How Much Does A 40Ft Shipping Container Weigh

A 40ft shipping container is one of the most widely used shipping containers all over the world. It is basically used to export a huge amount of products from one country to another very easily. 

The weight of a 40ft shipping container depends on its specifications and dimensions. So, If somebody asks you how much does a 40ft shipping container weigh, then simply you would answer that a 40ft standard shipping container weighs 3.8tonnes and a 40ft high cube shipping container weighs 4.2tonnes. 

Both the containers are made of Copper Chromium Alloy Steel. The copper chromium alloy steel, also known as “Corten steel” or “Atmospheric corrosion resistant steel,” is weather-resistant steel used in shipping containers.

Maximum Weight of 40ft Shipping Containers:

The weight of a shipping container without any storage or cargo in it is called Tare weight. Tare weight is also called Unladen weight. We determine the weight of goods by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight. There is a data plate on the door of every container, which provides all the pertinent information about that individual container.

If you are new to exporting, surely you will get confused about the maximum products and goods you can load in your shipping container. The 40ft shipping container has some specifications, such as standard, high cube, tunnel, etc. 

The 40ft containers are normally made of steel or aluminum. The maximum weight of the container depends on the manufacturer and the material used.

40ft standard shipping container:

  • Tare weight: 8,159 lbs or 3.750kg.
  • The maximum weight a cargo can carry: 61.200lbs or 27.600kg
  • Maximum gross weight: 67.199 lbs.

40ft high cube shipping container:

  • Tare weight: 3.940 kg/8.687 lbs
  • The maximum weight a cargo can carry: 28.560 kg or 62.974 lbs
  • Maximum gross weight: 67,196 lbs.

40ft tunnel shipping container

  • Tare weight: 8.928lbs
  • Maximum gross weight: 67.196lbs.

The dimension of 40ft Shipping Containers:

Besides manufacturing material, a shipping container’s weight also depends on dimension. The bigger the dimension of the container, the more weight it will have!

  • Dimension of a 40ft Standard Shipping Container:
  • External Length: 40ft
  • External width: 8ft
  • External Height: 8.5ft
  • Internal Length: 39ft 5inch
  • Internal width: 7ft 8inch
  • Internal height: 7ft 10inch
  • Door height: 7ft 6inch
  • Door width: 7ft 9inch
  • Capacity: 67,670 gallons
  • Dimensions of a 40ft High Cube Shipping Container:
  • External Length: 40ft
  • External width: 8ft
  • External Height: 9.5ft
  • Internal Length: 39ft 5inch
  • Internal width: 7ft 8inch
  • Internal height: 8ft 10inch
  • Door height: 8ft 6inch
  • Door width: 7ft 8inch
  • Capacity: 76,300 gallons
  • Dimension of a 40ft Tunnel Shipping Container:
  • External Length: 40ft
  • External width: 8ft
  • External Height: 8ft 6inch
  • Internal Length: 39ft 4inch
  • Internal width: 7ft 9inch
  • Internal height: 7ft 10inch
  • Door height: 7ft 6inch
  • Door width: 7ft 9inch
  • Capacity: 72,806gallons

40ft Standard Shipping Container vs. 40ft High Cube Shipping Container:

The 40ft high cube shipping container is normally heavier than that of the 40ft standard shipping container.

The main difference in the dimension of a 40ft standard container and high cube container is noticed on their internal and external height, and the difference is exactly 1ft.

The storage space of a 40ft Standard container is 2,350 cu ft, whereas the storage space of a high cube container having 40ft is 2,694 cu ft.

The standard 40ft container and 40ft high cube container has another difference in their weight. The high cube container of 40ft has a weight of 8,775lbs, whereas the 40ft Standard container weighs 8,000 lbs.

Methods of Weighing Shipping a 40ft Shipping Container:

The weighing of a 40ft fully-loaded shipping container is very challenging. The Three methods of weighing a 40ft shipping containers are mentioned below:

  1. Trailer Suspension Weighing System: In this method of weighing, to know how much load is there on the truck, a weighing system is fitted on the truck’s suspension system and set to give an indication. This is not a highly efficient method because it provides an accuracy of around 3% to 5%.
  2. Weighbridge: A weighbridge is a large platform scale that is used to weigh large vehicles and their payload. The vehicle’s weight is displayed on the digital meter. It provides an accuracy of about 0.2% to 0.5%. This method can be a bit expensive.
  3. Axle Weigh pads: In this method, the axle weighs pads measure the weight of vehicles both in rest as well as in motion. The data which is found is transmitted to a central indicator. This device is portable, lightweight, and economical.

Why is Weighing A Shipping Container is Important

Weighing a shipping container is the most important work to do before exporting. There are many countries in the world that require you to show your official weight of the shipping container before shipment, and they have specific guidelines about how much the weight of the shipping containers should be. If the weight of the shipping container is more than their payable weight, it may create an unbalanced situation. It can give rise to a high risk for shippers and container ships. So, to minimize the danger and accident, a container’s weight should be measured before weighing.

In 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) declared that all shippers must provide Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of the shipping containers before shipping. This rule is made to minimize the accidents that occur due to overloaded containers. Before exporting, the correct cargo weight must be shown. The shipping organization also must weigh the containers correctly to avoid fines and penalties.

Uses of 40ft Shipping Containers:

If the shipping containers size is larger, it can be useful in different ways:

Shipping Products & Goods: The shipping containers are generally built for this purpose. They are tough, strong, watertight, weather-resistant, and are able to protect your goods against theft and physical damage. The size of the 40ft shipping container is perfect for carrying large quantities of cargo at a time.

Storage Solutions: The space in a 40ft container is huge, and you can store just anything you want. The common things that are being stored in these units are motor commuters, food items, sporting essentials, and other items.  


The weight of a 40ft shipping container depends on their design criteria, dimensions, and manufacturing material used. All the specifications of a 40ft shipping container have their own weight and dimension. Shippers can use any type of 40ft shipping container for cargo shipping and storage on the basis of their needs. Remember to measure the weight of your shipping container before exporting to avoid any kind of accidents or danger.

Shipping containers have turned into a trend in today’s world. Shipping containers are a very affordable and easy way to store items and goods and transport them from one place to another. If you are looking to export or store a huge quantity of cargo, a 40ft shipping container could be a good choice for you. So, if you have gone through the article “How Much Does A 40ft Shipping Container Weigh,” I hope you are not anymore confused about the weight of different types of 40ft shipping containers.