Category: Container Sales & Hire

Categories: Container Sales & Hire

Date: October 16th 2018

What Are Special Containers?

Special containers are exactly that – special. This isn’t due to the fact that they’re gold-plated or the likes (although that’d be a turn up for the books wouldn’t it!) No, what makes special containers “special” is the fact that they have been fabricated specifically for different purposes so that if you’re looking for a new or used shipping container for a specific reason, there will always be a suitably designed container available to meet your needs.

Which special containers do we offer?

Good question! We offer different special containers to ensure that we’ll always be able to solve your storage or space saving solution.

  • Special sized containers
  • Double door containers
  • Full side access containers
  • High cube containers
  • Flat rack units
  • Open top containers

What are the differences between these special containers?

Everyone comes to us wanting containers for all manner of purposes, so each special container is fabricated in a way to offer a different solution. Here’s a bit more information about each of our special containers available and why they might be suitable for you.

Special Sized Containers

Special sized containers are standard size containers that are customised to any size you require by altering the length and the width as necessary. Not only will a special sized container maximise space but you will also be presented with the exact size and shape to suit your needs.

Double Door Containers

Standard shipping containers are fitted with doors at one end only, whereas double door containers have double doors at both ends of the container, creating a tunnel. These containers are very popular for a variety of storage applications in addition to the odd specialised export.

Full Side Access Containers

Standard containers are accessed via double doors at one end of the container whereas full side access containers offer bi-folding doors along the longest side of the container. This can make the process of loading and unloading much easier when considering the goods being stored or transported.

High Cube Containers

Ordinarily, shipping containers are 8’6” high, whereas High Cube Containers give you an extra foot in height, standing at 9’6”. The extra internal space offered by a high cube container means that you might just get the additional storage space you need without having to upgrade the container to the next size up, keeping costs down.

Flat Rack Units

Flat Rack Units are essentially shipping containers which allow full access through the top and sides. Unlike Full Side Access Containers, Flat Rack Units allow much more access to allow for the safe storage and loading/unloading of large cargo. These can also be found as collapsible containers.

Open Top Containers

Open top containers offer an loading and unloading solution from the top of the shipping container in addition to the double doors at one end. This can make storage and transit a much smoother process and are highly suited to shipping oversized items that may not fit entirely into a traditional shipping container.

Learned something? Probably! If you’re still unsure as to which shipping container to buy new or used that’s fit for purpose, we’re always available to talk over the phone to offer friendly support and advice!

If you would like a friendly, honest chat about choosing the correct shipping container to suit your needs, please call the Universal team today on 0845 050 0330 or feel free to email

Categories: Container Sales & Hire

Date: September 14th 2018

4 Tips To Prevent Frost Damage To Shipping Containers

As always, our British summer flew in quicker than expected and we’re now working our way towards the winter months. With this in mind, it’s important to give your converted container the same care and attention throughout the colder periods of the year as it is when the sun is out too.

Damage to shipping containers caused by frost can create a series of costly repairs and in many cases, those repairs are actually easily prevented by taking a few simple steps to care for your conversion. Whether you’re hiring a container, or if you’ve bought or converted a container, it’s important to make time to perform a few simple checks and general maintenance to ensure that you find yourself problem-free when the snow melts.

To protect your shipping container from frost damage during the winter months, we would recommend the following: 

Keep an eye on your heaters

When using your container, keep heaters on a low setting if possible and ensure that all are switched off when not in use. If your heaters are continuously left on in your converted shipping container, condensation may become a problem and during the colder seasons, this condensation can quickly become frost. It’s important to keep your container heated whilst in use but it’s equally important to take the necessary precautions to not cause any damage during Winter by checking that all heaters are off when the container is vacant.

Ensure pipes are insulated

All pipes should be fully insulated to protect your container against any frost damage. At Universal Containers, appropriate insulation comes as standard with all converted containers. Don’t forget that if you do have a problem, we offer an off-site repair service so you can rest assured that if you do run into any issues, we’re happy (and fully trained and qualified) to help.

Check your water sources

If you have a kitchenette in your container, or if it is a canteen unit, or even toilet blocks, it is imperative to ensure that water is drained and switched off when not in use. If not, this can quickly freeze during winter months and end up costing you a lot of money to repair. To avoid these unnecessary costs, just be sure that you double check all your water sources.

Maintain moving parts

Frost and general winter elements can have an extremely negative effect on the moving parts of your shipping container so we would always recommend that you maintain these parts with simple preventative measures. A good idea would be to pay close attention to door locks, padlocks, handles, and other moving parts, by adding a small amount of oil or grease. This will stop the mechanism freezing up during winter.

