A shipping container is a large corrugated steel box, designed and built with the suitability to withstand overseas shipment, storage and handling. Although there are many different types of shipping container, they are all manufactured to the “International Standards Organisation” (more commonly known as ISO) specification in respect to their dimensions. They are predominantly used to transport a variety of cargos all over the world.
The majority of shipping containers are made entirely from a specialised steel, named Corten, which is rust prohibitive, although some contains are made of a combination of both aluminium and steel. Each container is made up of a basic steel frame (fitted with 8 weight-bearing corner castings) and is filled with corrugated steel panels, which can range from between 1.5mm to 3.00mm thick. Containers always have a single pair of full width and height doors, complete with interlocking bars across the top and bottom.
Shipping containers are designed to be fully waterproof, including the container doors which are suitably fitted with full wraparound seals. Shipping containers are designed this way because their initial use is to transport cargo overseas, so they need to be able to withstand the elements to protect the goods inside.
Shipping containers are secure when padlocked through the holes available in the door. However, this isn’t to say they can’t be made even more secure – they can. Installing a lockbox will conceal the lock itself from interference and therefore, increases the overall security of the container.
The age of a used shipping container can vary considerably. Generally, they are sold by shipping lines after 10 years of age. This doesn’t mean that all used shipping container are the same age.
There is no way to generalise the lifespan of a used shipping container. The anticipated length of usage of a shipping container largely depends on its condition at the point of sale. With careful use and regular maintenance, such as painting and servicing, a used container can provide many years of good service.
Shipping containers are available in a wide variety of colours, dependent on the livery of the original owner. The type of paint used to decorate the external area of the container is usually chlorinated rubber or vinyl, both manufactured to resist sea water, sun and abrasion. If you would like to choose a specific colour for your container, you can choose from a vast selection of our RAL colours.
Although repainting your shipping container is not a necessity, repainting a used container from the onset can only assist in lengthening its lifespan. This can often by achieved by your supplier – fairly inexpensively – to the colour you would like.
We would recommend that you should periodically service the moving part of the doors of your container, in addition to checking the security of your doors and seals. A visual inspection of the exterior of the roof would also be a necessity – touching up small areas of corrosion in the early stages will inevitably prevent any unexpected leaks.
It is important to note that a shipping container exposed to sunlight and cold can cause condensation, especially if the interior or if the content of the interior is damp.
The structure of the container allows it to be supported by its four corners. However, it is important to consider that the land base must be firm throughout the duration of the container’s placement – whether it be grass or soil. In addition to this, the ground should be level.
The container is capable of supporting a full load on its four bottom corners. Either block pavers or rail sleepers are both good materials to support the container, which is best lifted from the group. This is to help reduce any damage to the container and to prevent any potential dampness.
Please do not assume that due to the fact that a container is a portable object, you do not require planning permission. Planning permission varies from district to district, so if you intend on having your container in place for any length of time, we would always recommend checking with your local authority first.
Delivery is achieved by using crane-assisted vehicles, which can be arrange by either your supplier or yourself. Please ensure that you have sufficient space and accessibility to carry out the manoeuvre for your shipping container to be placed in your desired location. Failure to do so may result in failed installation and delivery. We would always recommend discussing accessibility with your provider before agreeing to delivery, as this will save you both time and money.
A standard shipping container at 20ft weighs around 2.5 tonnes, whereas a 40ft container weighs around 4 tonnes.
Before purchasing a shipping container, you should consider how long you will actually require it for. If you may only need your container for a short period of time, it may be worth considering a hire option as opposed to buying a container. However, if you buy a container and wish to dispose of it at a later date, your supplier would be pleased to make you an offer, which generally includes the price it will cost said supplier to collect the container too. We would recommend you to discuss any queries you may have with your potential buying supplier.
Why Choose Universal Containers?
With over thirty years’ experience serving the shipping industry with container storage facilities and maintenance services, in addition to providing quality new and used storage and custom-built site accommodation to the trade and public, we are confident we will be able to fulfil your requirements with economical quality products and service.
What Our Customers Say
I’d like to say the service I’ve received from Universal Container Services and yourself was exemplary. The product information I received with your quotation enable me to make a suitable choice for my requirements. I also appreciated the time you took to show me the product range on your site. I would not hesitate to…
Just can’t say enough about the service we have received from your company. Nothing is too much trouble. Everything well planned and prepared to our requirements. Delivery on time and all went to plan. Thanks to CARL & Charlie. Good job well done 5 stars to all.
I’m always impressed with the service we receive from Universal, Andy Rushton (Sales Manager) always listens carefully and gets very quickly what we require. The team respond to questions almost immediately and address problems very effectively. They are really easy to work with and seem to appreciate their customers. Universal make arranging my container/cabin needs…
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Britannia Hotels and Pontins have used Universal for many years for the supply of containers and other logistical needs. We keep going back to them because they combine friendly and efficient service with competitive prices. With around 60 busy Hotels and Holiday Parks to look after we can’t afford to leave things to chance and…
United Utilities have used Universal Containers for a number of years to supply everything from basic containers to full bespoke office builds, Andrew Rushton (R&D Sales Manager) has always offered a high standard of service, the products we have received have always impressed. We have always found Universal to be reliable and competitive, when we’ve…
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