General Questions

How deep is a shipping container floor

The floor depths on a shipping container (the difference in height between the internal floor line and the bottom of the shipping container externally) can officially change a little between 2 different shipping containers. The reason for this - the eternal measurements on a container are tightly controlled by ISO regulations, but the internal dims are not restricted by international standards.

Standard 20ft, 40ft and 40ft high cube dry containers will all have a circa 6 inch (15cm) deep floor and although slight variations will be experienced - these will typically be minimal as large volume shippers expect to fit the same amount of their cargo into any shipping container of that size and type.

Open top containers, open sided containers and any container that might need extra rigidity in the floor as it might not have strength available in another panel will typically have thicker floors, circa 8-9 inches (20-23cm)

Flat rack and platforms which might also be rated well over 30 tonnes may have anything up to a 18-20 inch floor depth, (circa 50cm), as the entire strength of the container is supported by the floor

If you have a very specific need to know the depots of a container you are buying from us, let us know and we can send someone into the yard to physically measure and check your container for you before delivery.

 

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes we accept all major Credit and Debit cards but not American Express.

There is a 2.5% credit card surcharge, no surcharge on debit card payments.

Due to card fraud concerns, we do not accept card payments from cards with registered billing addresses outside of the UK, and we do not typically accept credit card payments for containers being used for export.

How secure is a shipping container?

When fitted with a lock box (padlock cover) and a heavy duty padlock, in our experience to break into your container you will either need to be an expert lock pick (a good quality padlock will be very hard for even a professional to pick) or you will need some form of heavy cutting equipment to physically cut through the sides or roof of the container, or to cut the lock and padlock cover off (both are a similar amount of effort)

Doing any of these with the right hand tool would likely take hours, and from the would be criminals point of view, there's little to no guarantee that there's anything worth nicking inside your container. even in valuable to you it may not be practical, physically possible or worthwhile the thieves to make off with your stuff

Our general advise, a lock box and a good quality padlock will deter your average 'chancer' without questions, its just too much effort to break into a container, a reasonable risk of getting caught (as there would likely be a lot of noise involved) and no guarantee of it begin worthwhile. We recommend a lock box in its own right will often deter anyone from taking a look at your container, but if you leave it unlocked - you can expect people will be interested to see what you have inside.

What is the floor made from?

All standard shipping containers come with a circa inch thick marine treated plywood floor

Underneath this there is a waterproof coating, often a bitumen based coating and some very heavy duty cross-members, which take the cargo weight whilst the container is being lifted.

This covers all standard types of shipping containers including side opening containers, open tops, and flat racks as well as all of our storage containers

The Exceptions

Modern refrigerated shipping containers typically come with a jet-washable raised aluminium t-bar floor

DNV (offshore oil and gas industry spec) containers will typically come with a metal plate floor as standard.

 

 

Can you modify Shipping Containers?

A wide variety of modification options are available, from a basic external repaint all the way through to a custom built cafe, bar or even shipping container house.

You can see some examples and write ups on our previous jobs in our news section, or of course please feel free to contact us if you have a specific project in mind.

 

Can we source a free container for our charity or community group?

Unfortunately at this time we are unable to offer free containers, although we hope to develop an offering over time.

As a relatively young (est 2011) re-seller, and with we hope  a very keen eye on price already - we work to extremely tight margins and a free container is too much for us at this stage. Around a third of our customers are already charities, country or community groups of some form with even more customers at schools, councils and other public bodies.

We hope in the coming years to introduce a formalised fundraising effort or nominated good cause with an application process, details will be uploaded here and shared on our social media channels when we have it so please feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for updates when we have them

Are there any import duties or hidden extras to pay?

All containers bought from us have been repatriated and no import duties or other taxes will apply. The only possible thing we cannot account for will be future changes to the laws that are applied with a retrospective period (i.e. into the past) - we believe this to be extremely unlikely though.

Can I store my stuff in a shipping container?

Yes, around two thirds of the containers we sell are for this very purpose. Shipping containers make excellent secure storage units, we can deliver them pretty much anywhere in the UK for you and we have cranes on our truck to allow us to lift the containers onto the ground when we are on your site.

Do I need planning permission for my shipping container?

