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How A Side Opening Unit Can Benefit Your Business

  • General
26th May 2021

Side opening units have multiple benefits for businesses. As the name suggests, a side opening unit is a specialist box that features cargo doors that open on the longest side of the unit. They are frequently used to transport large items that are difficult to fit through a standard door.

Given the wider access point, side opening units are perfect for storing bulky items that are needed on site and can also make loading and unloading stock much more efficient, saving time and business resources. As they open on the long side, they can also offer versatile commercial display solutions, such as providing a unique exhibit space or functional retail stall.

Ease Of Accessibility

Side opening boxes open on the long side of the unit, rather than the short end, making them ideal for easy-access storage. The benefit of having a side opening means that the access point is wider so loading of larger items is made much more straightforward.

Oversize cargo, such as vehicles or large equipment, that may struggle to fit through a regular door are easily loaded through the wider doors of a side opening unit. Not only is it easier to manoeuvre larger items through a side opening, but there is an additional benefit of allowing easier access for forklifts to place and stack pallets anywhere inside the box with little effort.

It’s also much easier to retrieve items out of the side, as you can open the doors and clearly see everything you have stored inside. In contrast, looking for specific items in your box that opens at the front can take longer because you may have to move multiple items at the front of the container before you can access the things you need in the back. This isn’t a problem for a side opening unit as you can view everything housed within, and easily access the items you need without moving items around.

Variety of Sizes Available

Just like regular cargo units, side opening units units are generally available in either 20ft length, 40ft length, or 40ft high cube. No matter what size, one longer side panel will feature full concertina cargo doors as well as the standard cargo doors on one 8ft end of the unit.

Side opening doors weigh more than standard cargo doors so the roof and floor of the unit are reinforced to create a robust storage solution, and as a result of this there can be a loss of internal height in the unit.

Customisation Opportunities

There are many customisation opportunities for side opening containers as the units are suitable for a wide range of container conversion projects. Thanks to the doors being on the longest sides, these boxes are ideal for display purposes and lend themselves to be easily converted into exhibition stands, performance venues, ticket kiosks, pop-up bars and retail outlets.

The units can easily be divided into two or more sections, so you can have multiple office or retail units in one box. Side opening units can also be converted to provide custom-built space for a variety of engineering solutions that need wider access points.

For further customisation options, you can change the appearance of the container by converting the side access point doors to modern sliding glass doors, or even modify the unit for retail or storage use with roller shutter doors.


As open side units are fabricated with high quality materials, and reinforced to handle the additional weight of the side doors, they make robust units that can handle transporting heavier cargo on long journeys, such as vehicles or military equipment. However, although they are strong enough to transport cargo, they are much more expensive to produce in comparison to a standard storage container so the majority of side opening box are single-trip units produced especially for retail use. This makes them ideally suited for static storage, as opposed to transporting goods around.

Build Quality

Side opening container units are robust and of high quality, making an excellent long-term investment for businesses. Due to size, the side opening doors are heavier than standard cargo doors so the roof and floor of containers are significantly reinforced to accommodate the additional weight and strengthen the structural integrity.

As side opening units are built for purpose and therefore used less frequently than standard units, they are commonly sold as single trip so as well as being structurally sound, they will be unlikely to have noticeable cosmetic flaws.

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