Shipping Container Foundations

Shipping Container Foundations

The most common question we are asked at Portables 360 is if a shipping container needs a concrete foundation before being put into place. In most cases, no. However, some situations may be more beneficial to have a slab poured before placing the container in place. 

Consider the following for your container foundation:

Your Soil Type 

In areas of the country, there is a higher concentration of clay in the soil. In these areas it is beneficial to have a gravel bed under the container.  Next, a foundation slab of concrete is poured.  Do these before placing your container on the ground.  This is very important for clay soil.  For instance, clay can shift with time.  You don’t want the container to sink in places and begin to sit unevenly. 

Long-Term Placement 

When a container stays in one spot for over a month, it will be best to have a gravel bed or concrete slab placed under the unit. This will keep the earth from shifting or from excessive moisture touching the bottom of the container. 

Multi-Container Units 

Shipping container foundations are necessary for all multi-container structures. You want to make sure that these structures are on solid, even ground to protect the building’s overall structural integrity. 

Graded Bare Earth Placement 

In most cases, it is fine to put the container straight on the ground if the area does not have a grade of over 2 percent. Since most of these containers move frequently, having it on the bare ground does not impact the container. Additionally, if you are in an area where the ground is very solid, placing the container on the ground will be very similar to placing it on a concrete slab. 

The Most Important Thing to Remember 

Whether you place your container on the ground, on a gravel pad, or a concrete slab, the most important factor is to keep the container even. Shipping container foundations are meant to keep the container flat so that everything inside the structure can function properly.  

If you have any questions about the area you want to place your shipping container, speak with one of the knowledgeable staff members at Portables 360. They will help you decide if you need to create a pad for your container to sit on or if it can be placed on the ground. 

Shipping Container for Dry Storage

Shipping Container for Dry Storage

Grocery stores, food pantries, restaurants, and other food and beverage companies benefit when using converted shipping containers for dry storage needs. Portable containers are designed to withstand wind, water, and other extreme weather conditions.  In addition, they seal to be airtight. Plus, containers provide the perfect solution for extra storage space for your dry goods.

Benefits of a Dry Storage Shipping Container 

  1. Shipping containers are easily converted into organized storage areas. The ability to add lighting, shelving, or cabinets to these structures improves their function.  Organizing your stock has never been easier!  Your items are easy to manage for inventory.  Plus, it is simple to rotate and keep items fresh. 
  2. Dry storage shipping containers have HVAC systems.   You control the temperature of your items. The optimal temp for dry goods is 50 to 70 degrees. If you live in an area where the temperature fluctuates, just turn on your HVAC system to manage the temperature. Shipping containers for storage are insulated using different insulation methods to help regulate interior temperatures without creating high electric bills. 
  3. Portability. Place one of these shipping containers anywhere that is convenient on your property. Set it in the back for stock storage or at the front of your property to hold curbside service products. Shipping containers are very portable.  Their ability to move enhances your business options. 
  4. Containers seal tight. One of the requirements for a shipping container to be certified for use is that it seals tight. Water and pests are kept from entering the container.  Thus, the air is controlled and prevented from escaping. Storage containers retain these qualities when converted for dry storage use.
  5. Affordability.  Customizing a shipping container for your storage solution is practical and affordable.  The stability of a converted container saves your business money.  Additionally, storage containers save you time.

Shipping containers are available in 10, 20, and 40-foot lengths. By offering several options, modifying a container to meet your specific needs is practical.  Choose the size that gives you the perfect amount of space. Allow extra space for your growing business.  Converting containers for dry storage is an affordable solution for added storage.  By creating more storage space, you need not invest in a new building.  We will help you plan your next project.


Office Trailer vs. Ground Level Office Container

Office Trailer vs. Ground Level Office Container

Businesses move from job site to job site,.  It is essential to have a portable office area that moves with your company. You need a safe place to conduct on-site business.  Additionally, it is vital to store and complete paperwork on site.  Having a place where your employees can go when they need help or information is important also. 

