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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.

Moon Trailer Leasing offers mobile offices to companies and organizations across Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee. We have offices of all sizes for rent and sale. Call 502-200-2315 for a fast and free quote.

The doors of a shipping container

Shipping Containers: How They Are Made

Everyone relies on shipping containers – they haul goods all around the world. Shipping containers are a reliable way to transport nearly anything. So how are they designed to handle all of this work?

There’s an array of steps involved, and quite a bit of manual labor. Here’s a look at how shipping containers are built. 

1. Make Wall Panels

First, huge steel sheets are methodically cut to 8×3 feet rectangles by machines. These rectangular sheets will form the wall panels of containers. The sheets are then sandblasted and primed to remove any contaminants. Next, they are corrugated, giving them the wave-like texture that makes them so distinctive. This both helps increase their strength and makes them easier to stack. Roof panels and floor braces are made separately. Wall panels are then welded together, and square tubing is welded to the tops of wall panels.

2. Assemble Floor Frame

Next, two long I-beams are laid parallel to each other and welded to a number shorter I-beams that go between them perpendicularly. This forms a box-like frame for the floor of the container. 

3. Make Shipping Container Doors and Corner Posts

Doors are up next. Corrugated steel is cut to the proper size and welded to steel tubing around its borders; this creates a door. Each container will get two doors. Corner posts are then welded to I-beams, making a door frame. The two doors are then welded to the frame. 

4. Assemble the Shipping Containers

With all of the pieces created, it’s then time to construct the container. First, a crane lifts the door and lowers it to the floor frame, where it is installed by welding. Then, a crane lifts and slots in the wall panels, which get welded to the door, floor frame, and back wall frame. Last, the roof panel is lifted to the top of the container and welded on to complete the container’s structure. 

5. Paint and Prime

With the structure completed, the next step is to start the finishing touches. Primer is sprayed all around and inside the shipping container to make the container hold paint better, and get a slim layer of extra protection. Then, workers spray paint over the primer once it has dried. Several layers of paint are added in this fashion.

6. Fit Flooring

Keep in mind that at this point, there’s still no floor, just a frame! So, the next step is to install plywood flooring. The flooring is varnished before installation to strengthen it and prevent insects or pests from occupying the wood. Next, six finished plywood panels are fit into each container. Finally, workers drill holes around the borders of the panes and then attach them to the floor frame with steel screws.  

7. Add Decals, Identification, Logos

Any company logos or decals can be added to the sides of containers at this point. Workers apply adhesive stickers with the required designs or text. Additionally, containers are given unique identification codes, which are labelled on the outside of the container. 

8. Door finishing, Testing and Waterproofing the Shipping Containers

Workers next install locking mechanisms on container doors. They also waterproof the doors by installing seals around door edges. Next, the bottom of the container is sprayed with waterproofing sealant. 

After this, workers perform a test to ensure containers are waterproof. Containers are sprayed with water and then rigorously inspected on the interior for any signs of leaks. 

Check out this video to see all of the steps in action!

Moon Trailer Leasing offers shipping containers to companies and organizations across Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee. We have containers both for rent and sale. Call 502-776-2199 today for a fast and free quote.

Importing and Exporting To and From the United States with Moon Shipping Containers

shipping containers coming into US ports

Millions of shipping containers enter and leave U.S. ports every year. The modular design of many shipping containers makes the vessels ideal for transport by sea, rail and truck.

Are you thinking about buying a shipping container to import or export goods to the United States? Every year millions of shipping containers enter U.S. ports. The modular design of  standard shipping containers is ideal for transport by ship with easy transition to rail or truck upon arrival in the U.S.

If you do not have experience with importing or exporting cargo, there are many rules and regulations to learn. Follow along for more information about shipping cargo in a container to the United States.

  1. Prepare To Declare Your Goods – When you ship a container of goods into the United States, you must declare the items that you are shipping to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This is required to make sure that you are complying with U.S. regulations.
  2. Obtain The Required Permits And/Or Licensure – Depending on what you are shipping, you often are required to have a permit or license. Several U.S. agencies require licensure for imported goods, depending on the items that you are importing. Certain regions of the U.S. also require a special license from local government offices or states.
  3. Learn About Import Quotas – Depending on what you are shipping, certain commodities have import quotas that restrict the volume allowed to enter the U.S. in an established period of time.
  4. Contact Your Port Of Entry – Before you ship cargo to the United States, you may want to reach out of the U.S. port of entry where your items will first arrive. There are over 300 U.S. ports of entry (and this includes sea, air and land). Speaking with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import specialist can be very useful if you have any questions or concerns. Keep in mind that ports of entry also conduct inspections related to agriculture in order to protect against diseases that might damage crops, animals, and the environment more broadly.
  5. Have Answers To Common Questions – When you contact the port of entry, it’s beneficial to have information available for common questions you might be asked including the following:
    • Location where the items are from or made
    • Composition of merchandise
    • Planned use for the goods being imported
    • Pricing/value so in order to calculate shipment value
  6. Consider Working With A Licensed Customs Broker – While not a requirement, many people new to international shipping work with licensed customs brokers to help navigate the process. Customs brokers are licensed by the CBP but they are not employees of this agency. There are over 10,000 licensed customs brokers currently operating in the U.S.
  7. Make Sure To Have The Necessary Documentation – The CBP requires specific information. Before trying to import goods into the U.S. you will need to have an IRS business registration number or an importer number. If you are importing goods as an individual and you are not a business, you might be able to provide your social security number. You can request an importer number when your customs paperwork is submitted. Typically this form is needed at the port of entry.

There is a lot of important information to know regarding international cargo shipping to the United States. For answers to many more detailed questions, it is advisable to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. For additional information about purchasing a shipping container suitable for international shipment, contact Moon Trailer Leasing today. Call 502-776-2199 for details about our selection of new and used shipping containers.