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6 Ways to Keep Your Shipping Container in Tip-Top Shape

Thursday, November 03, 2016

“A small leak can sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Shipping containers are designed and built to withstand a long, tough life of carrying heavy loads of cargo. These units are commonly constructed of steel, and preventative measures are taken to avoid corrosion. However, as with many things, maintenance and repair are essential and helps to prolong the life of the container. ,


Containers are exposed to corrosive salt air, knocked about when packed and stacked on ships, trains and trucks, causing some damage. It is imperative that you inspect, maintain and repair your containers, twice a year at least.









Here are a few recommendations on how to keep your containers in good nick:

1.Roof maintenance and repair

First and foremost do an inspection of your roof. Recycled containers often suffer damage from being stacked on top one another resulting in dents and chipped paint causing it to retain moisture which causes corrosion and deterioration. Safeguard against corrosion by repairing dents, and using good quality marine paint.

2.Assess, remove and treat rust

It is a misnomer that shipping containers do not succumb to rust and rot. While corten steel is high-quality steel, the wear and tear, does take its toll. Corten steel is resistant to corrosion but not rust proof, therefore require repair and maintenance. It is not such an arduous task. Ensure that you remove the rust, any openings to be sealed, and painted with high-quality marine paint to get more life out of your containers.

3.Inspect, lubricate and repair doors

Shipping containers have heavy duty rubber door seals. However, they do succumb to damage due to wear and tear. Check whether doors are completely sealed. Keep them free from grit and replace them if you notice any cracks. You should regularly inspect the moving parts of the door for any damage due to repeated use. Ensure that they are operational and secure. Keep door hinges, locks and seals clean by removing dirt and rust, then use lubricating spray. Container doors last for approximately 10-15 years before they perish.

4.Secure container on a level surface

Make sure that you install your container on a level, well-drained surface. It prevents water from accumulating and moisture building up, causing corrosion under the container.

5.Examine container modifications

Shipping containers are designed and constructed to resist corrosion and to be water tight. However, it does present challenges when it has been modified in diverse ways and structures, particularly when it is a recycled container. Examine the modified parts of the container, specifically where the steel is joined. See that it is clean and rust free. Repair any rust and clean any debris and treat it with the latest rust proof paint.

6.Maintenance checks on Refrigeration Unit

You will require periodic maintenance if your container is a refrigerated or ‘reefer container.’ Occasional servicing will prohibit unexpected downtime due to repairs necessary at inopportune times. It is best that this type of maintenance is carried out by a qualified technician.

If you would like more information on purchasing shipping containers, fill out our quick quote form or contact our friendly team of experts.

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