Shipping Container Maintenance

If you rent or own shipping containers, you know they are a valuable asset that enables your business to run smoothly. Maintaining shipping containers is essential- a small amount of prevention and monitoring can help you avoid costly issues. Here’s our guide to shipping container maintenance!

Look Out for Rust and Holes

Shipping containers go through a lot when they travel. They are exposed to different temperatures, weather conditions, and more. It’s only natural that they wear over time. Make sure you regularly assess your containers to keep an eye on their condition. Be on the lookout for signs of trouble like rust, holes, pests, and other kinds of deterioration. Shipping containers are made of steel and wood, and these issues can spell trouble.

If you do see any rust, you can use a rust remover to address it. If there are any holes that have worn through, you may be able to simply seal them with an industrial sealant. When a hole is big enough, though, you may need to weld over it with more steel to shore up the integrity of the container. Be on the lookout for pests as well- you may need to treat your containers for extermination. There are several international organizations providing guidelines here that can be helpful.

Cleaning is Key for Shipping Container Maintenance

Along with these issues, you should regularly check your containers for cleanliness. How strict you need to be with this really depends on what you store or ship in your containers. If you have containers hauling food, medical supplies, or other sensitive goods, you’ll need to be extra careful. Additionally, if you have been hauling any hazardous chemicals or materials, be very cautious and follow proper procedures to clean those containers.

In general, there are a few cleaning steps you can take. First, it’s always good to sweep out your containers whenever you have an opportunity between usages. You’ll get at a lot of the dirt, dust, and other debris that can build up. Plus, it’ll help you out with identifying any areas for repair (like we talked about already).

You can then use water to wash out the interiors of containers. You can either use a hose, a power washer, or some other method. Start with the roof first, and then work your way down. Washing containers with water will get at some of the gunk and grime that a simple sweep won’t account for. You can also look into some cleaning solvents that are safe to use with steel. Again, take into consideration what you have been hauling. Some hazardous materials can leave waste that will react with water or other chemicals, so you may need to pursue another cleaning method.

Drying and Other Final Steps

If you have used water and/or other chemicals to clean out your containers, make sure you let them dry out afterwards. This is a key way to prevent rust formation. Once dry, your containers are ready for further maintenance and repairs. You can repaint, weld, and further fit your containers as needed from here.

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