Tank Container Size, Dimension, and other Specifications Explained

A tank container, also commonly referred to as a tanktainer, is a type of intermodal container that is used to transport cargo from one location to another.

What is this tanktainer? What can we transport in this particular container? What are the various dimensions available for this shipping vessel? What are the advantages of using a tank container?

Too many questions. More than ample information in this blog for you to get all these answers. Continue reading this blog to find the answers to all the above-mentioned questions.

Before we jump to all about the tank container, let us first discuss what a shipping container is.

A shipping container is a large vessel that is made from strong materials like corrugated steel, made especially to withstand harsh weather conditions in order to fulfill the task of shipping, storing and handling of cargo. They are made to transport cargo from one location to another without loading and unloading and are thus also referred to as intermodal shipping containers.

Until a few decades ago, the idea of transporting cargo from one location to another in a storage vessel was unknown to man. When the world began to globalize, the shipping container was born. Now, instead of doing it manually, goods could be transported via rail, road, or sea through shipping boxes. Earlier, goods had to be manually loaded into boxes, crates and were shoved upon huge vessels. However, with the advent of shipping containers, this tiresome task has been relieved and is much less a tedious task.

Shipping containers are made from strong steel material and are specifically designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions. There are various container types and dimensions that are available to suit the needs of the shippers. They are used widely for shipping as well as storage purposes.

Some of the most widely used container types are:

1. Dry Van
2. Pallet Wide
3. Double Door
4. Side Door
5. Open Top
6. Hard Roof Open Top
7. Flat Rack
8. Platform
9. Insulated
10. Reefer
11. Bulkers
12. Tanks

What is a Tank Container?

A tank container is a cylindrical vessel made of stainless steel and is mostly used to transport hazardous and non-hazardous freight. They are also a type of intermodal containers and are used to convey bulk liquids, gases, and powders, which are difficult to store and transport in a standard shipping container.

The storage vessels that are present within these tank boxes are mostly produced with stainless steel and are surrounded by insulation and comprise an outer layer of aluminum or polyurethane.

The vessel is present in between a steel frame. The components of the tanker container range from 17,500 to 26,000 liters. Most of these tank vessels are owned by operators and leasing firms. It has a manhole along the top with a valve that is present along the top and bottom side of the tanker.

Dimensions of a Tank Container

For convenient, quick, and secure transportation of your cargo, all containers have the same dimensions, along with a precise stable frame for handling devices. There is a wide variety of them, however, their types and adjustments are customized according to the needs of the customers.

One important point to ensure is that the tank vessels must be 80% full and not any more than that. This is done in order to prevent dangerous surging of the liquids while in transit.

  • Internal dimension 20 x 8’ x 8’6
  • Tare weight 3800 kg
  • Payload Capacity 14,000-26,000 l
  • Max gross weight 36,000 kgs

Features of a tank container

Typically, these are most commonly used for shipping the following items:

  • Foodstuffs
  • Wines & Spirits
  • Fruit juices
  • Sweet Oils
  • Chemicals
  • Fuels
  • Toxic substances
  • Gases Etc.

There are many different types of tank containers, each suitable for the above-mentioned cargo that is transported in them. Some types of tank vessels are baffled tanks, lined tanks, heated and refrigerated tanks, gas tanks, and many more.

The most important features of tank containers are

  1. Frames- Tank containers have frames that protect the box from any damages. They also provide a better structure for easy loading and transporting of cargo.
  2. Air Inlet Valve- This is a device that is used while loading and unloading cargo. They are present on the roof of the cargo box.
  3. Bottom Valve- Most tank containers come with 3 valves present beneath them. They are present to provide convenience to the unloading and loading process of cargo.
  4. Cladding- The cladding surrounds the inner portion of the tank which protects the cargo from water. This is typically made from aluminum or glass.
  5. CSC Plates- These are a very part of the tank container. This plate acts as a registration document of the vessel. It contains details like serial number, year of manufacture, and the weight capacity.

Tank containers have many other features like earth lug, flame traps, roof hatch, temperature gauge, etc.

Advantages offered by Tank Containers

Safe and Reliable

Tank containers don’t just have strength and heating systems, they also have the advantage of being cleaned after each trip. They enhance the safety of the cargo through secure containment and are thus made with strong stainless steel material. These containers can endure major disparities in temperature and pressure.


Tank containers can be easily moved from one type of transport to another, like the rail to ship, ship to the road, and so on. They help to lower certain handling and storage costs as compared to using drums.

Eco- friendly

Another important advantage of tank containers is that they leave a carbon footprint 50% less than that of a similar drum box. Since they are an intermodal vessel, they help to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 70%. Transportation of liquid cargo in tank containers is also a safer and environment-friendly option as the chances of spillage of products reduce that risk and the overall environmental impact of empty container disposal. It can also be used again and again and can be recycled.

LOTUS Containers is a leading container supplier company providing shipping container solutions to businesses looking to buy or lease shipping containers. No matter what container type you’re looking for, our more than 300 container depots can meet your requirement anytime, anywhere in the world.

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