40 General Purpose (GP) Vs. 40 High Cubic (HQ)

40 General Purpose (GP)  and 40 High Cubic (HQ) are one of the most common containers used in ocean shipping. 40GP is commonly known as a dry cargo container and 40HQ is commonly known as a dry cargo tall box (because 40HQ is one foot taller than 40GP).

The so-called GP, which is short for General Purpose, means ordinary, general, universal. By HQ, it means General High, also known as High Container/High Cubic, which is why the 40HQ is also often referred to as the 40HC.

Difference bettwen 40 General Purpose and 40 High Cubic

The length and width of 40GP and 40HQ are exactly the same

Length: both 40 feet ≈ 12.192 meters.

Width: both 8 feet ≈ 2.438 meters.


40 General Purpose


The height of 40GP and 40HQ are different

Height of 40 General Purpose: 8 feet 6 inches = 8.5 feet ≈ 2.59 meters

Height of 40HQ: 9 feet 6 inches = 9.5 feet ≈ 2.89 meters

The 40HQ’s are one foot taller than the 40GP’s, or 30.48 cm taller.

1 foot = 12 feet = 12*2.54cm/inch = 30.48cm.

The capacity (CBM) is different

Outer volume of 40GP=Length*Width*Height=12.192*2.438*2.59 meters ≈ 77CBM–actually, it can hold about 65m³ of goods

Outer volume of 40HQ=L*W*H=12.192*2.438*2.89 meters≈86CBM–Actual cargo capacity is about 75m³.

There are more containers contents in the below:

Shipping Containers From China To USA | Cost 、Time

About the cost

The cost of sea transportation of full container, 40GP and 40HQ a lot of costs, often the same. For example.

Ocean Freight, often the same. Port construction fee and port security fee, also the same. Port miscellaneous charges and THC, often the same. Even crating fees may be the same. However, in most cases, 40 General Purpose and 40HQ crating fees are not the same, after all, 40HQ volume is larger than 40GP.


Local Surcharges



Whether to order 40 General Purpose or 40 High Cubic is decided according to the total weight and volume of the goods and the height of a single piece. For example:

1. If the cargo is relatively light and the volume reaches about 70 CBM, then definitely order 40HQ. Of course, in practice, there is a kind of “high generation flat” mode, that is, the customer ordered 40GP container, but the shipping company yard has no 40GP box, then use 40HQ box instead of 40GP box, the cost and 40GP the same, this is 40GP. 40GP is the same, this is the “high generation flat”.

2. If the cargo is particularly heavy (such as tiles), the volume of thirty or forty CBM, certainly do not use 40HQ, because 40HQ is a waste of time, because it is not necessary to fill a 40GP is overweight (a container usually can not exceed 26 tons).

In fact, similar to tiles such as heavy cargo, even 40GP is a waste, because filling a 20GP container, the weight has reached the weight limit of more than 20 tons.

How to choose 40GP and 40HQ

1. From the international shipping costs to make trade-offs, international shipping costs, 40GP and 40HQ freight is usually the same, sometimes the gap will be in the 50-100 U.S. dollars difference, and the cost of shipping surcharges are the same, so from the comparison of shipping costs, 40HQ is more cost-effective than 40GP.


bulk cargo shipping


2. From the loaded cargo to choose, the size of 40GP and 40HQ are as follows:

40 General Purpose container size: OD size: length 12.19 meters, width 2.44 meters, height 2.59 meters, ID size: length 12.03 meters, width 2.35 meters, height 2.39 meters.

40 High Cubic Container Size: OD Size: L12.19m W2.44m H2.90m ID Size: L12.03m W2.35m H2.69m

From the dimensions, we know that the two heights are different, the length and width are the same, the number of squares loaded in 40HQ is 68 squares, and the number of squares loaded in 40HQ is 58 squares.

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