Once you have decided to rent or purchase a shipping container, the next step is deciding upon a 20 or 40-foot container.

If you plan on using the shipping container for moving cargo it is essential you know exactly how much product you are moving as a 40-foot container is obviously more expensive than a 20-foot container.

However, if you can fill a 40-foot container with product, it will be cheaper to move based on a per kilometre charge.

For instance, using a freight calculator, a 20-foot container being shipped by sea from Montreal to Boston would cost about $395 while a 40-foot container would cost around $590.

So if you need to ship a large amount of cargo, a 40-foot container would be much more economical than two 20-foot containers.

Another thing to consider is what you are shipping. 20-foot containers are built to carry more weight (examples: minerals, metals, machinery, sugar, paper, cement)  than voluminous cargo, while 40-foot containers are built to carry voluminous cargo (examples: furniture, cotton, tobacco, steel pipes) rather than heavy cargo.

Ultimately what this means is you can’t pack double the 20-foot container cargo weight into a 40-container, but you can pack more than double the 20-foot cargo volume into a 40-foot container.

Here are some facts about shipping containers: In 2012, there were close to 20.5 million containers in the world. While there some variations from 20- and 40-foot containers those two make up the vast majority of the world’s shipping containers. Of those, 67 per cent were 40-foot containers, while 33 per cent were 20-foot containers.