Dimensions of the sea freight containers & trucks

For a load carrier to be optimally loaded, utilized and transported, it is important to know its interior and exterior dimensions and maximum loading weight and take these into account when planning. This applies to containers as well as trucks and semitrailers. For heavy loads in particular, it is important to ensure that the maximum permissible total weight is not exceeded during transport within Switzerland. 

Sea freight containers

The most common sea freight container is the 20 or 40 foot standard container. Although they are, as the name suggests, standardized, there are variations in the dimensions and the weight depending on the shipping company and series model. A useful overview of the different types of container and their respective internal dimensions is available on the website of Transport-Informations-Services, the German transport insurers.

Trucks – Maximum payload

Only vehicles with a maximum total weight of up to 40 metric tonnes are allowed to drive in Switzerland and through Switzerland for road transport. Since the weight of trucks and semitrailers can vary greatly, our specialists make sure that the maximum load weight is known before starting the transportation. This also applies to procurement shipments from overseas and should be taken into account at the planning stage. For combined transport, the maximum total weight is 44 tonnes.

Trucks – Maximum dimensions

The height of a vehicle including cargo must not exceed 4 meters. The maximum length for semi-trailer trucks is 16.50 m, and for multiple-trailer trucks 18.75 m. Vehicles that exceed the prescribed dimensions and weight because of a special load may operate on public roads if they have a special permit. The office to contact for special permits is the cantonal administration, or for cross-border import and transit journeys, the Federal Roads Office ASTRA

In Europe, the majority of trucks and semitrailers operating for us are those that can load a maximum of 34 EUR-pallets. Refrigerated trailers, however, can load a maximum 33 EUR-pallets. The maximum permissible height of the pallets is determined by the responsible distribution center. Depending on the weight of the truck and the semitrailer the payload can be up to 24 tonnes.

Vehicle fleet and HVF

For information about the vehicle fleet of FMC Logistics Transport, and the distance-related heavy vehicle charge (HVC), see the relevant page in the National Section.

Contact us!

If you have any questions about the dimensions of sea freight containers and trucks, or you need more information about the HVC, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our specialists will be happy to advise you: