After so many deliveries and so many questions we decided to help you with some tips and information that might help you when purchasing a shipping container. As a company that respects its customers and employees, we prioritize the safety, security and integrity of all our storage containers.
Before any site modification is made, contact your local council to inquire it is legal to do so without a permit (which may be required) – a phone call is cheaper than a fine or the cost of relocating the container.
As part of our delivery process, we inspect each container to ensure its structural integrity and security when picking them up. We also take steps to protect our crew, as well as our customers on site. This includes asking our customers to take responsibility in preparing the delivery site.
Decide on an area
Storage containers are big. Sounds obvious, but it can be hard to visualize just how much space a 20ft or a 40ft storage container will take up. Furthermore, once the container has been delivered, you won’t be able to move it on your own, unless you have the proper equipment ( crane or heavy forklift ). Therefore, the first step to take when preparing for delivery is deciding on the best location to place it, of course this after you already decided on a size that fits your needs.
To work out just where you’d like your container to go, it’s a good idea to mark out the area with cones or rope. This will give you an accurate representation of exactly where your container will be placed. Plus, it will provide you with the opportunity to check that you’ll be able to enter and exit your container seamlessly. Make sure not only that you can get into your container, but also that you have spare room for it to be unloaded from the trailer. A rule of thumb is to leave enough space for two containers for delivery. For instance, for a 20ft container, give yourself 50-60ft of room for a stress-free delivery.
Think also about how the driver should get on your property, so when we ask you, how the container should be positioned on the trailer, with the doors facing towards the cab of the truck or towards the rear of the truck, you already know the right answer.
Make sure you have enough space for the delivery truck
Think about the size of the container. The truck will need enough space to make very wide turns and to get in your property / delivery area, around, and out of the property. Make sure there’s plenty of clearance to get through gates, under tree limbs, power lines and other obstructions. We always ask about an ideal width clearance is at least 15 feet, though our drivers can work with 10.
Usually for the deliveries to go smooth for a 20ft container the requirements are:
- 14-16 ft height clearance
- 50-60 ft length for a straight shot unloading when they are coming on a 20ft roll off trailer, otherwise take in consideration the same length requirements as a 40ft container
- 15 ft width
For delivering a 40ft container requirements would be:
- 14-16 ft height clearance
- 100-120 ft length for a straight shot unloading
- 15 ft width
The deliveries are made on flat bed trailers or tilt bed trailers, and there could be two types of delivery methods.
1 – Drag Off delivery – also known as customer assisted unloading, inquires that the customer has to use an anchor point to help the driver unload the container. You can watch how a drag off delivery takes place in the video here.
2 – Roll Off delivery – this type of unloading has no requirements for the customer to assist the driver for unloading, it goes smooth and no stress either. You can watch how a roll off delivery takes place in the video here.
The truck will need to maneuver into the space to make the delivery, backing up and pulling in to get the right angle. As a rule, 50-60ft of depth clearance is good for 20ft containers and 100-120ft for 40ft containers, not including space for the delivery truck to maneuver in and out.
Prepare the ground
Once you’ve decided on the area that your container will be delivered to, it’s time to actually prepare the ground for the container. The most important step to take at this stage is to ensure the ground isn’t too soft. Although containers are one of the most weather-resistant and durable storage solutions, at up to 8800-9000 pounds heavy, they’re liable to sink if placed on a particularly soft patch of ground. Additionally, if placed directly onto consistently damp ground, the bases of even the most durable storage containers will eventually be damaged over time.
If you’re stuck for options and you really need to place the container on damp ground, you can consider putting down some gravel or wooden planks as a form of additional support. This also helps keep the door frames square and ensure smooth operation of both doors. Either 4×4 or 8×8 or even railroad ties would do. After delivery you can also crank it up and put cinder blocks on the corners and sides so you can keep it off the ground level, this will allow for airflow underneath the container to dry out the surface that the unit is placed on. It will prevent the formation of condensation which leads to mold, rot, and (potentially) flooding. If you’re intending on keeping your container indefinitely, it may be worth the investment to simply pave the area where it will be stationed, this ensures the absolute best conditions for your unit.
Once the container is in place, check the integrity of the container. Swing the door open and shut, making sure it closes easily and tightly, and ensure the locks function easily.
We recommend to power wash your shipping container and paint it to increase it’s life and keep it’s durability over time.