Shipping Container Storage Tips: 5 Ways to Maximize Storage

  1. Make a Storage Plan

Figuring out how to pack a shipping container for moving can be half of the battle, so it’s important to come up with a storage plan before you start loading up your items.

There are several things to consider when planning how to load your container. First, think about how your items will need to be leaded into the container so they don’t move during transport.

When loading, make sure you plan for a consistent gap between your items and the top of the container for better load balancing and shipping.

Put the heavier items first and towards the bottom, and keep smaller items to fill gaps and help distribute the load. Not only is this a good chance to fit in odd-shaped items that might not fit with other items in a box, but fewer gaps make for less shifting during transport.

  1. Start Organized, Stay Organized

A key part in shipping container packing methods is organization. Before loading your items into the container, sort or organize your boxes according to size and weight before loading them into the shipping container.

Carefully label your boxes so you know what’s inside and avoid having large boxes full of light items. BigSteelBox recommends labeling using codes for the weight of your boxes; using H for heavy, M for medium and L for light.

Start by packing your rarely used or seasonal items a few weeks before your move date. Be sure to leave enough room to move larger items to the back.

When loading your boxes, don’t place your heavy belongings on one side of the container—match the weight distribution equally on all directions.

  1. Secure Cargo

Once you load all of your items inside of the shipping container, it’s time to secure the cargo to guard against damage.

If there are still gaps after you’ve finished packing, you can “dunnage” to fill in the empty space. Dunnage is essentially padding that usually involves loose pieces of wood, but can be anything from pillows to bubble wrap. Fill in the gaps until nothing is able to move.

Because the walls on the inside of a shipping container are covered with small metal rings, you can also use loading straps to secure your cargo. It is especially important to tie down heavy items.

Be sure that the ropes are very tight, as they will be strained during transport.

  1. Secure Storage

Now that everything’s loaded and secured in your shipping container, it’s time to make sure the contents inside are kept safe and secure.

There are many ways to improve your shipping container’s security, including:

  • Locks

Heavy duty padlocks are the simplest way of locking up your belongings in a shipping container. There are many different types, with the most popular being “shutter” types of padlocks

Crossbar locks prevent the door locking handles from turning, meaning that even if someone cuts a padlock or locking latch, they can’t get into the container. These locks are usually portable and don’t need to be welded on.

  • Lock Boxes

While padlocks can be forced open with bolt cutters, lock boxes are a great alternative to prevent break-ins to your shipping container storage.

A steel container lock box is big enough for you to fit your padlock and key into, but small enough to prevent anyone from tampering with your lock or cutting it open.

Typically, you must add a lock box onto a shipping container as a modification. However, they are easy to install and are usually bolted or welded on.

  • Alarm Systems

If your shipping container storage is in a very remote location, you might want to invest in an alarm system.

There are some alarms custom made for shipping containers that have several features like motion detectors, sensors and TV monitoring.

  • Fencing

Although it is not attached to the container, securing your property with a fence can add another form of security to protect your valuables.

Metal perimeter fencing usually has a row of razor wire at the top, which makes it harder to climb.

Be sure to check with your county’s rules and regulations about installing security fences in your area.

  1. Shipping Container Covers

Adding a shipping container cover to your shipping containers is a great way to create functional and secure storage.

SteelMaster’s prefabricated container roof kits can be easily assembled by a small crew to protect your working area or storage spaces. Plus, our commercial metal roof systems are designed to be permanent or portable, so you can move them from job site to job site.

Container covers also eliminate the need to pour a concrete foundation because the containers are used as the base of the storage building.

Container roofing can open ended or enclosed, and the size can be customized to the width between the two containers.  One of the greatest advantages of using a shipping container roof kit is the ability to make the most of your space by using the shipping containers, as well as the space between them.

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