If you want to buy or hire a shipping container, you of course, pay attention to the size of container as all your cargo has to be loaded there. You have to think over it properly to determine the right shipping container size. The standard sizes of shipping container are either 20ft or 40ft long by 8ft wide and 8ft 6 in tall.
These standard sizes meant that the loading and unloading of shipping containers could be mechanised. In order to move the container, a few pieces of equipment are needed. Large numbers of shipping containers could be also organized on a single ship as they are easily arranged in large stacks.
There are many container types, and there are not only the standard 20ft and 40ft containers, other sizes are also available. There is a 20ft and 40ft high cube available which is 9ft 6in tall and is particularly useful for putting taller machinery and equipment in. Moreover, there are also smaller sizes of shipping containers such as the 8ft and 10ft long containers. They often have to be shipped as "special cargo" rather than going on the main container decks.
Shipping containers are not just used for shipping and they are used for secure, dry storage. People ask for an 8ft or 10ft container as they think it will be cheaper than the 20ft. However, all container types are used in the overseas transport of goods. The dimensions of particular containers of the same type differ depend on the shipping line and the year of production.
The container capacity is the total cube a container can accommodate. The term cube is often refered to the cubic measurement of cargo. The internal volume, the capacity, is determined by multiplying the internal dimensions, that is, the product of internal length, width and height. The capacity may vary among containers of the same length and height.
Rating is the maximum gross mass (or weight), that is, the maximum permissible weight of a container plus its contents. As for the rating of a 20' dry cargo container, it is 24,000 kgs. (52,900 lbs.), and a 40', including the high cube container, is 30,480 kgs. (67,200 lbs.).
Tare Mass or tare weight has the essential meaning in measuring the container. This is the mass (or weight) of empty container, including all fittings and appliances used in a particular type of container in its normal operating condition. It may vary due to the different construction techniques and materials used in the container.
Payload is the maximum permitted mass (or weight) of payload, including the dunnage and cargo securement arrangements that are not associated with the container in its normal operating condition.