High Cube Trailer Dimensions

In the world of intermodal freight and storage, you can choose from a number of different container sizes. However, it can be hard to know which one will be the right fit for your needs.

High cube containers have become the go-to containers for many people who need the extra height these containers offer compared to traditional containers.

The increased vertical area afforded by these containers is driving their rising popularity. If you’re looking to buy or rent a high cube container for its added space or to transport it on a box truck for your haulage needs, you might be curious about its actual size and how different it is from a standard container.

This article details all high cube container dimensions, volume, and load-bearing capacities. Knowing these will help you make better choices for your freightage and storage needs.

What Are High Cube Containers?

High cube containers are basically a taller version of standard shipping containers. Standard shipping containers have the same width and height but can vary in length.

Usually, a standard shipping container is 8 feet 6 inches in height and 8 feet in width. However, they usually come in different lengths, the most popular being 20 feet, 40 feet, and 45 feet.

High cube containers are similar to standard containers in width and length options. The significant feature that makes high cube containers different is their height.

Typically, a high cube container will be 9 feet 6 inches in height on the outside. The inner dimensions might be significantly different depending on the width of the material used.

These freight containers are preferred when the standard ones aren’t big enough to accommodate your cargo. High cube containers are a great option for folks who store their belongings in containers since they provide more vertical space without requiring additional room on the ground.

Because of their extra space, these containers are commonly used to transport cargo such as construction equipment and other bulky goods that would not fit in standard-sized containers.

Since they are the same width as standard containers, they can be stacked efficiently with other containers without constituting a safety hazard during transit.

High-cube containers are also known as Hi-Cube or HC. They are fitted with several lashing rings with a maximum load-bearing capacity of 1000 kg each.

High Cube Trailer

Dimensions of High Cube Containers

The only difference between standard and high cube containers of the same length is their height- high cube containers are exactly one foot taller than standard ones.

These sizes are regulated by the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and thus stack perfectly together.

Like standard freight containers, high cube containers come in different lengths; 20 ft, 40 ft, and 45 ft. The 40 ft high cube containers are the most widely used high cube containers, and the 45 ft ones are perhaps the biggest freight containers you can find. Here are the dimensions of each:

20 ft High Cube Container Dimensions

In terms of size, these containers are 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet 6 inches tall.

External Dimensions

Length: 20 feet (6,096 mm)

Width: 8 feet (2,438 mm)

Height: 9 feet 6 inches (2,896 mm)

Internal Dimensions

Length: 19 feet 5 inches (5,898 mm)

Width: 7 feet 8 inches (2,353 mm)

Height: 8 feet 10 inches (2,700 mm)

Door Dimensions

Width: 7 feet 8 inches

Height: 8 feet 5 inches

Tare Weight: 2315 mm

Cubic Capacity: 37 m cubed

40 ft High Cube Container Dimensions

These kinds of containers are 40 ft in length, 8 ft in width, and 9 ft 6 inches in height.

External Dimensions

Length: 40 feet (12,192 mm)

Width: 8 feet (2,438 mm)

Height: 9 feet 6 inches (2,896 mm)

Internal Dimensions

Length: 39 feet 6 inches (5,898 mm)

Width: 7 feet 8 inches (2,353 mm)

Height: 8 feet 10 inches (2,700 mm)

Door Dimensions

Width: 7 feet 8.3 inches (2,340 mm)

Height: 8 feet 5 inches (2,580 mm)

Tare Weight: 3,901 kg

Cubic Capacity: 76.3 m cubed

45 ft High Cube Container DimensionsHigh Cube Trailer

These kinds of containers are 45 ft in length, 8 ft in width, and 9 ft 6 inches in height.

External Dimensions

Length: 45 feet (13,716 mm)

Width: 8 feet (2,438 mm)

Height: 9 feet 6 inches (2,896 mm)

Internal Dimensions

Length: 44 feet 6 inches (13,550 mm)

Width: 7 feet 8 inches (2,353 mm)

Height: 8 feet 10 inches (2,700 mm)

Door Dimensions

Width: 7 feet 8.3 inches (2,340 mm)

Height: 8 feet 6 inches (2,597 mm)

Tare Weight: 4,800 kg

Cubic Capacity: 86 m cubed

NOTE: The inner dimensions and tare weight (weight of the empty container) can differ slightly from the dimensions stated above. This is due to the different materials used to make the freight containers.

High Cube Dimensions Comparison Table

Measure 20 ft. HC 40 ft. HC 45 ft. HC
External Length 20 ft. 40 ft. 45 ft.
External height 9 ft. 6 in. 9 ft. 6 in. 9 ft. 6 in.
External width 8 ft. 8 ft. 8 ft.
Internal Length 19 ft. 5 in. 39 ft. 6 in. 44 ft 6 in.
Internal height 8 ft.10 in. 8 ft. 10 in. 8 ft. 10 in.
Door width 7 ft. 8 in. 7 ft. 8.3 in. 7 ft. 8.3 in.
Door height 8 ft. 5 in. 8 ft. 5 in. 8 ft. 6 in.
Tare weight 2,315 kg 3,910 kg 4,800 kg

 A Guide to Choosing the Right Shipping Container

There are several types of shipping containers available on the market.So,  it’s best to consider these important factors while deciding which one is best for you. 

The Container’s Use

Before you go shopping for a container, you should first think about what you need it for. Establishing your intentions for the unit early enough will help you narrow down your choices.

A person might want to buy or rent a container for several reasons. Besides their use in freight shipping, container units are also commonly used as storage space for homes and businesses.

Many people also remodel them into home offices, and they provide extra living space in their homes. Also, if you need the container for in-land freightage, some containers might be more suitable than others.

For example, high cube containers are not ideal for in-land freights, especially if you might have to travel through tunnels or road barricades. All in all, it is best to establish what you need the container unit(s) for and then consider other necessary factors.

Your Budget

It is important to have a budget before setting out on a purchase. Containers can vary widely in cost due to their size or condition.

When buying any container, consider the costs of repairs, renovations, and customizations you’ll need to do. Compare prices of different containers as well as repair or renovation costs, and settle for a great container that is the most budget-friendly.

Accessibility and Available Space

Depending on where you need the container, you should consider if you have sufficient space for it to be delivered and placed.

For example, if you need a container on your property, you must find out how much space you require for the container and if your property would allow it. Consider using high cube containers if you need more space without taking up more land space.

The Container’s Grading (Condition)

Containers have different gradings to indicate their condition, but none of these grades are standardized and could differ widely between units. Thus, it’s important to know the condition of the unit you intend to buy.

Typically, units are either used or one-trip. You’ll also come across abbreviations like CW (cargo-worthy), WWT (wind and water-tight), or other single-letter gradings like A, B, C, and F. Study what these grading labels mean before buying a container.

Warranties and Returns

First, it’s important to only buy containers from sellers who have a good reputation. Another essential factor you must consider is the seller’s warranties and return policy.

Some sellers offer extended warranties to cover natural damages your unit might incur for some time. Ensure that your container seller has a  warranty period that is favorable to you.


High cube containers offer a more spacious unit for transporting or storing taller items. Basically, a high cube container has an average of 344 cubic feet of extra volume (than a standard container) owing to its height.

Read our buying guide above to give you some direction on purchasing the right container for your personal or business needs. In some places, you may also need a permit to keep a container on your property. So, make sure you know what the local laws are before you send one to your site.