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Your Guide to Easy Shipping Container Maintenance
Jun 2021

Your Guide to Easy Shipping Container Maintenance

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Shipping containers are known for their versatility and durability, leading to low maintenance requirements. Typically constructed from steel, with stainless steel fittings and floors, containers are built to prevent rotting and corrosion, which helps keep items safe. Not only are they able to withstand harsh marine climates when at port, they stay sturdy in the face of cold climates like Ontario as well.

However, while shipping containers can last a long time—usually around 25 years—they do need upkeep. Semi-regular maintenance on your container can go a long way in extending its longevity and keeping it in top condition.

To ensure that your container is compliant with international transportation regulations, it must be safe and suitable for transportation, storage, and construction. Only then are shipping container movers able to transport your goods safely. If your container is in poor condition, you should aim to inspect and repair the damages as soon as possible.

To prevent reaching that stage, you can ensure a long service life for your container through simple measures. Here is Sigma Container Corporation’s (SCC) guide for maintaining your shipping container in great condition:

Purchase Your Container from a Reputed Seller

Before maintenance comes purchase. Research various sellers before deciding on one, as containers are a big investment. Ensuring that your seller will offer you containers in good condition and with great value for money is essential for the long-term health of the container.

At SCC, not only are we shipping container movers servicing Ontario, we also offer new and used containers for sale. Whether you pick standard or specialty, new or used, you can rest assured that your container will suit your project needs and surpass all quality checks.

Clean Up Rust and Debris

Containers are typically resistant to rust, but it is possible for rust to accumulate if the container is exposed to water or frost for long periods of time. In Ontario, the rainfall and snowfall can both contribute to the spreading of rust.

To combat this, regularly check the state of your container and remove debris or moisture that may have accumulated in small scratches or dents. Another great way to contribute to the longevity of your container is to inspect the caulk and weathering strips and replace them as needed.

Also, be sure to touch up the paint on your container structure with a moisture-resistance coating. Many manufacturers will perform container modifications, including water treatment. This can help prevent rust buildup. However, containers are also incredibly durable; small rust buildups can easily be handled by scrubbing the area with a brush and some vinegar.

Inspect the Roof to Prevent Overloading

Containers are built to withstand extremely heavy weights. However, the weight is held primarily at the four corner posts of the unit and not across the roof. Therefore, transfer the heaviest items to the corners instead of focusing a lot of the weight across the centre.

This goes for debris, standing water, and ice and snow as well. These items weigh down your shipping container, not to mention contribute to the accumulation of rust on the container roof. Dents on the roof especially can contribute to water and snow buildup, which can weigh down the structure. Regular inspection can go a long way in preventing the roof from sagging or overloading.

Maintain Climate Control Systems by Following Manufacturer Recommendations

The heating and cooling system within your shipping container works like any other HVAC system. Managing the moisture and humidity within the unit is essential for keeping your goods safe and maintaining the condition of the container as long as possible. Air filters need to be replaced every so often, and the systems need regular maintenance from a professional. Follow the inspection and maintenance guides provided by your manufacturer to avoid excessive servicing or repairs.

Lubricate Cargo Door Hinges

The doors of the container experience a great deal of wear and tear, as the doors are constantly opened and closed for various purposes. Many organizations will also leave the container cargo doors operable, as they use the unit for storage or as a workspace. The doors also may need to be flexible for loading goods before the shipping container movers transport the container. Thus, checking the hinges to ensure they are clean and well kept is a must.

Remove all dirt, grit, rust, or any other buildup from the door hinges and locking bars by using a commercial grade cleaner. Then, lubricate the door hinges and locking bars to ensure they work with ease (a lubricating spray also works well for the grease).

Ensure the Container Is on a Level Surface

Re-leveling the container as needed is important to prevent any shifting or movement, as well as moisture buildup, plumbing issues, and sticky doors. Find a flat level surface, preferably a gravel or concrete pad, to situate your container. However, we’ve found that containers may shift over time even on carefully prepared sites.

To properly level your unit, ensure the four corners touch the ground while maintaining the floor crossmembers away from the floor. This will help the weight distribute to the four corners and maintain the corners on one uniform level. This will also be an asset to your shipping container movers and help them transport your goods securely and with ease.

We hope our guide to shipping container maintenance is helpful to prolong the longevity of your unit. To ensure your container serves your organization for many years to come, communicate with your container manufacturer and shipping container movers so they can advise you according to their expertise. At SCC, we are happy to answer any questions and guide you on a structure that is right for you.

To learn more about shipping container movers in Ontario, call Sigma Container Corporation at 1-877-225-7762 or contact 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