Tips on Owning a Storage Container

Buying a used shipping container can serve as a great option for all of your storage needs. With the sizeable cost of large sheds, purchasing a shipping container is a great middle price point to storage similar, if not more items than most sheds you would find at Home Depot or custom shed builders.

Here are some helpful tips you should know before purchasing a shipping container:

Do you have enough flat ground to place the container? We need 100’ of delivery room for our truck to unload a 40’ container or 80’ of space for a 20’ container. The key here is FLAT ground. If the container is not level during delivery, you could run into issues with how the doors open if the container does not remain square. We can unload the container on flat ground, or recommend using railroad ties or pressure treated 6×6 lumber to keep it off the ground. We will make sure it is level before we leave; however, if you plan to move it on your own afterward—a flat surface is very important.

How often do you plan on going in or out of your container? Under normal use by the shipping or commercial construction industry, most containers are regularly opened with items added or removed quite frequently. If you plan on adding your items and not opening the doors regularly (once every 4-6 weeks), we highly recommend adding additional ventilation for your container. In many cases, individuals will add wind turbines (like on home roofs) or side vents for cross-ventilation. This is because these containers were built to be transported across the ocean on a regular basis—so they do a good job keeping water out. However, when stored at the same location for long periods of time, and without regular opening of the doors, changes in humidity in the air can impact your items inside the container. Without additional ventilation, the container cannot “breathe”. What can happen between summer and winter months is moisture can build up on the interior roof, and drip back onto your items, causing potential mildewing. You might think you have an active water leak when you really don’t. Condensation buildup from poor ventilation can cause as much damage as an active roof leak. If you go in and out of the container regularly, this will not be an issue as it would be getting fresh air when the doors are open. If you plan on leaving your items unchecked for months at a time, like mini-storage units, you could have problems if additional ventilation is not added.

Can you add a wind-turbine before delivery of my container? Unfortunately, we cannot. For height restrictions during transit, it is not feasible.

Plan on inspecting the container annually. We recommend lubricating hinges on doors for ease of opening, as well as a thorough inspection for any potential rust. Since we are located in central Alabama and away from the ocean, you likely won’t have regular rust issues that would appear quicker in areas closer to salt water.