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More Storage Volume, Same Footprint – 40' Standard vs. High cube vs. Super Highcube

26.05.2013 - Posted by Updated On 26.05.2013    

When it comes to shipping containers, increasing the storage or housing size (internal volume) without increasing the foot print can only come in one direction – height.  International equipment; from ship gearing, port and terminal container handling and standard chassis size, is all geared for either one 40' container, or two 20' containers.  There are some larger containers, but they're designed primarily for the domestic market and don't travel overseas on large vessels. Working around this the shipping lines have started using 40' high cube containers, which offer an extra 1' of height, at 9' 6", which turns into 320' of internal capacity.  There are a few containers than this that are larger, called super high cubes, and they're 10' 6" tall.  However, some domestic constraints come into play when moving these in the United States and Canada because of bridge and underpass height limitations.

40' Standard Containers

40' standard containers are 40' long, 8' wide, and 8'6" tall, making the overall volume of a 40' container 2720 cubic feet.  Under normal situations that provides an ample amount of storage for any situation.  However, when it comes to fuel and transportation efficiency, many lines are starting to migrate from 40' standard containers to 40' high cubes.

One thing to note is that in a residential house in North America the standard ceiling height is 8', so a standard container provides an additional 6" over this. This is one reason that converting a container into modular housing is a great idea.

40' High Cube Containers

A "high cube" is 40' long, 8' wide, and 9'6" tall, and the overall volume of a 40' container is 3040 feet.  If you were measuring the square footage of a house, the size wouldn't have change because we're working with the same foot print; however when we're packing a ship with products that extra foot means a great deal when it's stuffed and loaded on a ship.

40' Super High Cube Containers

There are a few super high cubes floating around the world, and we've got a few in California, Miami, and Savannah.  They're normally designed for a very specific purpose, like stacking and moving cars, and provide an additional 2' more than a standard container; which makes them 40' long, 8' wide, and 10'6" tall and gives an overall volume of 3360 feet.  If you run a storage facility they're a great solution as they provide additional room with no increase in property size. These containers are harder to find, but well worth the effort if you run a storage facility.

If you're in the market for a high quality, commercial storage container or a modular housing conversion project, a 40' unit makes a great solution.  To go an extra one or two feet higher, and high cubes or super high cubes are available and price competitive in your area, the math answers the question without much debate.

The shipping lines, leasing companies, and container traders on ContainerAuction.com provide high quality and competitively priced shipping containers around the world. If you have any questions or need any advice when purchasing a cargo container we invite you to contact any of the sellers, direct through a container listing page, or contact our staff directly and we'll either help with your question or point you to someone that is able to provide you with the best service.



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