Specifications for Manufacturing Cargo Containers

Products utilised by consumers and companies frequently get to their final locations as freight shipped in standardized cargo containers. Suppliers of these shipping containers comply with internationally accepted specifications that make sure containers are secure and efficient. For shippers, standardization means productive, durable cargo containers and consequently cheaper costs.


Cargo storage containers are produced in accordance with specifications first set forth starting in 1970 with the Worldwide Standards Organization ISO 6356 document. Standardization allows shipping and delivery containers to be effortlessly packed and unloaded, stacked and shifted. Containerized freight could be carried via ships, trains, trucks and even aircraft. The flexibility and rugged development of these containers has even resulted in the use of ISO-compliant cargo containers as aspects of properties and homes.

Structural Specifications

In order to reach ISO requirements, cargo container sides, upper and lower panels should be manufactured from corrugated steel mounted on a steel frame. The container is put together using arc welding. Flooring within the container is constructed of wood, usually plywood. Doors are double-hinged, meaning they swing to the outside and inside. Each one of the eight corners of the container should be designed with an ISO standard fitting to facilitate handling and stacking.


Standardized cargo containers are fabricated in lengths of 10, 20, 30, 40, 45, 48 and 53 feet. The 53-foot and 48-foot sizes are utilized for the most part in the United States for shipping and delivery by rail and truck. Throughout the world, the most typical sizes are 20 feet and 40 feet. The interior length is 3 inches shorter for more compact containers and as much as 6 inches shorter for the largest sizes

Height and Width

The ISO-specified height of a cargo container is 8 feet, 6 inches on the exterior and 7 feet, 9 inches inside. A taller version has a height of 9 feet, 6 inches. The conventional width is 8 feet externally and 7 feet, 7 inches internally. A few cargo containers come with heating and cooling functions. Called reefers, these storage containers are used for shipping freight that must definitely be cooled or or else kept in a climate-controlled environment. Due to the need for insulation and equipment, a reefer internal dimensions are usually smaller than regular containers.

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