Key Considerations When Selecting A Shipping Container for Chemical Storage

Many industries in the UK need to store chemicals of one form or another. Whether you are working in agriculture, manufacturing, the automotive industry, or chemical defence to name but a few, there will be substances that need to be stored properly, responsibly, and well-protected. Finding the most appropriate place to store these chemicals is essential, and one solution is to use a shipping container.

Shipping containers can be converted to chemical storage facilities that are safe and secure and completely fit for purpose with a few adaptions – according to your specific storage requirements.

Shipping containers are the large metal boxes that are used to transport goods around the world, usually on cargo ships, trains, or lorries. They have been designed and built to store their contents safely and securely, protecting them from adverse weather, theft, and vandalism, and are strong and robust.

Considerations for Chemical Storage Facilities

When you are looking for a place to store chemicals several considerations need to be made. These will ensure that the chemicals are safely accessible whenever you need them and reduce the rink of hazards and possible accidents.

Some of these considerations include:

Location

The storage facility needs to be located in a place that is both accessible for the use of the chemicals that are being stored inside it, but also in a place that is safe for them to be stored. Depending on the chemical and its use, you may need it to be close to other buildings, or far away.

A storage container, although robust, durable, and heavy, is also mobile. It can be picked up with a crane or special forklift, meaning that it can be moved to different locations. As long as the land is flat and it has a solid base such as a cement base, it can be placed almost anywhere – although you should check with your Local Authority before putting it there.

This gives you a great deal of flexibility over the location of your chemical storage facility.

Capacity

It is important that the storage capacity meets your requirements. You will need to get a storage facility that can hold more than your maximum amount of the chemical. Shipping containers can be bought in a range of different sizes – with different dimensions, and therefore different volumes. They can range from the 10ft container with a volume of 560ft³ to the 40ft high cube container with a volume of 2660ft³.

It is also important to consider that a shipping container can be bunded to ensure that the chemicals that are stored inside don’t leak out of the container. This would, however, diminish the capacity of the shipping container storage.

Construction Materials

It is important that the materials that the storage facility is made from are fire resistant and of sound construction. Its contents must be well protected for it to be effective.

Shipping containers are made out of strong metals that are fire-resistant and robust, making them the ideal chemical storage solution.

Internal Environment

One of the most important things to consider with your chemical storage is the conditions on the inside of the facility. It is important to ensure the right temperature, ventilation, humidity levels, and that there are no places where the chemicals can escape.

A converted shipping container can be fitted with an insulating lining to ensure that the internal temperature is not affected by the outside temperature as well as adequate ventilation for your needs and humidity controls if needed. These will help to ensure that the interior environment is optimal and stable, resulting in more protection of the chemicals contained.

Well-Lit

It is important that a chemical storage facility is well-lit. Without proper lighting, mistakes can be made, making the facility more hazardous.

A shipping container can be fitted with electrical lighting to ensure that there is enough light and helping to protect it from dangerous or costly mistakes.

Security

If you are housing potentially hazardous or dangerous chemicals in the storage facility, it is essential that you have high levels of security – whether it is from theft, vandalism, or just unauthorised people.

The strong and robust construction makes this the ideal solution for a secure space, but personnel doors can also be fitted with secure locking systems to ensure that only those who are meant to be able to get in actually do.

Floor and Drainage

Some people need to protect the floor of their storage container from spills or add drainage sumps. This will ensure that any leaks of nasty chemicals can’t escape the container and get into the watercourse.

Although shipping containers would ordinarily have a wooden floor, this can be changed to a galvanised metal floor and drainage sumps added if needed.

In addition to these adaptations, it is also important that you provide appropriate warning signs.

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