Not as difficult as you thought?

Of course not. It’s amazing that such little maintenance can prevent such huge damage to your container so this Winter, be vigilant and protect your container from the elements. If you’re still unsure about how to protect your shipping container from frost damage, or perhaps you’re not certain if it has been adequately insulated, please feel free to call our friendly team on 0845 050 330 or email for no obligation advice.

Categories: Container Sales & Hire

Date: August 1st 2018

What can you fit inside a 20ft shipping container?

At Universal Containers, we offer a range of different sized containers, available either new or used, for storage, hire, sale and conversion. From 10ft right through to 40ft shipping containers, we’ve certainly got a container on site to suit everyone’s needs. Conversions range from corporate marketing suitable, to on-site facilities for temporary construction sites, right through to stunning garden rooms for domestic use, no two projects are ever the same. However, for most projects, the most popular choice is definitely our 20ft shipping container.

The 20ft shipping container is our best seller. Being the middle man of sizes and the flexibility to convert, it’s easy to see why – not to mention just how affordable they are!

We could certainly sit here and write down a whole list of measurements, specifications and other nitty gritty elements of the 20ft shipping container, however today, we thought we’d have a bit of fun with it. Don’t worry, you can still find all the necessary numbers and everything in between on our website, but we thought we’d get your minds going with some fun facts about what exactly you could fit in a 20ft shipping container – you might just be surprised! So, without further ado…

What can you fit inside a 20ft shipping container?

  • 2 cars
  • 60 refrigerators
  • 4,000 shoe boxes
  • 37,976,526 paper clips
  • 168 Nascar tyres
  • 1,021 60lb bags of cement
  • 7,344 gallons of water
  • 48,000 bananas
  • 7,816 reams of paper
  • 1,512 cases of cans of Coke
  • 486,799 eggs
  • 3,962 2x4x8 planks of wood
  • 400 flat screen TVs
  • 9,600 wine bottles
  • 200 mattresses

Mind blown? Perhaps! Sure, it’s nice to have a bit of fun and offer up a proverbial plate of trivia for you, but the point is to show you just how big these containers actually are and more to the point, just how flexible your storage options are. We offer containers for hire at our secure site in Manchester, located close to the M60 & M62. In addition to this, you can buy our shipping containers either new or used for domestic or commercial use, for a multitude of purposes. With a 20ft container, there are very few – if any – limits!

If you would like a friendly, honest chat about choosing the correct 20ft shipping container to suit your needs, please call the Universal team today on 0845 050 0330 or feel free to email

Categories: Container Sales & Hire

Date: June 27th 2018

Accessories for Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are much more versatile than you think. If you’re looking to buy a new or used shipping container, they come as they are. First, you would choose from either a 10ft, 20ft or 40ft container that’s fit for purpose but we can safely assume that you’d want to change your container in some way so that it does exactly what you need it to.

  • If you’re using your shipping container for an on-site office for a construction site, will you need doors and windows?
  • If you’re converting your container, would you prefer to see a design of the finished piece before you give the go ahead for works to take place?
  • If you’re using your shipping container to store vehicles or machinery, do you need double doors that open at either end of the container?
  • If you’re using your shipping container for storage, would you be happier if you could have additional security features?
  • If you’re converting your container, would you prefer it to look aesthetically pleasing and be painted in a colour of your choice?
  • If you’re stacking your shipping containers, would you like to be able to add a staircase and landing to allow upstairs and downstairs access?

These are just some examples of things to consider when buying your shipping container. When purchasing your container, it’s important to consider a variety of different factors that may come into play once your container in installed, for instance, security, damp and storage.

The container itself is simply a foundation for your idea, and to bring your concept to life, you will no doubt want to add parts and accessories to your container so that your finished conversion is fully functional and fit for purpose.

Here is a list of just some of the accessories we have to offer:

Damp Stick

The damp stick is aimed at reducing damp and condensation in your container in a cost-effective way. They are cheap, long-lasting and highly efficient.

Personnel Door

Where security, cost and quality are all essential requirements, Kirncroft steel security doors are the ideal solution.  With stainless steel handles and hinges and weatherproof fixtures, it’s a long-lasting secure solution.

Window With Shutter

Kirncroft anti-vandal steel window shutters offer a high level of security for anti-vandal modular building applications. The steel shutters are manufactured and designed to the same high-quality standards as our steel doors.

