Trade Tools: Ocean Transport

Ocean Transport: Ocean Freight Containers

Introduction 

The following Guide to Ocean Freight Container Specifications is provided courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd America Inc. The container specifications listed are virtually standardized world-wide. However, the possibility exists that individual container manufacturers and shipping lines will have container specifications which vary somewhat from those listed in this section. Be certain to inquire about precise specifications from your shipping line or forwarder when you arrange for a shipment.

Values / Details

All values listed in the tables are given in metric. Ft and lbs values are for easy reference only.

All details listed are nominal figures. Apart from the tolerances given on internal dimensions below the tare weight can vary +/- 2%.

General Information

External and Minimum Internal Dimensions

The following table gives the overall external dimensions as standardized in ISO 668 and the minimum internal dimensions and door openings for General Purpose Containers as standardized in ISO 1496-1.

 
Length
Width
Height
Dimensions
20'
6,058 mm
40'
12,192 mm
8'
2,438 mm
8'6"
2,438 mm
8'6"
2,438 mm
9'6"
2,896 mm
Minimum
Internal
Dimensions
5,867 mm
19'3"
11,998 mm
39' 4 3/8"
2,330 mm
7'7 3/4"
2,197 mm
7'2 1/2"
2,350 mm
7'8 1/2"
2,655 mm
8'8 1/2"
Minimun Door
Opening Dimensions
-
-
2,286 mm
7'6"
2,134 mm
7'
2,261 mm
7'5"
2,566 mm
8'5"
Internal Dimensions

The internal dimensions and door openings of most containers exceed the above given dimensions. However, the dimensions mentioned on the following pages are nominal figures. Because of production tolerances a difference in measurements is possible:

Tolerances Length Width Height
Maximum
Difference
10 mm
3/8"
10 mm
3/8"
10 mm
3/8"
Maximum Gross Weights

20' containers:

  • 24,000 kg (52,910 lbs) according to the latest issue of ISO 668;
  • 30, 480 kg (67,200 lbs) valid for most Hapag-Lloyd 20' containers; exceeds ISO minimum standards.

40' containers:

  • 30,480 kg (67,200 lbs).
Floor Loads

A container floor is capable of carrying a fork-lift truck with a maximum axle load of 5,460 kg (12,040 lbs), if the contact area per wheel is at least 142 cm2 (22 sq.in) (ISO 1496/I).

Concentrated Loads

When stowing heavy cargo in containers other than flats or platforms due care has to be taken that concentrated loads will not exceed the strength of the bottom construction of the container.

The maximum spreaded load should not exceed

  • for 20' containers 4 ts per running meter in length (3' 3.5")
  • for 40' containers 3 ts per running meter in length
Gooseneck Tunnel on 40' Containers

All Hapag-Lloyd 40' containers are fitted with a Gooseneck tunnel to enable the transport on Gooseneck chassis.

Timber Treatment

Exposed timber is treated according to Australian requirements (exceptions: 40' flats and platforms).