What Are Shipping Containers?

Shipping containers are durable, structurally sound, and designed to withstand the harsh marine transportation environment while protecting the contents. Containers are typically used for 10-15 years before being retired into the domestic fleet.  During their marine life they are inspected and repaired to uniform global standard set forth by the International Institute of Container Lessors (IICL).  Containers are inspected many times on each journey to insure they meet safety standards.  Repair vendors are audited by the owners of the equipment to verify they uphold the container repair codes.  This is critical for the domestic container consumer to have the confidence to store their valuable goods safely and securely.  Whether it is job site tools and construction materials or your riding lawnmower and 4-wheeler, a container is the right choice!

These retired shipping containers can come alive again, and this is where CGI Container Sales comes into play.  Retired containers can be repurposed for either commercial or personal use. We have an outstanding supply of shipping containers throughout the United States, and can sell you one or thousands of containers – it just depends on what you need. Buying a container which is located close to your final use is important because the cost of moving a unit over long-distances could become impractical. For this reason, CGl Container Sales has many locations across the U.S. and will assist you in finding the correct container to meet your needs.

New Shipping Container Dimensions

Container Height

Containers come in two heights:

  • 8ft. 6in.
  • 9ft. 6in.

Container Width

All containers are 8.0 ft. wide


Container Length

Containers come in two lengths:

  • 20.0 ft.
  • 40.0 ft.

Shipping Container Dimensions and Specifications

Shipping containers come in standard dimensions of 10 foot, 20 foot, and 40 foot. The 40 foot long container is the most common. The 20 foot long container is less common, yet still considered a standard size.  Ten foot containers are more specialized and not as readily available. Standard shipping containers do have variations: High Cube containers add one foot of height; insulated and refrigerated containers are also available.  Custom lengths, heights and door openings can be special ordered. These general characteristics should be considered when contemplating using a container for a project.

These containers are made of corrugated steel and have wooden decking on the inside. The floors are generally treated with international shipping standards, and will have varying degrees of damage based on condition.

External Dimensions for Shipping Containers
20′ Container20.0′8.0′8.5′
40′ Container40.0′8.0′8.5′
40′ High Cube Container40.0′8.0′9.5′
Internal Dimensions for Shipping Containers
20′ Container19’4″ 7’8″7’10”
40′ Container39’5″7’8″7’10”
40′ High Cube Container39’5″7’8″8’10”

Modifying Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are built with doors opening on one end and are solid in the top, bottom, sides, and the end opposite of the doors. This is part of the structural integrity of the container. Care needs to be taken when modifying the container and the final use must be considered. A qualified engineer should be consulted when making major modifications to a container.

CGI Container Sales will aid in the selection process, and provide modification services at our facilities. Our staff is the most knowledgeable in the industry, and have access to shipping containers close to your project.

To get pricing on your equipment order, fill out our RFQ (Request for Quotation). Or you can call us at 1-800-255-4835 and one of our sales representatives will be glad to answer any questions you may have and take your order should you wish to proceed.

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