Find the shipping container with dimensions that give you what you need and the cost you need it

Don’t listen to the naysayers: Size does matter

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when shipping goods internationally is deciding on your container. It’s going to impact your costs, timing, mode of transport, and security. So, when we first talk talking to our clients about their shipment, we start with understanding how their goods will fit within the different container-types, and how said containers will fit into their shipping vessels.

After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than encountering unexpected costs and delays, so getting this part right early in the process is going to make a HUGE difference in your overall experience.

To make it easier for you, I have outlined the dimensions you’ll be dealing with for both AIR and OCEAN transportation.


1. Air Freight

If expediency is important, air should be considered, especially if transport costs aren’t as big of an issue. Depending on the aircraft being used, dimension and weight requirements could be lower, which means that smaller shipments will have more routes and price breaks available.

Here are the dimensions you need to work within for air freight:

Passenger Aircraft (for TSA Certified Known Shippers only – more HERE):

~ Maximum dimensions: 64″ (height) x 106″ (width)

~ Usable volume: varies

~ Maximum bulk weight: 10,000 pounds

Cargo Airplane

~ Maximum dimensions: 96″ (height) x 125″ (width)

~ Usable volume: Approximately 15,000 ft3

Container types and their respective dimensions (L x W x H):

~ Side-by-side 96″ pallet with net = 125″ x 96″ x 96″

~ Side-by-side 88″ pallet with net = 125″ x 96″ x 88″

~ AMA Containers = 96″ x 125″ x 96″

~ Single row 96″ pallet with net = 96” x 125″ x 96″

~ 96″ lower deck pallet with net = 96″ x 125″ x 64″

~ 96″ lower deck winged pallet with net = 96” x 125″ x 64

~ LD-3 container = 60.4″ x 61.5″ x 64″

To calculate volume, multiply L x W x H in inches, and divide by 366 = weight in kilograms.

For our handy US to metrics weight conversion calculator, click HERE:

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2. Ocean Freight

Container Max Weights:

~ 20’ – 34,000 lbs (if weight exceeds 34,000 a tri-axle chassis must be used)

~ 40’ – 44,000 lbs

Standard container internal dimensions

~ 20′: 19′ 6″ L x 7′. 8″ W x 7′. 9: H (capacity: 1250 CFT.)

~ 40′: 39′. 5″ L x 7′. 8″ W x 7′. 9: H (capacity: 2434 CFT.)

~ 40′ HQ: 39′. 5″ L x 7′. 8″ W x 8′. 10″ H (Capacity: 2495 CFT.)

Less Than A Container Load (Consolidated ocean cargo)

Ocean Freight minimum – 1 Cubic Meter = 48”x42”x30”

Standard pallet = 48”x 40” or 48”x42”




In the last years, we’ve shipped everything from automobiles to personal effects for those moving overseas to businesses relocating to imports and exports to entire factories from one country to the next… Finding the right containers, routes, and timing can be a daunting task without support of a seasoned, and well networked group of freight forwarders.

Interested in learning more about costs, timing, and mode of transport for your freight shipment? Click HERE to get a free quote today:

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