We often get asked what does high cube mean or what is the difference between a standard container and a high cube container.
The difference between a standard container and a high cube container is the height. A standard 40ft container has an exterior measurement of 8ft 6 in high with a 7ft 10in interior, whereas a high cube container is 9ft 6in exterior with a 8ft 10in interior.
What does high cube mean for storage capability. The extra foot of height increases the cubic capacity of the container from 2,350 cubic feet to 2,694 cubic feet. Therefore, the extra foot in height gives the high cube an extra 344 cubic feet of storage capacity.
All other dimensions of the 40ft container remain the same with regards to width and length.
What does high cube mean for the overall weight of the container given the extra height. A standard 40ft high cube container weighs 3.98 tonnes whereas a standard container weighs 3.62 tonnes. Both the high cube container and the standard container have a Maximum Gross Weight of 28 tonnes for shipping, it should be noted that if you are using the container for onsite storage the weight limit is irrelevant.
What does high cube mean for the difference is haulage costs. It should be noted that both a 40ft standard container and a 40ft high cube container can be transported using the same haulage vehicles, so there will be no difference in haulage costs between the delivery of a standard container and the delivery of a high cube container. We have the facility to deliver a high cube container and a standard container using either Hi Ab vehicles or side loaders. A high cube container can be put into place using a Hi Ab subject to the normal restrictions on delivery, namely grass access etc.
What does high cube mean when I have seen references to DV, GP and HC on shipping containers. When referring to the different types of containers 40ft DV means a standard 40ft Dry Van which is a standard 40ft container. Sometimes they are referred to as 40ft GP which is an interchangeable term for a standard 40ft container. Both a 40ft DV and 40ft GP are standard height containers namely 8ft 6in in height on the exterior. A 40ft HC is referring to the fact that the container is a high cube container and 1 foot taller on the exterior namely 9ft 6in.
What does high cube mean when it is referenced as 40ft HW. In the UK, it is very rare to come across a 40ft HW container, these containers are a high cube container so 1 foot taller on the exterior measurement but also slightly wider so able to store wider palletised loads.