External Shipping Container Dimensions

  • The length (L) as measured from the extreme points along the longest side of the container. In the industry, containers are identified in terms of the their longest sides – hence 20 foot40 foot shipping containers for example.
  • The width (W) is usually the narrowest side and where you will find the container door opening (unless the container has been subsequently modified).
  • The height (H) is the measurement from the bottom of the container frame to the top, taken on the outside.

Note that the height of the door opening is always less than the overall height of the container.

When loading freight, take into account this data as well as the clearance required for loading, forklifting and movement of the goods or cargo into the container.