How Are Shipping Containers Made?

12 May 2021 By Anish

Shipping Containers At Port

Shipping containers have revolutionized the way cargo is transported on ships across oceans. Containerization has not only helped in ensuring the safety of the cargo but has also improved the overall cargo carrying capacity. As a result, shipping containers of different types are being built and used for transporting a variety of cargo around the world. (Note: Directly Skip to the Amazing Video Below to Find Out How Shipping Containers are made!) 

Some of the most commonly used types of shipping containers are 20ft, 30ft, 40ft, refrigerated etc. A list of different types of shipping containers used in the market can be found here.  Mostly, all shipping containers are made from steel and have closed-top with hinged doors. They have corrugated walls on the top and bottom sides and are welded to the rails and end frames.​

Shipping containers are constructed and used in large numbers on container ships. There has been a sudden rise in the demand and usage of shipping containers in the past few years. The production of these steel boxes has thus increased around the world.

How are shipping containers made?

Shipping containers are made from materials such as steel, aluminum, fiber-reinforced polymer etc or a combination of all. The construction of an ideal shipping container can be explained in an amazing video made by the Big Steel Box.

  • Each shipping container starts with a big roll of steel, which is unrolled and cut into several sheets. This is done in dedicated factories with technically advanced machinery systems.

  •  Surface preparation of these steel sheets is then carried out using sand blasting and priming to remove rust, dirt, contaminants etc.

  • The sheets are then corrugated to improve the overall strength.

  • Roof panels and floor braces are separately made and sheets for wall panels are then welded together.

  • Square tubing is welded on the top of the walls.

  • Once this is done, floor panels are assembled to form a floor frame.

  • Door assembly and corner post assembly are also separately prepared.

  • The door assembly is then installed on the floor frame followed by the installation of wall panels.

  • The corner posts, wall panels and door assembly are welded.

  • The roof panel is then assembled and welded.

  • Priming and painting are carried out.

  • Wooden frames are varnished and prepared for flooring.

  • Once they are installed into the container floor, holes are drilled to attach flooring panels.

  • The door hardware is finally installed along with rubber seals for watertight doors.

  • The container bottom is then made waterproof followed by water tightness testing.

  • The box is finally inspected to ensure water tightness or any other problem.

According to Big Steel Box, a new 20′ shipping container would usually cost around $ 4000-4500. However, the cost would definitely differ depending on the location.

Today, shipping containers are not only used for cargo operations but also have a variety of other applications.

Do you know any other ways in which shipping containers are or were made? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Marine Insight