Preparing for Shipping Container Delivery in Virginia: Facts and Suggestions

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Preparing for Shipping Container Delivery in Virginia: Facts and Suggestions

Thursday, January 27th, 2022

image of dry freight

Now that the purchase of your shipping container in Virginia is complete, it’s time to start preparing for the next phase of the process: delivery. This will entail some preparation on your part, so get ready to prep the area and think about where you want everything to go.

When you are preparing for delivery at the site, your first thought will be to guarantee the driver’s safety while doing the drop off. This will, in turn, ensure a seamless process that will go quickly. If you fail to prep, you may have to pay fees from your shipping container provider.

Here are some facts and suggestions regarding site prep:

The Trucks

Most containers are delivered with either a roll-back truck or a flat-bed truck. Ask about this beforehand, as the designated truck will dictate the site conditions and prep work.

Roll Back Trucks: This is the most common way to deliver a unit. They’ll put it right on the ground wherever you want it to go. Keep in mind, this truck and trailer combo measures 55 feet long. In order for your driver to maneuver without issues, you’ll have to do your part to ensure your site is accessible.

  • Deliveries of 40-foot shipping containers take more clearance than 20-foot storage shipping containers. Why? They are being dropped off by a larger truck.
  • The ground must be dry and compact at delivery to ensure the truck can get out in out without getting stuck in soft ground conditions such as sand or mud. To aid in the process, position 4”x 4” boards, concrete blocks or railroad ties under the unit to encourage air flow. This way, it won’t sink into the ground.
  • The standard full-length truck at Transocean ensures drop off of one 40-foot, 45-foot or 53-foot storage container or two 20-foot storage shipping containers at one time. Don’t have enough room on your site? We will bring along a smaller 28-foot truck to deliver one 20-foot storage container, but we ask that you tell us beforehand.

Flat-Bed Trucks: This happens to be the cheapest method of container delivery. This entails you being responsible for unloading the container.

  • A 20′ container weighs 5,000 pounds.
  • A 40′ containers weighs 9,000 pounds.
  • Before accepting a flat-bed delivery, you should have clear access to the proper equipment in order to offload the unit. These can include anything from cranes and fork-lifts to top-lifts and boom-trucks. You would use these for larger orders, government agencies, or industrial requirements.

Factors of Delivery

How much space you have: You need plenty of space for those large trucks, no matter which one makes the delivery. They must have enough clearance to make wide turns, maneuver once on your property, cross culverts, and get between gates.

In general:

  • When the container is being delivered on a full-sized truck with trailer, drivers need at least 70 feet of space.
  • When delivered on a small tilt bed truck, drivers will need 40 feet of space.

Clearance: Trailers with containers at 13’6”H, can get up to 16 feet tall when they are raised. Are there any overhead obstructions that may pose a concern? These obstructions can include tree branches, electrical wires, and bridges. It sounds like a no-brainer but you wouldn’t believe how many people are unprepared and haven’t ensured clearance!

State of the ground: You can’t set down a shipping container on mud or wet grass because it will sink. But even more importantly, the truck delivering the container will sink too and not be able to get out. You need firm and level ground to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Safety concerns: We can’t speak for others, but Transocean Equipment Management trains its drivers in precise and safe container delivery. Our drivers take the utmost care to avoid damage to your unit and the surrounding property. However, in the event the driver doesn’t feel like he or she can safely deliver the container where you have specified, they will have no choice but to leave and charge you for an unsuccessful delivery. This is why we can’t stress enough the importance of checking the surrounding area to ensure safety, clearance, and solid ground.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management in Virginia

Every container delivery is different. We would be happy to discuss the specifics of your shipping container delivery in Virginia when you contact us at 910-483-7828.

 

 

East Coast Shipping Ports: What You Need To Know

Monday, January 17th, 2022

Did you know that the East Coast shipping ports are expanding operations? The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are still suffering from months-long delays. A huge number of companies are opting to send goods to the East Coast to avoid delays on the west coast.

Even though the cost to send goods to the East Coast ports from Asia is roughly $3,000 extra, shipping companies find this is far more cost-effective than waiting out in the Pacific for California to fix its myriad problems.

East Coast shipping port authorities have stated that their operations are more than ready for the new shippers to arrive. Places like the Port of Charleston have invested $2 billion in infrastructural improvements over the last few years. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best, biggest, and newest improvements to East Coast shipping ports. Let’s start by discussing why the East Coast is a viable option for goods coming from East Asia.

The Improvements to Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a man-made watercourse that connects the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. First ideated in the 16th century, it took until 1914 for the canal to open for business. 

Since this time, the canal has gone through various stages of improvement and expansion. The third set of locks was added and opened in 2016, making it even easier to ship goods across the Pacific and up the Atlantic seaboard.

