Getting pictures of shipping containers

Quite often we get asked if we can supply pictures of shipping containers, specifically, a selection of containers that the client can select their preferred option(s) from.

Sadly, the answer from us is often no, it’s usually not feasible and this article attempts more to expand on the reasons so you understand why this cannot be done.

When we do have images of individual containers, these are often uploaded to our website and we will make clear in the bullet points on that product that the images shown are the exact containers on offer.

1. – How are shipping containers stored in depots?

Shipping containers are stored in stacks within a depot and these stacks are typically aligned in parallel rows to maximise use of the available space within the depot. This means there is minimal floor space available, only sufficient for the ‘picking’ vehicles to go through with the containers that have been picked.

In a typical yard, our 20ft containers will be mixed in with 5 or 10 other depot customers who also store in there, (as is the same with other sizes) so we don’t have a neat stack with only our stock in it, there will be a number of 20ft stacks, that share everyone’s stock. As such its nearly impossible to invite you in and have a nice arrangement of shipping containers that you can pick out your preferred option.

Different depots have different setups and rules, but the larger depots we work with often won’t allow members of the public into their yard at all for health and safety reasons which can make viewing in person tricky as well, however we work with a wide range of depots and if you want to see a container in person before buying’s it is always worth asking us to check if this is possible.


2. – How are shipping containers loaded on to vehicles?

Once a container has been picked to fulfill an order, the ‘picker’ (AKA stacker truck) takes the container to the loading area and loads it directly on to the waiting vehicle. At most times, this area has a line of vehicles in a queue waiting for their respective container. And therefore, no available for space for dropping a number of containers on the ground.

If we have a number of used 20ft containers in stock, and a truck is in to collect a used 20ft container for a customer delivery. The picker or stacker truck will normally pick out whichever of our containers is of the correct size and grade, and easiest to get at. We often won’t know exactly which container you are getting until its on the back of the delivery truck. This is part of the reason why we do not guarantee cosmetics on our used containers under any circumstances.

3. – What happens in the yard when modifying or re-painting a shipping container?

The picker will deliver the container for the order to the bay that will be doing the works. The area in these bays is limited and not available for containers to be dropped for purposes of taking pictures and then being left their awaiting a decision from a client.

The only time we can get pictures of shipping containers is once they’ve been modified, but, they will not be altered or amended in any way whatsoever unless we’ve made an obvious mistake when processing the container for you. Where we’ve followed your initial instructions, the container is accepted as is and they will not be altered or amended in anyway. Save, adding an additional accessory if at all possible. This process is the same as if you were ordering a new car from a dealership. They process the order to your initial instructions and will not make changes after the fact.

From the yards point of view, they have a fixed number of ‘pads’ to repair, convert or modify containers on, and need a fixed amount of earnings from each pad per hour or day. As such stopping work to allow for a viewing halfway through work being done, or to take photos will cause significant overhead costs that would need to be accounted for. If not arranged in advance / at time of quote then offering this level of service part way through work being done will incur significant costs.

Hopefully the above gives you an idea of why we usually cannot get pictures of shipping containers. We are not being lazy or ignorant, these are the facts about how a shipping container depot works and are provided to explain why we say no, and to help you understand the reasons why.

We are help to help you as best we can and our aim is to provide the best customer service at all times. We would add that any level of service is possible, but we do work hard to offer what we think is the best balance between price, quality and value. If you have any specific needs for the level of service beyond our standard option, and if you can let us know at the start of the process, then we can price this into your work for you. This may at times limit the yards and suppliers we can use which can often have a heavy impact on prices.

All the units we provide – be they straight off the stack containers or modified containers, come with our standard 12-month wind & watertight guarantee and should a fault develop – we will make repair to the problem and give you a further 12-month wind & watertight guarantee on the repaired area. offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale, which also includes our ranges of flat pack sheds, container canopies and more. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 7pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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