How Many Shipping Containers Can You Stack?

One of the best things about shipping containers is their versatility. You can use them for storage or convert your shipping container into a structure that can be used as anything from a construction site office to a pop-up café.

Shipping containers are available in three standard sizes – a 10ft container, a 20ft container and a 40ft container. This, along with the fact that they are all a standard cuboid shape and are structurally robust, makes them ideal for stacking.

Stacking Shipping Containers

Stacking shipping containers is akin to any other modular systems that allow you to utilise space effectively. You can place them next to each other or on top of each other, with the stacking of nine shipping containers being the advised upper limit. That is, of course, assuming you buy good quality shipping containers.

Other Considerations when you are Stacking Shipping Containers

If you are planning to stack your shipping containers, there are some factors in addition to the quality of shipping containers that you will need to consider before you purchase them

  • A shipping container’s weight is distributed on posts on its four corners. These posts, therefore, should come to slightly above the roof of the container and slightly below the floor, in order for them to actually take the weight. If this isn’t the case you could end up with pressure in areas where the container isn’t sufficiently strong, presenting unnecessary structural issues.
  • You will also need to consider where you place each one. For example, if you are going to stack two 20ft shipping containers onto one 40ft container, you will need to consider that the weight from the smaller containers will be concentrated on a weaker part of the large one if you put the small storage containers on top. For this reason, it is important to put the two 20ft shipping containers on the bottom and the larger 40ft container on the top – with the weight still distributed on each corner. If you have designed your construction to have them stacked the other way around, you will need to fortify your bottom container.
  • You will also need to lock your stacked shipping containers together to secure them in place. These locks are usually provided when you buy your shipping container and are vital for compliance with health and safety regulations and for ensuring the structural integrity of your shipping container construction.
  • You will also need to think about how you are practically going to move and stack your containers. Forklifts can be useful for moving shipping containers around but you also need to consider the container’s height and how you are actually going to be able to get it on top of the other containers.

In summary, shipping containers are a great option for people who are looking for a cost-effective and flexible way to efficiently store vast quantities of goods and equipment. By stacking containers, businesses can magnify the amount of storage they can use (or offer to others) significantly without having to invest in additional land. It’s for this reason that shipping containers are a common choice for self-storage companies.

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