Ocean cargo travels either loose or in containers. Most ocean freight is containerized in metal boxes know as ocean containers. Ocean containers come is many different sizes. Ocean cargo containers are known primarily by their length dimensions. Ocean container dimensions, particularly steel ones may be from 8 feet to 53 feet long. The most standard container measurements are 20 feet and 40 feet.
Ocean containers are built to agreed standard dimensions so cargo can be loaded and unloaded, stacked and transported efficiently by container ship, rail and semi-trailer trucks without being opened.
The first shipping vessel built to carry ocean containers began operation in Denmark in 1951. In the U.S. ships began carrying ocean containers between Seattle and Alaska in 1951. Malcolm McLean, a former trucking company owner, worked with engineer Keith Tantlinger to develop the first modern intermodal container in 1955. This development reduced transport costs and supported an increase in international trade. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by ocean containers on transport vessels.
APL introduced the first 45-foot ocean container in 1980, the 48-footer in 1986, and the domestic 53-foot box in 1989. In November 2007 introduced the first 53 foot ocean container. The new, reinforced 53-foot boxes are built specifically for international trade and designed to withstand ocean voyages. According to APL, 53-foot containers could become the transport method of choice for customers moving cargo. The bigger boxes have 60% more capacity than standard 40-foot containers. They’re 9 feet 6 inches high and 102 inches wide – six inches wider than standard boxes. That extra space enables shippers to consolidate more cargo into fewer containers.
A 20 foot ocean container measures 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width and 8 feet in height. A 40 foot shipping container has measurements that are 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and height of 8 feet and 6 inches. There are 53 foot ocean containers that have container dimensions 53 feet long, 8 feet height and 9 feet 6 inches wide. The actual inside dimensions of ocean containers vary based on the container type and shipping vessel line.
The twenty-foot equivalent unit (often TEU or teu) is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals. One TEU represents the cargo capacity of a standard 20 foot intermodal container.
For this specific type of shipping container, the internal dimensions are the following: length – 19 feet and two inches, width -seven feet and six inches as well as height – seven feet and eight inches. The external length and width of this container are 19 feet and 10 inches as well as seven feet and six inches, respectively. The external height of the container measures eight feet and six inches. The height of the door opening is seven feet and four inches while the width is seven feet and six inches.
40 Foot ocean containers are built to withstand a variety of different conditions, and are suitable for shipping on land or sea. Due to the difference in size compared to a 20 Foot container, there will be a higher price tag attached to it.
Intermodal is the utilization of different transportation modes to move cargo. One of the most common types of shipping containers used for this purpose is the 40 foot containers. FEU is an abbreviation for “forty-foot equivalent unit.” FEU is an ocean freight term meaning containerized cargo equal to one forty-foot (40 x 8 x 8 feet) or two twenty-foot (20 x 8 x 8 feet) containers. One FEU equals about 25 metric tons or 72 cubic meters.
The 40 Foot ocean container internal length of this container is 39 feet and an inch while the internal width is seven feet and six inches. The internal height of the freight container is seven feet and eight inches. When it comes to the external length, width and height, the container dimensions are 40 feet, eight feet as well as eight feet and six inches. The width of the door opening of the container is seven feet and six inches while the height is seven feet and four inches.