Shipping containers can last a long time with the right maintenance. They are typically made from steel and marine plywood, both durable and sturdy materials. In general, shipping containers are built to last and withstand harsh weather conditions.
Even though shipping containers are durable and resistant to the elements, they should be regularly maintained. Clean and inspect containers to ensure they are in good condition. Things like dents or signs of rust should be treated as soon as possible.
Because they are made from steel and are often exposed to rain and salt air and water, corrosion is a serious problem. Follow this guide to shipping container care to make sure your containers stay in excellent condition.
1. Keep it on a Flat Surface
Make sure the container is always kept on a completely flat surface. Wherever you are storing a container, check the ground with a spirit level to make sure it’s flat. Some people prefer to keep their containers on concrete paving slabs or railway sleepers to prevent moisture from accumulating under the container. Always keep containers in well-drained areas to avoid corrosion.
2. Lubricate Door Hinges
On most shipping containers, the only moving parts are a single set of doors on one side. Since this is an essential part of the container, it’s important to look after the door hinges and ensure they are clean and well-lubricated. By carrying out this type of regular maintenance, you make sure your container hinges won’t stick or bend when opening the container.
You should clean the door hinges with a commercial-grade steel cleaner. This liquid removes any dust, grit, or dirt on the hinges and prevents them from getting stuck. After doing this, apply a lubricating spray such as WD-40 to ensure the doors swing open easily.
3. Remove Dirt and Water
A shipping container is essentially a kind of portable storage room. Just as people clean warehouses and long-term storage rooms, it’s necessary to clean containers. Simply cleaning a container with a commercial detergent and a high-pressure water hose removes any potential contaminants that could damage the goods to be stored inside. After cleaning, remove all the water and leave it as dry as possible. Too much water can create an environment conducive to rusting.
4. Treat Rust Immediately
Contrary to popular belief, shipping containers aren’t entirely rust-proof. Even containers made from Corten Steel, which has high-corrosion resistant properties, are also sensitive to salty air environments and water. Both standard containers and aluminum High Cubes are at risk of rusting problems.
You should regularly examine the interior and exterior of the container and look for areas that have been scuffed, scratched or cut. Treat these areas by painting, sealing, and rustproofing as quickly as possible.
5. Deal With Dents
One of the most important things to keep in mind when dealing with containers is maintaining their structural integrity. Check the roof because this is an area that gets dented very often. When stacking containers on top of the other, keep the weight on the corners because this limits the pressure on the roof. When containers are stacked on top of each other, too much weight in the center can cause dents.
The problem with dents is they can collect water which leads to corrosion. You can fix dents with a hammer and a dolly from the inside. Once the dent has been repaired, check the exterior to see if the paint has cracked or chip. You should fix paint issues too, because they also lead to corrosion. Treating the area with rust-proof paint should take care of it.
6. Fix the Refrigerator Unit
When preparing for shipping container transportation, it’s important to store your goods correctly to avoid possible damage. If you are transporting food or medicines, a refrigerator unit is an excellent option for preserving your goods and prolonging their shelf life. For products such as food and medicine, keeping the inside of the container cool is also important for the health and safety of consumers.
A refrigerator unit should be inspected regularly. If a unit breaks down during a journey, it could be costly. Also, periodically examining and maintaining a refrigerator unit could avoid expensive repairs down the line. Have a qualified electrician check the unit’s insulation, condenser unit, and refrigerant lines to make sure they’re working properly.
7. Watch Out for Condensation
Moisture and condensation building up inside containers is a common problem that can lead to millions of dollars in losses. To avoid this, make sure your containers are well ventilated and consider installing dehumidifiers or desiccants to remove excess moisture.
Contact Asiana for Container Transportation Services
If you regularly use shipping containers for moving goods, or are looking for shipping containers for sale, Asiana USA is one of the world’s most recognized 3PL and freight shipping companies. Our vast network of industry connections ensures you have the right size container for your goods and that your items reach their destination on time and in excellent condition. Before transporting your goods, we perform an in-depth cost analysis and offer you the best option. Contact our sales team at (855) 500-1808 for more information.