Containers should class as temporary structures as they do not have foundations and because of this they should not be subject to planning laws. However we do always recommend double checking with your local council if there is any doubt. Local special conditions may apply and one Councillor can often take a different viewpoint to another and we're unable to offer a nationwide blanket guarantee.

I need to source a shipping container outside the UK. Can you help?

Yes, we can help source new & used CSC plated seaworthy containers from over 150 locations globally. Please contact us with any requirements.

Delivery and Installation

What Health and Safety information is available when planning a delivery?

If you require any health and safety information for your delivery please flag with us any specific requirements in advance.

Typically our hauliers will have a good standard (generic) Risk and method statement. This will be suitable for a good number of our customers / all but the very specilised jobs. Please bear in mind our hauliers are used to working with a large rage if blue chip sites. Airports, Power stations, Large construction sites and the like are regular stops for our drivers. This will be made available well in advance and we ask that you request this info and check in well in advance of your delivery to ensure you are happy with this info. If not we may need to ensure we can get you this well before planning in the delivery.

Site specific risk and method statements are available if required, our hauliers will usually want to send a manager out from the office to undertake this on a dedicated basis. The hauliers will often ask for a separate charge to cover this service, often a similar total price to the delivery charge in itself.

All our drivers will have their driving licences on them if your need proof of the drivers capacity.

Truck and Trailer MOT badges as well as the hauliers operators licence will show on the vehicle cab or trailer of the vehicle, the driver will be happy to show you these if you want to check them.

Drivers training certificates, chain and weight test certificates for the lifting machinery are sometime carried by the driver and sometimes only available in advance (depending on the haulier concerned) so if you need any of this please request it in advance.

If our vehicle is made to wait whilst information is checked, this will be fine but this time taken will be included in your free time allowance for your vehicle. If our truck spends much longer than an hour on site total you will likely find our hauler will charge an additional £60 + VAT per hour or part hour used. We would often sugegst if you can plan in advance, a small 2-5 minute delay whilst you or your sites health and safety responsible person checks info that has been requested in advance, it won't affect anything. If our truck is held up whilst your request this info and wait for it to come through, the time the vehicle stands will still be chargeable.

 

How much will the delivery cost?

The delivery prices will vary depending on your location, (miles from our nearest depot with the right stocks for you) how flexible you can be in receiving the delivery, weather we need to provide a crane on our truck for lift off (or not) and weather there are any specific delivery issues that might require a special truck or trailer. For this reason please contact us to get a firm container price and delivery cost.

 

Can you deliver onto grass?

Our delivery trucks can often weight circa 20 tonnes without a container on their backs, drivers will be understandably nervous if there is any risk to getting their truck stuck

As we work with a range of smaller local hauliers a lot of these delivery companies will have slightly different approaches to each other. In any event if you need us to run over or operate on any ground that isn't clearly hard-standing and very firm (eg tarmac or concrete) then please flag this with us well in advance.

The driver will always reserve the right to refuse to undertake a delivery if he or she feels there is a risk to the truck getting damaged or stuck. In most cases our haulier will ask you to sign a disclaimer which in essence will say 'I will driver onto soft ground under your instructions but if i get stuck you are responsible for any costs incurred to recover the truck' - this can also include vehicle waiting time at approx £60 per hour as well as a truck recovery vehicle.

In many cases if our ruck can remain on hard ground (eg an access road) we can lift onto soft ground next to this road as long as our trucks  stays on firm ground.

If driving over grass or soft ground is unavoidable, with good advice from the customer so we know what to expect, and with planning many customers can reduce the risks of problems associated with delivering a container onto soft ground. For example many customer may be able to have a tractor or similar off-road capable vehicle that can help pull the truck out if it were to get stuck, or you may have access to machinery that can take the container across a field or similar (eg a tractor with large forks). Alternatively a plan B location for your container might be workable if its apparent the ground conditions are not suitable to position the container in your first choice location.

 

 

How wide are your delivery trucks?

All delivery vehicles are 8ft (2.44M) wide plus wing mirrors. (The same width as a standard shipping container)

How high / tall is your delivery truck?

Most delivery trucks will run up to max 13ft 6 (4.12M) with a standard height (8ft 6) high container on their trailer, or 14ft 6 (4.42M) when carrying a high cube container. This is based on a 6ft high trailer on the lorry which is usually a slight over-estimate.

