We are asked regularly for a price of the smallest container we supply, as most people will assume less steel, less container, less money! But oddly, this isn’t the case.
20ft and 40ft long shipping containers in used condition, are the most common size of shipping container in the UK market. Shipping Containers are built to perform like Lego blocks, making them easy to transport and stack so, by retaining these sizes, it allows them to be handled and moved by a variety of different methods on the road, rail and at sea.
You will have seen hundreds of shipping containers on the move along motorways during your travels, you might have even caught sight of a container vessel whilst on a ferry journey! But how could one of these giant storage boxes be delivered to your site?
3J Services Ltd work with a group of specially selected, fully qualified container hauliers across the UK. Our trusted teams operate various types of vehicles, suited to deliver containers and cabins onto all sorts of sites, mainly using Hi-Abs to off-load.
Our most common method of delivering shipping containers and cabins to locations around the UK is by using a Hi-Ab vehicle. These vehicles are usually a flatbed or skeletal trailer, equipped with a hydraulic crane (The Hi-Ab) which is situated behind the drivers’ cab. The craned lorries can range from 20ft to 55ft in length. The crane is operated by the driver who will attach chains to the hook of the hi-ab and the four top corner castings of the container. He then uses a control pad lift to operate the Hi-Ab, off-load and position the container.
How can I move my shipping container once it’s on site?
Shipping containers can weigh up to 4T when empty and 28T fully loaded! They are bulky units but do have some handy options if you need to shuffle them around on site. Containers are equipped with extremely strong, load bearing corner posts with corner castings at the top and bottom. The standard way to off-load and move a container is by hooking chains through the corner castings and lifting the unit using a hi-ab mounted vehicle. This can be done at the top and bottom castings.
Another way to move a container is by the forklift pockets. 20ft standard shipping containers usually have forklift pockets at the side of the unit and at either short end. We recommend using 8ft long forks with an 8ft wide split.
Around the UK councils vary on their regulations surrounding the need for planning permission for individuals and businesses using shipping containers for storage. Similarly, shipping containers may be converted into offices, canteens, cafés, toilet blocks, changing rooms, and more, and you should always liaise with the land owner and your local council to obtain any necessary permissions prior to investing into a standard or converted shipping container.
Technically speaking, shipping containers are moveable structures, however, as they are being used more and more for static storage and conversion, they are becoming increasingly more permanent for individuals and businesses.
Whether or not planning permission is required for your shipping container also depends on the environment in which the container is sited. Containers located in and around green belt or on a drive way on a housing estate are more likely to require planning permission to those located on private farm land or business premises.
A quick call to your local planning office will put your mind at rest as to whether or not it is advised that you have planning permission for your shipping container.
The short answer is yes! But, like anything in life, that is very dependent on the funds available to you!
Modern media would have us believe that building a home out of a shipping container is a quick, easy and cost effective process, however, it is not quite as simple as this and a great deal of thought, legalities and permissions need to be considered.
Although shipping containers are temporary structures and so do not usually require planning permission (we do recommend you check with your local council even if you are only using your container for storage as rules vary between councils), if you are considering building a home out of one, it’s obvious that the container will no longer be a temporary structure! Therefore, planning permissions and all of the rules and regulations associated with it, and building control, have to be considered with shipping container homes in much the same way that they have to be considered with a traditional house build.
Whilst containers themselves as the ‘base structure’ are a cost effective item, it is the materials that have to be utilised to comply with building regulations such as lining, window and door specifications, drainage, fire safety etc.. that soon start to mount up!
Furthermore, you cannot just build a shipping container home anywhere, and much like a traditional build, the land is a substantial investment in the process, and that is to say that you would get planning permission to build on the land!
As a 40ft container is the largest standard type available, you would probably have to modify shipping containers to make your container home, you may be chopping sides out to join containers together to create a larger space, but, even if you are just cutting out a section of the container for a window or a door, you would be losing some of the structural integrity of the container. In so doing, the standard loading and stress calculations of the container would be void, meaning that a structural engineer would need to be involved to measure the revised loading and safety capacities of your converted container.
Container houses can also be difficult to mortgage, as technically they are a moveable structure.
In short, yes you can build a house using shipping containers, but, it should be carried out with great care, it is by no means a quick fix or a project to be completed on a budget.
This may sound obvious, but, shipping containers are designed and manufactured to be shipped around the world in high seas and in all weather conditions and environments. Thus, by their very design, shipping containers can only offer limited ventilation.
Shipping containers are manufactured with vents. Older, used containers tend to have four vents, two each side, they are covered by a shroud of steel to avoid water and material ingress at sea and in harsh environments, and therefore their ventilating properties are limited.
Newer containers tend to have twelve to fourteen vents in total which offers a little more air flow for your stored items. Nevertheless, ventilation remains limited and therefore, steps should be taken to protect your stored goods against the effects of condensations.
