On-site Storage Solutions offers the full range of storage container sizes for all types of shipping container requirements: 

  • All Sizes of New and Used Containers: 20′, 40′, 45′ and more
  • Standard Dry Vans and High Cubes
  • Used Shipping Containers
  • Refrigerated Containers
  • Open Top Containers
  • Conex Boxes

How big is a Shipping Container?

The most common shipping container length is a 40 ft container. The 40 ft shipping container comes in 2 heights.  The standard 40 ft shipping container height is 8 ft 6 in and the 40 ft high cube (HC) height is 9 ft 6 in.  The next most popular container length is a 20 ft container. The new and used 20 ft containers are 8 ft 6 in tall.  We do offer new 20 ft shipping containers in high cube models which are 9 ft 6 in tall but used high cube 20’ containers are not normally available for sale.   These 20 ft and 40 ft shipping containers are all 8 ft wide.  We also offer other sizes and specialty containers including 45’ High Cubes, 10’ containers, flat racks, open tops and custom containers.

Because the majority of the world’s container freight is shipped using 40’ and 40’ HC containers there is greater supply of used 40’ shipping containers versus 20’ shipping containers.  As a result of this larger 40’ container supply, the used 40 ft shipping container is better value since there is only a slight increase in price versus a used 20 ft shipping container.

If you plan to use the container as a shed or workshop we recommend the taller 40’ HC especially if you plan to insulate the interior.   The insulation and paneling will reduce interior space so having the extra foot of ceiling height that a 40 ft HC container provides will be beneficial for making the finished container feel more like a normal sized room.  The 40’ High Cube usually costs $100 to $300 more than a standard height 40 ft shipping container but the extra height provides 320 cubic feet of additional space. 

It is important to note the dimensions above are exterior dimensions .  Interior dimensions and door entrance dimensions will be slightly smaller (see below Shipping Container Dimensions).  The interior width of a 20 ft or 40 ft container is 7 ft 6 in and the interior height of standard 20’ or 40’ container is 7’ 10” and for a 40’ HC container the interior height is 8’ 10”.  There is a door header as you enter the container where you lose another 5” entering the container.

The specification below also includes specifications for other speciality shipping containers we offer.  These include refrigerated shipping containers, flat rack shipping containers, open top shipping containers and tank containers.

A 20′ container (standard shipping container size) will fit most of the furniture from a 3 bedroom home, such as:

  • 3 mattresses
  • 4 dressers
  • 1 Kitchen Table w/ 6 chairs
  • Couch
  • 2 sitting chairs
  • Coffee table
  • 2 TVs
  • Washer & Dryer


If your home has 4 furnished bedrooms, we recommend a 40′ storage container.  In some locations we offer larger 45’ HC and domestic 53’ HC containers. Please call for availability and pricing
.

Container Conditions

Aside from used storage containers, we also sell new storage containers with sizes starting at 10 ft long′.  See shipping containers size chart for new container sizes.  Note that availability varies by location.

When selecting a container it’s important to note that shipping containers are available in 3 conditions and 4 grades. Most people purchasing containers for storage opt for used wind and water tight containers because they are the best value and are guaranteed not to have holes or leaks which means your contents will be safe and dry. 

Conditions: Used, Refurbished, New One Trip

Grades: As Is, Wind and Water Tight (WWT),  Cargo Worthy, IICL6

Different Container Conditions:

Used – A container for sale in used condition is usually a 12 year old or older container.  The grade of used containers varies.  Review the container grade descriptions below to determine what container grade you need.  

Refurbished – A refurbished container is usually a used container that has had the exterior repainted.  More extensive refurbishment is available upon request.

New One Trip – A new container is a new one trip container.  Almost all shipping containers are manufactured in Asia.  To offset the shipping costs necessary to reposition the containers to locations where they will be sold, we fill the new containers with cargo.  Once they arrive at their final destination the cargo is removed and the containers are returned to the depot where they wait to be sold.  As part of this repositioning, customers should expect these new one trip containers will have minor scraps, scratches, dents, dings and floor markings. 

Different Container Grades:

Used As Is – This is a container that doesn’t meet wind and water tight or better grade.  There may be serious structural problems or major floor damage.  Used As-is containers are typically the least expensive option but the cost to repair may be significant. 

Used Wind and Water Tight (WWT) –  These shipping containers are containers that have been retired after about 12+ years of service.  They are inspected to make sure they are still strong and sturdy and capable of storing your contents safely and securely.  They will still have original paint and ship line markings and they will show the wear and tear from being shipped around the world many times.  This wear and tear often includes rust, dents, dings, scratches and repairs.  The floors will not have holes but there may be some delamination and soft spots.  If you plan to use a forklift we suggest upgrading to a cargo worthy container.  If the look of your container is not important or you plan to paint your container then consider purchasing a used WWT container and save money. 

Used Cargo Worthy (CW) – shipping containers are similar to used WWT containers but they have been inspected to make sure they are still safe for international shipping.  If you plan to ship internationally you will need to purchase a Cargo Worthy or better container.   When shipping your own container (ie., shipper owned container) internationally the shipping lines require  an independent container survey inspection.   This survey inspection is an additional $200 and includes a 1 page survey report, updated CSC sticker good for 1 year and all container lifts and handling.

IICL6 shipping container – grade criteria is defined by The Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) and it includes new containers and good condition used containers that meet the detailed IICL6 criteria list below.  It is important to note that new one trip containers are built in Asia and shipped to the United States and Canada with cargo to offset the repositioning charges.  During this repositioning they do get scratches, scraps and minor dents and dings which is still considered IICL6.

Get the right shipping container to transport your cargo by calling 1-888-667-4834 or request a quote.

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