Secure Stores Logo

Shipping Container FAQs

We’ve tried to answer all the container-related FAQs we receive. But if the answer you’re looking for isn’t on this list, just shoot us an email or give us a call.

Container Delivery

How long does it take to get a shipping container delivered?

For standard container sizes and designs, delivery takes 3-5 working days. For new accommodation units, conversions and modified containers, the lead time will vary depending on the extent of modifications.

Don’t worry, we’ll give you an expected delivery time when you enquire.

How are shipping containers delivered?

Usually, containers are delivered using lorries equipped with HIAB loader cranes. On site, these cranes are used to offload and position your container. As part of the delivery fee, our expert hauliers will spend up to an hour on site installing your container.

If you’re concerned about whether your site is suitable, don’t worry. We’ve safely delivered containers to the most challenging sites. Before delivery day, our team will discuss site access and delivery requirements with you in order to ensure a smooth, safe delivery.

Occasionally, if site access is tight or you have special requirements, we will need to arrange delivery by other means. And, in some instances, we may recommend a site survey in advance.

What size are container delivery vehicles?

The size of the delivery vehicle depends on the size of the container. If you choose an 8ft, 10ft or 20ft container, it will generally be delivered on a rigid vehicle measuring up to 34ft by 9ft. If you order a 40ft box or multiple smaller units, delivery will usually be made using an Artic vehicle. These are up to 60ft by 9ft.

The delivery vehicle will require additional space on each side to extend its stabilisers while offloading. If you have any concerns regarding access, please discuss these with us. We can usually work out what will be feasible via photos and rough measurements, however, site visits are available on request.

Can container delivery vehicles drive on grass?

Generally, container delivery vehicles are too heavy to drive on grass or soft ground. However, during a dry summer, it can be possible.

At other times of year, we are happy to make arrangements such as using temporary trackways. Just let us know in advance.

If you’re concerned about on-site ground conditions, just give us a call.

Where can I buy shipping containers near me?

We cover England, Scotland and Wales, with 10 container depots spread across the country. Whether you’re based in Lands End, or John o’ Groats, we can deliver.

Link to depot map

What base do I need for my container?

At each corner, containers have castings. These are around 6in x 6in and are essentially the container’s feet.

The ground on which each corner casting sits should be stable and level and should be able to take the weight of the container plus anything stored inside.

It’s important that your container is completely level and stable. This will ensure opening the container doors is easy. Our delivery teams can assist with levelling the container. All we ask is that you have the necessary materials ready.

If you need advice about what to place your containers on, just get in touch. We’re always happy to help.

Contact Us

Container Prices

How much do shipping containers cost to buy?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to container prices. The cost of a shipping container depends on whether you are purchasing new or second-hand. The size also makes a difference as does where you live. So it’s best to contact us for a quotation.

The cost of delivery is based on your postcode and the distance from our closest depot. A delivery quote can be included in your initial quote.

Contact us

How much do shipping containers cost to hire?

To give you a ballpark figure, we like to put it this way: shipping container hire prices start from as little as the cost of two pints of beer!

However, obviously, rental costs depend on which size and type of container you choose, as well as your location and intended rental period. As there are many variables, it’s best to contact us to discuss your requirements and get an accurate quote.

Delivery is postcode-dependent and is based on how far you are from the nearest depot.

Depot map

Can I ‘rent to own’ my rental container?

Yes. Purchase options are available if you later decide you want to purchase your container. Many of our self storage customers choose to do this. All we ask is that you inform us at the point of enquiry.

Contact us

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept both bank transfers and cheques.

Payment is required prior to delivery for purchases. For hire, the delivery charge, the first month’s rent and the collection fee are required before delivery.

Shipping Container Features

What are shipping containers made of?

Shipping containers are manufactured from Corten steel (also known as weathering steel). This type of steel has a specific chemical composition which gives it increased resistance to corrosion. It is highly durable, especially when protected with the marine grade paint used to coat our boxes.

Do shipping containers rust?

Shipping containers are specifically designed to withstand rusting. They’re constructed from Corten steel which is sealed using marine grade paint. This allows them to stand up to over a decade of being battered by the elements out at sea.

Over time, small areas of paint may chip off. This is nothing to be concerned about. When this happens, the area of exposed steel forms a self-protective layer of rust which prevents deep rusting.

Therefore, against what you might think, small patches of rust are not usually an issue, except on heavily damaged or very old containers.

Can shipping containers be stacked?

The simple answer is yes. The reason shipping containers have to conform to standard dimensions is so they can be safely stacked on top of each other.

The height to which containers can be stacked depends. A new 20ft unit can be stacked up to 9 units high, whereas new 10ft boxes usually have a maximum stack limit of 4 units.

If you plan to stack your containers, just get in touch. We’ll talk you through safe stacking limits.

How do you stack shipping containers together?

For maximum safety, shipping containers should be stacked directly on top of another container of the same size. This is because the strongest points of a shipping container are the four corner castings, and the top and bottom of each corner post.

To secure the containers together, we supply either twistlocks or stacking cones.

How much do shipping containers weigh?

A 20ft shipping container weighs about 2,000kg or two tonnes! But of course, the weight of the container depends on its size. For a full list of weights and measurements, including both tare and maximum load weights, see our Dimensions Chart.

Container dimensions

What are shipping container sizes and dimensions?

Shipping container sizes relate to their length and dimensions are standardised. Standard shipping container sizes are 8ft, 10ft, 20ft and 40ft, although we can build you a bespoke unit of any length. For a full list of dimensions, including height and width measurements, see our Dimensions Chart.

Container conversions

Container dimensions

Are shipping containers airtight and waterproof?

A container that leaks is absolutely no use. This is why all our shipping containers are rigorously inspected by one of our team. New or used, we guarantee that your shipping container will be structurally sound, watertight and suitable for storage.

All shipping containers are fitted with air vents to prevent damp and condensation. In general, thanks to modern vents, new containers tend to be better ventilated. Added to this, new Secure Stores Nationwide containers are fitted with additional vents to prevent any risk of condensation.

Please speak to us for further advice on preventing condensation. Nobody wants damp in their container, and a few easy steps, can ensure your goods stay dry.

Are shipping containers insulated?

It is not standard for storage containers to be insulated. However, we are happy to arrange this modification if it’s something you require. Just get in touch so we can discuss your requirements and help you choose the product that best suits your needs.

Container conversions

Are shipping containers secure?

One of the questions we get most often is: Are shipping containers easy to break into? The answer is no. In terms of security, it’s difficult to beat a storage container.

It takes some pretty impressive power tools to get through a couple of tonnes of Corten steel. To break into a container, thieves would need expensive specialist heavy cutting equipment or machinery. And the process would be incredibly noisy and time consuming.

To maximise security, we recommend you choose a container with a lock box. This is a secure housing which contains the padlock and makes it almost impossible to tamper with. The padlocks we sell are some of the toughest available and are specially designed to fit container lock boxes.

See our accessories

Random Container Questions

When were shipping containers invented?

Shipping containers were invented in 1955 by American businessman, Malcolm P McLean. McLean revolutionised the freight transportation industry by designing standard sized containers which could quickly and easily be lifted from one vehicle to another.