Do Shipping Containers Need to Be Tied Down?
Jun 2024

Do Shipping Containers Need to Be Tied Down?

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Whether you are just starting to look into getting a shipping container to store your belongings or you already have one, a question you may eventually ask yourself is whether it is necessary to secure the container to the ground.

After all, it is good to be thinking about how to properly set up your container to ensure you get the most out of it and that you do not run into any unexpected issues.

However, you will be relieved to know that, for the most part, it typically is not necessary to tie down your shipping container or secure it to the ground in any sort of way due to its sheer weight.

Standard-sized shipping containers are typically either 20 or 40 feet in length. The average 20-foot container generally weighs around 4,500 pounds, whereas the average 40-foot container weighs about 8,500 pounds.

That means the smaller of these two is still almost 30% heavier than an average car, and the larger of the two is about the same weight as two and a half cars. Any shipping containers for sale that you find will be in the same category.

As items are stored within shipping containers, their overall weight only continues to rise. As a result of the substantial weight of these containers, especially when filled, it is unlikely they will move anywhere under normal circumstances unless you are trying to move them.

Effective Ways to Secure a Shipping Container to the Ground

Although the massive weight of your shipping container removes the necessity to secure it to the ground in most cases, if you live in an area where natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, are common, or if you just want peace of mind, you may consider taking some measures to anchor the container. Ensure that the shipping containers for sale you find are of the right size and for the right purpose.

If that is the case, you can opt for any of the following methods to effectively secure your shipping container to the ground:

1. Steel plates

One of the most common methods for securing a shipping container to the ground is with steel plates and a concrete foundation.

To properly secure your container this way, it is necessary to press steel plates with welded anchors underneath into the concrete when it is wet, with at least one plate positioned beneath each corner of the container. Once the concrete has cured, you can place your container on the plates and weld them together.

The fact that the plates are anchored in concrete makes this one of the best ways to ensure your container is secure. However, if you decide to opt for this method, it will require quite a bit of advanced planning.

2. Twist locks

Another method for securing a shipping container to a foundation is to use ground plates and twist locks. This method is much easier and faster and was originally used as a way to stack containers on a semi-trailer truck, ship, or railway container train.

With this method, it is necessary to bolt the ground plates into the concrete foundation in the spots where the four corners of the container will sit. Then, the container must be lowered onto the plates so that the corner castings perfectly align with the twist locks.

Once the levers are twisted into place, your shipping container will be secure and it will be very difficult to move it from its spot. Just make sure you get the right kind of twist locks, as there are various options to choose from.

The best kind of twist locks for securing a shipping container to a flat surface are dovetail twist locks. These simply need to be shifted from the neutral position to the lock position (from right to left) once the container is placed on them.

3. Steel chains

Another strategy for securing a shipping container to the ground, which is even easier than using twist locks, is using heavy-duty steel chains to attach the container to a foundation.

For this method to be as effective as the others, it is essential to only use chains that are of high-grade strength. All that you have to do is fish the chain through the hole of the corner casting and then connect it to a hook or a bent rebar that is attached to the foundation.

For extra security, you may want to do this in a few different spots, such as in all four corners of the container.

4. Corner casting rebar

If you inspect your shipping container, you will find that each of its eight corners features corner castings and has holes on each of the sides.

Yet, another potential method for securing your shipping container to the ground involves using the iron rebar that is commonly used in concrete work. This iron rebar can be wrapped through the holes in each of the corner castings and then twisted to secure the container to the foundation beneath it.

Alternatively, the rebar can be driven deep into the ground to achieve a similar effect. In either case, your container is unlikely to move when this method is used.

How Sigma Container Corporation Can Help You Find a Suitable Shipping Container for Your Needs

All the methods mentioned above for securing a shipping container to the ground are incredibly effective. However, before you start worrying about how to best secure a shipping container, you first need to find a solid unit to suit your needs.

If you are looking for shipping containers for sale, Sigma Container Corporation can help you find one that is perfectly suited to your requirements. We carry a wide range of different new and used shipping containers, including 20-foot, 40-foot, and 40-foot high cube options. No matter your storage needs, our containers will provide sufficient space as well as the security and durability that you require.

All our containers come with a structural guarantee that ensures they do not have any holes or leaks. They are all wind and watertight, have solid floors, and their doors function and are properly sealed.

Once you decide on a container from our extensive inventory, we will deliver it directly to you within a short timeframe. If you do not require the container on a permanent basis, we also have rental options to align with your timeline and provide shipping containers for sale.

For more information about our shipping containers for sale, or to learn more about the exact dimensions of the containers in our inventory, call Sigma Container Corporation at 855-340-3342 or contact us here.

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