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How to Insulate a Shipping Container

Insulating a shipping container is crucial if you’re looking to make it more cost- and energy-efficient. Whether you’re using your container for transportation or converting it for alternative uses, proper insulation will help you to regulate the interior temperature, making it suitable for year-round use. 

Without insulation, shipping containers can become extremely hot in summer and cold in winter – but with proper insulation, you can prevent condensation, reduce energy costs and reduce the risk of structural damage to your container and goods stored within it. 

By choosing the right insulation materials and methods, you can ensure your container is well-protected from temperature fluctuations and moisture, creating a more habitable environment.

How to Insulate Your Containers

There are many options when it comes to insulating a shipping container. As every container project is different, it goes without saying that the type of insulation you choose depends on the end use of the container. If you’re storing goods inside the container, for example, it might be beneficial to look at lining that can prevent condensation forming and therefore stop mould growth or corrosion occurring.

It is possible to insulate your container yourself, however it can be time-consuming and you may accidentally choose inappropriate insulation material. With this in mind, we’d recommend using a reputable shipping container supplier who can advise on the best insulation for your specific needs and can apply the insulation with a professional finish.

Types of Shipping Container Insulation

If you want to insulate a shipping container, there are many different options – so it can be difficult to know where to start. As every container project is different, it goes without saying that the type of insulation you choose depends on the end use of your container. If you’re storing goods inside the container, then your chosen method is likely to be different than if you’re transporting goods in the container. 

Whatever you’re using your container for, it’s best to speak to a reputable shipping container supplier who can advise on the best container lining for your specific needs – and ensure it’s applied with a professional finish, that’s built to last.


Container Lineouts

One popular method for shipping container insulation is board lining. The two major stages for board lining are:

  • OSB board is attached to a wooden frame inside the unit
  • Then a non-combustible stone wool insulation is added behind the boards.

Lineouts prevent condensation inside the container and can help regulate the temperature so it’s at a more consistent level. We use 11mm thick OSB/3 boards as they offer maximum strength and are conditioned to work in humid environments.


Melamine Lining

An alternative to OSB board lining is melamine. Melamine lining offers insulation similar to OSB board, but is easy to wipe down and gives a neat and professional finish, so often used in applications such as catering, welfare units, or living and working spaces.

Melamine is installed in a similar way to OSB boards. The process here is as follows:

  • Construct a frame that sits inside the container
  • Add the insulation material to the frame
  • Complete the insulation by laying the melamine boards over the top.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is another common method of insulating a shipping container that you may come across; however, we strongly do not recommend this method. Spray foam is a liquid that’s sprayed onto surfaces and sets as an insulating layer – but here’s why we don’t recommend it:

  • It’s quick and easy to apply, but its composition is essentially a mix of chemicals that can release harmful fumes when applied and leach into the air over time. 
  • It can be used in ventilated places that people don’t go into regularly, such as lofts, however it’s not so great in a container.
  • That’s because the harmful fumes are trapped inside a unit that people will potentially be going in and out of on a frequent basis. 
  • These toxic fumes are also released when applying the spray foam, making it hazardous to apply in the first place

Need an insulated shipping container?

If you’re not sure how to insulate your container, or if you’d like to purchase an insulated shipping container, then get in touch with our experienced sales team who can provide insulated solutions, no matter the project. The team at S Jones Containers have years of experience and are always happy to offer impartial advice on the best ways to insulate your container unit.

Call free on
0800 1954 538