Most recently, a third bridge was opened in 2019. Known as the Atlantic Bridge, ports across the East Coast knew that this would increase the shipment of goods around the world. 

Because of the consistent and expert expansions of the Panama Canal, east coast shipping ports have started to expand capabilities to handle the wealth of new goods entering the United States.

California’s Coastal Catastrophe

Only two ports take on upwards of 40% of America’s goods and shipping containers. The Port of Los Angeles was ranked as the #1 container port in the western hemisphere between 2000 and 2020. 

The Port of Long Beach was equally as sought-after. However, in 2021, both ports were hitting their limits thanks to increased consumer demand and poor management. Trucking companies and inland warehouses were overburdened with items and understaffed as a result of mismanagement in California’s COVID response.

Now, east coast shipping ports are becoming the go-to option for companies around the world. Shipping containers tend to fair better on the East Coast due to the latest improvements to these ports.

Shipping Ports on the East Coast

East Coast ports have seen an 8.6% increase in shipping container business from East Asia since 2017. At one time, the east coast of the United States handled the most shipping container volume in the world. 

China has certainly surpassed the East Coast shipping ports, but goods on their way to America have made up for the discrepancies. Let’s explore some of the ports and their container statistics.

New York/New Jersey Shipping Port

In terms of the market share, New York and New Jersey make up 32% of trade in container ports on the East Coast. Anyone lucky enough to live in or visit New York and New Jersey has seen the ports. It makes up a significant portion of the coastline around the famed states’ major cities like New York City.

Earlier in 2021, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey saw an overall increase in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of 7.9%. The total import volumes in both ports have risen by roughly 11% every year.

In 2020, the ports saw a total throughput of 7.59 million TEUs. The demand for containers subsequently increased 87% between 2019 and 2020. The growth of New York and New Jersey might be short-lived as many east coast ports are starting to seriously compete.

The CMA CGM Brazil, a 15,000-container ship docked into New York in September 2020, signaling the shift to east coast operations for most of America’s shipping needs.

Savannah is Close Second

The Port of Savannah is the second busiest port on the East Coast, but the largest single-terminal container facility in the country. The Port of Savannah has exported more filled containers than any other port in America.

Oddly, the Port of Savannah is the third-fastest growing port in the nation. As the port is located within 300 miles of 37.2 million residents, major international airports, 5 other major ports, and 11 huge cities, it’s no surprise that Savannah may soon overtake New York/New Jersey for the biggest and busiest on the East Coast.

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project expanded the port size significantly. Adding an extra 7 miles to the entrance and 18.5 miles of the outer harbor, Savannah is looking to become the top container port in the nation.

Georgia is one of the best places to buy shipping containers in the United States. However, you must ask your provider the right questions before engaging in business. Just because containers and shipping are part of the booming industry of Georgia, doesn’t mean that everyone knows what they’re doing.

Last year, Savannah handled 21.6% of the East Coast container trade. That’s 4.4 million TEUs. All told, Savannah handled 12.2% of containerized exports in 2020.

North Carolina’s Large History 

North Carolina’s State Port Authority set a record in October 2020 by welcoming the largest container ship (to date) to the Port of Wilmington. With a carrying capacity of 14,220 TEUs, the Yang Ming Warranty is the largest class vessel calling into the East Coast.

North Carolina was able to set this record thanks to a $200 million capital improvement plan to expand operations throughout the shipping port. Last year, the port opened 2,600 contiguous feet of container birth space.

Buying a shipping container in North Carolina is becoming easier. But finding the right company can be confusing. Ensure you’re looking at an organization with a variety of container options.

Why Florida is in The News

In 2021, Florida’s largest shipping container port broke local records by moving 1.4 million cargo containers. The governor of Florida has gone so far as to invite shipping containers stuck off the coast of California to Florida for easier transport.

Florida ports are open 24hours a day, 7 days a week to mitigate supply chain issues from the COVID-19 pandemic. Shipping container companies are increasingly turning to Florida as a faster option than waiting for California to get working again.

Many companies who use the shipping industry to transport goods have asked their shipping container provider to utilize east coast ports to avoid issues in California.

Along with being highly functioning, Florida ports also have huge capacities. Jacksonville Port Authority, upon hearing of the crisis in California, opened to an estimated 1,000 additional container ships per week. 

Port Everglades also accommodated the MSC Stella, with 7,000 containers. The MSC Susanna also arrived with 9,200 containers via the Suez Canal.

The governor of Florida has allocated almost a billion dollars to over 70 of Florida’s shipping port projects. In just one month, the state government provided $250,000 into seaports. 

Virginia’s Container Cargo

The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads Harbor received 1.5 million container units in 2020. The total number of short ton and metric ton container cargo units (in thousands) reached more than 21,000 and 19,000 respectively.

