High Cube vs. Standard Shipping Containers: Which Is the Best Option for You?
Jun 2022

High Cube vs. Standard Shipping Containers: Which Is the Best Option for You?

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Shipping containers are certainly revolutionary when it comes to transporting goods from one location to another. They allow you to transport a wide range of items from different areas without much hassle and using several different modes of transportation.

These containers are often referred to as intermodal containers, and standard-sized containers have a maximum height of 8 feet and 6 inches. However, high cube shipping containers (or HC), another intermodal container type, has a height of 9 feet 6 inches, which allows for more flexibility, more storage and extra headspace for wires and/or cables.

This can be extremely useful depending on the types of goods you are carrying and transferring. If you are wondering what your options are when it comes to shipping containers, read below to find out the differences and similarities between high cube and standard shipping containers.

Standard vs. High Cube

A high cube shipping container has a height that is a foot taller than your standard shipping container. This is convenient for some because it saves space length-wise while allowing for additional vertical space.

These types of containers have a cube-like appearance (hence the name), and they are great if you are storing a lot of items or even if you are using your storage unit for unconventional uses (living space, for example). Both standard and high cube shipping containers are used to store dry cargo goods and are great for business storage, construction sites or temporary on-the-go storage methods. Keep in mind that the main differences between these two types of units are the size and shape.

Use of Shipping Container

What type of shipping container you choose will depend primarily on what (and how much) you are storing in it. If you are looking for a comfortable, spacious shipping container to live or spend time in, choose the high cube unit, which will fit your intended needs.

The extra headspace allows for plumbing and wiring and the higher ceilings will be a benefit to your living space. If you are looking for a shipping container that will provide better portability and store a normal amount of goods, choose a standard container. These containers are less bulky than high cube containers and are easier to transport because of this.

Energy and Building Materials

Keep in mind that high cube shipping containers require more building materials and will consume more energy due to their larger size. This is something to be mindful of when considering the overall cost.

Standard shipping containers need less heat and cooling and, for this reason, are slightly lower maintenance than high cube containers. If cost, energy savings and building materials are a concern for you and you want to stay on the more affordable and eco-conscious side, perhaps a standard size unit will work better for your needs.

Ease of Transport

When choosing a shipping container that is right for your needs, you also should factor in the ease of transportation. For example, will you have to transport your shipping container frequently or from one location to another? If so, you should choose a container that is easier to transport and will not be as bulky.

High cube shipping containers are bulkier and larger, with more height that makes them harder to port from one spot to another. Standard shipping containers are not only smaller, they are lighter, which means less fuel is needed to transport them. In this case, transportation costs will be lower and they will be safer to transport (without getting in the way of power lines, cables or bridges on the road).

Cost Savings

Another factor that will greatly impact the type of shipping container you choose is your budget and affordability. If you are looking for the most affordable and budget-friendly option, a standard shipping container will give you the storage you are looking for without being too costly.

High cube shipping containers can offer more premium, high-quality building materials such as excellent wood flooring and durable steel. This, of course, will come at an additional cost. Keep in mind that standard shipping containers can also be upgraded and customized to be turned into beautiful, economical living spaces.

All in all, the type of shipping container that you need will depend a lot on what you are storing, for how long, and if you plan on transporting these items from one location to another (or multiple locations). Essentially, both high cube and standard shipping containers are used to store the same type of items, only with different volumes and capacities.

For more information on container design services in Ontario and the GTA, please contact Sigma Container at 1-877-225-7762 or contact us here. We believe in providing affordable, practical and convenient storage solutions for a modern world. Contact us today to choose the best shipping container for your needs.

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at