Domestic vs International Shipping Containers [2024]

Domestic vs International Shipping Containers – The similarities between domestic and international shipping containers are obvious. Storage containers and transport containers deliver items from and to different locations. There are some distinctions, however. 

The transportation of containers for domestic use uses in different ways. International shipping containers can are only transported via ships.

“But what should I do about differences in shipping containers?” you ask. Shipping containers can accommodate a variety of types of merchandise. Shipping containers are also sturdy enough to contain and transport dangerous items.

The effort it takes depends on where you’re sending the items. The location you’re shipping your items to determines the type of container you’ll need.

We’ll discuss domestic as well as. International shipping containers. Also, we’ll discuss methods of transport as well as shipping costs and sizes. Read on to learn more about storage facilities that transport items worldwide.

Domestic vs International Shipping Containers

Domestic Vs. International Shipping Containers: Transport

Shipping containers can also be referred to as intermodal containers. “Intermodal” refers to a variety of modes of transportation. Trains, trucks, and ships can transport transportation units from one location to another.

Containers for domestic shipping travel across the globe within the boundaries by trucks and rails. International containers travel via truck or train and are designed for ocean transport.

Domestic and International Shipping Processes

Shipping to the United States is usually less complicated than shipping via an international container. You only need a shipping label to send your package to the United States. In just three days, your package will arrive at its destination.

International or ISO (International Standard for Organisation) Crates require greater effort. The word “ISO” refers to certain standards you must adhere to.

To use an international shipping crate, you’ll need:

  • Origin certificate
  • Landing bills
  • Commercial invoice packaging
  • Shipper instruction letter

Customs must clear all packages before transportation to the destination. Be aware of your container shipping charges before shipping.

In the US, The Department of Transportation decides shipping charges. Outside the United States, customs regulations dictate the shipping charges.

Shipping Container Similarities

Most shipping containers contain corten steel. Corten is an alloy of different metals that can react to oxygen and water. Oxidation stops the metal from degrading further.

When corten sheets are processed, they’re cut into pieces and corrugated panels. Manufacturers join the walls. Hardwood flooring and double doors lockable are joined for added security and strength.

Shipping Container Size Differences

We have previously discussed the similarities in constructing the shipping containers used in international and domestic ports. They aren’t interchangeable due to the differences in size.

Shipping containers are measured in TEUs, or equivalent twenty-foot units. A standard shipping container in the United States can be found approximately 48 to 53 feet (14 or sixteen metres) with 8 and 6 inches in width (about two meters).

The average container in the US is around 2 TEUs in length and more than 2 TUEs in width. Shipping containers that are shipped internationally are smaller. They’re typically 20 to 40 feet (6 and 12 meters) in length and approximately 8 inches (2 meters) in width.

Container ships are better able to accommodate smaller international shipping containers than domestic ones. The smaller storage units mean ships can transport larger cargo at one time.

Know The Differences Between Shipping Containers

The biggest distinction between shipping containers is how they transport domestic or international items. You will need shipping labels to get everything you require for moving containers in the US.

International transportation needs a lot of paperwork before the cargo can move past customs.

Transport methods are the only distinction between domestic and. International shipping containers. International shipping containers only use sea transport.

If you have a subject you’d like to learn about, look at the website. There are many other informative and interesting posts to pick from.

Factors that Affect Domestic Container Shipping Rates

Domestic container transportation is transporting it within the United States. It could be state-to-state, business-to-business, or even a warehouse to your business and more. There are a variety of elements that affect the cost of shipping containers within the United States.

Ground Distance

The distance between the drop-off and pickup location determines the cost of moving the container. The more the distance, the higher the transport cost. For instance, transporting containers between states to the next is more costly than transporting the container to another city in a similar state.

Day Rates

For distances short of less than 400 miles typical cost for transporting containers is determined by the amount of time. This is because it can take a driver nearly all day. This means you have to pay for the entire day instead of just the small number of miles, even if you’re just within the block. A day-time service charge typically ranges from $800 USD to $1,200 USD.

Loading and Unloading Assistance

Before the shipping container transportation starts, it must be loaded onto a truck with cranes. One must be hired if you do not have assistance for loading or a crane operator. This is typically handled by the transportation firm you deal with. This will increase the shipping cost. Rigging is also essential. The machinery and manpower add to the expense of shipping container transportation.

Factors that Affect International Container Shipping Rates

Shipping Type

The cost of shipping containers internationally depends on the method you use, sea or air. Shipping rates for air containers are about five times higher than those using sea. It is because flying cargo planes requires many more resources and costs than shipping containers via sea. Additionally, the air transportation of cargo is much faster and easier.

Season/Time of the Year

International shipping container shipping rates are greatly influenced by season. For instance, January through February and August-September are the peak months. Thus, the price of shipping a container during the timeframe will be more than at other times of the year.


Shipping costs for a container abroad are determined by your chosen shipping method. If you choose a standard route, it will cost less. For instance, shipping containers between Shanghai from Shanghai to Los Angeles is less costly because it’s used for transportation frequently.


Based on the container shipping method, the cost of shipping containers is heavily influenced by size and weight. The cost of transporting containers via air depends on the weight of your items since the aircraft is limited in the quantity it can carry in its flight.

The cost of shipping a container via sea depends on the size of the container, as it will be stored on a ship with several other containers.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments