Why Containers?
Rather than transporting large shipments of merchandise or sizable proportions of personal possessions in loose shipments that involves multiple loading and unloading of cargo along the way, the improved process comes in the name of ‘Container’. Instead of dealing with multiple piece shipments, container is a much more convenient, efficient, and cost-effective way of transportation, where goods can be placed into standard-sized containers and the entire containers can be lifted and loaded. Thus, making them that much easier to handle, whether it’s by trucks or trains or ships, between ports around the world.

What’s a 20Ft Standard Shipping Container like?
Two of the most used containers for ocean freight are the 20ft and the 40ft standard shipping containers. Standard shipping containers, also called dry shipping containers or dry vans, are hermetically sealed and are used for general purpose cargo. A 20ft standard container can hold up to 10 standard pallets (1200 x 1000mm) or 12 Euro pallets (1200 x 800mm) across its floor base without stacking.

Door Opening2.34 m7’ 8 1/8”2.29 m7’ 6 ¼”19’ 4 ¼”
Interior Dimensions2.34 m7’ 8 1/8”2.29 m7’ 6 ¼”5.9 m
WeightMax GrossTareMax Payload
23956 kg52831 lbs2229 kg4914 lbs21727 kg47899 lbs
Volume33.2 cbm1172 cftLoad Capacity

Table: Dimensions of 20ft Standard Shipping Containers

Generally, a 20ft container should be able to carry the household goods of up to a typical 80 sqm two-bedroom apartment. That might not be so easy for you to imagine. To put it into perspective, it can carry 200 full-sized mattresses or 400 flat screen TVs or 50-60 refrigerators.

How do I maximise my container’s space capacity?
Here are 3 quick packing tips to simplify and maximise the loading of your container:
● Dismantle anything that can be re-assembled and carefully boxed them up.
● Use as much padding (e.g. bubble wrap) as necessary to protect your individual items.
● Whenever possible, stack up boxes that can be placed on top of one another while ensuring that the lighter items are always at the top rather than the other way round.

To fully maximise your container’s capacity without wastage and to ensure better cost efficiency, here’s a point to ponder upon; do you really need a ‘Full Container Load’ (FCL) where you maintain exclusive use of the entire container space or perhaps a ‘Less than Container Load’ (LCL) where you share container space with other shipper(s)?

To help you decide, ask yourself these 3 simple questions:
● Are you transporting more than 10 standard pallets?
● Do you need your cargo to be secured and carefully handled?
● Is your shipment urgent?

If you answer ‘YES’ to all the above, then perhaps FCL would be a better option for you. Cost for shipping goods above 10 standard pallets may be optimised with FCL and having exclusivity to the entire container space would mean better security and handling as there will be no contact or interference from other shipper(s). Moreover, if your shipment is urgent, it does not need to go through as many hubs as a shared container, thus avoiding unnecessary stops.
If you answer ‘NO’ to some of the questions above, then LCL can be taken into consideration especially if you are shipping during peak season and it gets difficult to secure a full container, or when your cargo volume is too high for a full container and too low for 2 containers.

Would the Container Cost give me a Heart Attack?
Not necessarily especially now that you’ve learned the most efficient ways to maximise your container capacity with the most cost-effective option that fits your needs.

Apart from standard container, other types of shipping containers include ventilated, refrigerated, flat rack, open top and ISO tank shipping containers. If you are shipping irregular cargo, the dimensions and weights as well as the characteristics of your goods will determine the best ocean container type for you, and thus, its price. It’s best to submit this detailed information along with photographs of your cargo and a data sheet to your freight forwarder.

We, at SolidXpress (M) Sdn. Bhd. will then give you a detailed assessment and customise the best solution for you at its best possible pricing. Your understanding of the above guidelines and knowing your needs well will help us help you navigate through this process painlessly for both your mental health and your pocket’s wealth.

Contact us today to activate your seamless shipping journey with SolidXpress (M) Sdn. Bhd. We’ll be waiting for you at 03 3318 8378 or michelle@solidxpress.com.my for all your logistics needs.