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  • Caleb Jahn

The Structural Strength of Shipping Containers

Updated: May 22, 2019

Steel shipping containers found on cargo ships, trains, and trucks are much stronger than wood. Made of durable steel, they can often be stacked eight or nine containers high. Here are some structural characteristics to consider when searching for storage containers for sale.


 shipping container exterior

  • Walls: The walls of a shipping container, made of 14-gauge steel, consist of a series of 0.075-inch corrugated sheet metal panels that are welded together.

  • Supports: Each structure is supported by 7-gauge tubular steel top/bottom side rails and end frames, which hold the container together and add strength to the walls.

  • Roof: To make storage containers more durable, the roof features die-stamp corrugated sheets designed to keep out rain, ice, dust, dirt, and other elements.

  • Bottom: The container bottom features 3-4-millimeter-thick cross members, which have recesses to allow lifting via a straddle carrier.

  • Floor: The floor is 28 millimeters thick and has 19-ply treated plywood secured to the cross members.1

The low-alloy steel used in modern, durable shipping containers is strong and corrosion-resistant. In fact, storage containers for shipping are so strong they can resist high winds from tornadoes and hurricanes and the forces of earthquakes.


Modern storage containers are used for many different purposes because they resist wind and rain so well. Interior contents stay dry in any environment. They’re even used to transport products across oceans.


Security Aspects of Durable Shipping Containers

Storage containers can be fitted with special locks and doors, which, in addition to their strength, makes them hard to break into. The security provided also prevents rodents and other unwanted guests from getting inside and ruining valuable products. These self-supporting structures are also non-combustible. Therefore, containers are resistant to fire, which is extremely deadly and damaging in any type of environment. Whether you buy a new shipping container or a used one, you’ll get the same benefits in terms of safety, security, and durability.



different colors of shipping containers

Tailoring the Structure to Your Needs

Shipping containers provide dry storage in any climate. Aside from inherently weathering the elements over long distances and protecting whatever is inside, containers can be modified to suit your needs. For example, pressure vents can be built into the roof to maintain a certain storage temperature. This is useful in environments with drastic temperature fluctuations, especially where dangerous gases or chemicals are stored.

Useful modifications include rooftop turbines, exhaust fans, or complete HVAC heating and cooling systems.


Order Shipping Containers Today from High Plains Holding Company

We have made it easy to buy a used shipping container or purchase a new one at an affordable price. Our inventory consists of 40-foot, 20-foot, and cubed containers. Serving the entire Midwest, we can be reached at 888-826-4100 or sales@highplainshc.com. Contact us today for information or place your order online to receive a free quote.




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