Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit

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40-foot ISO containers at the top, two 20-foot ISO containers at the bottom

Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (abbreviation TEU , German twenty-foot standard container ) is an internationally standardized unit for counting ISO containers of various sizes and for describing the loading capacity of ships and the handling of terminals during container transport .

There is also the Forty-foot Equivalent Unit (abbreviation FEU ):

  • 1 TEU corresponds to a 20-foot ISO container
  • 1 FEU corresponds to a 40-foot ISO container

In terms of cargo, 2 TEU have the same space requirements as 1 FEU.

The dimensions of the containers are standardized . A 40 foot container is exactly 40  feet long (12,192 meters). However, a 20 foot container is only 19 feet 10½  inches (6.058 meters) long because two such containers in a row must be as long as a 40 foot container, leaving a 3 inch (7.62 cm) gap.

The width is a uniform 8 feet (2,438 meters), the standard height is 8 feet 6 inches = 8½ feet (2,591 meters). Heights of 8 feet (2,438 meters) are also common. The different heights are not taken into account in the unit.

TEU ISO container in feet Length in meters Width in meters Height in meters Max. Total weight in kg
1 20th 6.058 2,438 2.591 20320
1.5 30th 9.125 2,438 2.591 25400
2 40 12,192 2,438 2.591 30480


  • Glossary for transport statistics. Third edition. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxemburg 2003, ISBN 92-894-4942-X , p. 85, (PDF; 790 kB).

Individual evidence

  1. a b Glossary . In: Container Handbook . Association of the German Insurance Industry V. (GDV). Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  2. 3.2 Container dimensions and weights . In: Container Handbook. Association of the German Insurance Industry V. (GDV). Retrieved July 30, 2009.