Security Padlock

The CISA75 Container Padlock is ideal for use with container lock boxes. This padlock is highly suited for use on security gates & warehouses and comes with 3 keys, although additional keys may be added.

Painting Service

Our heavy-duty specialised container paints are perfect for applying to the walls of your container and we have a huge selection of colours to choose from and offering painting services for full repainting right through to touch ups.

CSC Plating and Inspection

New ISO containers have valid CSC for 5 years from the date of production. After this period there are 2 schemes to maintain CSC validity and to ensure containers are in safe and usable condition and we can offer them both for peace of mind.

Staircase & Landing

When containers have been stacked, and access is required on upper levels, container staircases can always be fabricated and installed to provide safe access. These staircases are used with multi-storey conversions such as offices, canteens and exhibition stands.

Racking for Containers

Shipping container racking and shelving is ideal for tidying up storage containers and for getting the most from your available space. With many options available timber racking or even full steel racking to take extreme weight.

CAD Design Service

If you want to see what your container conversion will look like once complete and in situ, our talented CAD design service can help you plan your project and make sure every part of the build is planned for.

Electrics for Containers

We offer a wide range of bespoke electrical installations with our own in house fully qualified electricians on site, we offer many options, such as lighting, heating, sockets and air conditioning.

Graffo Therm

Graffo Therm condensation prevention spray is a biological product that once sprayed onto the roof combats condensation build up within the container, solving the condensation issue, which means a longer lasting container!

Helpful? We hope so! If you’re still unsure as to which accessories would be suitable for your container, we’re always available to talk over the phone to offer friendly support and advice!

If you would like a friendly, honest chat about choosing the correct parts and accessories to suit your needs, please call the Universal team today on 0845 050 0330 or feel free to email

Categories: Container Sales & Hire

Date: April 19th 2018

Popular Container Sizes and How to Use Them

The main use of the humble shipping container is for exactly that – shipping. Their sturdy and durable steel structures allow for the efficient transportation of goods across the globe. However, we’re in 2018 and we’re as innovative as ever. No longer is the shipping container JUST a shipping container anymore. We’re constantly approached with new and interesting conversion ideas and it doesn’t half open our eyes to all the possibilities out there.

You’ll have seen them for yourselves; shopping parks, coffee stalls, smoking shelters, on-site offices, public facilities, garden sheds, domestic storage, fast food retailers, commercial storage, retail units, the list is endless, really!

When organising container conversions for both commercial and domestic use, our most popular containers have been (and probably always will be) the 20ft shipping containers and 40ft shipping containers. However, for whatever reason you’re wanting a shipping container, it’s vital to ensure that the shipping container for sale you are looking at is big enough, versatile enough and most importantly, wholly fit for purposes.

So, with this in mind, here’s a little bit more about our 20ft and 40ft containers to keep you in the know:

20ft Shipping Container

The 20ft shipping container tops our list of most popular containers. Why? There are loads of reasons. It’s “middle man” size (that is, sitting between our 10ft and 40ft containers) means that it’s the most common choice, as it’s not too big or too small, but just right. See what we did there? The 20ft container is probably the most appropriate size for domestic ventures too, meaning that if you were perhaps thinking of a shed/garage conversion, a garden office conversion, or the likes, you wouldn’t lose your garden as a result. Get the drift?

Click here to view the dimensions, weight and specifications of our 20ft shipping containers

Strong, versatile and heavy-duty, our 20ft shipping containers are not only easily customisable but they are ideal for outdoor use.

Some examples of conversions of 20 feet containers include:

Storage spaces; shower and toilet facilities; pop up shops; retail units; portable laboratories; chemical stores; boiler housing; site accommodation; mobile homes; sound attenuating units

40ft Shipping Container

The big daddy of the bunch, the 40ft container is probably the biggest size you’ll be able to get your mits on for both commercial and domestic use.

Click here to view the dimensions, weight and specifications of our 40ft shipping containers

40ft containers, as you’d expect, are the best cost per square foot storage. The bigger, the better, we say! They are huge in size and because of that, they can be easily customised to whatever specification you have in mind. It’s this factor alone that makes them an extremely popular choice for conversions. We could go on and on about their various uses past, present and future, but we’d probably have you reading this all day so we’ll spare you and let your imagination do the work this time.

Was that useful? We hope so! If you have something specific in mind you’d like to know more about, feel free to give us a call or drop us a line, or you can even have a good scan through all our shipping containers for sale and hire on our website. The choice is yours!