The main commodities to make their way out to the rest of the world through Virginia are minerals and fuels, with fruits and seeds being a distant second. The imports through Virginia are predominant goods like homewares, but also major foods, nuclear reactors, various machinery, and more.

Virginia is expanding their port operations. The Port Authority recently signed a 20-year lease agreement with a private terminal in Portsmouth Harbor, meaning even more opportunities await in the state. With its proximity to Washington D.C. and other major U.S. hubs, Virginia is on its way to competing to the top spot in east coast shipping ports. 

Global Trade Opportunities 

While California and other parts of the west coast have boasted a majority of shipping for most of recent history, things are changing fast. The growth in the east coast shipping industry is due to proximity to the rest of the world. 

The west might be closer to Asia, but the East Coast receives trade from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. When coupled with the expansion of the Panama Canal, the East Coast is getting busy quickly.

India is another major trade nation with the United States. The Port of Virginia exported more goods to India than any other nation. India was also the second-largest importer to the state.

Regardless of the type of shipping contain company you’re looking to work with, knowing niche details about each east coast port is essential for accurate operations. As the problems on the west coast continue, the East Coast may dominate the shipping industry by the end of 2022. 

Contact Transocean Equipment for More Shipping Management Information

To learn more about these major changes to shipping ports across the United States, get in touch with us today. For a free quote on the best shipping containers, look no further. 

Our offices are located in North Carolina and South Carolina, but we operate across the world. No matter what your shipping container needs, we’ve got you covered. 

Are Container Homes Legal in Georgia?

Monday, January 17th, 2022

In a nutshell, yes they are. Shipping container homes are certainly a trending topic here in the United States, and they’re gaining in popularity every year. This growing trend has prompted many states that previously had restrictions on them to allow their use.

Here in Georgia, shipping container homes are indeed legal, which means they are allowed by the Georgia government and authorities. However, its construction and use must follow Georgia’s building codes and zoning laws. It must also be a standard home suitable to live in year round.

Shipping container homes got their start as simple shipping containers, making a beautiful and functional transformation into a home worthy of living in throughout winter and summer.

People in Georgia are choosing homes made from shipping containers at a high rate, keeping pace with those in the rest of the country. That’s because they know shipping containers are strong and durable, making them ideal to convert into tiny homes – or not-so-tiny homes.

More and More People are Getting on the Container Home Train

This trend has prompted the rise of shipping container home builders throughout Georgia. They can draw up architectural plans to meet the needs and desires of each individual homebuyer. You may wonder how shipping containers in their natural form (which can be quite generic looking and even ugly) can be transformed into a beautiful and functional work of art. But it’s certainly possible.

With a strong design sense, an eye for detail, and a splash of paint, any shipping container can combine with others to make the perfect home. You can use one, two, three or more containers to create the ideal size house you need. The big appeal of container homes, of course, is their low cost compared with the cost of traditional construction.

Plus, it takes much less time to construct a shipping container home than a traditionally constructed home.

So why are container homes exploring in popularity in Georgia, particularly Atlanta? Well, there is a good reason for this. This city is geographically and historically well-suited to accommodate shipping container homes, as it’s known as being a transportation and development hub for the region.

In fact, Atlanta is a well-known commercial center of the Southern United States, and has been that way for a long time. With a landscape so well suitable for urban and practical solutions like container homes, it’s no wonder such homes are on the rise in this area of the state. If you take a tour of Atlanta, you will see many shipping container homes dotting the community.

Following the Rules

At the time Georgia legalized the use of shipping containers as homes, the state also crafted specific laws and guidelines regarding their use. So just because they are legal here doesn’t mean you can just buy a container and make it into a home without following the rules. To protect the safety of the people who will be living in the home, you must follow all building codes and zoning laws.

You’ll have to appear before the proper Georgia building authorities to present your container home plan and get their approval. This will result in a permit, which you can then use to hire a contractor and begin work.

The permit for the overall use of the container home is the first step. You may also need several smaller permits, such as those for electrical work if you plan to install lighting, or even a washer and dryer.

In the end, it’s important to be patient when seeking permits. It can take weeks to get approval, and with COVID-19 delays, those weeks could turn into months. You’ll also have to think about hiring an architect who can draw up a plan of the type of home you want. If the plan meets Georgia standards, you should be good to go and there shouldn’t be anything standing in your way.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

If you would like more info on purchasing a shipping container to repurpose as a home in Georgia, contact us at 910-483-7828 for a free quote. We can answer all your questions regarding the legality of shipping container homes in this state, as well as help you with any modifications you may need.

