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Blog Post - What is a TEU?

What’s a TEU container?

TEU containers, also called a typical intermodal freight containers, for transporting goods and materials by sea, road, and rail. A TEU has a capacity of 20ft (6.1 meters) and weighs around 8,000 pounds (3,629 kilograms). It usually takes place via sea freight.

In simple words, TEU containers are commonly used to ship consumer goods, electronics, clothing, and other merchandise through the water. TEUs play a key role in global trade and commerce. In 2019, over 17 million TEU containers were shipped around the world – signifying the surging demand in the market.

What is TEU container shipping used for?

TEU container is a measurement of the containers derived from dimensions of 20ft standard shipping containers. They’re used to –

  1. Determine the cargo capacity for container ships and terminals

  2. Transport - heavy machinery, vehicles, building materials, etc.

8 Types of TEU containers

  1. 20ft Dry Container (DC) - 20ft DC is a standard container used to transport dry cargo including pallets, boxes, barrels, sacks, etc.

  2. 20ft Flat-rack container - The sides of a flat-rack container can be folded outwards to create a flat rack and it’s mainly used for transporting pipes, machinery, or buses.

  3. 20ft Reefer container - Refrigerated containers are commonly known as reefers and are used to transport dairies, veggies, and other temperature-sensitive goods.

  4. 20ft Open top container - An open top container doesn’t have a roof but instead a tarpaulin sheet. It’s used to transport cables, raw materials, and other bulky cargo.

  5. 20ft Hardtop container - Hard top containers have a hard detachable steel roof and are used to carry construction goods, cement, automotive, and other specific goods.

  6. 20ft Side door container - A 20ft side door container has extra sides on the longer side of the unit. They’re used to load or unload cargo easily or transport oversized goods.

  7. 20ft Pallet-wide container - Pallet-wide containers are built specifically to carry wooden Euro pallets and can fit up to 11 Euro pallets in a 20ft size.

  8. 20ft Double door container - Double door containers have swinging double doors that open outside and are used to carry bulk cargo like motorbikes, cars, etc.

If you would like to book a container to move your cargo in/out of Canada, give us a call at 604-273-4911 or simply send us an email at

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