FEU: Forty Foot Equivalent Unit

FEU stands for forty-foot equivalent unit and refers to the dimensions of a 40-foot shipping container. Forty-foot equivalent unit is a unit of shipment value, used to measure 40-foot-long containers. In the shipping industry, it is also used as a reference to the shipping container itself.

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What is a forty-foot equivalent unit used for?

FEU is a unit to measure shipping containers whose internal dimensions measure about 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet tall. These containers can hold between 20 and 24 pallets, depending on whether they are standard pallets or EUR-pallets. Depending on the type of FEU it is, it can also carry other goods. Most FEUs carry a lot of things and the max weight they can contain of pallets is 3.480 tons, resulting in their actual weight being 26.73 tons. A forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) is the amount of goods that would fit in two twenty-foot (20 x 8 x 8 feet) containers or one forty-foot (40 x 8 x 8 feet). About 25 metric tons or 72 cubic meters make up one FEU.

Key Takeaways

    • What does FEU stand for? Forty-foot equivalent unit, referring to the approximate dimensions of a 40-foot shipping container.

Are there different types of FEUs?

Yes, there are several types of FEUs. FEUs come in a variety of forms, including:

  • The standard FEU has a capacity of 2,360 cubic feet and is the most popular model of FEU.
  • The high cube FEU is one foot (0.3 m) taller than a Standard FEU, standing at 9.5 feet (2.9 m).
  • The reefer FEU has an integrated refrigeration system and is used to transport perishable commodities that need to be kept in a controlled-temperature environment.

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What are the benefits of using FEU containers for shipping?

Let’s look at some of the things that make FEUs beneficial for shipping.

  • Ample storage capacity: As the largest standard-sized container, there’s ample room for goods of various shapes and sizes.
  • Cost-effective: Shipping in a single 40ft container typically costs less using several 20ft containers. In addition, it can accommodate a large amount of items.
  • Protection against theft: Because of their tough construction, 40ft containers are difficult to break into.
  • Protects goods from damage: These containers are designed to keep air and water out of the container’s contents as they journey around the world, often via ocean carrier.
  • Ability to transport large goods: 40ft containers make it easier to transport oversized cargo that could otherwise not fit into smaller containers.
  • Versatile: Apart from shipping, 40ft containers can serve numerous applications, such as temporary storage facilities.

What are the dimensions of an FEU?

40ft containers are one of the most common types of containers used by most shippers, but the exact measurements are slightly different. A typical FEU looks like this:

  • Interior Dimensions (In feet); 39’6” long x 7’9” wide X 7’10” high
  • Usable Capacity 67.7 m3
  • Exterior Dimensions (In feet) 40’ long X 8’ wide X 8’6” high
  • Exterior Dimensions (in meters) 12.19m long X 2.44m wide X2.59m high
  • Internal Dimensions (in meters): 12.025m long X 2.352m wide X 2.393m high


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