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10' Shipping Containers (Duo-Cons) vs. 20' Shipping Containers

25.07.2022 - Posted by Updated On 25.07.2022    

10' and 20' shipping containers are very popular with people either looking for additional storage, or those running a portable storage company; and most people naturally assume that 10' shipping containers are as widely available and should cost half as much as 20' containers. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

10' Shipping Containers

10' shipping containers, also called duo-cons, are half the length of a 20' shipping container and in a retail environment can be transported and secured easily. They are 8'6" tall and 8' wide. This size of shipping container is not used by shipping lines or leasing companies for long term shipping. Aside from being too small to be efficiently deployed, nearly every port and terminal is geared to manage shipping containers in 20' increments - specifically 20' and 40' shipping containers. To transport a 10' shipping container the factory welds together two 10' containers to form what appears to be 1x 20' container, which allows the handling equipment to manage the size. Aside from the size issue, some shipping lines are reluctant to move 10' containers because of the additional difficulty in loading them.

With regards to buying a 10' shipping container; they are only available as new, or one trip, units. It is not common to find a used 10' container on the retail market.

duo-cons welded together
Duo-cons welded together
10' shipping containers
10' shipping containers

20' Shipping Containers

20' shipping containers are very popular with both shipping lines and aftermarket users that are looking for portable storage, modular housing components, or similar uses. They are widely used and readily available in nearly every major city in the United States and Canada.
20' shipping containers are available in both new and used condition and prices are driven primarily by location and condition.

10' and 20' Price Differences

People naturally assume that 10' containers are half the price of a 20' container. Logically, it's easy to make assumption, but once you do the math it's clear why 10' containers aren't cheap in comparison. The largest price component of a shipping container is steel, which is roughly 60% of the total cost. The other components are paint, flooring, and labor (read this article to learn more about what influences the price of a shipping container). A 10' container has roughly 391 square feet of steel, while a 20' container has roughly 646 square feet. And even though it's smaller, a 10' container includes the same number of corner castings, posts, and doors.

10' Shipping Container 20' Shipping Container
Available New or Used? New New and Used
Square Feet of Steel 391 646
Doors 2 2
Corner Castings 8 8
Corner Posts 4 4

If you project is locked in to a 10' shipping container, you may need to look in alternative cities to find one and then have it delivered to your location. If you don't see any 10' containers on you can make an inquiry in your local area and ask that one be delivered to your location.

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