 

Buyers’ Guide to Purchasing a Shipping Container

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

The main purpose of a steel shipping container is to transport cargo across the sea on large ships. During the journey, those containers can get dented, scraped, and scratched – not to mention exposed to the harshest of elements — all while protecting the goods enclosed inside. This durability is what has led to many home and business owners across the country purchasing shipping containers to use as ground level storage on site.

Buyer Beware

Many companies sell to customers “sight unseen.” The prices are usually low to entice the customers into buying something without seeing it first. But just like you wouldn’t buy a car, boat, house or other large purchase without inspecting its condition, you shouldn’t buy a shipping container without taking a look.

It’s strongly recommended that you inspect the container in person before signing on the dotted line. If you can’t, do business with a company that you have bought from in the past or that at least has a stellar reputation in the area for quality products and excellent customer service.

Ask to see high-quality photos of the exact container you are agreeing to buy. Many companies send pictures of similar containers, not the actual one you want. Be specific. Make sure the picture features all four sides (with doors closed) and a few of the inside, including the floor.

Price vs. Supply and Condition

There is usually a surplus of containers in the United States, which means there’s always a pretty steady supply. Prices are usually based on age and condition.

Price will vary with condition due to the following factors:

  • Miles Traveled – Some containers log more mileage moving cargo, while others spend more time sitting in ports.
  • Container Handling – Some containers fall victim to rougher handling by forklift and crane operators than others. Rust can develop wherever the paint has chipped.
  • Container Cargo – Sometimes the cargo the container is carrying will leak or spill its contents onto the floor.
  • Environment – A container that travels on ships in milder climates will show less wear and tear than one that has spent many years enduring harsh climates.
  • Road Transportation – Some containers get damaged during transport via tractor trailer, due to all the road grit, elements and more.

Age

You can quickly tell how old a container generally is by looking at its:

  • Doors – A container with flat doors is generally considered to be an older container. That’s because container manufacturers switched from flat to corrugated doors in the early 1990s.
  • CSC Plate – This plate can be found at the left-hand door of the container, listing all the pertinent information about that specific container, including the date it was made. It’s just like a VIN (Vehicle Information Number) on a car.

What to Look Out For

When inspecting your container, there are several elements you should take a look at.

  • Doors: Make sure they open and close easily. Also, make sure the locking mechanisms work, which are comprised of handles and vertical rods. If those are bent, it will make it more difficult to open and close the doors. Take a look at the hinges too. If they are rusted, the doors won’t swing open and closed smoothly.
  • Roof: Check the roof of the container from the interior, looking for dents and dings where water could collect and lead to rust. At the same time, look for dents and scratches in the paint that could eventually rust through the roof. That’s not to say you should never buy a container with dents or dings. Just be sure you know what you’re buying and the level of risk that comes with it.
  • Door Gaskets: Make sure the gaskets seal up tight. Look for rust where the gasket joins the door, particularly at the bottom.
  • Lower Side Wall: Check the exterior side wall where it comes into contact with the flat portion of the beam at the bottom. This is a common point of water accumulation that can result in rust later on.

Delivery Options vs. Cost

If you don’t live close to your shipping container provider, you will pay less to have the container delivered to you on a flatbed truck rather than on a tilt bed truck or trailer. This is because flatbed vehicles are much more common, while tilt bed trucks and trailers are much more specialized.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

If you need more guidance in buying a shipping container in North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia, contact us at 910-483-7828 for a free quote and assistance.

 

11 Most Common Shipping Container Types

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

About 90 percent of the world’s cargo is being moved by ships, so you can imagine how many shipping containers are currently in circulation – each one used for a different purpose. There are many shipping container types out there. From flat rack to tank containers, each unit helps with something different. Some transport liquids, while others transport temperature-sensitive foods and pharmaceuticals.

The one you need will depend on the business you’re in. To aid in your decision, here’s a look at some of them.

1.  General Purpose Containers

Also known as a dry container, these weather proof units are fully enclosed and feature a rigid roof, floor and walls. This is the most common type of container, used to transport most kinds of standard cargo. You can add modifications such as liner bags or flexi-tanks if you need to ship liquid cargo or dry cargo in bulk.

2.  Flat Rack Containers

Featuring collapsible sides, these containers can fold down into a flat rack. The end walls are durable enough to secure cargo, so you would choose this option if you had heavy machinery, vehicles on tracks, and construction materials to transport. Some 40′ flat rack shipping containers can carry up to 45 tons of cargo!

3.  Open Top Containers

These have convertible tops that can be removed if needed, good for over-height cargo that can’t easily be loaded through the door. You would choose this option if you had tall machinery or other heavy finished products that could only be handled with a crane or rolling bridge.

