What Size Shipping Container Do I Need?

When you are looking to buy a shipping container, one of the first questions to consider is what size shipping container you need.  We have outlined some advice to help you decide how big – or small – you want your shipping container to be.

What Size Shipping Containers Are Available?

Stack of Used 40ft shipping containers

Shipping containers are most commonly available in standard sizes, which can help to make your decision a little easier!

The height of a Standard Shipping Container is 8ft 6in high, most common lengths are either 20ft or 40ft.  There are also smaller shipping containers available and these tend to be 10ft or 8ft, these can sometimes be trickier to find, but our resourceful team is pretty good at hunting them down!

You can also find High Cube Shipping Containers. High Cube Shipping Containers measure 9ft 6in high and are usually 40ft in length, although they can be found in shorter lengths if needed.

What Size Shipping Container Should I Buy?

Choosing the size of your shipping container really depends on 2 things;

  1. What you plan to use the shipping container for
  2. How much space you have to place your container

If you are buying a container for storage, consider not only the number of items you are storing but also the sizes of them.  A 40ft shipping container gives ample space for storage of larger, bulkier items such as household furniture, or office furniture like desks, chairs, and filing cabinets, etc. This makes them ideal if you need to store furniture during a renovation of your home or business premises. For longer-term storage, you could place a 40ft shipping container on your own land as an alternative to using a self-storage yard which can be more cost-effective, and convenient if you need to access the items inside it regularly.

A 20ft shipping container is a great size for storage of fewer or smaller items. A 20ft shipping container offers roughly the same amount of storage as a standard single garage, but with the added benefit of being much easier to access, and you can put it away from your home if you need to!

A 20ft shipping container is a great option for the storage of garden machinery, tools, and the type of paraphernalia that clogs up your garage such as bikes, larger garden toys, garden furniture, BBQs, etc. We have also supplied a fair amount of 20ft shipping containers to schools to use as storage for surplus furniture, and sports equipment. We also supplied a 20ft container to Stratford Uniform Bank to be used for storing and re-gifting donated school uniforms.

With clever use of racking, a 20ft shipping container can hold all kinds of items like paint cans, and DIY equipment which can be stacked tidily away until needed. Our shipping container racking systems are a great option for this.

For commercial storage, 20ft shipping containers are very popular to use as storage for tradespeople who need a discreet and secure place away from their work van to protect their valuable tools.  20ft containers are also ideal for stock rooms, and storage for storing additional for online businesses and market traders.

10ft shipping containers are a perfect size for storage of smaller items if you only have a small space available to place them. They are a fantastic secure storage option for collectors or mobile hairdressers and beauticians who don’t have business premises and need somewhere to keep their stock.

It is worth noting here that if you are going to be storing any items that are sensitive to damp or mildew like fabric or archive documents, we recommend that you look into an anti-condensation treatment for your shipping container to protect the items inside.

Shipping Container Sizes for Conversion Projects

If you are searching for a shipping container to convert into a man cave, workshop, garden bar, or similar, the size will be largely dependent on your plans for the finished product and where you are going to place the finished container.

40ft shipping container cutting room

40ft shipping containers are well suited to more ambitious conversion projects. Some of the most popular conversions we have commissioned with 40ft containers include container offices and retail units. Back in 2019, we converted a 40ft container into a cutting room! They are also the most popular size for container house conversions.

20ft shipping containers are excellent as smaller commercial bar conversions, they also work very well as catering kiosks (see this one we converted for Studley High School in 2019).  A 20ft container is often a fair size for a smaller commercial office space. We can convert them to add insulation, electrics, windows, and high-security personnel doors, as demonstrated here.

10ft shipping containers are a perfect size for garden offices, home workshops, and garden bars. We recently supplied this nearly new 10ft container for a garden bar project. The smaller size means they are often easier to fit into a standard residential garden.

We have a quick reference guide to shipping container sizes here.

If you are in doubt about the size of shipping container you need to buy please contact us, our helpful team will be please to assist you.

Budgetshippingcontainers.co.uk offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale, which also includes our ranges of flat pack sheds, container canopies and more. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 7pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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