How to Choose the Right-Sized Shipping Containers


Selecting the right-sized shipping containers is important when sending products to fulfil customer orders.

With adequately sized packaging, you can ensure product safety during transit and reduce the risk of items arriving damaged or broken in your customers’ homes. This can, in turn, improve customer satisfaction and loyalty and contribute to a more credible business reputation.

You can also reduce your shipping costs and maximise profits by avoiding the use of excessively large shipping containers. You can invest these extra profits into other areas of your business to optimise operational efficiency, improve product innovation, or run effective promotional campaigns.

The question is, how can you choose shipping containers of the perfect size to send products to your customers? Below, we covered a brief shipping container size guide to enable you to find the right-sized packaging for your business.

Be Aware of Standard Containers

Shipping containers are often available in a standard size, which is sort of like a default size because it is the most commonly used by businesses. The standard size is usually between 20 and 40 feet in length, with a width of 8 feet and a height of around 8.5 feet.

However, most shipping container manufacturers offer custom orders, where you can choose specific and unique sizes for your packaging. If you sell a wide range of products, it’s likely that you will need to purchase custom boxes of various sizes to ensure your products fit perfectly inside your chosen packaging.

Consider Specialised Types of Packaging

Depending on the type of products you’re sending, you may need to use specialised containers that extend beyond the standard option. Specialised packaging meets the unique needs of your products and services to optimise your delivery processes.

For example, if you send perishable goods to your customers, you might want to purchase temperature-sensitive packaging to ensure the food doesn’t spoil during transit. If you send fragile items, packaging with extra padding (such as bubble wrap or foam inserts) is ideal to prevent breakages. Open-top containers are great for top-loading deliveries.

Consider Weight Restrictions

Be aware of the weight restrictions and payload capacities that are associated with different shipping container sizes. There may be additional restrictions and legalities associated with shipping internationally.

Make sure your shipping containers don’t exceed the maximum load capacity or size for various shipping options. Overestimations can lead to compliance issues and hefty fines.

Consider Shipment Sustainability

Choosing the right-sized shipping containers involves considering the sustainability and eco-friendliness of your shipments. Larger containers may accommodate more products but could incur higher shipping costs and require more fuel to transport long distances.

It’s important to consider your carbon footprint when choosing shipping containers. Minimise your contributions to global warming as much as possible as part of your ESG considerations. Doing so also minimises your costs and emphasises how much your business cares about worldwide issues like global warming.