Shipping Container Maintenance

Shipping containers are very durable, made from Cor-Ten steel, which allows them to stand up to the harsh environmental elements while moving cargo overseas. They’re also designed and painted to withstand corrosion along with normal wear and tear, but it is still important to take care of the shipping container with minimal maintenance to prolong its service life.

MOST IMPORTANT TYPES OF CONTAINER MAINTENANCE

Lubricate the Container Hinges — When not in use for a long period of time, shipping container doors may become hard to open and in need of lubrication. Simply apply a little lubricant to restore the hinges and your doors will open a lot easier.  Here is a video we put together with a product our customers use to help maintain the hinges.

Inspect the Ground — If your shipping container was delivered on a softer surface like soil that doesn’t drain properly, gravel, clay or even asphalt, it may settle over time.  If this happens, your container may shift on the uneven surface and some of our customers find that a 40 ft. long shipping container will have issues opening and closing the doors.  If this happens, some people choose to re-level the container with a jack and put cement blocks or railroad ties underneath it.   To prevent this from happening in the first place, we recommend having your container delivered on solid, well-drained surface from the start.    

Inspect & Treat Surface Rust  —Cor-ten steel has a high level of corrosion resistance, but only slows corrosion. It doesn’t eliminate corrosion completely. Widespread rust is one of the major factors that can destroy steel shipping containers if not treated properly. If you see the rust forming on your container, you can treat it by wire brushing it and putting a coat of primer &  paint made for metal on it.

Inspect and Re-Caulk Weather Stripping- Over time the weather stripping around the doors can crack or peel.  It is important to check your stripping annually to keep the shipping container wind & water tight.  You can replace the entire weather strip or use caulk to fill in the gaps.  

Keep the Doors Closed — Keep the storage container doors closed when not in use. This keeps excess moisture from entering the container which can cause the plywood shipping container floor to rot. 

Remove Debris, Water, Ice from Roof —Standing water and debris can create rust on a container roof, despite the Cor-Ten steel protection.  After a weather event,  it is important to sweep or remove to avoid holes forming in the roof.

Avoid Excessive Weight on Roof– Containers can hold a lot of weight, but more toward the four corner posts vs. the across the entire roof.  To protect your container, ensure that the corners carry the load of the weight and try to avoid storing anything on the roof if possible.

Inspect and Re-Caulk Weather Stripping- Over time the weather stripping around he doors can crack or peel.  It is important to check your stripping annually to keep the container wind & water tight.  You can replace the entire weather strip or use caulk to fill in the gaps.