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How much will a 20ft container hold?

How much will a 20ft container hold?

Old Apr 28th 2010, 5:48 pm
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Default How much will a 20ft container hold?

Hey all,

As the title implies, we are trying to figure out in real terms how much a twenty foot (20x8x8) standard container will actually hold. Has anyone used this size container, and can give us an idea of how much furniture you can fit in? We are trying to figure out whether we should ditch some bits or try and cram them in.

We don't have a lot of large furniture - 2 beds (one double, one single), a two seater sofa and armchair, drinks cabinet, chest of drawers and several bookcases. Its all the boxes of stuff that add up too - kitchen equipment, soft furnishings, books, clothes, work tools, computer equipment, personal effects etc. I am having a tough time 'getting rid' of stuff!

Any advice would help - if you crammed everything from a three bed house in one, I would love to know!

LL x
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

we had a 20 ft it's about the size of a normal garage, we fitted the contents of a 3 bed house plus garage and shed, plenty of room
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

If it helps, these are the figures we've been given for a 20ft Container.

Internal Length 5.87m
Internal Width 2.33m
Internal Height: 2.35m
Door Width: 2.09m
Door Height: 2.26m
Floor area: 13.93m2
Cubic capacity: 32.85m3


We have a room fairly similar in size which we found useful for sizing things up.
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

Thank you, thats very helpful!

Did you pack it yourself, or did the shipping company do it? I know there is quite a difference in price if you do it yourself, but not sure if that is a wise idea...

Thanks for the measurements - sizing up a similar space in the house is a good idea!
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

shipping company did it, they know how to pack and arrange things so it all fits, cost 5100 pounds inc insurance with Britannia Robins
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

I would prefer them to pack it! But we are considering saving pennies where we can as the exchange rate is bad at the mo. Hope it picks up in our favour soon...
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

We had a 20ft container. We brought the majority of the contents of our 4 bed house, excluding white goods and beds (we were advised to buy new beds here as the sizes are different). It all just fitted into it with a few cm's to spare.

We were guided by the removals guy who came round to estimate for us. He just asked us to show him all we were bringing, wrote it all down and calculated the size of container. I think most of the removals firms will do this too. They tend to be the 'experts' at working out your cubic capacity based on the belongings you intend to bring.
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

Hi
If you have not already had any surveys, then it would be wise to do so. Especially when you are unsure of actual volume. The companies may think you could do a shared container to save on costs.

If not do shop around for the best price. We are paying £5333 for a 40' container, but some of the quotes we had were anywhere between that and 9.5k.
Good luck
Stef



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Originally Posted by Lady Locket View Post
I would prefer them to pack it! But we are considering saving pennies where we can as the exchange rate is bad at the mo. Hope it picks up in our favour soon...
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

Thanks guys. We are show homing our house for sale at the moment, so haven't had anyone round for quotes yet. We figured it would be easier to get an accurate quote once we pulled out our belongings from the loft again! We stripped most of our rooms of clutter to make the most of the sale.

Any advice on companies to use? Personal recommendations are always helpful.
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

Hi there. We had a 20' container which cost us under 4,000. This included them to do all the packing etc and included shipping door to door (Surrey to just outside Calgary). We were advised to allow the company to do the packing - we were told Customs are more likely to let it pass if packed by a shipping company - more likely to want to have a look and check contents otherwise, for which you can be charged. Don't know if there's any real truth to this or not but this is what we were told. Also, if the company packs it, you will have a better chance of claiming against any damages. Also, the companies are used to packing and so do a better job than what we would have done - they use specialist packing materials too - all the furniture got wrapped in a kind of heavy duty coated bubble wrap.

We had several companies around to do quotes. Prices varied a lot. I know someone earlier mentioned Britannia. There's was actually the most expensive quote we got at over 6,000. We used White & Co, based in Bournemouth. We were really pleased with their services - very efficient and no problems.

Every company that came around said a 20' container would be big enough (we were moving from a smaller three bed semi). However, when it came to it, not everything quite fitted. We were going to bring a two seater sofa (it had seen better days and was going to be used in the kids playroom) so decided to leave that behind. A couple of other odds and ends got left behind such as the kitchen bin and a plastic patio set but that was just about it. What we did bring over furniture wise was a dining room table and chairs, tall dresser, book case, coffee table, hi fi and TV cabinets, three beds and mattresses, 4 chest of drawers, 3 bedside cabinets, two wardrobes, large storage unit plus loads of other bits and bobs and boxes of stuff etc, not to mention the garden slide, various bikes and sledges etc. To be fair, for a small house, we did have a lot of stuff - with two kids, a dog and a cat, we were bursting at the seams! Chances are, from what you have listed, a 20' container would probably be enough but hopefully the removal companies will be able to advise you better once they assess the volume of stuff you have. We found some had a quick look in the loft to see what we had, others didn't.

