What You Need to Know About Placing and Transporting Containers

So you’ve ordered a new shipping container from Gateway? Congratulations! From ordering your container, you now need you need to think carefully about where and how you are going to place your container when it arrives at its destination. While it is advisable to use a transportation company who are experts at the transportation and placement of shipping containers, you need to think of a number of things to make the professionals’ lives easier.

Issues to consider

Shipping containers can give you decades of use, but to ensure this you need to have it placed correctly and it will need to sit on reasonably flat ground. If you will be using the container’s doors and the site is not level in one direction or another, they may feel stiff or not open at all. Also the surface of the site needs to be smooth and free of obstructions. If it isn’t then it may need a proper foundation or props placed underneath. Ideally you should always have it placed at least a few centimetres off the ground so any precipitation that falls on it can drain away without remaining in contact with the steel cladding.

We take a look at 4 foundations you can you use to support a container:

1. Wooden Railway Sleepers

These will have been treated so they never rot, and can form good footings for the shipping container. Ensuring that they are level with one another (so you will still need to do some ground work levelling the site) you can use as few as six of them – two either end and two in the middle. They should be sited so the end sleepers are exactly at the corners of the shipping container, as the corners are where it is designed to take its load.

2. Concrete Piers

Concrete piers are a permanent solution and very easy to set up and if done right should give you many years with minimal hassle. You will need a two person motorised augur to drill the holes for these. Once you have drilled a hole in the ground you should place some rebar in the holes, and then fill them with concrete.

You should make sure that the tops of the piers are level with one another, and are at the four corners plus two in the middle of the container. Once in place, you can weld the container to the piers and ensure that it will be there no matter what mother nature throws at you!

3. Concrete Pad

This can be quite expensive due to the amount of concrete used and requires a lot of groundwork to level the site. The pad should be slightly larger in size than the containers going on top of it. The concrete pad should be considered where the soil is very soft and you want it to effectively ‘float’ on the site.

4. Piles

Piles are used where the soil is so soft you cannot do anything else. They are cylindrical steel tubes that are hammered into the ground until they reach a harder substrate beneath. Where with the three other foundations above you can do it yourself, this system requires a professional to do most of the work and as such is far more expensive than any of the other options above.

Transporting the Container to Your Chosen Site

When it comes to the delivery of your container, our drivers are well versed in precision placement – they can place them:

  • in corners,
  • on top of retaining walls,
  • offload at angles,
  • on foundations,
  • over fences,
  • double stacked and more.

You name it and they will always attempt to set them down exactly as you need, no matter how difficult the situation. You may want to be helpful, but be willing to take instructions from the driver and any crane driver – they know the safety issues and will tell you where you can help or should just stay out of the way!

In preparing for the container’s arrival you should not only think of the container’s final placement – you will also need to make space for the lorry carrying it to the site and any crane required.

Where the lorry’s onboard crane can generally move a 20ft container, for the 40 footers you will need to arrange for a crane to take it off the vehicle and to place it on the pad. Contact us to discuss what you will need – we are very experienced in this and will gladly discuss the preparations required. Find out more information on preparing for delivery of your Gateway Container.

Call us for a free quote on second hand shipping containers!

Gateway Container Sales are experts in the sourcing, conversion and delivery of containers. We can give you advice on what size and type of shipping container is right for your project, and our highly experienced team of engineers can undertake any kind of modifications and fitting out you may require. We can also put you in touch with design experts and architects to help you turn your dream home into reality. Get in touch today!

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