Close this search box.
Shipping container twist lock

Shipping Container Twist Locks

What They Are, Why They’re Important, and How They Work

Shipping Container Twist Locks are used to secure shipping containers together during transport either by ship, rail, or truck. Container twist locks work by fastening the twist lock device into each of the 4 corner posts and then secures the container to the ground or stacked either horizontally or vertically on top of another container.  Each method requires a different type of twist lock.

What are twist locks?  

There are several different types of twist locks depending on how you want to secure the shipping container.  The three most common twist locks are manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic twist lock.

  • Manual Twist Locks have a lever handle you manually move to tighten in place left to right. 
  • Semi-Automatic Twist Locks are locked automatically and unlocked manually by the operating lever handle. Compared to manual locks, these Semi-Automatic Twist Locks provide better security. The spring prevents accidental unlocking which makes them more secure.
  • Fully Automatic Twist Locks automatically lock when the container is placed on the top and unlocks by itself when the container is lifted.   

Types of shipping container twist locks 

Vertical Twist Locks

  1. Double Ended Twist Locks are used to vertically stack 2 shipping containers together on top of each other. Can be manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic. Buy Now »
  2. Dovetail Twist Locks are designed for flat surfaces. Along with a Dovetail Base it can be welded, bolted, or cemented onto any surface. Buy Now »
  3. Manuel Twist Locks For Chassis can be welded on the chassis surface so that the shipping container is secure for transportation. Buy Now »

Horizontal Twist Locks

  1. Horizontal Twist Locks connect shipping containers together side by side.  They cannot be used vertically. Buy Now »
  2. Bridge Fitting Clamp Locks are heavy-duty fittings that prevent shipping containers from tipping or falling during transport on a ship or barge. Also, can be used for connecting containers for building purposes. Buy Now »

Stacked Shipping Container Twist Locks

  1. Manual Twist Locks the cone shape is inserted into the corner posts of a shipping container and you manually move the lever handle from left to right to put in the neutral position then lock into the top shipping container and move the lever handle again from right to left to lock both together to secure firmly. Buy Now »
  2. Semi-automatic Twist Locks are similar to the manual twist lock but instead of a lever handle this lock is spring loaded. To use simply pull spring to neutral position and insert into upper shipping container corner post. Buy Now »
  3. Fully Automatic Twist Locks the cone shape is inserted in each corner post of the container and when stacked together it automatically locks into place.

Side-by-side Container Twist Locks

  1. Horizontal Twist Locks are double-ended.  Simply insert the cone shape into the side of the container and twist to lock.  Then connect the second container to the side of the first and lock it into place. Buy Now »
  2. Bridge-fitting Clamp Locks have a turn buckle bolt that has alternate threads.  Just slip one end into the corner posts of one container and slip the other end into second container corner post.  Tighten the bolts by using a large crescent wrench. Buy Now »

Flat Surface Twist Locks

  1. Dovetail Twist Lock with Base is easy use by simply use by putting the lever handle in neutral position, stack the container on top of the twist lock on the ground and then twist the lever into lock position. Buy Now »

Container Chassis Twist Locks

  1. Manual Twist Lock for Chassis has a flat surface that can be welded to the chassis (not on the side). Once you load the container on the twist lock it can now be locked into place.

How do shipping container twist locks work?  

All Twist Locks have a cone shape which is inserted into the corner posts of a shipping container to lock down the shipping container.  The mechanism to lock the container can either way Manual, Semi-Automatic or Fully Automatic.

Work with the best in the shipping container business.

Container Sales Group buys containers directly from the steamship lines to offer our customers the highest quality containers at the most competitive prices. We’re a women-owned business, established in 1998, and have locations throughout the US.

Share this post