Difficult Shipping Container Deliveries

When you have a shipping container delivered it is essential to understand all the delivery options available so that you can not only choose the most cost effective option, but also the most suitable, especially with difficult shipping container deliveries.

Why a Hiab?

Hiab truck offloading a shipping container to the side via a crane

A hiab delivery is the most common option we offer as it suits most of our customers needs. A crane equipped vehicle is used to deliver and lift off your container (empty containers only). These have a single crane arm with extending boom and are free swinging to manoeuvre containers into the desired position.

They are slightly more expensive per mile to run than a flatbed truck without a crane. However, they are typically much cheaper than arranging a separate crane to lift off your container.

While our hiab wagons are very versatile, the delivery service is not always straight forward and easy. Every delivery is different and, as the customer knows their site best, it is down to them to ensure the drop can actually be done.

Difficult shipping container deliveries are of course always worth a chat. As well as sending photos, diagrams or even arranging a site visit where suitable. We have bags of experience getting shipping containers into tight spots, but we would much rather spend additional time checking this in advance than risk problems with your delivery. Just because a delivery looks tricky it doesn’t mean it’s not doable.

Preparing for a Difficult Delivery

Space and Access

hiab truck delivering a shipping container

With very tight container deliveries customers should take extra care to measure up. (Remember the saying ‘measure twice, cut once’ – this is very similar!) Very few of our hiab vehicles are identical so it is essential we get the correct information from the start so we can ensure we use the right vehicle for the job. Gates, narrow passages and overhead cables/tree branches are all common obstacles that need to be considered.

If you would like your container positioned in a particular gap, it is worth telling us in advance and measuring the area as well as the overhead room. The hiab may need to swing and turn the container around in the air to get the doors where you want them. The lifting area must be clear of any overhead obstructions. If you are unsure a couple of photos and measurements may save a lot of trouble on the day.

Hiab truck offloading a green shipping container via a crane

Ground Condition

With regards to the ground our lorries can and cannot driver over, we will always say our wagons must operate on ‘hard standing’ ground at all times.

Anything other that hard standing will only be driven on at that particular driver’s discretion. (i.e. if he says no because he thinks he may get stuck, its a no). We simply cannot afford to get our wagon stuck anywhere. Again photos in advance can be a huge help in avoiding failed delivery charges.


Obstacles such as walls and fences should not be too much of an issue for most of our hiab wagons. Remember the lorry bed sits circa 6ft off the ground anyway, so if we are dropping directly over say a 6ft fence, this should not be a problem. Depth of the obstacle should be taken into consideration. Our hiabs cannot stay at the same height the further they stretch. We would still want to know in advance if you need us to lift over any obstacles though.

If you are in doubt over your difficult shipping container delivery please contact us. All of our options and the types of vehicles we use are listed on our container delivery options page.

Procter & Gamble Ltd Delivery

Budget Shipping Containers delivered two new 20ft shipping containers to Procter & Gamble Ltd in Newcastle. A very helpful customer who provided diagrams and photos of the drop zone and delivery area. They had a good idea of what they needed but just needed a chat through to see what was doable. The site meant we were lifting over a 1m deep, 2m high stone wall into a courtyard about 6m x 12m. Clearly this could not have been done with one of our small rigid hiab lorries because the reach simply would not have been able to lift high enough and extend far enough to drop the units where needed.

We delivered both units on an artic wagon with a crane with a longer reach. We could only get down one side of the courtyard so the long reach hiab was perfect. It held a good clearance off the wall and accurately positioning the containers a good 6 metres. The driver completed the delivery without a hitch in the end. It just proves that liaising with your supplier (and haulier where possible) is essential for delivering shipping containers around particular obstacles.

“We didn’t know if the hiab reach will be long enough to drop a container about 6 meters away from the lorry while staying 2 meters high to avoid the wall its lifting over. They arrived and were installed safely over the weekend”¬†

Guy Fleming Jones, Customer Services Manager РProcter & Gamble Ltd. A big thanks to Procter & Gamble Ltd Newcastle for the pictures provided!

Budgetshippingcontainers.co.uk 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. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am ‚Äď 5pm 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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