4.  Double Door Containers

Just like the name implies, this type of unit has doors on both ends of the container. Also known as a tunnel container, this type of unit is ideal when you have to quickly load and unload goods through either door. Both doors have the same locks and weather tight seals for the utmost in weather protection.

5.  High Cube Containers

Similar to general purpose containers, high cube containers are taller by one foot. You will find them most commonly in size 40′ and sometimes 45′, ideal for when you need a slightly higher volume capacity.

6.  Open Side Containers

Also similar to general purpose shipping containers, these units have doors that can open on the side too. You have more room and wider access, which makes it much easier to load and unload materials.

7.  ISO Reefer Containers

These are used to ship temperature-sensitive, perishable cargo such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and even medications. They rely on external power sources to maintain a regulated temperature. They come in sizes of 20’ and 40, usually made of Corten steel.

8.  Insulated Containers

Similar to a reefer container, an insulated container features a regulated temperature control so they can withstand higher temperatures. Also known as thermal containers, they come equipped with a mechanical compressor to cool or heat the air, constructed of a vacuum flask. This makes them suitable for long-distance transport of anything from biological materials and chemicals to organs and blood.

9.  Half-Height Containers

These containers can transport heavy, dense, bulk cargo such as coal and stones. Used commonly in the mining industry, half height containers have a lower center of gravity to enable them to easier handle heavier loads than their taller container counterparts. As you can imagine, they are very durable because they can withstand rough industrial environments.

10.                Tank Containers

Also known for short as tankers, these containers are made of steel or other anti-corrosive materials to transport liquid materials. It should be at least 80 percent full so that surging of the liquids does not occur in transit. By the same token, it can’t exceed 95 percent full because that doesn’t leave room for thermal expansion.

11.                Swap Body Containers

These are exchangeable containers used for road and rail purposes, more commonly seen in Europe. They feature a convertible top, making them ideal for shipping a wide range of goods. They don’t have upper corner fittings and can’t be stacked one on top of the other, so they are only used for land-based transportation.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

No matter which type of container you need, we can hook you up with the right one for your requirements. Start off with a free quote when you contact us at 910-483-7828. Let us know what you need your container for and we can determine the best fit.

 

What to Know When Working With a Container Modification Company

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

If you need to purchase or rent a shipping container for a business or personal project, you will need to find a shipping container modification provider that can help you customize your unit. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. All it takes is some preparation and a partnership with a reputable container modification company.

Most shipping container providers (the ones who sell you the units) will also help you customize them as well. Here’s what a container modification company will do for you:

1.  They’ll Work With Your Ideas

Everyone’s ideas are different. No two projects are the same. You want a company that will be receptive to your ideas and then help you implement them. After all, this is your business and your idea! Whether you want to open a pop-up shop or you want a mobile office, make sure the company you choose is flexible and creative.

2.  They Want to See Your Designs on Paper

As you think of them, scratch out some sketches on paper. This will be something you can bring to the modification team so they have a better idea of what you’re talking about. Even better: bring them blueprints, construction plans, drawings, and diagrams for an even more detailed look at the scope.

3.  They Can Help You Flesh Out the Main Purpose of Your Shipping Container

Before you meet with the design team, make sure you have a full understanding of what the main purpose of your container will be. Is it temporary or permanent? Do you want to rent or buy? Do you need more than one unit? Will this be for a long-term project such as a container home or office? Will you be using it for business or personal reasons? Will you be working out of it or do you plan to sell food out of it?

4.     They Can Help With Modifications

Shipping container modification companies have the resources for installing additions like skylights, windows, doors, shelving, and HVAC systems. Discuss all modifications as early as the conceptual stage. Let them know if you need modifications for an insulated or refrigerated container, as these types of units tend to lose their insulation once reconstruction has been done on the interior walls.

5.  They’ll Help You Stick to a Budget

Know your budget going in. Communicate that budget to your container company so they can determine how best to distribute funds throughout the project. Setting and sticking to a budget will help prevent overspending. But keep in mind, unexpected expenses often come up during the construction phase, so it’s wise to set aside an emergency fund in case this happens.

6.  They Adhere to Building Codes and Permits

If your project requires permission from the city or town, you need to obtain a building code or permit. Your container modification company cannot start work unless you have secured this permission. To make sure your project progresses on schedule, provide them with a permit so they can adhere to it. Find out if your city has specific rules regarding container structures.

7.  They Manufacture Each Container to Order

Most container companies mass produce 20-foot and 40-foot containers, but if you need something smaller or larger, discuss the design and size dimensions with the team. Be sure to review the sizes of each container as well as the total amount of containers before the manufacturing phase begins. Once actual work starts, it will be difficult or impossible to change the order.

8.     They Will Safely Ship Your Container

Once complete, trucks drivers will load the customized container on a flatbed and drop it off at your desired location. Prepare the space around the site so that it is level, secure and free of obstacles.

