What types of shipping container are available for storage use?

This guide is intended to give the reader a brief idea of what types of shipping container are available for storage use.

If you’re wanting to use your shipping container for export use there’s a wider range of specialist shipping containers available that wouldn’t typically be used for storage so please check our other guides or contact us if you are using your container for export use and not storage use.

As standard all shipping containers used on inter-continental container ships are 8ft wide. The shipping industry is dominated by what’s known as a ‘dry van’ or general purpose container of 3 common sizes:

  • 20ft Long x 8ft 6ins high – aka a 20ft standard containernew 20ft shipping containers for sale UK
  • 40ft long x 8ft 6 ins high – aka a 40ft standard container
  • 40ft long x 9ft 6 ins high – aka a 40ft high cube container

Whether buying new or used, it’s most likely that one these 3 standard sizes will offer the best value for money for the space you get.  Other standard shipping sizes include 10ft, 30ft and 45ft long containers, but these will often prove more specialised.

A standard container will come in 8ft 6 high and have a single pair of end opening doors, many variations on this classic container design have been designed to suit a range of storage options, these include

  • High cube containers, 1ft (30cm) higher than a standard height unit but otherwise the same
  • Tunnel containers or double ended containers include a second set of cargo doors at the other end
  • Side opening containers, designed with a full side access cargo doors
  • Dual side access containers, designed with 2 sets of side opening doors (one on each long side)
  • Curtain sided containers – with a cargo curtain as opposed to a heavy duty door along each long side
  • Refrigerated shipping containers – temperature controlled units that can maintain temperatures anywhere in the -25 to +25 Celsius range

There are further types of shipping container including open tops, flat racks, platforms and tanks. However, these are rarely of interest for storage use so are not included in this guide.

Many of these features may be interchangeable, for example you can get a 20ft high cube side opening container and of course you can get a good idea of what options are available by looking at our ranges of new 20ft containers

Don’t forget if you need something that isn’t shown, we have a huge range of conversion and customisation options, from repainting a container to turning a few containers into a home, office or industrial unit.

As 30ft and 45ft containers are reasonably specialised and 10ft containers are no longer used to ship freight, this means that in the majority of cases a 30ft container will be a very similar price to a 40ft, and a 20ft container will (in most cases) be a similar price (or cheaper) than a 10ft container.

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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