bannerny
Typical characteristics of an ISO shipping container
  • 10 May 2017

Most common specifications for ISO Standard Shipping Containers are dimensions

External of a stand. ISO shipping container: 8' wide (2.44m) x 8' 6". (2.6m.) high, and the usual lengths are 20' (6.1 m) and 40' (12.2 m).

Internal of a stand. ISO shipping container: 7' 10" (2.353 m) wide, 7' 8.625" (2.388 m) high, and 19' 4.25" (5.899 m) or 39' 5.375" (12.024 m) long.


Besides the dimension parameters, other featured characteristics and

Characteristics and Components of a standard ISO shipping container:

Monocoque body

Corner Castings

Steel corrugated sheet sidewalls, roof, and back panel

All-welded-steel, continuously

Purin reinforced Plywood Floors

Forklift pockets

Grappler pockets

Gooseneck tunnel


Reference shipping container drawing




The shipping container floors are made of planking or plywood wood, which is very strong and resilient, does not dent, and may be easily replaced during repairs. The floors also have a strong friction surface, which is important for cargo securing. Most containers are sprayed for insects because when lumber is used, it must comply with the quarantine regulations in most countries.

The forklift pockets of standard ISO steel shipping containers are easily visible and allow handling of empty shipping containers with forklift trucks. Forklift pockets are installed only in 20' x 8’ x 8’ standard ISO steel shipping containers and are arranged parallel to the center of the container in the bottom side rails. The 40' standard ISO steel shipping containers do not have forklift pockets. This is due to the fact that the locations of the pockets are relatively close together and such large containers would be difficult to balance.

Gooseneck tunnel of standard ISO steel shipping containers: Many 40' containers have a recess in the floor at the front end which serves to center the containers on so-called gooseneck chassis.

Grappler pockets of standard ISO steel shipping containers: Most all shipping containers are handled by top spreaders using what’s called corner fittings or corner castings. Also, some containers have grappler pockets. These were originally installed for hanging garments.

Additional specifications on steel shipping container:

Racking/Shear Load of the shipping container (corner posts) 16,000 lb

Side Wall Lateral Load of the shipping container 235 psf

End Wall Lateral Load of the shipping container 366psf

Racking/Shear Load of the shipping container 33,500 lb

Stacking/ Axil Load of the shipping container 210,000 lb

Roof Load of the shipping container 300psf

Floor Load of the shipping container 100 psf

Below is one picture showing allowable force on an ISO shipping container (ISO 1496-1:1990)




Later on Modo Container will prepare an article about the safety handling of container.



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