Standard ISO Container
A typical container has doors fitted at one end and is made of corrugated weathering steel (commonly known as “COR-TEN”, a trademark of U.S. Steel Corporation) with a plywood floor. Containers are 8-foot (2.44 m) wide by 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) high, and either a nominal 20-foot (6.1 m) or 40-foot (12.19 m) long. They can be stacked up to seven units high. At each of the eight corners are castings with openings for twistlock fasteners. Although the two ends are quite rigid, containers flex during transport.
Taller “hi-cube” or “high-cube” units measuring 9 feet 6 inches (2.90 m) high are common in most areas. The United States and Canada often use longer units at 45 ft (13.72 m).
Container capacity is often expressed in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU, or sometimes teu). A twenty-foot equivalent unit is a measure of containerized cargo capacity equal to one standard 20 ft × 8 ft (6.10 m × 2.44 m) (length × width) container. As this is an approximate measure, the height of the box is not considered; for example, the 9 ft 6 in (2.9 m) high-cube and the 4-foot-3-inch (1.3 m) half-height 20-foot (6.1 m) containers are also called one TEU. Similarly, the 45 ft (13.72 m) containers are also commonly designated as two TEU, although they are 45 feet (13.72 m) and not 40 feet (12.19 m) long. Two TEU are equivalent to one forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU).
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