Shipping containers are an incredible storage and transportation device. These glorified steel boxes revolutionized cargo transportation across land and sea. Durable and reliable, these containers can be found all across the world. Shipping container sales and their use are consistently high, and so some might ponder just how long the average shipping container lasts.
Shipping Container Design
Shipping containers are designed to take a lot of abuse and see a lot of use, and as a result, they can last for up to twenty-five years. Despite this, shipping containers are often only used once for shipping and then spend the rest of their days as storage or in some other capacity, including oversized paperweight.
The reason for this is pragmatic economics. The cost of transporting an empty shipping container is often more than only purchasing a new or used one to replace the transported container. As a result, the containers tend to build up, but fortunately, their long life and durability make them incredibly versatile.
Shipping containers are often used for large storage at locations such as construction sites. Their large size and longevity mean they can be set, loaded, and even moved from site to site relatively quickly. Another everyday use due to their lasting nature is for mobile offices, classrooms, and the like. Their large size and portability make them ideal for quick and cheap office space, as long as the user of such an office doesn’t mind Spartan accommodations.
Though durable and long-lasting, that’s not to say storage containers don’t need at least some maintenance to keep going strong. Their hinges need to work and paint to prevent storage, and conversion to an office or classroom can require a bit of work. By and large, though, the containers should perform just fine in whatever capacity you have in mind for them as long as it takes the whole giant steel box issue into account.
Repurpose Shipping Containers
Though they tend only to be used for cargo transport once, shipping containers can easily last over twenty years. This once-use practice means plenty of shipping containers in decent condition can be used for storage, mobile offices, and even transportation of supplies and cargo. Shipping container sales are high because of shipping costs for empty ones, but there are plenty of used ones on the market. Taking advantage of that situation means there are opportunities to save money when looking for cheap office and storage space.
What would happen if your containers could serve you longer than their average life span? Doesn’t that mean more profit since you wouldn’t have to invest in a replacement? Absolutely!
Storage Container Maintenance
Shipping containers perform multiple functions: they serve as storage units, equipment enclosures, and some organizations convert them into a workspace. Irrespective of what it’s used for, here we share practical tips on storage container maintenance to help you keep your containers in good shape for the long haul.
How To Prolong The Lifespan Of Your Container
Although shipping containers are durable and not easily damaged by the elements, you still have a role in ensuring their longevity.
Re-level Your Container
Your container unit should always be placed on a flat, level surface. But after a while, you may observe the container beginning to shift, and that’s when you need to re-level it. The four edges should touch the ground to ensure balance while the floor cross members are elevated. When balanced, the container’s weight is evenly distributed across all four edges—thereby prolonging its lifespan.
Watch Out For Rust
If your container is kept in an open space or any area subject to natural elements like snow and rainfall, rust could develop. For proper storage container maintenance, inspect the container, especially the rooftop, caulk, and weathering strips. Clean every trace of dirt, rust or debris, using vinegar and a wire brush.
Similarly, identify areas with dents where water can accumulate and paint with moisture-resistant paint.
If you want your containers to last for several more years, you need to prioritize storage container maintenance. The excuse of “containers are durable and resistant to rust” is not going to help you extend its life span. Make allocations for scheduled maintenance. It’s the smart way to preserve your shipping containers.
Lubricant Door Hinges
Open the right door of your container and clean its cam, door hinges, and keeper. After proper cleaning, add some lubricant to the door’s hinges and repeat the same for the left door. You will see lots of improvement, and it’ll serve you much longer.
Stacking Shipping Containers Can Help Reduce Wear and Tear
Shipping containers are like the soul of the export/import industry. During their lifetime, wear and tear of these massive containers are very common. Some of that damage is due to weather conditions experienced during transport, but some are due to mishandling. Businesses using containers surely do not want their investment to be wasted.
When shipping containers are used internationally or are used for storage, they are often stacked to save space. It is essential to stack the containers appropriately to avoid damage. Here are some safety tips to follow when stacking shipping containers.
Shipping containers are constructed in standard design and sizes to be used in any combination, no matter the manufacturer. The general rule is, containers must be stacked no more than eight high. The containers are designed to fit together and lock on the four corner posts. The corner posts and flooring of these boxes are capable of bearing the weight of the containers above it.
Cranes or Forklifts
The first thing is to get the containers to the site of loading. Usually, the containers are delivered via truck, but if unloading or loading in a shipyard, railcars could also be used.
When stacking, there are two pieces of equipment used: cranes and forklifts. Large stationary cranes are used in shipyards to load and unload cargo from ships. The containers are stacked both onboard the vessel and in the shipyard.
Mobiles cranes can be used on sites where a stationary crane is impractical. Special care is taken when stacking the containers using cranes. It is done very carefully by placing straps on all four corners.
Sometimes the use of a forklift is more useful. Forklifts are usually used when containers don’t have to be stacked very high, limited room, or when the containers have to be moved about frequently. It’s important to hire trained forklift operators who have experience in the container stacking procedure.
Setting the Base
If the base containers are set precisely, then the multi-level structure’s upper layers will also be secure. All necessary safety precautions should be taken to form the base level correctly. For the upper layers, employ the container stacking system wherein locks are placed at all four corners.
If the containers are in one place for a long time, check that the containers are weatherproof. To do so, caulk all the seams. This sealant prevents water from entering the containers and damaging the goods inside. Some owners add a roof cap to deflect snow and rainwater.
If creating an office or living space using containers, electrical and plumbing can be connected once everything is set.
Keep your shipping containers in the best condition with regular storage container maintenance. What’s more, it’s a proven way to prolong its lifespan. When you need additional onsite storage, you will get only the very best when you source it from Carolina Containers. Call us at 919-562-9187 and see what we can do for you.