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What are shipping containers?

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.

What are shipping containers made from?

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.

Are shipping containers water tight?

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.

Are shipping containers secure?

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.

How old is a used shipping 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.

How long will a used shipping container last?

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.

What colour will my shipping container be?

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.

Do I need to paint my shipping container?

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.

Does my shipping container need maintenance?

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.

Are shipping containers affected by condensation?

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.

Can you place a shipping container on unprepared land?

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.

How are shipping containers supported?

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.

Do I need planning permission for my shipping container?

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.

How can my shipping container be delivered?

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.

How heavy are shipping containers?

A standard shipping container at 20ft weighs around 2.5 tonnes, whereas a 40ft container weighs around 4 tonnes.

What happens if I no longer want my shipping container?

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.

Shipping Containers For Sale

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.

shipping containers


shipping containers


shipping containers


shipping containers


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