Why is Door Placement and Type So Important For Your Shipping Container?

Why is Door Placement and Type So Important For Your Shipping Container?

image above open top container

Shipping container doors are an important part of the container’s structure. This is why it’s critical to select the right door – not only to keep its contents safe but also to improve accessibility and ease of use. Let’s take a look at the important parts of shipping container doors, as well as the types of doors available.

Components of Shipping Container Doors

For every storage container door, there are five essential components:

1. Door Body

Generally, the body includes:

  • Two vertical hollow leaves
  • Two horizontal C-sections
  • Frame with corrugated steel paneling
  • Four steel hinges (AKA blades) that hold the body at the rear corners, allowing the door to swing 270 degrees against the wall.

2. Lockbox

This is a protective steel box that is welded right onto the door, holding a padlock. This lockbox keeps the contents inside safe from theft, break-ins and tampering.

3. Lock Rod and Handle

Each door has between two and four vertical lock rods which help to open, close, and lock the door. It features a welded cam-and-knuckle mechanism, AKA the cam keeper. When the door is opened, the handle rotates, forcing the cam out of the keeper.

4. Rubber Gaskets

Rubber gaskets bridge the door body and the container’s edges. These form a seal that prevents leakage from water.

5. Hinge Pins

Door hinges act as pivot points which allows for rotational movement.

The Best Way to Open and Close Container Doors

You may think it’s pretty simple and straightforward to open cargo container doors. But over time, those doors may stick and become more difficult to open. Sometimes the use of opening tools or extra equipment is necessary.

You can take these steps to make it easier to open container doors:

  • Rotate and lift the latches on one side, which frees up the handle so you can rotate it.
  • Rotate and lift the handles upward, pushing in a bit to release the handle.
  • Pull the handles toward you to open the door.
  • Repeat these steps for the other side.

To close the door:

  • Press both handles toward the container firmly.
  • Lock the hooks at the tops and bottoms of the rods into the brackets.
  • Secure both handles tightly at the same time, ensuring they are parallel to the door.
  • Rotate the latches above the handles to put them back in their original position.
  • Further secure your container using a padlock if desired.

If you container doors keeping sticking, here’s why that may be happening:

  • Improper alignment of gears
  • Warped lock rods (cargo movement during transit can cause this)
  • Corrosion that leads to seizing at the hinge pins and blade
  • Damage or hardening of the gasket due to cold weather or frequent use
  • Water infiltration between the doors
  • Poor construction quality

If your door is sticking you can try:

  • Lubricating the brackets, hinges, and bar guides
  • Applying grease onto the locking bar cams
  • Replacing the door hinges, brackets and handles if corrosion or damage is present

Types of Shipping Container Doors

There are many types of shipping containers:

Cargo Doors

These are heavy-duty free-swinging doors that you will find at end. This option is good for storing tools and machinery, but can be difficult to access in tight spaces.

Personnel Doors

This convenient option is best for portable offices, workspaces, and living areas that require frequent access.

Roll-Up Doors

Roll-up doors (AKA shutter doors) can be lifted from the bottom and roll up to nest inside the container. If you’re tight on space, this is a great option.

Sliding Glass Doors

Glass doors provide a nice aesthetic look if your container will be serving as a café, shop or exhibition. They are transparent, encouraging as much light as possible to filter into the unit. They aren’t as secure as other doors though.

Combination Doors

For large containers, you may need multiple doors for easier and faster access.

In the end, the security, accessibility, and appearance of your shipping container will all come into play when choosing your doors. Take a moment to think about your needs and which door would best fit those needs.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

Still not sure which door to choose for your container? Just ask our team; we would be happy to advise you. Contact us today for a free quote and to learn about your options.


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