The ISO size & type code allows for the quick identification of the size, type and characteristics of a particular container.   When displayed on the container, the size and type codes shall be used as a whole.

The letters and numerals of the owner code, equipment category identifier, serial number and check digit shall be not less than 100 mm (4 in) high.

All characters shall be of proportionate width and thickness, they shall be durable and in a colour contrasting with that of the container.

This information is mandatory.

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  • Reefer
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Main characteristics
BIC Code Register

What Are The ISO Container & Type Codes?

Since 1995 the ISO marking standard includes marking codes to indicate the length, height and type of container in an easytoread sequence. This sequence is composed of four letters or digits that commonly appear right under the container identification sequence.

  • The first character is related to the length of the container
  • The second character is relative to its height.
  • The remaining two elements of the sequence identify the container type and characteristics

Different Types And Sizes Of Containers

Below are the common standard codes utilized by the industry. We encourage those marking containers to obtain the latest version of ISO 6346 here:

2 - 20 Feet
4 - 40 Feet
5 - 45 Feet
M - 48 Feet
2 - 8 Feet 6 Inches
5 - 9 Feet 6 Inches "High Cube"
G1 - General Purpose Container
R1 - Refrigerated Container
U1 - Open Top Container
P1 - Platform Container
T1 - Tank Container

Container Size Code Designation

The two alphanumeric characters used to designate the size code of the container are chosen as follows:

  • First character, representing the length, see table 1
  • Second character, representing the width and height, see table 2

Table 1

Container Length Code Character
mm ft in
mm2991 ft10 in Character Code1
mm6058 ft20 in Character Code2
mm9125 ft30 in Character Code3
mm12192 ft40 in Character Code4
mm13716 ft45 in Character Code5
mmunassigned ft in Character Code6
mmunassigned ft in Character Code7
mmunassigned ft in Character Code8
mmunassigned ft in Character Code9
mm7150 ft in Character CodeA
mm7315 ft24 in Character CodeB
mm7430 ft24 in6 Character CodeC
mm7450 ft- in Character CodeD
mm7820 ft- in Character CodeE
mm8100 ft- in Character CodeF
mm12500 ft41 in Character CodeG
mm13106 ft43 in Character CodeH
mm13600 ft- in Character CodeK
mmunassigned ft in Character CodeL
mm14630 ft48 in Character CodeM
mm14935 ft49 in Character CodeN
mm16154 ft53 in Character CodeP
mmunassigned ft in Character CodeR

Table 2

Character code
Container Height Container width
mm ft in 2436mm >2438mm and ≤ 2500mm ≤2500mm >2500mm
mm2438 ft8 in 2436mm0 >2438mm and ≤ 2500mm ≤2500mmm >2500mm
mm2591 ft8 in6 2436mm2 >2438mm and ≤ 2500mmR ≤2500mmmC >2500mmL
mm2742 ft9 in 2436mm4 >2438mm and ≤ 2500mmS ≤2500mmmD >2500mmM
mm2896 ft9 in6 2436mm5 >2438mm and ≤ 2500mmT ≤2500mmmE >2500mmN
mm>2896 ft>9 in6 2436mm6 >2438mm and ≤ 2500mmU ≤2500mmmF >2500mmP
mm 2438 >h >1219 ft8 >h in>4 2436mm7a >2438mm and ≤ 2500mm ≤2500mmm >2500mm
mm1295a ft4 in3 2436mm8 >2438mm and ≤ 2500mm ≤2500mmm >2500mm
mm≤1219 ft≤4 in 2436mm9 >2438mm and ≤ 2500mm ≤2500mmm >2500mm

Container Type Code Designation

The third and fourth characters identify the container type and other characteristics.   Important note:  Containers with reduced stacking and racking strength are marked with a letter in the 4thposition.  Please see the latest version of ISO 6346 on how to properly mark reduced-strength containers.

Table 3


You can also access the container size and type code information for millions of containers via an API (for direct system integration) using BIC’s BoxTech – Global Container Database.