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OceanContainers

Ocean Container Dimensions

Ocean cargo travels either loose or in containers. Most ocean freight is containerized in metal boxes know as ocean containers. Ocean containers come is many different sizes. Ocean containers are known primarily by their length dimensions. Ocean container dimensions, particularly steel ones may be from 8 feet to 53 feet long. The most standard container measurements are 20 feet and 40 feet.

Ocean containers are built to agreed standard dimensions so cargo can be loaded and unloaded, stacked and transported efficiently by container ship, rail and semi-trailer trucks without being opened.

The first shipping vessel built to carry ocean containers began operation in Denmark in 1951. In the U.S. ships began carrying ocean containers between Seattle and Alaska in 1951. Malcom McLean, a former trucking company owner, worked with engineer Keith Tantlinger to develop the first modern intermodal container in 1955. This development reduced transport costs and supported an increase in international trade. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by ocean containers on transport vessels.

APL introduced the first 45-foot ocean container in 1980, the 48-footer in 1986, and the domestic 53-foot box in 1989. In November 2007 introduced the first 53 foot ocean container. The new, reinforced 53-foot boxes are built specifically for international trade and designed to withstand ocean voyages. According to APL, 53-foot containers could become the transport method of choice for customers moving cargo. The bigger boxes have 60% more capacity than standard 40-foot containers. They’re 9 feet 6 inches high and 102 inches wide – six inches wider than standard boxes. That extra space enables shippers to consolidate more cargo into fewer containers.

A 20 foot ocean container measures 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width and 8 feet in height. A 40 foot shipping container has measurements that are 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and height of 8 feet and 6 inches. There are 53 foot ocean containers that have container dimensions 53 feet long, 8 feet height and 9 feet 6 inches wide. The actual inside dimensions of ocean containers vary based on the container type and shipping vessel line.

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