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Open-Top Shipping Container Hire

Simplify transporting and storing bulk goods or heavy cargo with an open-top shipping container. An open-top container allows for easy loading of over-height cargo that cannot be loaded through normal container doors. These containers are constructed from tough Corten steel, featuring plywood floors and a removable tarpaulin cover supported by robust roof bows. 

We supply high-quality open-top shipping containers guaranteed to be watertight, vermin-proof, secure and durable. 

What is an Open Top Container

Open-top containers are versatile and specially designed to accommodate over-height goods or bulk cargo that wouldn’t usually fit in a standard container. The double doors provide quick access, and these containers are also the best solution for items that need to be loaded by crane

Once the cargo is loaded, a waterproof, removable roof made from tarpaulin is secured with lateral roof bows to keep goods protected in all weather conditions. In addition, the corner posts have castings at the top and bottom, making it possible to stack and lock open-top shipping containers together. 

Types of container

We rent and sell new and used containers.


‘A-grade’ new open tops have been on just one ocean journey from the manufacturer to New Zealand, so they are in excellent condition. These containers generally have vents in the sidewalls, marine plywood floors, and lockboxes. 


For more affordable options, choose our B or C-grade used shipping containers

Our ‘B-grade’ shipping containers have previously been on international voyages and may display minor damage, surface rust or repairs. Once we update a shipping container with a  valid CSC plate, it is 100% seaworthy. 

We supply our ‘C-grade’ containers ‘as-is’. Signs of previous repairs, rust and dents may be evident, but they are adequate for a wide range of extra storage applications. 

Container Sizes

Open-top shipping containers are available for hire in 20ft and 40ft sizes.

20 ft

20ft containers are the industry standard size for intermodal transportation. Move equipment internationally or cross-country, store excess household furniture or create a temporary office. 

40 ft

A 40ft container suits various purposes, such as conversion projects, transport and storage of agricultural equipment, vehicles and cargo


20ft open-top shipping containers generally have a maximum capacity of around 32.2m³. 40ft units have a larger capacity of about 65m³.

Should I hire or buy

Hiring an open-top shipping container is suitable for short-term arrangements such as temporary storage or shipping. Buy a container if you have long-term storage or modification plans. If you’re looking for a more permanent option, check out our open-top shipping containers for sale


The hire price of an open-top shipping container depends on your container requirements, the unit’s condition, grade and how it is transported to your site. Get an obligation-free quote online now, or contact our friendly team on 0508 732266.

Delivery options

We offer efficient container delivery New Zealand-wide via our extensive network. Depending on your location, we may transport your open-top on a HIAB truck using a crane or a swing lift truck. Once we confirm your order, we aim to deliver to metropolitan areas within 24-48 hours. Talk to our team about door-to-door rates to your home or worksite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between open-top containers and flat-rack containers?

Open-top containers have corrugated iron sides and a removable tarpaulin roof. An open-top container is preferred for top loading cargo situations. 

Flat-rack containers have no side walls or roof and fixed or removable end walls. These containers are frequently used as temporary bridges to provide creek crossings for farm machinery or stock. They may also be used to replace small bridges damaged by flooding. 

Can the container be modified?

Yes, we offer shipping container modification to suit your requirements. Many of our customers have modified their units to include shelving systems, full side-access doors, roller doors, lighting, lockboxes, and a fresh coat of paint. Contact our modification team to discuss personalised solutions.

What can I use an open-top container for?

Items commonly shipped and stored in open-top shipping containers are:

  • Extra-long or tall cargo
  • Steel bars and pipes
  • Boilers
  • Machinery
  • Rocks, minerals and ore
  • Construction debris

Hire an open top shipping container today

We focus on delivering quality products and outstanding service for our customers. So, whether you’re looking for new or used open-top, flat-rack, refrigerated or high-cube containers for hire or sale, SEA has containers to suit your purpose. Email our friendly sales team at [email protected], or call us on 0508 732266 today.