How to Inspect a Shipping Container
So you need to rent a shipping container? Well, these easily-available and cost-effective vessels are not just great for shipping large quantities of cargo across the seas, but there are a multitude of other uses from architecture to art, restaurants, cafes, boutiques and more that they can be used for.
The issues of how to determine the condition of the shipping containers has come under debate previously, since many of the companies have their own way of grading the units. If youâ€™re planning on looking for a shipping container online, itâ€™s a good idea to ask the seller any questions you have before you make the purchase. Itâ€™s also important to realise that some shipping containers, such as tank units, carry some very specific grading guidelines when it comes to perishables, hygiene and chemicals.
Where Can You Find a Shipping Container?
Pretty much any shipping container company will offer a wide variety of containers for hire and for sale. You can also choose to have a shipping container modification done to customise the container for your specific requirements.
Alternatively, you can choose a more generic style of shipping container. If youâ€™re just wanting to transport furniture, or household goods, for example, a quick internet search will bring up a host of different companies offering containers for hire.
Choosing the cheapest container is not always the best option. You need to ensure that you hire a high quality shipping container which is in a good condition. Itâ€™s really important to find the balance between cost and quality â€“ whether you need to container to transport goods or store them.
Checking out the Quality of the Containers
The engineering of a shipping container is relatively straight forward. Containers are made from a solid steel structure which is durable and super strong.
One of the main things to look for when you want to hire or purchase a container is corrosion. Since shipping containers are made from steel, they do get banged around now and then when they are being handled. And that means the protective paint does sometimes peel, leaving the metal exposed. Surface rust is okay; it can be buffed and re-painted. However, if the metal is left exposed for too long, the rust eats through the metal, leaving ragged holes. Not only will this affect the structural integrity of the container but may also damage the contents within the container.
The combined elements of air, sun, salt, and moisture at sea mainly triggers the corrosion. The salt air is a lot more corrosive to exposed metals.
Before taking delivery of your shipping container, be sure to do a visual inspection for any signs of severe corrosion. You should also check that the doors open fully and that the locking mechanism is in top working condition.
The container should consist of a solid wood floor inside it so be sure to check that the floor has not rotten and is structurally sound. Also check the cargo container modifications if any have been done. The container should be completely intact and not at all damaged.
More Pointers For Checking the Quality of a Shipping Container
Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind when examining the shipping container:
- Always check to ensure the container is water and wind tight. Do this by shutting yourself in the container and looking for signs of sunlight streaming in. Also inspect areas for severe rust. Remember that surface rust is fine; what you should watch out for are areas where rust has already eaten through the metal, leaving a hole. Containers tend to accumulate surface rust a long time before a hole occurs.
- Next, look at the doors and ensure that they open and close properly and completely. Also inspect the doors for intact door seals and strong, sturdy floors â€“ there shouldnâ€™t be any soft spots.
- Examine any inserts such as holes that have been repaired should be welded on the outside and caulked inside. Hole repairs need to be properly installed and repainted.
- Look out for severe corrosion beneath hardware and door seals.
- Make sure there is no evidence of foul odours or contamination.
These pointers should ensure that you rent a fully functional, high-quality shipping container.