How Wide is a Shipping Container: Dimensions Guide

Explore our comprehensive guide on shipping container dimensions, including width, height, and length, essential for logistics and cargo management.

When dealing with logistics, understanding the dimensions of shipping containers is crucial for planning and maximizing efficiency in cargo transportation. This guide provides an overview of the standard sizes, including shipping container dimensions, standard shipping container width, and other relevant measurements.


In the world of freight forwarding and logistics, the dimensions of shipping containers are standardized to fit on various modes of transport, from ships to trucks and trains. This standardization helps in optimizing operations and reducing costs in the supply chain.

Standard Shipping Container Sizes

Shipping containers come in several standard sizes, which are designed to meet different needs in the shipping industry. The most common sizes are:

  • 20-foot container: Typically measures 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.6 feet in height.
  • 40-foot container: These containers are double the length of 20-foot containers and have the same width and height.

Container Width Guide

The standard shipping container width for both 20-foot and 40-foot containers is approximately 8 feet. This width is consistent across different container types, including dry containers, refrigerated containers, and flat racks.

ISO Container Dimensions

According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the standard dimensions for ISO containers (used globally) include:

  • Lengths of 20 and 40 feet.
  • A standard width of 8 feet.
  • Heights of 8.5 feet (standard) and 9.5 feet (high cube).

Freight Container Sizes

Here’s a quick container dimension chart for the two most popular types:

  1. Standard containers:
    • 20 feet long x 8 feet wide x 8.6 feet high
    • 40 feet long x 8 feet wide x 8.6 feet high
  2. High cube containers:
    • 20 feet long x 8 feet wide x 9.5 feet high
    • 40 feet long x 8 feet wide x 9.5 feet high

Cargo Container Measurements

The internal dimensions of cargo containers may vary slightly depending on the construction and material. However, the standard internal width is usually around 7.8 feet, allowing for loading and unloading goods with ease.

Container Dimension Chart

Here’s a visual chart showing the different sizes of containers and their dimensions. This container dimension chart can help in choosing the right container for your shipping needs.

(AI-generated image of container dimension chart)

Sea Container Specifications

When selecting a sea container, it’s important to consider both the external and internal dimensions, especially the shipping container width USA standards, which adhere to the global ISO standards.


  1. What is the most common size for shipping containers?
    • The most common sizes are 20-foot and 40-foot containers.
  2. Can I find containers wider than the standard width?
    • Standard containers generally adhere to the 8 feet width, but custom modifications are possible.
  3. Are container dimensions different in the USA?
    • Container dimensions are standardized globally, including in the USA, according to ISO specifications.


Understanding shipping container dimensions, including standard shipping container width, is essential for anyone involved in shipping, logistics, or freight forwarding. This knowledge ensures efficient use of space and compatibility across different transportation modes, facilitating global trade.

Using the right dimensions, freight forwarders and logistic managers can streamline operations and enhance shipping efficiency.