9.  They Will Work With You Through All Stages

When you work side by side with a shipping modification company, it truly becomes a collaboration between two partners. From the first phone call through design, manufacturing and delivery, your company should be in touch with you every step of the way to ensure you are completely satisfied. They will also make sure the shipping process goes seamlessly and make sure the deliverable is up to your specifications. Finally, timely delivery of your unit will complete the process.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

If you would like to work with a reputable shipping container modification company in North Carolina and surrounding states, contact us at 910-483-7828 for a free quote.

 

 

What Affects the Structural Integrity of a Shipping Container?

Friday, October 15th, 2021

Purchasing new containers or used containers is a great idea for so many reasons, whether you use them for mobile offices and classrooms, or to use as storage in your backyard. Steel shipping containers are very durable and are designed to last for years, decades even – if they’re cared for properly.

Many people choose to make modifications to their shipping containers. However, they may not realize that those modifications can compromise the structural integrity of the container, resulting in long-term repercussions. In order to safely store items and valuables inside the container, the structural integrity must remain intact, for one thing, and for another, it must be able to accommodate safe alterations that you may make in the future.

Annual routine maintenance, particular to the roof and doors, will help to extend the life of your container. But there are many things you have to take into consideration that can negatively impact the structural integrity of the shipping container.

What Affects Structural Integrity? 3 Factors to Consider

There are three main factors that affect a shipping container’s structural integrity. They are:

Improper Stacking of Containers: Whether you’re stacking containers for storage purposes or you’re looking to build multiple container complexes, stacking is a common practice. When done right, it isn’t harmful to the containers. But when the containers are incorrectly piled on top of one another, they can result in structural damage as well as a dangerous situation for people around them. As such, you should always stack units at the corners (not diagonally), tying them with twist locks to ensure a multi-level shipping container building that is structurally sound.

Too Many Modifications: Alterations are a common undertaking among shipping container owners. Perhaps you would like to transform the unit into a garage space or workshop or maybe you want to add security upgrades to your mobile office so it’s safer at night when you’re not there. Whatever the case, changes to the original container are sometimes necessary and should be allowed to happen. However, you have to follow certain guidelines and precautions to ensure it remains structurally sound even after the modifications. For instance, you can’t cut out too large a space to accommodate more doors or cut too close to the corners, as this will lead to an uneven distribution of weight and a precarious situation. Keep in mind that every shipping container is carried via the corner castings, which are basically the four corners of the container. Let’s say you cut out a corner casting to make a desired modification design change. If you did this without consulting with a structural engineer, you could be sacrificing the container’s structural integrity. Drastic cuts to a wall, for example, are another way to compromise structure. If you were to cut out an entire wall, this would cause the roof to sag, while the floor would become almost spring-like. The walls carry a lot of weight in addition to the corner castings, and they are necessary to maintain the container’s  shape.

Frequent Sea Travel: The deterioration process is hastened with frequent travel and exposure to the ocean air and water. All that salt can cause corrosion, and objects in the water can result in dents. If buying a used container that has been in the ocean, make sure you fully inspect the unit, checking for signs of rust, wear and tear, and other damage. Keep in mind, if you buy a used container, this means it likely traveled at sea many times. You may want to take a look at “one-trip” containers, which have only traveled once across the sea. A used container that has been exposed to the ocean is more affordable and may be perfectly suited to your needs of storage. But if you need a structurally sound container to enhance into a classy mobile office, art space or yoga studio, you’ll want to go with one trip or new containers, especially when people’s safety is at stake.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

Whether you’re on the hunt for new containers or used ones, we can hook you up. Please contact us at 910-483-7828 for a free quote. For your convenience, we have offices in South Carolina and North Carolina, with representatives who can help with your request at any time.

 

What to Know About Open Top Shipping Containers

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

image above open top container

Open top shipping containers are considered specialty units, but they serve a similar storage and transport purpose as standard shipping containers. The difference is that they are able to accommodate much larger items, usually those too large to be loaded into a standard sized shipping container.

Made from corrugated steel, the top of the container is open and is covered with a soft roof or tarp, secured with removable bows. You can swing the roof away in order to add contents to the shipping container. End doors offer additional flexibility for easier loading. Dimensions and sizes vary, but because they’re not restricted by a solid roof, they have a larger capacity.

What Are the Uses for Open Top Containers?

These containers are best when you need to load scrap metal and timber with the use of large cranes. The items can simply be dropped carefully down into the top of the container, then covered with the tarp. It makes it a lot easier to load and unload cargo this way. When fully loaded, the container may likely be over height, precipitating the need for a special storage area.

