How are Shipping Containers Made?

You’ve most likely seen shipping containers on building sites or being transported on lorries, ships or trains. Shipping containers are extremely versatile and can be used for a wide variety of storage and shipping applications. Shipping container conversions are also becoming extremely popular, with many individuals and businesses transforming old containers into affordable and eco-friendly buildings. Shipping containers are most commonly converted into office buildings, shops, or temporary bars and restaurants. 

Shipping containers have many useful purposes, but do you know how they are made? Perhaps you’re curious or just want to gain some insight into how your shipping containers are constructed. Below, we are going to discuss the steps involved when manufacturing shipping containers.

Step 1: Cutting of steel sheets

Shipping containers can be made from various materials, but most are constructed from steel. Typically, the first step in constructing shipping containers involves steel sheets arriving at a local steel service centre. These are usually delivered in large rolls and need to be de-coiled before being measured and cut to size using specialist equipment.

Step 2: Surface preparation

Once the steel sheets have been cut to size, the metal surface needs to be prepared using shot blasting and priming. This is to remove any contaminants such as dirt, rust, and so on.

Step 3: Pressing

The steel sheets are then passed through a corrugated pressing machine. This is a crucial step in the manufacturing process, as it strengthens the metal and ensures that it will be strong and durable once constructed into a shipping container.

Step 4: Side panel welding

Once the steel sheets have been prepared and corrugated, the construction of the shipping container can begin. The individual side panels are welded together to form a complete panel which is measured to fit the sidewall of the container. Square tubing is welded on the top and bottom of the side panels to improve the overall strength.

Step 5: Floor frame assemble

Once the side panels are complete, the floor frame needs assembling. The container floor frame is manufactured using I-beams. In most cases, two longer I-beams are placed at a right angle and smaller I-beams are then welded together to fill the space. The final step is to use an angle grinder to sand the floor and ensure that there are no rough edges.  

Step 6: Door and corner assemble

Door and corner posts are completed separately before being attached to the floor frame. Again, the container doors are cut to size before being prepared and sanded. Square steel tubing is also added to the top and bottom of the container door to increase durability. The corner posts are then welded to the container floor and the individual doors are welded in-place.

Step 7: Main assembly

The final step of assembling is to complete the box by welding all of the individual sections of the shipping container together. Typically, the door frames and wall panels are put into position using a crane. The final step is for the roof panel to be carefully lowered down onto the container and welded. The container should now represent a typical shipping container.

Step 8: Painting and primer

Once the shipping container has been constructed, it is taken to a workshop to be painted. A primer is applied first to ensure a smooth finish. The container is then sprayed with paint several times. This is to ensure that the exterior of the container is protected from harsh weather when the container is being transported or used as outdoor storage.

Step 9: Wooden flooring

Once the container has been painted, wooden flooring is installed inside. To do this, plywood panels are placed on top of the floor panel inside of the container. The panels are varnished with a protective coating before being fitted to make sure that there aren’t any pests or bugs in the wood.

Step 10: Inspection

The final step in the manufacturing process is for the finished shipping container to be inspected. Shipping containers are tested to ensure that the quality meets the container construction standard required. Testing involves checking various elements, such as sidewall strength, roof strength and maximum weight capacity. Final inspection checks and repairs are completed in the shipping container depot. If no faults are found, then the shipping container is ready to be sent to its intended destination.

Contact us to learn more about shipping containers

You can contact our specialist team for more information on shipping containers and their applications. We offer a wide selection of new and used shipping containers for purchase and hire. This includes our most popular 20ft shipping container, along with 10ft and 40ft containers and other specialist container designs.