Frequently Asked Questions

What are shipping containers?

Shipping containers are the big steel boxes that sit on the back of lorries, trains and ships and are used for importing and exporting goods. They are well designed, built to last a long time and offer an alternative use for short-term and long-term storage and they are very secure. They can also be converted for a wide variety of uses including offices, cabins, mess-rooms, control rooms, sports changing rooms etc

What are shipping containers?

Shipping containers are the big steel boxes that sit on the back of lorries, trains and ships and are used for importing and exporting goods. They are well designed, built to last a long time and offer an alternative use for short-term and long-term storage and they are very secure. They can also be converted for a wide variety of uses including offices, cabins, mess-rooms, control rooms, sports changing rooms etc

Why are Shipping Containers useful?

Shipping containers are useful due to their varied uses. They are secure, robust, and can be stacked on top of each other, making them perfect for transport and storage. They can be delivered, moved, and removed as needed, so many people use them for other purposes as well. They’re great for farms to store equipment, offices to store supplies, and can even be used for accommodation or business fronts.

Are shipping containers wind and watertight?

Yes, very. Shipping containers are made for transporting goods across the oceans – often on decks of ships. They have heavy duty rubber door seals which keep out the elements. There are low-grade containers which have usually been sold and used before and then sold on again. These containers will often be at least 10 to 20 years old and whilst some of this age can be in very good condition, there is a risk that there may be corrosion or damage to doors, sides, roof etc. There is a strong market for new and used shipping containers so expect to pay a fair market price for a good wind and watertight container.

How do I get my container delivered?

Delivery is booked at the time of order and the container tends to be delivered on a HIAB (a lorry with a crane on the back) which will lift the container to the ground where required. Sometimes a container will be delivered on an articulate trailer without a crane and the receiver will need to arrange for the container to be lifted to the ground, e.g. with a forklift truck. This should be clarified at the time of order.

Why buy a shipping container?

In terms of traditional storage, a shipping container is relatively cheap. This is a mobile and cost effective alternative to other ways of purchasing additional space.

Which shipping container should I get?

Which shipping container you should get will depend on your needs. There are dozens of containers to choose from, and tons of different types. For general storage, all you’ll need is a general purpose container, but if you have chilled goods, you may need a refrigerated container. There are many other options.

Why were shipping containers invented?

Shipping containers were invented to transport goods by sea. Their invention made the process of shipping easier, and prevented the damage that often occurred enroute.

What shipping containers are made of?

A shipping container is made from 3mm marine-grade steel, folded in such a way that it can’t be crushed, while the structure is much thicker steel. The big double doors that open to 270 degrees are marine-grade plywood.

Where are shipping containers made?

Our shipping containers come to our ports from China.

How is a shipping container is made?

From a large roll of steel, shipping containers are cut, primed, corrugated and welded in a Chinese factory. They are constructed to be strong enough to stack several units on top of each other.

What's a shipping container cost?

The cost of a shipping container will depend on the market, and what the current demand is like. Prices will also depend on grade, whether they are used, refurbished or brand new. For the current price on a shipping container including delivery to your site please contact us.

How shipping containers stack?

Shipping containers are stacked on top of each other, and have corner casts for this purpose which align for stability. There are also twist-locks to secure them in place, but 3 can be stacked without requiring these locks. With locks, up to 7 containers can be stacked safely.

Who can move a shipping container?

A transporter with the appropriate equipment can move a shipping container. If your container is empty, or is full, a transporter may lift it over fences with a crane.

Will shipping containers rust?

Yes – over time, a shipping container’s surface will rust, especially if it is near the ocean. This won’t affect the contents though, and if you maintain it well you can pre-empt weather damage.

Are shipping container floors toxic?

Occasionally, shipping containers may contain chemical residue from previous use, but this depends on what they were used for. Their plywood floors can be unscrewed and new panels can be added if there is any suspicion of toxicity.

Do I need to prepare the ground before my container is delivered?

Yes – Your container should to be placed on a flat level surface.