You can order an oversized tarp to further secure the height of the load, which are made to order and will increase the cost to you. Your shipping provider will need to know the dimension of your over height cargo so they can provide a suitable tarp for adequate coverage.

Lashing rings secure the load inside, keeping it safe and stable. Most open top containers are 40 feet long, but they also come in 20 foot sizes.

Open top containers can also be used to remove bulk recycling products or waste items. Once weighed, they are loaded into containers and placed on cargo ships for their journey.

Common items to store in an open top container include:

  • Raw mining materials
  • Pipes
  • Tools
  • Cable spools and cables
  • Construction supplies/debris
  • Machinery attachments
  • Tall, awkward or bulky cargo
  • Logs, scrap metal, machinery and oddly-shaped items

You may opt for an open top shipping container if you have items that are larger than what you could reasonably fit inside a standard container.

In addition to being ideal for storage of bulky or awkward goods, open top containers are also convenient when the primary material handling equipment you have access to on site involves cranes. Just like standard containers, open top containers come in both 20 foot and 40 foot configurations, depending on how much stuff you need to accommodate. There are also some high cube open top shipping containers on the market, but they are rare.

If you need a container with easier loading options, particularly with more space at the top, open top storage containers are a great idea.

Modified open top shipping containers do exist, and these are containers with open tops that have been made through the modification of a standard cargo container. It’s a lot more involved than simply cutting the roof off a traditional container, though. The container will then need additional structural support to make up for the fact that there’s no roof.

Modified open tops have a lower overall capacity, more restrictions on loading and handling, and next to no resale value. On the bright side, they are a bit more affordable than original factory built open top containers, and are more readily available in specific locations and at specific times. Plus, they’re easier to find special sizes, like 40ft high cube open tops for instance.

Common Features

Common features of the open top container include:

  • Convenient design perfect for handling heavy or awkward cargo
  • Option to load through the top thanks to the use of overhead lifting equipment, or via the door if the need arises
  • PVC tarpaulins have a removable rear header to protect cargo
  • Bow devices and attachable ceiling
  • Choice of hardwood or plywood floors
  • Securing points in the bottom side rail and on floor

When it comes to floor depth, either on a 20-foot or 40-foot shipping container, these measurements can vary slightly, especially between various ages and makes. Usually, though, the floor is a bit higher than that in a standard dry shipping container that has a solid roof. That’s because the floor needs to be extra strong to make up for lack of a traditional roofing system.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

Thinking you may need an open top container for your needs? We can help match you with the right unit. Simply contact us at 910-483-7828 so we can give you a free quote and answer your questions about our many storage container options.

 

Preparing For Shipping Container Delivery

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

Once you’ve bought your shipping container, now you have to move onto the next step: preparing the site for delivery. The trucks will bring the unit to you, of course, but there are some things you can do on your end that will make the delivery go smoothly.

Preparing for delivery at your site will guarantee the safety of the driver and lead to a seamless delivery process overall. If you don’t prepare well beforehand, you could be subject to fees from your shipping container provider.

Depending upon the equipment you have ordered as well as the specific site conditions, most shipping containers will be delivered with either a roll-back truck or a flat-bed truck. That’s how we do things here at Transocean.

Roll Back Truck

Most deliveries are made with a self-unloading tractor trailer that will drop off your storage shipping container on the ground right where you want it on your site. Combined, the truck and trailer measure 55 feet long. Armed with that information, you should make sure your site is accessible for the truck to maneuver without problems.

Deliveries of 40-foot shipping containers require more clearance than 20-foot storage shipping containers because they are dropped off by a larger truck.

It’s best that the ground be dry and relatively compact at the time of delivery so the truck can get in and out without becoming stuck in the sand, mud or soft ground. You can go a step further and add 4”x 4” boards, railroad ties or concrete blocks under your container to encourage air flow so it doesn’t sink into the ground.

Here at Transocean, our standard full-length truck is able to deliver one 40-foot, 45-foot or 53-foot storage shipping container or two 20-foot storage shipping containers at one time. If you simply don’t have the room on your site, we can bring a smaller 28-foot truck to deliver one 20-foot storage shipping container, but please let us know beforehand.

Flat-Bed

The cheapest method of container delivery is via flat-bed truck because you are responsible for unloading the container yourself. Keep in mind, a 20′ container weighs about 5,000 pounds, and 40′ containers weigh about 9,000 pounds. Prior to ordering a flat-bed delivery, make sure you have access to the proper equipment to offload the unit, such as cranes, fork-lifts, top-lifts or boom-trucks. These are usually best for large orders, government agencies, or industrial customers.

Considerations for Delivery

There are a few factors to keep in mind when prepping your site for delivery.

Space Requirements

Because the drop-off trucks are very large and must be able to make wide turns, you have to ensure adequate space for them to maneuver on your property, be able to cross culverts, or smoothly navigate between gates.

