What Do You Mean My Container Is Overweight?

August 18, 2009
By Michelle Kelley

Download PDF

It’s a common misconception that container weight limitations are as cut and dry as they sound.

In fact, many would be surprised to learn that container weight limitations in the United States vary from state to state. A container considered overweight in Kansas may not be considered as such in New York.

While some motor carriers can accommodate heavier loads by using double and tri-axle container chassis, this special equipment is not available at all locations and usually adds to shipping costs.

Furthermore, an ocean freight container can often accommodate loads well beyond a state’s overweight limit for roads and highways.

As a rule of thumb, Mohawk recommends that clients use the following guidelines* when instructing their shipping departments and suppliers about container weight limits.

20-foot containers: 36,000 lbs. limit
40-foot and larger containers: 44,000 lbs. limit
*Some origins and destinations may have smaller or larger limits.

As your shipments approach these suggested weight limits, our operations team will work with you and your suppliers to make sure there are minimal disruptions.

This article was prompted by a lead from Tom Troia, Import Coordinator (Syracuse) and Bob Boss, General Manager (Albany).