Shipping containers are an excellent and versatile building medium. Customization teams can outfit a shipping container with all kinds of modifications—ready for delivery and immediate use. But what’s the next step? How do you move a shipping container to your site? Standard empty shipping containers weigh anywhere between 4,500 lbs. (20ft) to 8,500 lbs. (40ft). These specs, along with other logistical considerations, make for a complex and risky moving process.

Selecting the best shipping container transport option comes down to safety, ease of transport, the weight/size of the container, and budget. For this post, we will highlight the best shipping container transport options based on the distance of delivery.

Shipping Container Transport Options

On-Site Moves

Short moves include relocating a shipping container from one end of a construction site to another or loading it onto a trailer for a long-distance move. The two main choices available are forklifts and cranes. The best method will depend on the size of the container.

Forklifts: When using a forklift, it’s crucial to ensure that the arms (tines) are sufficiently wide to distribute the weight and robust enough to lift the container. A forklift with 6-foot tines is sufficient for containers that are less than 20 feet long. Any container longer than 20 feet typically requires a specialty forklift with 8-foot tines.

Cranes: Cranes offer a faster and easier method of loading or moving shipping containers within a small radius. However, they are costlier, and they require special licensing to operate.

Property-to-Property Moves

Property-to-property transportation includes moving across town, to another part of the state, to a different state, or even to another country. There are three main options to move custom containers over a long distance.

Trucks: Container transport services often employ different types of trucks depending on the cost and applicability. Flatbed and Step-Deck Trucks have fixed flat platforms with no surrounding walls. A forklift or crane is required for loading. Alternatively, you can use a Tilt Bed Truck. As the name implies, its bed is tilted at an angle to allow the container to slide off with no additional equipment.

Train: Is there a rail line near the modified container’s origin and destination? If so, then transporting shipping containers by train is a viable option. But please note that this method is hampered by several additional steps involving additional costs, longer delivery times, and a need for railyard certification.

Ship: If you need a shipping container moved overseas, you’ll need to arrange for truck transport to a port before having the container loaded onto an overseas ship. Overseas container transport is a multi-step process and will require a truck, ship, and possibly a train.

Carolina Containers

Do you need a shipping container moved? Caroline Containers & Transport is your reliable, hassle-free, and affordable go-to shipping container transport company to move containers from one site to another. We specialize in all kinds of container moves—backed by a highly-skilled, personable team and the best moving equipment. Our goal is simple; to give you peace of mind when transporting a shipping container. Give us a call at (919) 562-9187 to find out more about our services.