TEU and FEU in shipping

There are many terms in shipping that newcomers have to learn. When looking for a container to ship products in, you can come across terms like TEU and FEU. What does TEU and FEU mean?

TEU and FEU in shipping

TEU and FEU are terms in shipping. There are used to describe container sizes that can be used in:

  • rail freight
  • maritime shipping
  • air freight
  • road freight.

TEU unit vs FEU unit

What does TEU volume stand for? Pallets in one TEU container

TEU stands for “twenty-foot equivalent unit.” A twenty-foot container is a standard container size. 

  • The dimensions of a TEU container are:
    • 20 feet (6.1 meters) long
    • 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide
    • 8 feet 6 inches (2.6 meters) tall.
  • The maximum gross mass for dry cargo TEU is 52,910 lb.: 47,770 lb (net load) and 5,140 lb (empty container weight). The total payload weight is 28.31 tons (28,310 kgs), and the max gross weight is 3.480 tons (30,480 kgs).
  • A 20-foot container, or TEU, has a maximum capacity of 28-29 CBM.
  • A twenty-foot container can hold 9-11 pallets.
  • TEU container has a door height of 7 feet and 5 and a half inches (or 2.278 m).

What does FEU volume stand for? Pallets in one FEU container

FEU stands for “forty-foot equivalent unit.” A forty-foot container is a standard container size. 

  • The dimensions of a FEU container are
    • 40 feet (12.2 meters) long
    • 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide
    • 8 feet 6 inches (2.6 meters) tall.
  • The maximum gross mass for dry cargo FEU is 67,200 lb: 58,380 lb (net load) and 8,820 lb (empty container weight). The total payload weight is 26.73 tons (26,730 kgs), and the max gross weight is 3.480 tons (30,480 kgs).
  • A 40-foot container, or FEU, has a maximum capacity of 58-59 CBM.
  • A forty-foot container can hold 20-24 pallets.
  • FEU containers have a door height of 7 feet and 5 and a half inches (or 2.278 m).

TEU to FEU conversion

TEU is a twenty-foot equivalent unit, and FEU is a forty-foot equivalent unit. Therefore:

  • 2 TEUs are 1 FEU
  • 0,5 FEU is 1 TEU
TEU FEU wymiary kontenerów
Stacked containers from top to bottom: 53 ft, 48 ft, 45 ft, 40 ft, and two 20 ft containers

TEU and FEU – which should you choose?

TEU is an acronym for twenty-foot equivalent unit (20FT). FEU is an acronym for forty-foot equivalent unit (40 FT). Choosing which one would be the best in your case depends on your cargo and individual needs.

There are larger containers than a standard 40FT, such as:

  • 40HC (2 TEU)
  • 45HC (2.25 TEU)
  • 48HC (2.4 TEU)
  • 53HC (2.65 TEU).

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