Portable offices are standard in industries like construction.  This is true for the oil and gas industry. However, any business may find it necessary to have an office setting that can be moved when needed, such as emergency response teams. 

Businesses have two choices when it comes to portable office structures. They can use a mobile home converted into an office or a portable storage container repurposed as an office.  The latter is commonly known as a Ground Level Office Container. 

The Difference Between Trailers and Ground Level Office Containers 

Trailers and storage containers converted into portable offices both serve the same purpose. However, there are many differences between these two structures. Comparing the differences will help you select the right structure for your company. 

– Construction 

Portable storage containers are constructed from steel and are made to be very durable. These containers were designed to withstand harsh conditions and be strong enough to stack nine containers high without bending. 

Mobile trailers are generally constructed from steel and aluminum. Some of the trailers may also have vinyl parts and plywood. These trailers are constructed for continual use but under less strenuous conditions. 

– Height of Entrance 

Trailers are constructed to be connected to a chassis and wheels for easy movement. However, when the trailer arrives at its destination, it does not come off the frame. This means that you will be required to install OSHA approved stairs and railings to the trailer for it to be considered safe to use. Depending on the building codes in the area you will place the trailer, you may also need to make it wheelchair accessible. 

Portable storage containers are built to be accessed at ground level. Once your storage container arrives, you will not have to add stairs or other features to make it an OSHA approved structure. 

– How and Where the Office Will be Moved 

If all of your job sites are located on evenly paved roads, there should not be a lot of problems moving your trailer when you need to move on to the next job site. Yet, trailers are not built as sturdy as storage containers.  Rough terrain and continual moving of these structures can significantly shorten their usefulness. 

When you need to move a portable storage container to a new job site, all you have to do is have it placed on a flatbed truck.  You can move it anywhere that you desire. Since the truck will absorb most of the bumps on the road, regardless of terrain, your container office will travel to its next location with ease. 

Portables 360 is available to discuss the benefits of ground level office containers with you.

Durable Shipping Container Flooring Options

Durable Shipping Container Flooring Options

While modifying a shipping container, it is essential to select the right type of flooring for your structure. Five types of flooring are most commonly used for shipping container modifications. Therefore, what you will use the container for determines the best flooring.  There are some flooring options that are more beneficial than others.

Shipping Container Flooring Options

1.  Plywood/Bamboo Flooring

When shipping containers are manufactured initially, they are made with plywood or bamboo flooring. The original shipping container flooring is maintained in the new structure. It should be noted that this flooring is coated with pesticide for its trip across the ocean. The pesticide is not strong enough to affect a person. However, if this gives you some concern, you can have the floor epoxy coated.

2.  Vinyl Flooring

Rolled vinyl is used to cover the wood planks of the flooring. This is an excellent choice for container floors that will have a lot of contact with water. If you are using the container as a greenhouse, restroom facility, or an office with high foot traffic, this will require a lot of washing. Vinyl flooring is available in different colors.  It can match the look you want for your container. 

3.  Imitation Wood Vinyl 

You can consider imitation wood vinyl floor covering. This imitation wood is very attractive and is often the first choice for office settings and living space. This flooring type is available in different shades.  You can easily match your decor to the flooring.  In addition, it is easy to clean.

4.  Steel or Aluminum

Shipping container flooring is also available in steel or aluminum. You can select from a smooth finish or a traction finish. This durable flooring is perfect for areas that must continually be washed or hosed out. It is also a very durable flooring. Steel flooring can also be taken one step further.   An epoxy coating can be applied.

5.  Epoxy Coating

Most flooring types mentioned above are able to have an epoxy seal added to the finish. The epoxy creates more durable flooring and helps improve slip resistance. Epoxy coatings also help extend the life of your flooring. 

Conclusion for Shipping Container Flooring Options

Regardless of the flooring you choose, the above are all excellent options.  Consider the use for your container.  Remember also how durable the flooring needs to be.  Finally, keep in mind the ease, or not, of maintaining the floor.  Above all, know that shipping containers are the perfect choice for your next space!  Our blog details several repurposed shipping container uses.


