What are shipping containers?
Although there are many different types of container they are all manufactured to the ‘International Standards Organisation' (ISO) specification in respect to their dimensions. Therefore, a 40ft container made in Europe is the same as a 40ft container made in China.
There are many different types of container to transport the variety of cargos all over the world. Almost everything you use in daily life has been transported in an ISO container - coffee, electrical items, clothing, frozen food, timber, steel, and fruit.
What are they made of?
Although some are made of aluminium and steel, they are now mostly made entirely of a special steel called "Corten’’ which is a rust prohibitive type of steel. A basic steel frame, fitted with 8 weight bearing corner casting fitted into the 8 corners, is filled in with corrugated steel panels which are between 1.5mm to 3.00 mm thick.
At one end is a pair of almost full width and height doors. These are normally fitted with four locking bars which interlock with the frame top and bottom. Most containers have a 27mm thick wooden ply floor which is supported on load bearing cross-bearers approximately 30cms apart, making the container capable of withstanding loads of 20 to 35 tons - depending on size.
How heavy are they?
The containers themselves weigh around 2.5 tons for a 20ft and 4 tons for a 40ft. Refrigerated containers are slightly heavier, and due to their refrigeration machinery they are heavier at one end.
Are they water tight?
They are designed to be fully waterproof including the doors which are fitted with full wrap around seals. ISO containers are designed to last many years and traverse the world's oceans carrying all sorts of cargo. As such they are extremely rugged.
Are they secure?
When padlocked through the available holes in the door gear they are fairly secure but can be made more secure by the fitting of a lock box which protects the lock from interference (and the elements).
How old is a used container?
The age of a used container can vary considerably but usually they are sold by shipping lines after about 10 years of service.
How long will a used container last?
The anticipated length of usage as a storage container depends on its condition at point of sale, the careful use and regular maintenance. Painting and servicing can ensure a container provides many years of good, waterproof service.
How long will a new container last?
A new container built by a reputable manufacturer will, under normal conditions, last 10 years without maintenance and continue for another 10- 20 years if looked after properly.
What colour will it be?
Containers come in a wide variety of colours depending upon the livery of the original owner. The type of paint is usually chlorinated rubber or vinyl, both manufactured to resist sea water, sun and abrasion. Our new containers are often blue or dark green. However, all containers we supply can be painted to suit your own preference. View our "Colours & Livery" page for more details.
Do I need to paint them?
Repainting a used container from the onset can only assist in lengthening its life and can often be achieved fairly inexpensively. Ask our sales team for more a quotation to paint the container in the colour you want.
Do they need maintenance?
You should periodically service the moving parts of the door locking gear and check the that the door seals are fixed securely to the door frames. A visual inspection of the exterior of the roof is also recommended. Touching up small areas of corrosion in the early stages will prevent unexpected leaks.
Are they affected by condensation?
A container exposed to sunlight and cold can suffer from condensation, especially if the interior or if the contents of the interior are damp. Condensation can normally be easily prevented by the use of disposable dehumidifiers - see www.dampstick.com, or the more efficient anti condensation technique of spraying the ceiling with Graffo see www.grafoproducts.co.uk
Talk to our sales staff about applying a coating of Grafo to your container before delivery.
Can you put them on unprepared land?
The structure of the container allows it to be only supported by its 4 corners with a full load should you require it, but the land base could be grass or soil but it must be firm throughout the duration of the container placement. Also the ground should be level helping the container to remain square. The doors may become difficult to open or indeed worse if the end frame of the container moves out of square.
How are they supported?
The container is capable of supporting a full load on its four bottom corners and block pavers or rail sleepers are good materials to support the container, which is best lifted from the ground to help reduce any damage to the container or its content by dampness.
Do I need planning permission?
Planning permission varies from district to district. Please do not assume because the container is a moveable object that you do not require planning permission. If you intend placing for any length of time, it pays to check out with your local authority.
How do I get them delivered?
Delivery can be achieved by crane assisted vehicle or by a normal LGV if you have your own lifting facilities. Do make sure you have sufficient space for the vehicle to manoeuvre. Vehicle sizes and capabilities do vary so always fully discuss this with our sales team before commencement of delivery. It may save a lot of time and money.
What happens when I no longer want it?
Before purchasing a container, consider how long you actually require one. If it’s only for short period it may be more economic to simply hire one. Should you buy one and wish to dispose of it at a later date, we would be pleased to make you an offer.