Portable Storage Container Sizes

Portable Storage Container Sizes

Portable storage containers primarily are available in four sizes:

  • 10' storage container
  • 20' storage container
  • 40' storage container
  • 48' storage container

The size you want is the one that best fits your needs, and being precise in your requirements helps you avoid overpaying for a unit too big for what you need, or frustrated with one too small to get the job done. Considerations in choosing a size include your requirements for cost, cubic capacity, and payload capacity.

10' storage containers

These small portable storage units are used for shipping or storing goods safely, securely, and with protection for the elements. This size is a popular choice for on-demand shipping for residential and small business moves.

20' storage containers

This size offers more space for shipping and storage. It offers the same benefits of safety and security. It is optimized for moving larger homes or businesses. It is also popular as a way to secure tools, supplies, and equipment overnight at construction sites.

40' storage containers

This is the standard size for domestic and ocean shipping, as well as long term storage of goods. This size is optimized for larger goods and high cubic capacity, with only a small boost in payload over the 20' storage container.

48' storage containers

This size is typically reserved for domestic transport and not used for ocean transport. It offers the greatest amount of cubic capacity, perfect for items that would not otherwise fit in a portable storage container.

, Payload, Tare Weight, Cubic cap., Avg. rental, Avg. cost
10' container, "22,040 lbs.", "2,870 lbs.", "563.3 cu.ft.", $60/month, "$2,500.00"
20' container, "62,420 lbs.", "4,780 lbs.", "1,170 cu.ft.", $90/month, "$3,000.00"
40' container, "63,625 lbs.", "8,270 lbs.", "2,387 cu.ft.", $110/month, "$4,500.00"
48' container, "56,350 lbs.", "10,850 lbs.", "3,454 cu.ft.", $130/month, "$5,500.00"

Renting a portable storage unit

Portable storage container rental prices are typically based on the size of the unit and the condition. Size is obvious: larger portable storage units cost more. Condition is a variable that you may use to save money. “Standard grade” or similar is used to denote a storage container that is new, reconditioned, or in otherwise excellent condition. “Contractor grade” or similar is used to denote a storage container that is secure and wind & water-tight, but shows cosmetic damage. If your only concerns are basic security and storage, a contractor grade rental may suit your needs perfectly and offer a discount in price.

Storage container rental prices are optimized for short- to intermediate-term use, generally under two years. After 20-24 months and for all long-term applications, the price of renting a storage container approaches the cost of purchasing a new or used portable storage container. To determine whether renting or buying better fits your budget, compute rental costs over the anticipated term of use and compare to purchase price. If you have multiple projects over an extended period of time, purchasing a portable storage container typically makes the most fiscal sense.

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