What is a High Cube Shipping Container?


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A “high cube” shipping container is taller than standard containers, which makes them particularly useful for niche applications.

The Difference Between Standard and High Cube Shipping Containers

The primary difference between standard containers and high cubes is the height.

For example, a high cube container measures 9'6" or 2.89 meters in size, while standard containers are 8'6" or 2.59 meters tall.

An extra foot of height increases the storage capacity of high cube containers from 2,350 cubic ft. to 2,694 cubic ft., allowing you to store an additional volume of 344 cubic ft.
The extra height of these containers allows manufacturers to fit a taller door (8.5 ft.), making it easier to move larger objects in and out of the container.  In comparison, a standard container comes with a door that measures 7.5 ft. in height.

Both containers are identical in length and width. You can choose either a standard container or a high cube in 10, 20, 40, and 45-feet lengths, depending on availability.


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When Do Businesses Need a High Cube?

If you intend to store larger machinery, equipment, or automobiles in your storage unit or need more headspace in your office container, a container can be helpful. Architects and designers find the additional height of high cube containers useful for false ceilings, HVAC, and to store surplus equipment or craft supplies, for instance.

High Cube vs. Standard Container: Which One is Better?

Each type of container has different uses. Check out the table below to compare dimensions (exterior and interior height), maximum gross weight, door height, and storage volume for 40 feet high cubes and standard boxes.

Comparison table| Source: Me

Read our container size guide to understand the dimensions of different sizes of shipping containers.

How Much Can You Store in High Cube Containers?

In terms of the maximum storage capacity of a 40 ft. unit, you can store about 25 standard European (1.2m x 0.8m) pallet stacks or 21 standard American (1.01m x 1.21m) pallet stacks.

To understand the capacity, compare it with common items: You can fit about 610 standard package boxes or 152 bicycles, or eight average-sized cars in the high cube unit. You could also store, say, 760 medium flower pots or 15,000 rugby balls in a 40-feet high cube container.

Features of a High Cube Container

Both 20 ft and 40 ft units have certain standard features such as:

  • Corrugated, high-strength steel construction
  • Hardwood, timber flooring
  • Sealed double doors for water and windproofing
  • 270-degrees door opening for complete access
  • Optional security add-ons like lockboxes

features of high cube containers.jpg

When to Use High Cube Containers

High cubes are beneficial for the following applications:

  • Modifications: You can use high-cube shipping containers as offices, storage sheds, restaurants, retail stores, and even living spaces. You can also stack these storage containers for more floor space.
  • More Storage: The larger capacity of high cubes help you store more goods than regular cargo containers. The same base (length by width) gives you more space without increasing the occupied square foot area.
  • Tall Equipment and Machinery on Site: If you need to store construction equipment and heavy machinery that don’t fit in standard containers, high cube containers provide a secure and spacious area.
  • Higher Headroom:  Both 20 ft and 40 ft containers are ideal for vehicle storage, particularly those requiring more headroom.

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Although high cubes have more height, the additional one foot might not make a considerable difference for general applications. The extra capacity that high cube cargo containers provide is near the ceiling, which may not be very useful. Unless you have specific requirements, you should go for standard shipping containers as they offer the same advantages at lower costs.

Buying Options

There are three options for buying high cubes: new, used, or refurbished units.

The price of a used 40 ft. high cube shipping container can range anywhere from roughly $1,500 to $3,000. One-trip units can cost you in the range of $4,000-$7,000, depending on availability.

For standard 40-foot containers, the purchase price range is $3,400-$8,600.

Learn how much standard shipping containers cost.

The shipping container pricing depends on several factors such as availability, location, sizes, etc. These sturdy, 9'6" steel boxes have a long life, and refurbishment can help you make your container as good as new. If you want to save on upfront costs when setting up your office or store, consider buying or renting a used container.

Buy used shipping containers that pass our physical 4-point inspection.

How Do You Move High Cube Shipping Containers?

Storage containers are highly portable. They have forklift pockets that make them easy to move around. You can use either cranes or forklifts to stack containers and then transport them with a tipper truck or trailer.

Since these containers have higher maximum gross weight (payload+self-weight) and larger dimensions, consult a company specializing in moving containers.

Get in touch with our container specialists.

Secure the container firmly and ensure that the height and length do not cause any obstruction while moving.


Some jobs need cubic storage containers for taller dimensions, wider door opening, and high gross weight capacity. As both standard containers and high cubes have the same length and payload, you can use either. However, use a high cube only if you require additional headroom to avoid excess costs.

Rent, lease or purchase your container today. Call us on 866-459-7600.



What is the difference between standard containers and high cube containers?

The main difference between the two containers is the height and weight. High cube containers are taller and provide additional headroom and storage capacity — the extra height packs on some additional weight.

What are the dimensions of a 40 ft high cube container?

40 ft high cubes are 9 ft. 6 in. tall, 8 ft. wide, and 40 ft. in length. These dimensions may vary with container providers.

What is the height of a 40 ft container?

The height of a standard 40-foot shipping container is 8 feet, 6 inches, while high cube containers are 9 feet, 6 inches tall.

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