/5 - (1 vote)
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