FAQ Container Questions
Read our Most Frequently Asked Questions to learn more
about shipping containers
FAQ Container questions
What other names are shipping containers known as?
Cargo container, cargo boxes, conex, conex box, conex container, connex, container van, dry cargo, dry, storage, dry van, freight container, intermodal, ISO, sea can, sea container, corrugated box, shipping crate, maritime container.
What are shipping containers made of?
Corten (Cor-ten) Steel is used in the manufacturing of a shipping container. This type of steel is alloyed steel mixed with other types of metals that when exposed to water (or oxygen) it forms a layer of oxidization that prevents further corrosion. Unlike steel used previous to 1990. 14-gauge corrugated steel panels throughout the container.
What is the flooring on the containers?
Most used containers have a 1 1/8″ laminated marine grade plywood flooring with steel cross member bars running horizontally underneath. There are also 4 corner posts keep the container off of the ground to allow air underneath the container.
What are the most common types of shipping containers?
Yes, the most common are:
● Dry Storage – A freight container, totally enclosed and weatherproof, with a rigid roof, rigid side walls, and floor, having at least one of its end walls equipped with doors and intended to be suitable for the transport of cargo. This is by far the most common type of container.
● Open Top – Top of container can be completely removed so that materials of any height can be shipped easily.
● Open Side – Doors that can change into completely open sides providing a wider entry for loading of materials.
● Double Door – Double doors on both ends of the container, making a wider room for loading and unloading of materials
● Flat Rack – Collapsible or fixed side s, used for extremely heavy loads such as boats, vehicles, machinery or industrial equipment.
● Platform – Platform containers are without sides, ends and roof. They are used for odd-sized cargo which does not fit on or in any other type of container.
● Refrigerated – Temperature regulated used for shipment of perishable substances.
● Tank – A tank container or tanktainer is an intermodal container for the transport of liquids, gases and powders as bulk cargo.
● Tunnel – Container or Tunnel Tainer or Tunneltainer- is also a double door container. When doors are open at each end, you have a tunnel.
What size containers are available?
● Length – 20 – 40 – 45 – 53 ft.
● Height – 8 ft. 6-inch-high (standard) or 9 ft. 6- inch (high cube)
● Width – all shipping containers are 8 ft.
How much do containers weigh?
Do containers have numbers?
Yes, all containers have a container number. 4 letters and 7 numbers.
What is a One-Way container?
This is a container that has been used once for the shipment of goods from the location where the container was manufactured, to the location where the container is available for sale. It is also referred to as a New Build container.
Difference between New & Used Containers?
New containers are commonly known as One-Way or One Trip. New shipping containers have been manufactured overseas and loaded with cargo for a one-way trip to the United States. Used containers come in Cargo Worthy or Water/Wind Tight Condition. Cargo Worthy Containers are for international cargo transport under CSC criterions and include a CSC plate. Container Sales Group will hire a professional to survey the container and provide a written survey certificate per your request. Aesthetically, cargo worthy containers all have some exterior rust, dings, dents & professional welded patches, marine grade laminated plywood flooring and be ready for ocean export. The quality of the container also makes it an ideal option for people looking for as a ground-level, portable storage option or to build with.
Water/Wind Tight Containers are retired from the steamship lines. These units may have exterior rust, dings, dents, or professional welded patches, but the flooring will be solid & doors operational for Water/Wind condition. All containers are inspected at the depot facility prior to pick-up or delivery. Many people use these containers for ground-level storage or for building purposes as they cannot be used for ocean export.
What is the difference between a Standard container & High Cube container?
A Standard container is 8′ 6″ high
A High Cube container is 9′ 6″ high
Are all used containers the same?
Not all used containers are equal. Used containers will have various degrees of exterior rust, dings, dents & maybe patches. Container Sales Group has storage containers that are water/wind tight, structurally sound & cargo worthy. The exterior of our containers may have some rust, dings, dents & maybe patches but nothing significant that affects the structural aspect of the container.
Are there different types (or grading) of used containers?
Used containers are graded by the container industry as:
● Cargo Worthy – for OCEAN EXPORT
● Water/wind tight & structurally sound – for STORAGE
● AS IS – DISCOUNTED, DAMAGED CONTAINERS (may have low to high damage such as holes and/or damaged floors)
Any other grading system is subjective by the owner of the container and is not recognized by the container industry
What is the difference between Cargo Worthy for Ocean Export & Water/wind tight for Storage containers?
Cargo Worthy – A certified container that meets all requirements of CSC criteria for ocean movement overseas. Certified means a licensed private company has inspected the container to confirm it meets all requirements for International ocean shipment
Water/ Wind Tight & Structurally Sound – Water/Wind Tight means containers are dry inside. Structurally sound represents the containers have structural integrity that meet the manufacturer requirements and are able to carry same weight as it was built to carry. (Container Sales Group has storage containers that are water/wind tight, structurally sound & cargo worthy).
New/One-Way containers – A new container that has had a one way loaded move to the United States from the factory in China.
How old is the shipping container I purchase?
Look for the CSC (Container Safety Convention) plate, usually mounted on the left-hand door of the shipping container, which will tell you the manufactured date.
What is the tare weight or payload for a shipping container?
What is the tare weight or payload for a shipping container?
What are the different uses for shipping containers?
The possibilities are endless:
● Agricultural – farming equipment, machinery, and supplies
● Construction – equipment, supplies, machinery, temporary office space
● Education – athletic equipment, documents, and records
● Financial – documents and records
● Government – disaster relief, temporary shelters, security offices, military supplies
● Medical – equipment and supplies
● Residential – household goods, tools, supplies, furnishings, non-perishable items
● Retail – seasonal inventory Also, building of homes, garages, restaurants, commercial business, swimming pools, etc.