If your container is being delivered on a full-sized truck with trailer, you’ll need to give the drivers at least 70 feet of open space. If delivered on a small tilt bed truck, 40 feet of open space is necessary.

Clearance

While a trailer with container hits 13’6”H, it can reach as high as 16 feet when raised for offloading. Think about any overhead obstructions that could be present, such as bridges, tree branches, and wires. You don’t want to see any unfortunate accidents happen due to negligence.

Ground Type

Heavy container delivery trucks will sink in soft surface conditions such as mud and wet grass. This is why it’s imperative to select a location that features firm and level ground – not only so the trucks won’t sink but also so your container won’t sink.

Safety

Here at Transocean, our drivers are trained to deliver containers in the more precise and safe manner. Ensuring a successful delivery without damage to your surrounding property is our #1 concern. That being said, if our drivers don’t feel as though they can safely deliver your container at the given site, they will leave, but you will still be charged for the attempted delivery.

Do a sweep of the surrounding area to make sure it is open and safe. Both parties will benefit from this attention to detail in the end!

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

If you would like more detailed information on how to prepare for your specific shipping container delivery, contact us at 910-483-7828. We would be happy to inform you of the specific requirements we need you to heed before we drop off your container at the site.

 

Shipping Containers: The Difference in Appearance and Condition

Monday, June 28th, 2021

The good, the bad, the ugly: not all shipping containers are created equal. Some are ugly yet still do the job. Others are in pristine condition but you’ll pay top dollar. From one-trip containers to D grade, there are many levels of containers in terms of their appearance and condition.

New/One Trip

These containers have only been used once in international shipping, and were usually built within the last two years. These containers are in excellent condition. You will pay the most for this type but this is a good investment if you need a top-notch container that will be pulling double duty for you for many years.

Cargo Worthy

Cargo worthy storage containers have been inspected and feature a seaworthy certification. If you are planning to ship goods with your container, you’re best off buying a cargo worthy storage container, which has no differences (at least in terms of condition) than a wind and watertight (WWT) container (more on that below).

But this type has the added benefit of being inspected by maritime surveyors, approved for use shipping goods and products overseas. You will pay a few hundred bucks more for this type than WWT simply because of that approval.

WWT

This is the most functional and economical solution, and is generally the most affordable cargo box out there. WWT stands for Wind and Water Tight. They range in condition and are in abundant supply. They are used, which means they vary in color, may have some surface rust, and may be dented and dinged.

But they are more affordable because they don’t have to undergo inspection by a maritime surveyor. Sometimes, they can be inspected by an experienced shop personnel at your direction and can be repaired to ensure they are indeed wind and water tight.

As-Is

As-is containers are sort of like homes being sold as-is – meaning you buy the home/container as it is right now, with no extra work being done on the part of the seller to spruce it up. You’ll likely be looking at some damage which occurred somewhere along the line in the shipping process, as well as structural problems or a lot of rust.

These containers are past the point of being considered WWT. As such, they are much cheaper to buy than cargo worthy or WWT storage containers, but you do have to contend with the damage. This may not matter to you depending on the intended usage, so you can save yourself quite a bit of money here.

Here at Transocean, we have our own system of “grading” our containers. Here’s a look at what each category means.

A Grade

These boxes are in excellent condition, with minimal, if any, rust, good condition doors and gaskets, no major dents, few patches in the roof, and floors in very good condition. Choose this if aesthetics are important to you or you plan to paint the container.

B Grade

With these, you will notice some rust spots but they are mostly superficial in nature – no more than six inches in diameter. You will get good condition doors and gaskets with little to no rust around seals or hinges. You may have to patch a couple of places in the roof or floor, but overall this is a good value as part of a good quality container. Great if you’re planning to use it for storage.

C Grade

Rust, while still superficial, is definitely noticeable yet not predominant. You could see rust spots greater than six inches in diameter. Doors may still function but you may see rust around gaskets, hinges or at the tops of doors. Multiple patches on the roof and floor are likely, with delamination of the flooring as well.

This is our most common and popular grade of shipping container. They’re kind of ugly, but still provide good structural stability.

D Grade

At this level, rust is structural and predominant. You may have a hard time opening or closing doors, and gaskets may be loosening. Severe rust could be accumulating around the seals, with loose floors and severe delamination. Sides often feature large dents or deflections in D grade containers, which can be 20 years old or older. A bit more ugly than the C grade, D grade containers are great for storing 4-wheelers and lawnmowers.

Not sure which grade or type you want? Just ask us!

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

As leaders in the shipping container industry, we can connect you with the most appropriate type of container for your needs and budget. Feel free to ask for a free quote when you contact us at 910-483-7828.

 

 

 

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