Some Questions You Might Have About Shipping Containers

Posted on: 15 November 2017


A shipping container is a very basic box that is used for long-distance shipping, typically for shipping via railcar or ship, where the container itself would be exposed to the elements. Shipping containers usually come in two basic sizes so they're easy to stack and transport and are meant to last for years.

While these containers may sound very straightforward, you still want to take your time when shopping for such a container to ensure you get the right one for your needs. Note a few questions you might have about buying a shipping container, and be sure you know all your options for such a container before making your purchase.

Why inspect a used container?

Since shipping containers are meant to be very durable, and since they are basically just a steel box, you might wonder why you would inspect a used container before buying. While there are not any complicated or motorized parts to a shipping container, it's still good to inspect a used container for rust and holes made by corrosion. Small cracks and pinholes may not be a concern for you, but larger cracks can let in water that will damage your items being shipped. You'll also want to check for rust around the hinges of the doors, and note if there are any lingering odours from what was shipped in the container as your own product may absorb these smells.

Do shipping containers require maintenance?

Shipping containers require very little maintenance, but it's still good to regularly inspect the hinges and locks on the doors, as these pieces may occasionally need a spray with a rust inhibitor or lubricant to keep working properly. If you have a temperature-controlled container, check the motor and fan of the internal air conditioner every time the container is used, so you can replace any worn or frayed wiring and remove any built-up dust and debris around these pieces as needed.

Can you modify a shipping container?

There are legal regulations as to the size and structure of shipping containers, so that they stay durable while being shipped. These regulations even dictate the markings you need to have on the outside of the container. Otherwise, if you want to use the container for onsite storage or even a remote office, there are companies that will add windows, electrical wiring, and whatever else you need to make the container work for your needs in particular.