Can I pick out a shipping container by color?
New containers are painted many different colors (usually one solid color) when manufactured. Depending on what we have at the time of your inquiry, we are happy to provide you with a container to meet your color requirements. Used containers are not sold by color or manufacturer. We are essentially getting the next container off the stack at the storage facility that meets the criteria you requested.
Am I able to view & pick out the container?
Because of insurance liability restrictions it is not possible to walk around the depot facility location. Containers are stacked 5 & 6 high therefore, we cannot obtain photos or guarantee a specific unit. The depot facilities are storing empty shipping containers for shipping lines and intermodal equipment providers. When we place an order for our customers, they get the next container off the stack that meets their criteria.
Will the doors on the container be in working order?
All container doors are inspected at the depot facility. The doors should create a tight seal. Keep in mind that used shipping containers have been in service between 10 – 20 years, as such, the hinges and handles may need some grease or lubricant to get them moving freely. If the container is placed on uneven ground this may cause the frame to twist & make the doors hard to open & close.
How secure area the doors?
Container doors are designed so you can use your own padlock or master lock from any hardware store. One of the most popular ways to make your container secure is using a high security lockbox. This is a steel shroud that is fitted onto the cargo doors to help protect padlock/ master lock. It is positioned onto the steel lug that not only acts as a deterrent to criminals but is also cut resistant, pick resistant and tamper proof.
What should I use to paint my container?
I accidently damaged my container, any suggestions on how to fix the hole?
What are ISO (shipping) containers?
Can your containers be used for overseas shipping?
Do you make the arrangements to move the container overseas?
Does a container need to be certified?
Do you sell to business or individuals?
I see big stacks of shipping containers in many locations near me, are they all for sale?
What is an ISBU?
History of Shipping Containers
After observing this slow and inefficient process for 20 years, he finally decided to step back and develop some standardized way of loading cargo from trucks to ships and warehouses.
Malcolm then purchased Pan Atlantic Tanker Company, which owned a bunch of fairly rusted tankers. He re-named the new shipping company Sea-Land Shipping. With this shipping company he could finally experiment with better ways to load and un-load trucks and ships. After many experiments, his final design is what we know now as the Shipping Container… super strong, uniform design, theft resistant, stackable, easy to load, unload, truck, rail, ship, and certainly store.
Matson, on the West coast of the US also attempted the container concept but failed sorely. The final boost to standardize Mc Lean’s concept was the US Navy and by the early 70’s were globally accepted. So, in fact, although Mc Lean had the first concept and working system in 1956, it was the US military who finally did what was necessary to make the ISO shipping container accepted by every shipping line and every country of the world.
Because it was so much faster and organized to load-unload, the cost of loading freight was reduced by more than 90%. Thus, the cost of products you sell or buy were reduced greatly because of the invention and standardization of the ISO shipping container.
What are the best types of insulation for a shipping container?
1.) Styrofoam – Most cost effective, fast & easy. Does not require build-out of stud walls to secure the panels. You can easily glue the panels directly to the shipping container
2.) Blanket form (or Batt Insulation) – Best to keep shipping container warm and is the cheapest option
of any insulation. While the insulation is cost-effective, the framing out and plywood installation to the container adds extra costs.
3.) Spray foam – Combats condensation and is flexible & easy to use. Generally, a little more expensive but it’s quicker and easier to apply and does not require any build outs. This insulation is
material is liquid but solidifies when sprayed on the container
4.) Expanded Insulation – Manufactured off site into large insulation panels that are pre-sized. These
panels can be attached to studs or just glued right to the container. Quick to install unless you have a lot of cuts to make. Some varieties are molded
to match the corrugations of a shipping container
5.) Loose Fill – Requires a complete wall cavity containment before application.
Why do people call shipping containers "CONEX"
During World War II, standard sized shipping containers were developed to ship military cargo to the front lines. These boxes were called “Transporters.” The term “conex” came from the development of Transporters into Container Express and abbreviated as “ConEx.” This abbreviation became universal and was later used to identify the entire category of shipping containers – eventually becoming a single term: Conex.
How do I order a container?
Once you decide the size of the container and if you need delivery, we will email you an invoice to purchase with the following provided information: Name/Company Name, Billing & Delivery Address, Email Address and how to position the container on the delivery truck (container doors sliding off back of truck and hitting ground first or last). Upon receipt of your payment, either delivery will be scheduled or we will provide you with pick up/release information which is the depot facility address & pick up number.
How do I make payment?
Do you offer financing?
Do you rent containers?
Is there sales tax on the purchase of a shipping container?
What is the delivery process?
Once we receive payment on your invoice to purchase a container and agree on a delivery date. The truck driver will call the contact you provided us once the container is loaded on the truck to advise he is on his way to your location.
How much does it cost to deliver a container?
Delivery depends on the distance of your location from where we store our containers. Call our office at 708 627-2725 and we will provide you with a delivery quote.
How much space is required for delivery?
Containers are typically delivered with a tilt-bed roll off truck. The driver tilts the bed up and the container slowly slides off onto the ground as the driver then pulls out from under the container. For a 20 ft. long storage container, you will need about 75 ft. of straight line clearance. For a 40 ft. long storage container, the truck and trailer will need about 110 ft. of straight line clearance.
What kind of site preparation is needed?
We will deliver on cement, pavement, asphalt, gravel, grass & dirt, provided the surface is not too soft. However, we strongly recommend that you choose a site that is as level as possible. If the storage container is not level, the container doors may be hard to open and close. The surface area where you place your container should also have adequate drainage to avoid sinking.