Different Types of Shipping Containers: One for Every Need

Renting and buying shipping containers shouldn’t be complicated. But when you set out to acquire containers for your business, the sheer number of types of shipping containers can be overwhelming. If you feel like you need a PhD just to figure out which type is right for you, Rent-A-Container is here to help. 

We work hard to simplify the container rental and purchase process. To make it even easier, we have compiled this guide of everything you need to know about available shipping container sizes, types, conditions and styles .

Read on for more information. 

Get in touch with the helpful team at Rent-A-Container when you are ready to rent or buy a shipping container.


types of shipping containers


Shipping Container Sizes

Shipping container sizes are more or less standardized across the shipping industry. While other sizes are certainly possible through modifications, the following are the common sizes you will have to choose from.

10 Ft. Shipping Containers

If limited space is your main issue, this could be a great solution. These containers are 10 feet long and 8 feet wide. Offering a volume of 563 cubic feet, 10-foot shipping containers can fit nearly anywhere. They’re perfect for tool and small equipment storage. While they are more rare and more expensive than 20 ft. options, they can be a great solution for tight spaces.

20 Ft. Shipping Containers

This is one of the most common shipping container sizes. Standard 20-foot shipping containers provide 1,170 cubic feet of storage volume, which is typically perfect for a one-bedroom apartment or single vehicle.

40 Ft. Shipping Containers

With 2,350 feet of interior storage volume, 40-foot shipping containers are the largest of the commonly available containers. Two passenger vehicles or the contents of a two- or three-bedroom apartment should easily fit inside a 40-foot container.

45 Ft. Shipping Containers

You won’t likely find a larger container than the 45-foot shipping container. These large containers ring in at just under 3,000 cubic feet of interior space, making them perfect for your largest storage needs.


Shipping Container Types by Condition

In the storage container industry, the types of shipping containers can come in a variety of conditions. These shipping container conditions affect the price and tell you something about the history of a used container.

Wind and Watertight Containers

Wind and watertight containers are used containers that have passed inspection for being resistant to wind and water. That means they are great for storage of items that need to be kept out of the elements.

Cargo Worthy Containers

Cargo worthy containers are also used, but they are often the highest-quality used storage containers you can buy or rent. Although these containers will have some dents, rust and similar blemishes, they have been deemed capable of safely transporting* almost any type of cargo. 

*NOTE: If you need to ship your container overseas, you will need a CSC survey to be completed which Rent-A-Container can complete for you – just ask our sales team.

One-Trip Containers

One-trip shipping containers are as close to new as you can get. They are usually manufactured overseas and take one trip to the country where you are purchasing them. These are often the most expensive containers.

As-Is Containers

As-is shipping containers may have significant defects or wear and tear. They are sold “as-is” at a lower price than most other containers. For those who can fix the containers themselves or who don’t need a lot of protection for their items, an as-is container may be the best value.


Shipping Container Heights

Most of the types of shipping containers come in two heights: standard and high cube.

Standard Shipping Containers

A standard shipping container is 8 feet, 6 inches tall. You can get a standard-height container in all of the available shipping container sizes.

High Cube Shipping Containers

High cube shipping containers are a foot taller than standard containers, at 9 feet, 6 inches. These provide significantly more volume than standard containers and are perfect for accommodating taller items like work vehicles.


Types of Shipping Containers by Style

Most of the above types of shipping containers can come in a variety of styles. We have listed some of the most common shipping container styles below.

Double-Door Shipping Containers

One of the most popular specialty shipping containers, double-door containers have a set of doors on both ends instead of just one. This allows access from either side of the unit, which allows for greater flexibility when loading and unloading.

Open-Side Shipping Containers

Open-side shipping containers have doors that open along the entire side of the unit. These are in addition to the standard doors on one end or the other. Side-opening containers allow for completely unrestricted access to any of the contents of the container at any time.

Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Refrigerated shipping containers are exactly what they sound like — they are perfect for storing or shipping goods that need to be kept cold.

Insulated Shipping Containers

Also called thermal shipping containers, insulated containers are useful when you need to keep goods from getting too cold.

Open Top Shipping Containers

Open top containers have removable roofs made of sturdy tarpaulin. Allowing full access to the container from the top can make loading and unloading with heavy machinery much easier.

Flat Rack Containers

The sides of flat rack shipping containers can collapse, leaving only the end walls standing. The sturdy end walls can secure oversized cargo like construction vehicles that wouldn’t fit into the container if all the walls were up.


Wondering What Type of Shipping Container You Need? Call Rent-A-Container

Picking shipping container sizes is only the beginning of your journey. You then have to comb through all of the available types of shipping containers to find which one most closely fits your unique needs.

Why not get help from a storage container expert? 

At Rent-A-Container, our friendly and experienced staff can pair you with the perfect shipping container for sale or rent at competitive prices. 

To get started, call us at (800) 880-7061 or reach out online.

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