If you have any obstructions when nearing your site, such as low bridges or low branches down a tight country lane, please flag this with us in advance.

NB A low bridge in the UK is classed as anything 16 ft 6 inches (5.03M) or lower, so any bridge below this height on a public highway should be well signed.

 

How far can the crane on your truck reach

Unfortunately that one is not straightforward to answer and we recommend getting in touch to discuss this if you have any concerns whatsoever

Each truck we use is purpose built for the haulier that operates it, so each truck can have different size cranes on it and the bigger cranes will reach further.

If you need us to lift over any obstructions we do please ask that you flag this with us in advance, so that we can ensure a suitable truck gets put onto your job. We would ask you to flag in advance if you can foresee any complication with the delivery and more often than not this will help your delivery run smoothly.

However with notice, the vast majorly of our trucks can:

  • Lift an empty off at 90 degrees to the truck, or perform an 'L-shaped' lift., as long as the nearest side of the container is very near to the truck.
  • We can lift an empty over most standard 6-8ft fences, as long as our truck can get right up parallel to / right alongside the hedge or fence and as long as the container is doing more or less directly the other side of the fence.

If planning such a lift we do please ask that you still flag this with us in advance. We typically can not (without special arrangements for delivery and likely a re-quote)

  • Lift over houses or other buildings
  • Lift over trees
  • Lift over power lines or telegraph wires

Also please be advised if lifting a loaded shipping container with any significant weight inside we will use very different equipment. If you're planning to lift and / or move a loaded shipping container please do not use the information in this FAQ

Can you offer deliveries at evenings and weekends?

Yes we can!

Our hauliers will often charge a premium for a Saturday or Sunday delivery and will quote on a case by case basis.

Deliveries in very early mornings or into the evenings can often be accommodated. Some of our hauliers will not charge any extra for this is they can structure it aroudn their typical day to day work.

Please contact us and let us know what you need, and we will of course come back with some options and suggestions for you.

 

How quickly can I get a container delivered?

Our most common ranges are held in stock locally and are ready for despatch within a few hours.

However, where possible, we do ask for circa 1 week notice as our hauloers do book up in advance, although we can often sort something out at very short notice if you have specific deadlines. Our capacity to cover a short notice job will vary a lot depending on your geography, the size and type of container you want, the type of delivery you need and how busy the industry is at the time of your order. For this reason if you have any deadlines please let us know and we will of course check what we can offer for you.

Note: containers that need converting or modifying (beyond a very simple job like adding a lock box) need planning time with our conversions yard and this may add 1-2 weeks for simple work or more for very involved or high volume refurbishment jobs.

Container Maintenance

Does my container need to be level?

Yes your container needs to be level. In very basic terms if the shipping container is not level it can add a twisting force to the container itself. This can leave you trying to fit square doors into a hole that isn't square i.e. your doors will jam open. We send out a guide with every invoice detailing how to accept delivery and position your container on site for best use and life. Please refer to this guide for further details.

How long will a shipping container last?

Everything we sell comes with our 12 month guarantee as standard to ensure peace of mind.

A used container should provide circa 10 years of good use with minimal or low maintenance.

A refurbished container you should expect a similar if not slightly increased lifespan.

A one trip or new container, when sat static, will last a lot longer. How long largely remains untested (container designs change more frequently than their expected static lifespan, so by the time we tested on and came back to say it can last 30 years, a newer design of container will be in use.

We typically suggest 'circa a generation of solid use' perhaps with a basic maintenance scheduled every 10 years or so.

 

Will I get condensation in my shipping container?

In a standard, non-insulated container you will find you get some condensation form on the inside of the roof as it cools overnight. The heat escapes through the roof as the container cools and this is where your condensation will form.

The amount to condensation that forms is not a standard answer, this will vary depending on how much moisture was in the air (how humid it was) when you loaded the container, how much and how quickly it cools down overnight and how much free air is left inside your container.

If your storing moisture sensitive goods, papers, fabrics and textiles, artworks, or finished products ready for retail sale we recommend considering some of our condensation treatment options.

However for many customers who might be storing less sensitive goods we may recommend that condensation treatment is not necessary.