What’s the Difference Between GP and HQ Containers?

Container 40 HQ is a common sight in many ports and shipping lanes worldwide, but only some know the difference between the two most common types of containers: General Purpose (GP) and High Cube (HQ). In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between GP and HQ containers and their benefits and applications.

General Purpose (GP) Containers

General Purpose (GP) containers are the most commonly used type of container and can be found in almost every port and transportation hub. GP containers are ideal for most goods, from general merchandise to food products, chemicals, and retail items. These containers come in a variety of sizes, with the most common being 20ft and 40ft. These standard containers have an internal width of 2.3m, height of 2.39m, and length of either 6m or 12m. They are also available in specialized sizes like 10ft, 45ft, 53ft, and so on.

GP containers come with various features that make them great for transporting goods. They are made of tough, weather-resistant material and come with a secure locking system that helps ensure the safety of your goods during transit. The doors are usually made of metal and reinforced to help provide extra protection. Additionally, these containers come with various vents and openings that help maintain optimal temperature control when transporting goods.

High Cube (HQ) Containers

High cube containers, also known as HQ containers, are similar to the general purpose (GP) containers but feature increased height. An HQ container is 9 feet 6 inches tall, 1 foot taller than a GP container. As the name implies, these containers can hold more products than standard containers.

HQ containers have several common uses. Many companies utilize them to store and transport larger items such as machinery, furniture, or other oversized items. They can also be used for shipping goods overseas, although they are primarily designed for domestic shipments. Another popular use is for storage, as they are large enough to store bulkier items.

The dimensions of an HQ container are typically 8 feet wide and 40 feet long, the same size as a GP container. However, it is important to note that its capacity is much greater due to the increased height of an HQ container. An HQ container typically has a capacity of 58 CBM compared to the 33 CBM of a GP container.


The main difference between GP and HQ containers is in their size. A general purpose (GP) container measures 8 ft. 6 in. tall, 8 ft. wide, and either 20 or 40 ft. long. A high cube (HQ) container measures 9 ft. 6 in. tall, 8 ft. wide, and either 20 or 40 ft. long. The extra foot in the height of the HQ gives it an additional 5% more capacity than the GP.

When considering the dimensions of a container, it is important to consider the potential capacity of each type of container. A GP container typically holds approximately 1000 cubic feet, while an HQ container can hold approximately 1050 cubic feet. Additionally, the door openings on a GP are slightly smaller than those on an HQ. The door opening of a GP is 7 ft. 8 in. tall by 7 ft. 5 in., while an HQ has a door opening of 8 ft. 10 in. tall by 7 ft. 5 in.

It is also important to consider the load capabilities of each type of container when determining which one to use. Generally speaking, a GP container can hold up to 44,000 lbs., while an HQ can hold up to 58,500 lbs. However, this number can vary depending on the exact type of container and the specific loading situation.


General purpose (GP) containers come in two sizes, 20-foot and 40-foot. The 20-foot GP container has a capacity of 1,172 cubic feet, while the 40-foot has a capacity of 2,385 cubic feet.

HQ containers come in three sizes, 20-foot, 40-foot, and 45-foot. The 20-foot HQ container has a capacity of 1,382 cubic feet, while the 40-foot HQ container has a capacity of 2,685 cubic feet. The 45-foot HQ container has the highest capacity of 3,024 cubic feet.

Overall, the HQ containers have higher capacities than the GP containers due to their taller design. This makes HQ containers an ideal choice for applications where more storage space is needed.


GP containers are primarily used for general freight due to their versatility and affordability. They are well suited for transporting most items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, and other household items. Additionally, they can transport heavier cargo like machinery, construction materials, and heavy industrial equipment.

HQ containers are most commonly used for larger, taller items. This is because of their extra height and capacity compared to GP containers. Items like large vehicles, oversized machinery, and tall products can easily fit inside an HQ container. Additionally, due to the extra volume of the container, these are often used for bulk quantities of items that require more space than a GP container can provide. They can also be used for refrigerated transport, where the additional volume can accommodate larger loads of perishable goods.

Bottom Line

Choosing between GP and HQ containers depends on your needs and what you plan to use the container for. GP containers offer a great combination of affordability, size, and availability, making them ideal for many shipping and storage needs. HQ containers are larger, more secure, and typically more expensive than GP containers, making them best suited for oversized cargo or when extra security is needed. Ultimately, both types of containers can be used for different tasks and applications, so it’s important to consider all factors before making a decision. For more information on Top SEO Agency please visit Pro SEO House.

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