When thinking of moving your household goods and personal belongings, one of the most important questions are: “How much can fit in a shipping container?” and what size of shipping container do I need to fit in all household belongings and still be cost-effective? The problem is, we all know how a shipping container looks but it is not easy to picture how much can fit inside one.

At Palmers Relocations, we provide 4 shipping container options:

  • 20 ft standard shipping container
  • 20 ft high cube shipping container (slightly higher than a standard 20ft container)
  • 40ft standard shipping container
  • 40ft high cube shipping container (slightly higher than a standard 40ft container)

Depending on the type of shipping container, you can have space for the house contents of up to a 5+ bedroom house. Yes, it is larger than you can think.
With the quick reference guide below, you will have practical information about the different freight containers and how much space you have for your move.

Before we start, here is a pro tip: 1 cbm = 1 standard fridge or 7 standard boxes

20-foot container capacity

20ft container capacity

First, here are the dimensions of a twenty-foot container:

  • External length: 6.056 m
  • External width: 2.438 m
  • External Height: 2.592 m
  • Usable Capacity: 32.6m3

As a general rule, a 20ft shipping container holds up to a standard 3 bedroom home with a maximum of 30 cbm. How much you can squeeze into a twenty-foot container will depend on how your furnishings are packed and most importantly loaded which is why selecting a professional packing and loading team is essential to save on space and cost. Also, the experienced packers will ensure items are packed safely and won’t get damaged during transit.

In the image below is displayed what you approximately can fit into a 20ft container:

What fits in a 20ft container


Image Source: sirelo.com.au

20-foot high cube container capacity

Everything we love about the standard 20ft shipping container, the high cube container also has but with an additional 1 foot (30cm) of height for even more storage!
The cubic capacity of a 20ft high cube shipping container is 37 cbm. Additional space for furniture, boxes, or sentimental items that did not fit in the standard container.

Here are the dimensions of a high cube twenty-foot container:

  • External length: 6,058 m
  • External width: 2,438 m
  • External Height: 2,896 m
  • Usable Capacity: 37 m3

40-foot container capacity

40ft container capacity

If a 20ft container seems a little too small for your needs or you would like to also add in a vehicle, at Palmers Relocations, we also offer 2 types of 40-foot containers –  standard and high cube options. Similar to the 20ft containers, 40ft high cube container is slightly taller than the standard one offering additional space.

Dimensions 40ft container 40ft high cube container
External length 12.19 m 12.19 m
External width 2.44 m 2.44 m
External Height 2.59 m 2.89 m


difference between 40 ft and 40ft hc

A 40-foot container will be the perfect size to pack up to a 5-bedroom home (maximum 60 cbm) or if that is too much, our clients include their vehicle. However, if that is not enough, the high cube container provides additional space allowing to ship up to 6 + bedrooms house (maximum 72cbm)

Here is what you can expect to fit in a standard 40ft container:

What fits in a 40ft container

Image Source: sirelo.com.au

How does the pricing work?

The cost of shipping a container varies depending on multiple factors – the size of the container, items to be loaded (if that is only household goods and/or vehicles), and, of course, the final destination. At Palmers Relocations, our team offers the best moving solution based on your needs and requirements.

How to determine your needs?

Whether you need a 20-foot or a 40-foot container, they both offer safe and secure options.
If you have any questions on the type of container you need, we offer a free in-home consultation to assess your volume and discuss the best options for your move.