How Much Do Shipping Containers Weigh?

How Much Do Shipping Containers Weigh?

Portable shipping containers are large steel containers that are weather-resistant and can be used by both commercial industries and residential homeowners. Retailers often use them for showroom storage, educational institutions for office records, furniture, sports equipment, and construction companies for on-site storage of building materials and tools.

Automotive companies often use these containers to store tires, tools, and parts, and agricultural businesses keep farm equipment and machinery inside them. The weight of a shipping container is an essential factor in its longevity, and of course, it will come into play whenever any logistics are involved. Below is some information on standard shipping containers weights by container size.

Weight Of A Shipping Container

An empty 20-foot shipping container weighs approximately 4,900 pounds, and an empty 40-foot shipping container weighs approximately 8,400 pounds, depending on the type of container. A high cube container will generally be a little heavier simply because more metal is used in its construction. In most cases, the exact tare weight of any shipping container will be displayed on its doors, and the tare weight refers to its un-laden or empty weight.

However, any specific container weight may vary, and the approximate weight contained on the doors may be off by a little. Some of the older shipping containers are likely to exceed the listed weight, while newer containers tend to be somewhat lighter. This is basically because modern manufacturing techniques allow the makers of shipping containers to construct them to retain the same level of strength but require less metal in the manufacturing process.

Why Shipping Container Weight Is Important

When a shipping container is used for the actual transportation of goods, especially internationally,  it’s important to know that regulatory guidelines and government regulations regarding commerce must be observed. There are weight restrictions on imports and exports and inland movement of cargo in containers. If shipping containers are unbalanced or overloaded, it can pose a significant risk for the ships transporting them and inland road safety, and the actual cargo itself.

When cargo is shipped overseas, it is necessary to comply with various safety regulations, and that means the containers need to be weighed accurately, and the loads optimized to avoid incurring any fines or penalties. There are weight limit laws in all states of the US. These are issued by the Federal Highway Administration, an agency subset of the US Department of Transportation. Whatever private or commercial usage you have in mind for your storage container, you will probably need to know its accurate weight so that it can be safely shipped to you and remain in compliance with all state and federal guidelines.

Buy Or Rent Shipping Containers From Jake Containers

Shipping containers are incredibly versatile and can be used for a great many purposes. At Jake Containers of South Kearny, NJ, we offer outstanding storage containers which you can use for any purpose you can think of. Contact us today with any questions you have about these storage containers, or to arrange a visit to our premises, so you can browse through them first-hand and see their fine qualities in person.

Cover image reading "How Much Do Shipping Containers Weigh?"

Why Jake Containers?


(973) 957-7600

Image of a storage container on the Jake Containers website