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Tips for Choosing Modified Shipping Container Types and Sizes

2 minute read
Nov 24, 2021
Tips for Choosing Modified Shipping Container Types and Sizes

Industries across the globe use different modified container types and sizes to help them conduct business more efficiently and effectively. Many are familiar with shipping containers designed to serve as mobile offices for construction or industrial applications, but that’s just the start.

Some examples of modified shipping container uses include mobile testing facilities in healthcare, housing for temporary workers or displaced individuals, dry storage facilities, restrooms, and even pick-up stations for online retail orders.

Shipping containers can be configured in multiple ways and with numerous features and interior finishes. There’s a lot to consider, so we’ll break down some tips to help you decide which container types and sizes are right for you.

Tip No. 1: Focus on Standard Shipping Container Sizes

20-foot shipping container office with two windows

Unless you have an unusual application, a standard 20-foot or 40-foot container will probably work for you. Curious about how tall, long, or wide a 20-foot or 40-foot shipping container is? Check out the dimensions for the two most common sizes below.

20-Ft. Shipping Container Dimensions

Exterior: 20' (L) x 8' (W) x 8.6" (H)
Interior: 19' 4"' (L) x 7' 6" (W) x 7' 9" (H)
Square footage: Approx. 150 sq ft
Cubic footage: Approx. 1200 cu ft
You can opt for a “high cube” container, which stands 9’6’’ tall with the same remaining dimensions.

40-Ft. Shipping Container Dimensions

Exterior: 40' (L) x 8' (W) x 8.6" (H)
Interior: 39'5" (L) x 7'8" (W) x 7'9" (H)
Square footage: Approx. 300 sq ft
Cubic footage: Approx. 2400 cu ft
You can also opt for a “high cube” container, which stands 9’6’’ tall with the same remaining dimensions.

If you’re curious about whether your application fits into either of these sizes, reach out to an experienced customized container solutions designer. Contact a Falcon representative here.

Tip No. 2: Get to Know Common Shipping Container Terms

multi-colored shipping containers stacked

Like many industries, the container industry has developed its own lingo over the years that could leave you scratching your head. Interchangeable terms meaning “shipping container” include:

  •  Shipping container — the most used term
  •  Ocean container, sea container, or seacan — refers to a container used on overseas shipping vessels
  •  Intermodal container — refers to a container that is used across different modes of transportation (cargo ships, trains, semi-trucks, etc.)
  •  Conex or conex box — often stands for “container express,” originally developed during the Korean war to transport and store supplies
  •  ISO container — a container that is manufactured in compliance with International Organization for Standardization specifications

For more container insights, visit our Shipping Container Specs page.

Tip No. 3: Explore Uses for Common Shipping Container Types

different shipping container types and sizes at a modification factory

The following list includes descriptions of shipping container types. Each description explains how containers evolve according to the modification process.

  •  Cargo containers — These containers are certified to transport cargo on a ship. Once cargo containers receive modifications, they are no longer able to carry cargo. They must be recertified to travel by ship.
  •  One-trip containers — As the name implies, one-trip containers have only traveled overseas to the U.S. once. We recommend one-trip containers for most applications, especially work and living spaces.
  •  Used containers — These containers have traveled back and forth overseas several times, often acquiring a decent amount of wear and tear. Therefore, used containers are typically most suitable for storage applications.
  •  Dry containers vs. refrigerated/reefer containers — Most modified containers start out as dry containers, however, some containers include built-in climate control systems to help regulate temperatures. These containers transport temperature-sensitive cargo.

How to Choose the Right Modified Shipping Container

40-foot red shipping container on a forklift

If you’re eager to learn more about modified shipping containers, view our modified shipping container products to learn more about our standard products. You’ll find our standard floor plans include various container types and sizes that become storage units, workspaces, living spaces, bathrooms, locker facilities, industrial equipment shelters, emergency response units, and more. Additionally, learn more about what you should know before buying a shipping container.

It’s important to choose both the right container and the right manufacturer as you plan your structure. At Falcon, we have experience working with all container types and sizes for a variety of industry applications. We’re happy to guide you in the right direction – towards your ideal container structure. Reach out to us for a consultative assessment.

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