For uneven surfaces we recommend using paving slabs to create a level the surface.

We recommend using paving slabs to allow the four corner castings of your container to sit on a solid level base.

An uneven surface can result in the container not sitting straight, this can mean the container doors may not fully open and can cause the container body to twist.

The area for your shipping container will need to be prepared before our delivery driver arrives on site.

With our delivery drivers using a HIAB lorry, please check for any overhead cables as this can mean that the HIAB cannot extend its lifting arm out to lift the container to the ground.

Are shipping containers affected by condensation?

Any metal surface that is exposed to temperature variations will inevitably suffer from condensation but there are ways to mitigate against this. The roof of a new container is slightly bowed to give an upward arc so that external water does not lie on the roof. Where water lies on the roof of a container it lowers the temperature of the metal and causes condensation on the opposite side of the steel.

Condensation is more likely to occur on used containers that have roof dents where water gathers. Condensation is more likely to occur when a container is sat on cold, damp ground such as exposed soil or a flooded area; the cold from the earth permeates the container above and reduces the temperature thus causing condensation.

All air has moisture in it and it is this that condenses when the temperature drops so reducing the amount of moisture in the air inside a container will prevent condensation; this can be done by ensuring items are only placed in a container on a dry day if possible; a container can be vented on a dry day by opening the doors to allow damp air to circulate out of the container and be reduced by dryer air. Also, an item called a Desiccant can be placed inside a container to absorb moisture from the air over a period of time.

Do shipping containers require maintenance?

A new shipping container going straight into a secure storage use will require hardly any maintenance at all and this is why we recommend buying a new one if you can justify it. The door hinges and locking bars may require oiling every couple of years but that takes only ten minutes. The door seals will deteriorate but they will last at least ten years depending on condition.

Do I need planning permission to site a container?

Shipping containers are categorised as temporary relocatable buildings and for many applications they do not need planning permission. However, if they are to be placed in a sensitive area or are to be in location long-term then planning permission may be required. Planning authorities always say that it is best to enquire if permission is required.

How long does it take to get a shipping container delivered?

Delivery of shipping containers are 3-5 working days from confirmation of order subject to availability.

Are there any restrictions on delivery?

When ordering a shipping container, we will ask if there are any restrictions on site that may hinder the delivery of the container. For example if there are any obstructions regarding access of the HIAB, and if there are any overhead cables. The location of the site for the container, delivery cannot be over grass, unless it is agreed prior. In special cases we can arrange for the haulier to do a site visit (subject to cost), you can also send us some photos of the access that we can forward onto the haulier to check over.

How do I pay if I purchase a container?

Payment is required prior to delivery.

Do you deliver to regional areas?

Yes, we can arrange delivery to most areas.

How secure are shipping containers?

Shipping containers are made secure by fitting a lock to the doors. There are a number of ways to do this; the simplest is to put a padlock through the customs tag hole in the right hand door handle. This is fine if all you require is a preventative measure to stop anyone wandering in or accessing easily but a lock fitted this way is easily knocked off with a sharp blow of a hammer which breaks the weld of the tab that the lock fits through.

For better security it is best to fit a steel hasp (also known as a locking box) across the join in the two doors at about chest height. A hasp is basically a steel shroud that covers a lock and makes it difficult to tamper with. A universal locking box will accommodate most types of padlock.

Do I get discount if I order more than one shipping container?

When purchasing multiple shipping containers, we will provide a competitive quotation for the units. Our prices are competitive throughout the container industry, you will save some cost with the delivery of the containers as we will deliver 2 containers at a time, also if you are able to offload on site, we can deliver the shipping container on a flatbed lorry, please specify this at the enquiry stage.

Do you offer a guarantee on shipping containers?

When buying a container from us we do offer a guarantee, with new ‘one trip’ shipping containers we offer a 2-year wind and watertight guarantee. Also, please get in touch if you are experiencing any issues.

Can I arrange my own transport?

Yes customers are welcome to arrange their own transport.