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If you ask a freight forwarder or shipping carrier how much you can fit in a container, they will probably give you the dimensions for a 40'standard container. Maybe they would explain that it is 67.7 cubic meters in volume and can hold 27,397 kg in weight. While this is useful information, it is far from the only information you will need to figure out how you can fill your container. There are many other things you will need to consider, but first and foremost, how is your cargo crated or palletized? Is it boxes of goods that can be easily stacked? How it can be loaded will be your main concern. If it is lighter weight boxes that can be stacked two or three levels high, you will be able to ship more than if you if you have odd pieces or goods that are not stackable. When you get container dimensions, it is not accounting for empty spaces or pallets. It is only listing the amount you would be able to ship if you used every square inch of the container. The other consideration is weight. How much will your goods weigh once palletized and how will over-the-road weight limitations affect how you fill the container? In the U.S. for example, road limitations can shave thousands of lbs off your load. The other aspect of weight is balancing the weight in your container to prevent it from being lopsided during transport. If you are using experienced people to load the container this should be easy to figure out. In the end though, these are the types of things that must be considered before figuring out the landed costs of your goods.

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Q: How many people fit in a cargo container?
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