TEU and FEU Containers | Everything You Need to Know

TEU container

What is TEU and FEU Container Shipping

Understanding the difference between TEU, FEUs and containers is crucial because when shipping companies give rate calculations they do it per TEU. In this example, TEU is Twenty-Foot-Equivalent- Unit and is the exact unit of measurement used to determine cargo capacity for shipping lines.

Recent estimates suggest there are 20-23 million shipping containers ‘in service’ around the world or 38.5 million TEU.

These containers carry and house the large majority of goods that are shipped around the world.

Both TEU and FEU containers are largely owned by leasing companies or shipping lines who run and operate the container ships sailing the oceans.

TEU and FEU container sizes are internationally recognised as the standard means to calculate the capacity for container vessels and for handling purposes at ports all around the world.

Since the freight and logistics industry has been subject to plenty of media attention recently, we thought you might like to hear everything about shipping containers, from the size to the total weight they can carry.

 

What Does TEU Stand For

TEU – is defined as Twenty-Foot-Equivalent-Unit and is the size of a standard 20ft shipping container.

A single TEU container’s internal dimensions measure 20ft in length, nearly 8ft in width, and approximately 8ft high. One container can hold between 9 to 11 pallets, depending on whether they are standard pallets or EUR-pallets. Standard pallets are considered more appropriate for a 20ft container’s dimensions.

What can you fit into a 20ft container?
  • 11 EUR-pallets sized 1200mm x 800mm
  • 9 EUR-pallets sized 1200mm x 1000mm
  • A 20ft container can fit approximately 25-29cbm worth of goods inside.
  • Two TEUs have the capacity of a single FEU

 

What Does FEU Stand For

FEU – is defined as Forty-Foot-Equivalent-Unit and is the size for a 40ft standard shipping container.

One FEU container’s internal dimensions measure 40ft in length, nearly 8ft in width, and approximately 8.1ft high and can carry a total payload weight – 26730kgs. One 40ft container can hold between 22 to 23 pallets, depending on whether they are standard pallets or EUR-pallets.

What can you fit into a 40ft container?
  • 23 EUR-pallets sized 1200mm x 800mm

How much do TEU and FEU containers weigh

 

Tare weight

20ft 40ft
2.170 tonnes
2170kgs
4780lbs
3.750 tonnes
3750kgs
8267lbs
Max gross weight 3.480 tonnes
30480kgs
67200lbs
3.480 tonnes
30480kgs
67200lbs
Total payload weight 2.831 tonnes
28310kgs
62420lbs
2.673 tonnes
26730kgs
58930lbs
  • The Tare Weight is the weight of the container without cargo or any contents
  • The Max Gross Weight is the total maximum weight of the container e.g. the container weight plus the weight of its maximum contents
  • The Payload Weight is the total weight which the container can hold

 

FCL and LCL

FCL and LCL are terms closely related to ocean freight.

When shipping with either TEU and FEU containers you may choose for LCL (less than container load) or FCL (full container load). We have developed a comprehensive blog covering the differences between the two – FCL vs LCL.

When it comes to containers the main points you need to know are:

  • With LCL, you pay only for the volume you need – not a flat rate like FCL
  • LCL is primarily concerned with those who would like to ship fewer items
  • compared to air freight LCL can be vastly cheaper in inventory space
  • FCL container transports often take place inter-modally, using other modes of transport including ocean, airfreight and road freight from the point of departure to the destination.

TEU & FEU Container Measurements

 

Size
feet/
inches
Door openings*
mm/feet
Internal dimensions* mm/feet Weight kg/lb Volume*
m3 cubic
feet
Width Height Length Width Height Max. Gross Tare Max Payload
20ft
standard
20ft x 8ft
x 8’6″
2339/
7’8
2274/
7’5
5896/
19’4
2350/
7’8
2393/
7’10
30480/
67200
2280/
5030
28200/
62170
33/
1165
40ft
standard
40ft x 8ft
x 8’6″
2340/
7’8
2274/
7’5
12032/
39’5
2350/
7’8
2393/
7’10
32500/
71650
3700/
8157
28,800/
63493
67/
2366
40ft high
40ft x 8ft
x 9’6″
2340/
7’8
2577/
8’5
12032/
39’5
2350/
7’8
2697/
8’10
32500/
71650
3880/
8554
28,620/
63100
76/
2684
45ft high
45ft x 8ft
x 9’6″
2340/
7’8
2585/
8’5
13556/
44’5
2352/
7’8
2698/
8’10
32500/
71650
4900/
10803
27600/
60848
85/
3036