How to Extend the Life of Your Shipping Container
May 2024

How to Extend the Life of Your Shipping Container

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Whether you have invested in a new shipping container or a used one, if you want to maximize its use and extend its lifespan significantly, there are certain steps that you must take.

Like any long-term investment, regular maintenance will go a long way and help keep your shipping container in optimal condition so that you can enjoy the strength, durability, and security that it offers as you store your valued belongings in it.

Any time and effort you put into the maintenance of your shipping container will certainly pay off in the long run, as you could even get years of extra use out of it, saving you money and the hassle of regularly replacing it.

Main Causes of Shipping Container Damage

One of the primary reasons shipping containers make such optimal storage units is that they are designed to be extremely durable. Since they often must travel thousands of kilometres to get from their point of origin to their destination, they must face all kinds of weather and environmental variations.

Yet, despite their high level of durability (thanks to their strong steel walls), these containers are not invincible, and there are still some ways that they can occasionally become damaged. The following are some of the most common reasons why such damage tends to occur:

1. Bad weather

Although most shipping containers are resistant to harsh weather of all types, without some hands-on maintenance, they could become damaged due to the development of rust, for example.

In addition, if a container is exposed to highly humid weather, this humidity could become trapped inside of it and turn into condensation when the internal temperature of the container shifts. This could also lead to damage.

2. Improper handling

Whenever a shipping container is moved and/or loaded or unloaded, it is vital that movers follow standard procedures and protocols throughout the process, as improper handling is another potential cause of damage. For instance, an inexperienced forklift operator could potentially cause dents or punctures to a container if they are not cautious.

3. Improper transportation

Another possible cause of damage to a shipping container is using an inappropriate multimodal transport method to move it from point A to point B. If a shipping container is not adequately secured during transit, its body can easily be dented.

Improper stowing during the transportation of a shipping container also poses a risk to the truck drivers or train conductors managing the transfer, as a container coming loose could result in an accident.

4. Incorrect use

Shipping containers are a fantastic storage solution, but when things are improperly stored within them, this could be another potential cause of damage. Container overpacking and uneven weight distribution are two particularly big culprits behind such harm.

Steps to Extend the Lifespan of a Shipping Container

Although there are a few different ways that a shipping container can be damaged, avoiding the mistakes mentioned above is definitely a step in the right direction to maintain its condition.

In addition, there are some extra steps you can take to boost the longevity of your container. The following are some of the best approaches to extend the lifespan of a shipping container:

1. Make sure it sits on foundations

While shipping containers are known to be extremely sturdy, it is still crucial that they have appropriate foundations. A lack of proper elevation from such foundations could lead to your container sinking into the earth, or prevent airflow and increase the likelihood of moisture damage.

The placement of foundations under a shipping container is especially important when the ground below it is primarily soil or clay. Possible options for a solid foundation include concrete piers or slabs and wooden blocks.

2. Add rust-prevention paint

One of the biggest enemies of shipping containers is rust. This is why it is a great idea to coat your shipping container with a specialized paint designed specifically to help with rust prevention.

Although this paint can be quite effective, your container will likely need to be repainted every few years to maintain its impact. Understand that this paint is highly toxic, so rather than trying to apply it yourself, it’s best to leave this job to professionals equipped with the proper safety equipment.

3. Install vents

Since rust is enemy number one, and moisture is the direct cause of rust within containers, it is crucial to counter moisture development. One of the best ways to do this is to install a ventilation system.

Placing vents in your shipping container will significantly increase the airflow within, helping to decrease the buildup of heat and reducing the humidity in the air so that condensation does not form when temperatures change. This way, you can prevent rust development and the growth of harmful mould.

How Sigma Container Corporation Can Help You Find Durable Shipping Containers

If you are searching for durable shipping containers for sale, look no further than Sigma Container Corporation. We have both new and used container options for sale, which come in a variety of types and sizes that are guaranteed to meet your needs.

Thanks to our well-established relationship with reliable container suppliers, we can provide customers all across Ontario with quality units within 1–5 business days.

Our ultimate goal is to facilitate a fast, easy, and comfortable experience as you purchase a shipping container that suits your needs. Thus, our knowledgeable and experienced staff would be happy to answer your questions or guide you toward a container that is best for you.

To make things easier, we also facilitate the delivery of the shipping container directly to you. We even have shipping container rental options available, which you can benefit from if you only require a container on a short-term basis.

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