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Call Us: Atlanta (678) 829-5901 | Toll Free (877) 670-0229

About Containers


Container Load Capacity & Weight Distribution

By October 9th, 2019 About Containers No Comments

Shipping containers are great for an array of different uses.  However, their original intended purpose is for export. When shipping a container overseas, you will need to be aware of the maximum load capacity (or weight the container can handle), as well as other factors that can come into play. Due to similarities in cargo capacity between a 20’ and 40’ container, it is important to know which size to choose to meet your requirements.

Below is some helpful information, to assist you in choosing the right size container.

Maximum Load Capacity:

Each container has a different max payload capacity (or weight) that it can handle. Depending on the container, a 20’ container can actually hold more weight than a 40’ container.  This is due to the fact that 20’ containers weigh about 3,000 lbs less than 40’ containers.  However, load capacities will vary and this is not always the case. Before setting up your shipment, you should verify these details with your supplier.

20’ Container Max Load: 62,150 lbs.

40’ Container Max Load: 59,200 lbs.

The maximum gross weight of a container cannot exceed 67,200 lbs.  This means that the amount that the container weighs, plus the load cannot exceed 67,200 lbs. Again, this can vary based on the container.  

A 20’ container is typically loaded with heavier items to maximize space vs cost. This is something to think about when choosing your container as well. 

How does this factor affect storage containers?

In many cases, a 20’ container is used to transport heavy items.  This can range from raw materials (like metals), drums of liquid or tires.  These heavier items tend to create additional wear and tear on the container.  Whereas, lightweight finished or packaged goods are transported in 40’ containers.  This is why on average a 40’ container or 40’ high cube container will be in better condition than a 20’ container (when it comes out of shipping service). 

Weight Distribution:

Another factor to keep in mind is weight distribution. Since containers are stacked when traveling overseas, shifting contents can cause problems. Contents shifting in transit can also be damaged if high-density packages are placed next to low-density packages. Regardless of the size, you will need to ensure that the load is distributed evenly throughout the container. For more information about which container is right for you, contact the team at Container Technology Inc at (877) 670-0229 or complete an online quote.