Learn about shipping containers

Frequently Asked Questions

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Will my container condensate?

Short answer: It depends.

It depends on a lot of variables. Unfortunately, those variables are always changing. When the combination of those variables create an environment prone to condensation, condensation will happen. This could be every day or one day a year. Regardless the frequency, if you’re belongings are important to you and if it’s important they do not get wet (dripped on from ceiling), then you must mitigate the risk of condensation.

The above mentioned variables include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Humidity
  • Interior temperature
  • Exterior temperature
  • Wind direction
  • Wind speed
  • Foundation – adequate air flow under the container
  • Direct sunlight to roof
  • Direct sunlight to walls / doors
  • Type of contents stored inside
  • Volume of contents stored inside
  • Color of container – specifically the roof
  • Number of stock vents in the container

Are the stock container vents enough? No. Typical used containers have between 2 and 4 vents and the actual total air passage hole is about the size of a dime. These vents are designed to keep sea water out and are meant more as a method to equalize pressure than exchange air.

What should I do?

  1. First, make sure the container is off the ground. See foundation suggestions below.
  2. Install ventilation. See our intake / exhaust vent combo
  3. Spray foam 1″ on ceiling
  4. Paint roof white


What is the best foundation for my container?

When fully loaded, containers only touch in the four corners. Unmodified, they are designed to span the full 20 or 40 feet. There is no single foundation that is the best. It is situational depending on budget, modifications to the structure, intended use, gross weight, wind & snow load, location, soil type, & more.

Common foundations are:

  • Pressure treated wood under four corners*
  • Gravel or concrete pad
  • Steel or concrete footing
  • Screw piles

*If blocking the container anywhere other than under the four corner castings, be sure to use common sense. We have seen fully loaded containers buckle when blocking was used in the middle not allowing the weight to be properly distributed to the corners.

All window and door protrusions should be designed to reinforce the opening and return the existing structural integrity to the container.


Can I use shipping containers to build my house?

Yes. Shipping containers can be modified into almost anything you can dream of. One thing to remember is that all modifications must be done to meet local and state building codes. Consult with your local building inspector before beginning your shipping container house project.


Can modified containers still ship on a vessel?

In order to keep a shipping container sea worth, no modifications can be done that will void the ISO certification on the container and therefore null the CSC plate validity.


Can you stack a shipping container?

Shipping containers can be stacked up to 7 high, fully loaded.


How long can a container be used?

Shipping containers are made of corten steel. This sturdy material enables them to withstand extreme circumstances (wind, water, fire, ice, salt, sun) and any possible rough handling. A shipping container is used from 5-14 years for shipping; after this, they are released and used for other purposes, such as storage containers or modified container units for food and offices.

Containers that are not used for shipping are perfectly suitable to be used as storage containers. If taken care of, a used shipping container can be used for storage up to 10 years. It is also possible to extend the storage container’s use by regular maintenance, such as, painting, patching holes, changing seals, fixing the floor and taking care of or changing twist locks.

New shipping containers are usually brought to Europe from China. A new container can last anywhere up to 30 years when used as storage as long as it is looked after properly.