Preparing For Shipping Container Delivery

Preparing For Shipping Container Delivery

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.


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.


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.


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.


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