How to Transport a Shipping Container Properly
Oct 2021

How to Transport a Shipping Container Properly

Posted By   |  0 Comment

Are you planning to buy a shipping container and want to know how it is transported? At first, the delivery process involving a shipping container might seem challenging. However, when you purchase it from a container modification company, they will be able to guide you on the steps of a safe delivery.

At Sigma Container Corporation, we have over 40 years of shipping containers experience and have helped our clients through the logistics of getting their shipping container delivered safely to their homes, business, or project site.

When it comes to container rentals in the GTA, we offer flexible short and long term shipping container rentals where you can choose the right container from our selection that is most suitable for your needs. Unless you own heavy transportation equipment, read on as we walk you through the steps on how to transport a shipping container properly.

Trucks used for transporting shipping containers

If you decide to go with container rentals in the GTA, the most common method for shipping your container is by truck. But you can’t have it transported by a typical moving truck or pick up truck. Let’s discuss the types of trucks used for safe container delivery.

Tilt bed trucks

Utilizing a tilt bed truck to transport your shipping container is the most common delivery option. The process in which a tilt bed truck dumps garbage into a landfill is similar in how it delivers a container.

As the driver arrives on-site, he will maneuver the bed on the truck in a tipping angle that will help the container slide off slowly onto its unloading spot. The truck will then pull away slowly to place the container.

Keep in mind, when you choose the area where you would like your container to be placed, you need ample room for the tilt bed truck to be able to gain access to the unloading area. Be sure that the ground where the container will sit is levelled, flat, and dry.

Flatbed trucks

If you plan on renting or buying more than one container, using a flatbed truck is the most ideal method. When it comes to delivering multiple containers, flatbed trucks are more cost-effective than tilt bed trucks.

Since a flatbed truck is made with a simple fixed platform that has no walls, when it gets to the unloading spot, it may require a crane or forklift to remove the container off the flat bed. However this is only in cases where there is not enough room to unload or if additional services (such as stacking or moving containers where a truck cannot) are needed.

The main difference between a tilt bed truck and a flatbed truck is that it needs a crane or forklift to load and unload the container. The tilt bed truck doesn’t need the assistance of a crane or a forklift, as the driver relies on the angle to help the container naturally slide off onto the ground.

Step-deck trucks

If you decide to rent a high-cube container that stands at 9.5-feet tall, it requires a step-deck truck. Similar to flatbed trucks, a step-deck truck is made with a flat platform with a bed that is lowered to the ground to accommodate containers taller than 8-feet. Just like a flatbed, a step-deck truck may require assistance from a forklift or crane to maneuver the container on and off the loading space if additional services are needed.

Truck-mounted crane

The main benefit of using a truck-mounted crane is that it comes with a crane and can easily pick up the shipping container and load it on the bed. Because truck-mounted cranes are slightly smaller than a regular crane, they can only transport 20ft containers due to the bed’s overall length. Since the crane is smaller, the parking area where the truck needs to park will need to be close in proximity to the container’s site.

Container chassis

A container chassis looks similar to a trailer, but contains a skeleton frame instead of a flatbed. The skeleton frame has built-in twist-locks to secure the shipping container corner castings. If the shipping container is going to travel a long way to its final destination, a container chassis is ideal for long-distance moves.

Due to the secure attachment of the container, it will hold the cargo tightly and reduce its risk of falling off while in transit. Once it reaches its unloading spot, the container will require a crane or forklift to remove the container off the chassis and place it on the ground.

Side Loader

Another popular method of transporting a shipping container is using a truck that has a side-loading device. The truck pulls up beside the unloading spot and offloads the container directly off the side.

Simultaneously, it will release hydraulic outriggers to prevent the container from tipping over. Be sure to have a lot of free space surrounding the unloading area as the hydraulic outriggers will extend from the side of the front and back of the truck. If you plan to rent multiple containers, side loaders are ideal for stacking a maximum of two shipping containers.

Dropping the Container Off


Forklifts play an integral part of the safe placement of shipping containers that are 20-feet long or smaller. Keep in mind that the forklifts used in warehouse operations are not built to lift shipping containers. For the purpose of transporting containers safely, a high capacity forklift is required to lift and place empty to lightweight cargo in its unloading areas.

Hydraulic lifting jack

Another popular offloading method is the hydraulic lift jack. Using hydraulic legs, the shipping container is picked up off a trailer, then slowly lowered on the smooth ground where the container will sit. After it is released, the trailer drives away.

It’s important to note that the jacks do not allow horizontal movement of the shipping container after they are raised. It is not permitted to use the jacks for vertical container stacking. The container is placed straight down from where it was situated on the trailer.

Contact Sigma Container

For more information on our container rentals in the GTA, contact Sigma Container at 855-340-3342 or toll-free at 1-877-225-7762 or email us here.

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at