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HomeEducationI don't want to use a 40' High Cube container

I don’t want to use a 40′ High Cube container

As I have discussed in my post about Container Sizes and Dimensions – All Types and Answers to test your shipping knowledge Week – 50 a High Cube container is designed to carry more cubic capacity and some of the industries like the furniture industry use them extensively for their cargoes and some even customise their cargo packaging around the carrying capacity of a high cube.. You can download the generic dimensions of the various container types and sizes here..

These days, (excepting certain trade lanes) generally the freight rate for a 40′ GP and as 40′ HQ is the same and most lines do not charge anything additional for the use of a 40′ HQ..

However, if you are working for a shipping line, you might have come across situations whereby the customer insists that they do NOT want a 40′ HQ and only wants a 40′ GP even though he might benefit from the higher cubic volume that he could pack in a 40′ HQ.. Even if the shipper is willing, the consignee is not willing to accept it..

Puzzled, and want to know the reason why..??

One of the core reasons is that the warehouse or premises of the shipper and/or consignee or their packing depot simply cannot accommodate the 1 foot extra height of a 40′ HQ.. This is the practical reason why a shipper or consignee cannot accept a 40′ HQ container..

40' High Cube Container
40′ High Cube Container

Even though the reason is as simple as that, I have come across cases whereby costs have been incurred because this basic requirement was not followed..

Shipper has booked and shipped a 40′ HQ to the destination, only to be told by the consignee that he could not accept the container into his warehouse because of this practical reason and had to incur extra costs to unpack the container at a third party warehouse instead of his own..

This is also the reason why the shipper “specifies” what type/size of container he needs.. HQ containers have markings as shown in the image (the red circles) to visually indicate that the container is high..

In the interest of avoiding additional costs for everyone, it is imperative that the shipping line, freight forwarder, shipper, consignee, depot, transporters and everyone else involved in the transportation of the container, check the size/type of the container used and what is mentioned in all the documents..

Have you come across any other reasons where a customer has said “I don’t want to use a 40′ High Cube container”..??

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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiarhttps://www.shippingandfreightresource.com
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


    • I europe you pay the same for precarrige, no matter what container you use (20’DC, 40’DC/HC). the only extra charges is for overweight, OOG.

  1. This is a bit specialist, but we ship scientific equipment around the world in shipping containers, which are often loaded directly onto the research ship that the equipment will be used on. Often the ships are designed specifically around the standard container height, e.g. with labs that have direct access into each container in a stack. Sometimes the container is stored below deck with very limited height clearance!

    • Another (minor) reason why clients may refuse HC containers is that an insulation kit will cost (a little bit) more when fitted in 1×40′ HC than in 1×40′ GP.

      A side note about the price of pre-carriage in Europe mentioned by Kristoffer :
      – all-motor trucking is, indeed, usually the same for 20′, 40′ dry & HC = rated per chassis.
      – there is however a difference in case of combined trucking (rail + road, barge + road).
      – there may be a difference in all-motor trucking rates when (in case of a carrier haulage) a SS Line has too many empty container in an inland depot or (in case of merchant haulage) when a trucker can truck 2 light 20′ dry on 1 chassis.

      Happy Christmas to all.


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