How wide is a Freight Container?
ICHCA International is committed to helping industry to learn lessons fast, learn them once and make sure that they stay learnt. This information is intended to provide all organisations in the cargo supply chain with the opportunity to consider the events and to review and adapt their own health and safety control measures to proactively prevent future incidents.
Everyone knows a freight container is 8 feet wide. The problem is that this knowledge is no longer entirely correct. “Over width” containers, containers that are wider than 8 feet (2438 mm), are seeing use in more and more trades.
Typically these “pallet-wide” containers are about an inch (24 mm) wider than a standard ISO container. This greater width is not visually noticeable and, until now, there are no required markings for these containers to alert individuals seeing them of their greater width. This has changed with the recent publication of the fourth
edition of ISO 6346:2022. There have been a number of incidents and injuries because pallet wide containers have been assumed to be and have been handled like standard ISO containers.
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We are grateful to a member of the ICHCA Technical Panel for providing details. We acknowledge their commitment to sharing learning to benefit others. If you have similar operations, please share this information with managers, operatives and any potentially affected third parties as appropriate. Please also review any of your relevant operations for similar hazardous conditions, risks, and controls. Learning content like this is highly valuable as it is based on real-world experience. We encourage everyone with publishable information about incidents to send it to us, so that we can raise awareness across the whole industry. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; sharing your insight could save a life or prevent injury.