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How to Prepare Ground for a Shipping Container

When expecting the delivery of a shipping container, it is important to ensure that you have prepared the ground ready for its arrival. This process is commonly referred to as “Groundworks”  and entails preparing the ground for the delivery or installation of a container. Ground preparation for shipping containers is crucial for several reasons:

  • Ground preparations improve the lifespan of a container by preventing rust as a result of undrained ground water
  • Groundworks ensure your container stays level and secure, stopping movement and subsequent damage to any stored stock or instability in converted containers used as buildings
  • Proper ground preparation means you can stack containers, making the most of your space

In short, preparing the ground for a shipping container is a vital step that enhances the durability and stability of the container, protects its contents, and facilitates safe stacking. Taking the time to carry out thorough groundworks will save you time, money, and potential headaches in the long run.

Ensure the Ground for Your Shipping Container is Level

It’s essential that the ground for your shipping container is perfectly level before placement, otherwise you could run into issues. Uneven ground can put stress on the container structure and could cause movement that can compromise the integrity of the container and its contents. Uneven ground can also cause problems with the doors, meaning they can’t open and close properly.

Once you’ve chosen a location, you need to level off the ground – and then you should level off the base further by using concrete slabs or railway sleepers. These materials provide a sturdy, even foundation to ensure that the container remains stable. 

It’s also a good idea to have spare slabs or packers on hand, as when delivery commences, the driver may have to pack a corner or two to ensure the doors are fully operational and fit your requirements.

Consider a Hardstanding Base for Your Shipping Container

Using concrete slabs under the corners of containers or railway sleepers can provide adequate support, but a concrete hardstanding will more evenly support weight. So if you’re planning, or suspect that, the shipping container will be on-site long-term, a hardstanding base is a good idea. It’ll provide a stable and durable foundation for your container, preventing ground settlement and ensuring the container continues to remain level over time.

A concrete base also improves drainage, minimising moisture accumulation under the container and reducing the risk of rust and corrosion. This solid foundation also facilitates easier stacking of containers, enhancing safety and space optimisation. For long-term stability and protection of your shipping container and its contents, a concrete hardstanding base is an excellent investment.

Ensure Additional Weight is Supported

If you’re planning to install long-term containers with additional weight at certain points, like doors and windows, it’s crucial to ensure that the ground can support the extra weight. Uneven weight distribution can lead to structural stress, and may damage the container over time – so it’s important to plan ahead and evenly distribute weight across the structure.

You can do this by using ground rails, which provide extra support at vulnerable points and prevent any single point from bearing an excessive load. By incorporating these additional supports, you ensure the container remains level and stable, significantly reducing the risk of warping, bending, or sinking. Proper weight distribution not only enhances the longevity of the container but also ensures the safety and integrity of the contents stored within.

I have a drain cover where I want my container. Is this ok?

No, we would always advise you do not cover any drain covers, or anything on the floor that may require access. Although they are portable, it is best to not frequently disturb the foundation you have laid. Ensuring you have the right base is key to making the most of your shipping container. A solid basis will ensure its stability and longevity.

The importance of groundworks for shipping container installation

Proper groundworks are essential for the successful installation and long-term use of shipping containers. From leveling the ground to considering a concrete hardstanding base and additional ground rails for weight distribution, each step is crucial in maintaining the structural integrity and functionality of your container. 

It’s important to complete these preparations before ordering or receiving your shipping container to avoid complications and ensure a smooth setup. Investing time and resources in proper ground preparation will pay off in extended container lifespan, safety, and efficient usage. If you’re looking to buy or hire a shipping container, get in touch with us today – we’re always happy to give you expert advice on groundworks to help you get the most out of your container.

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