It is Possible to Transport a Modified Shipping Container Overseas

It is Possible to Transport a Modified Shipping Container Overseas

Once a shipping container has been modified at our facility, it needs to be shipped to the owner. Over 95 percent of our modified containers are shipped by truck. However, a few of our customers have their containers modified and then want them shipped overseas. 

It seems like a simple task. After all, these modified containers were originally shipping containers that traveled by ship overseas. This is not the case, however, because the containers have now been modified. Now, to move a container overseas, it must travel as cargo and not as a container. 


Why Modified Containers Are No Longer Considered Shipping Containers 


Shipping containers must meet strict specifications before they can be certified for use in the shipping industry. These containers must be built to withstand torrential weather and be capable of holding the weight of up to eight additional filled containers on top of it.  In addition, it must also be protecting the contents of the container.  

The exceptional durability of these containers is what has made them so attractive as building materials when they are no longer used for cargo. The strength of modified containers outperforms wood and cement as building materials. 

However, modified containers can no longer be classified as containers, regardless of the durability of the structure. 


Why Are They Classified As Cargo Now When They Are Still Essentially A Container?


Many of the outside modifications that are made to a container will be what changes their classification to cargo. Anything that protrudes from the exterior, such as an air conditioning unit, doorknobs, skylights, or similar items, change how the container can be stacked when it is placed on a ship. 

Containers are packed, on average, nine high.  They are placed as close together as possible when the ship is being loaded. Things sticking out from the container can cause a lot of space to be wasted. Because of this, the ship will require that the container rides as cargo so that space is not a concern. 

If your modified shipping container does not have any changes or protrusions to the outside, you may be able to send it as a shipping container. However, to do this, you will first have to have it reclassified as a cargo container. You must contact the Approved Continuous Examination Program (ACEP) to have the container recertified. With that certification, you should be able to ship the container as cargo with the captain’s approval. 


Weather Resistant Shipping Containers

Weather Resistant Shipping Containers


When a shipping container is initially built, it is constructed to certain standards.  These standards create a weather-resistant cargo box. Shipping containers travel through all types of weather.  They also travel long distances.  In fact, some travel across oceans. Weather resistant shipping containers must be able to withstand rain, ice, snow, high winds, and rapid temperature changes. Additionally, they must protect the cargo within. 

The solid build of shipping containers and their weather-resistant properties are two of the leading reasons that people repurpose these containers. 

Weather Resistant Shipping Containers Considerations

Once construction starts, the certification changes.

All shipping containers must be certified as weather resistant when first constructed.  This happens before they are allowed to be filled with cargo. Shipping companies use weather resistant shipping containers that have been certified to guarantee to their clients that the freight will be protected. 

However, once Portables 360 begins making modifications to your container, it is no longer considered weather resistant certified. 

This does not mean that your new structure will not have the durability of a safe and sturdy structure. It also does not mean that the structure will not be protected from rain, wind, or other harsh weather conditions. Losing this certification means that the changes to the container’s structure no longer allows it to be classified as a weather resistant cargo container that can be used to transport goods. 

When Portables 360 alters a shipping container for their clients, they make sure that the container still retains structural integrity.  Additionally, they ensure its ability to withstand weather is intact. Even with the addition of windows or doors to the container’s side, Portables 360 will add the right protections to ensure that the container is structurally sound and weather resistant. 

Recertifying Your Shipping Container 

If you would like to transport your container overseas in the future, you can have it recertified through the Approved Continuous Examination Program at the port. However, unless you are using the container for shipping goods, this is probably not necessary. 

If you are shipping your modified container overseas, it is probably in your best interest to ship it as merchandise instead of as a shipping container. In this way, it will be placed in the cargo hold of the ship, protected from the weather and other conditions, and will arrive safely without the added expense of certification.