I wish you all the best.



Originally Posted by Lady Locket View Post
Thanks guys. We are show homing our house for sale at the moment, so haven't had anyone round for quotes yet. We figured it would be easier to get an accurate quote once we pulled out our belongings from the loft again! We stripped most of our rooms of clutter to make the most of the sale.

Any advice on companies to use? Personal recommendations are always helpful.
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Old Apr 28th 2010, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

Originally Posted by TheThornes View Post
We were advised to allow the company to do the packing - we were told Customs are more likely to let it pass if packed by a shipping company - more likely to want to have a look and check contents otherwise, for which you can be charged. Don't know if there's any real truth to this or not but this is what we were told.
Funny enough we were told the same by the shipping companies and thought that it was a point worth considering. They decided rather than going directly to re-routed it via US and off loaded it and reloaded it on another ship. Guess what happens - US customs decide to inspect it so we get asked to pay a bill for landing in a country that we didn't even agree that they would go to and still have a risk of customs inspection when it arrives in Canada. When we point out how unreasonable this was as their decision to reroute it has incurred this charge and double the risk of damage (they tell you to get it insured as the most likely time for damage is loading and off loading) they now say that 80% of containers entering US / Canada and 100% entering Australia get inspected! Not sure if that is true or it just suits them to say but either way it would be nice if they were consistent! :curse:

In summary if what they are now saying is true, I don't think that it makes a lot of difference who packs it with regard to customs actually inspecting the container.
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Old Apr 29th 2010, 12:54 am
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

We had a 20 ft container which arrived a few weeks back in Calgary. We fitted the contents of our 3 bed house.. I threw nothing away and was so glad we didnt..

If you have the time I would suggest packing yourself as it does save you a fortune! We spent about fifty pounds on bubble wrap and those big rolls of cling film.. ( I thought hubby had an obsession with it he wrapped everything.) inc.. Beds, Sofas etc The advantage of this was that when we loaded everything it kind of stuck together and gave the boxes strength and of course waterproof as the container was a bit wet inside when it arrived Not a thing moved in that container and no breakages

We did have more room and could have fitted more in.. they are fairly deceptive because of course you can fill it to the ceiling..

Good luck..


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Old Apr 29th 2010, 12:59 am
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

That's awful Our's got shipped to the east coast somewhere and then came by train to Calgary where it then cleared Customs with no problems whatsoever. The shipping company this end then just held on to it at no extra cost until we had bought our house and were ready to have everything delivered to our house. We moved nearly 18 months ago now and, at the time, the shipping companies told us that the containers coming to Canada rarely got opened; some even went so far as to say they'd never had any opened upon reaching Canada. If it's true that they are now opening around 80% of them, that's not good and will probably result extra unforseen cost for many people. Let's just hope it's not the case.


Originally Posted by Yelkcub View Post
Funny enough we were told the same by the shipping companies and thought that it was a point worth considering. They decided rather than going directly to re-routed it via US and off loaded it and reloaded it on another ship. Guess what happens - US customs decide to inspect it so we get asked to pay a bill for landing in a country that we didn't even agree that they would go to and still have a risk of customs inspection when it arrives in Canada. When we point out how unreasonable this was as their decision to reroute it has incurred this charge and double the risk of damage (they tell you to get it insured as the most likely time for damage is loading and off loading) they now say that 80% of containers entering US / Canada and 100% entering Australia get inspected! Not sure if that is true or it just suits them to say but either way it would be nice if they were consistent! :curse:

In summary if what they are now saying is true, I don't think that it makes a lot of difference who packs it with regard to customs actually inspecting the container.
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Old Apr 29th 2010, 4:11 am
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

I have posted this before but if you have a good local moving company then ask them. If they are a reasonable size then they can probably sort it with no hassle. We used a local Norwich company who were connected with a good Canadian company etc. The huge advantage was having local guys who we knew, who were flexible, who weren't coming a long distance to pack etc etc. so we were able to pack up over a few days and they held our stuff locally until the ship was sailing. They also matched our best quote.
Whoever you go with this should be a very simple process. I have done it a few times both ways with no hassle and only one thing every broken.
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Old Apr 29th 2010, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: How much will a 20ft container hold?

Can you get/use containers smaller than 20ft? Ie, can you use 15ft or even 10ft containers? We only have a small 1 bedroom flat, so other than a sofa, bed, desk, wardrobe, coffee table, TV & other small bits there isn't really that much we would need to move. If so, has anyone used a small container and how much did it cost (We would need it Newcastle upon Tyne to Vancouver)?

Also someone mentioned storage at the other end. How much have people paid for the shipping company to hold on to the stuff for a few weeks/months until we got a house/condo sorted? Also is there a time limit on how long you can keep stuff in storage with the shipping companies?
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