There is an infinite number of ways that you can use a new or second-hand shipping container. We are seeing people using them for everything from building modular homes to using them to store lithium batteries. One of the most popular ways that they are used is for storage.
Shipping containers were originally designed and built to store and transport cargo around the world, and this is what makes them the perfect storage solution.
If you are looking to get a shipping container for storage, you can either decide to keep it in a static place or use it to actually move its contents around (as the shipping container was originally intended). Of course, extra care needs to be taken when you are packing if you are planning on using it for transporting your belongings.
Using your Shipping Container for Storage
If you have a collection of items that need to be stored securely and safely, a shipping container is a great option. You can decide between buying or hiring a shipping container to keep on your own premises, or other people prefer to take their belongings to a self-storage unit where you can rent out a shipping container.
Choose the Right Size
Shipping containers are available in several different sizes and there are three main criteria that you should consider when deciding on what size shipping container to get:
- The amount of space that you need to adequately store everything that you have
- Your budget
- The amount of space that you have to keep your shipping container
There are six main sizes of shipping container that are available:
- 10ft – with a floor area of 72ft² and a volume of 560ft³
- 10ft high cube – with a floor area of 72ft² and a volume of 830ft³
- 20ft – with a floor area of 150ft² and a volume of 1160ft³
- 20ft high cube – with a floor area of 150ft² and a volume of 1310ft³
- 40ft – with a floor area of 305ft² and a volume of 2360ft³
- 40ft high cube – with a floor area of 305ft² and a volume of 2660ft³
We recommend that you get the shipping container that is the smallest for the space that you need. This makes contents easier to secure and less likely to move around, especially if you are using it to transport your items.
Delivery of your Shipping Container
If you are planning on having your shipping container on your own premises, you will need to ensure that you are prepared for its delivery. This means finding a location with enough space for it and ensuring that it will be accessible for the delivery truck.
You will also need to ensure that you have a solid foundation for the shipping container to be placed on – concrete, paving slabs or railways sleepers are ideal.
Your Shipping Container
There are several ways that you can ensure that you get the most out of your shipping container.
- How are you intending on locking it? There are specialised heavy-duty, insurance-rated locks available that can be welded into your shipping container and can be fit, ready to go when your shipping container is delivered.
- Depending on what you are expecting to store in your shipping container, you have the option of adding racking or self-assembly shelving, which can give you better organisation inside the container and help to secure your items.
Packing your Container
Regardless of whether you are using your shipping container for storage or transportation, it is important that you pack it properly to ensure that your belongings are secure and reduce the risk of them being broken or damaged.
Shipping containers are strong, robust and designed to weather everything that mother nature throws at us. This means that its contents are well-protected from outside dangers. But making sure that you pack it properly means that you can help to protect your belongings on the inside too.
- Wrap any breakables and valuables tightly – try to use padding, bubble wrap or boxes for extra security
- Put smaller items together in securely fastened boxes to make them easier to find and move
- Put the larger items in the shipping container first, then pack the smaller ones around them
- Clean your items before storing them. Dust and dirt can cause damage and rust if left for a long time, and dirty clothes can go mouldy, especially if there is any condensation
- Ensure that you don’t pack any perishable items like food, or plants and seeds
- If you are using your shipping container for transporting your goods, check what the international rules are regarding what items can be shipped
Upkeep of your Container
If you are having your container in a place that is susceptible to changes in the temperature, you should be aware that this can cause condensation. You can reduce the impact of this through the use of moisture traps and drying crystals which will take the moisture out of the air.
If you notice any kind of odour in your shipping container, you can illuminate this by spreading some coffee granules around. This might leave you with a faint smell of coffee, but it will also take other odours away.
If you have several items to store or transport long distances, then getting a shipping container can be the ideal solution for you. With a small degree of customisation, you can also ensure that it is organised and secure, and easy to find your belongings when you need them.