3J Services offer a condensation limiting product which is applied, by us, to the ceiling of your shipping container to reduce the effects of condensation and protect your stored goods. We still recommend further ‘common sense’ steps are taken to protect your goods, for example:
• Open the doors regularly to ‘air’ your container,
• Do not leave the doors open during damp or rainy weather,
• Wrap valuable goods in bubble wrap or plastic,
• Cover stored goods with tarpaulins or sheeting (ensure they are dry),
• Do not store wet goods or white goods which may retain water,
• Do not pack goods too tightly, ensure good air flow.
These simple and cost effective steps will assist in keeping your stored goods dry and well preserved.
New shipping containers tend to be available in various shades of blue and green in the UK. However, from time to time, other coloured units such as grey, black, red and white, can enter the UK market, although this is very rare.
Used containers however tend to be a wide range of colours, most commonly, Brown, blue, yellow and red. Both new and used containers can be repainted to any colour, to suit your requirements. 3J Services offer a mobile painting service so that your container (s) can be painted anywhere in the UK. Alternatively, we are able to paint containers before they leave our nationwide depots.
A number of other services are available to decorate your container, we can spray paint, graffiti, wrap, decal or sign write your container, the options are endless and this kind of modification can look extremely effective for a branding or marketing opportunity.
To discuss your needs further, please call us on 01543 373768.
Shipping containers are the perfect way to protect your items from the elements. The raised marine ply floor of shipping containers mean that they will not absorb water from the ground. The all steel construction of a shipping container makes them wholly weather proof, even the vents are designed to ensure that water cannot ingress. Shipping container doors are also surrounded by weather proof seals.
It is important to remember that shipping containers are designed to travel the seas in detrimental weather conditions and withstand high saline environments. Stacked containers on a shipping container vessel or in a container yard are not protected from the elements, anywhere in the world, yet the thousands of goods that they carry around the world arrive with us, undamaged by the weather!
So, how weather proof are shipping containers? VERY!
Contrary to popular belief, used shipping containers provide excellent secure, dry storage.
When purchasing a used shipping container, you can expect a sturdy, robust steel structure with no holes. You can expect a fully weather proof ex shipping container with fully working door gear, vents and a marine ply floor.
You can expect 10-15 years life out of your used shipping container as long as it is kept in a suitable environment, well maintained and not utilised to store corrosive materials.
You should not expect your used shipping container to be freshly painted or without dents, rust and markings. It is important to remember that this is a shipping container, it is made from Corten steel which is designed to rust, and, it has been utilised on hundreds of occasions to trans0rt goods by vessel around the world. It has been lifted on and off vessels and vehicles using heavy lifting equipment and carried tonnes upon tonnes of equipment. Not only does this mean that you should expect dents and marks, it also means that you are purchasing a vigorous piece of equipment that you can expect to keep your goods secure and dry for years to come.
This is a question we are regularly asked, and 3J have the perfect solution!
Shipping containers are made out of steel. As a result, when it is hot, they get extremely hot, when it is cold, they get extremely cold! These temperature swings twinned with the fact that storage containers are often full of items, some of which hold water, can cause condensation problems in shipping containers being utilised for storage.
There are a number of simple and easy steps that you can take in order to limit the amount of condensation that your container may suffer with. Ensure that doors are closed and remain closed when it is raining, ensure that items stored are dried off before being put into the container, do not store white goods that retain water (washing machines, dishwashers...) in your shipping container, make sure that vents remain uncovered, do not overfill your shipping containers, and, on mild and warm days, allow your container to breath by keeping the doors open.
However, many of our steel containers are sent to businesses and self store sites, they are used for construction projects with a high volume of people utilising the container. It is common that all of these steps to limit condensation in your container can not be followed at all times.
3J have the solution! We are able to apply a water based product to the roof of your container, either prior to delivery or on your site, called Grafo - Therm. Grafo - Therm prevents the effects of condensation inside your shipping container and is utilised heavily by the self storage industry.
Grafo-Therm delays the point at which dew point occurs thus reducing the window in which condensation can form, any residual condensation that does form within any given period is immediately absorbed by the Grafo-Therm coating, thus limiting condensation in your shipping container.
3J Services can offer a fully mobile anti condensation treatment service for your shipping containers on site, or apply to your container prior to delivery. For more information or for. Quotation call us on 01543 373768.
Shipping containers are available in new, sometimes called ‘once shipped’ condition or as used containers.
New shipping containers have been used on one occasion to transport goods from their place of manufacture, often China, to, in this case, the UK. The containers could have been loaded with a variety of goods, from cars, to ceramics, textiles, toys and an enormous range of everyday items. The containers are loaded in China where they meet a shipping vessel, they are then transported to a variety of ports where they will eventually terminate their journey in the UK, they are offloaded from the vessel and then sent to the customer or manufacturer in the UK who will empty the container of its goods before the container moved on to a container depot in the country to be held by a company like ourselves who own the containers.
As a result of the journey a new container has undertaken, you can expect to see some bangs and scratches on the outside of the container. It is important to remember that shipping containers, before being used to securely store your goods, have effectively been very heavy duty postage and packaging! The insides may have been marked by cargo too. However, generally speaking, we would expect them to be in very good condition and it is very clear that they are new units. Similarly, new units do sometimes enter our depots requiring small repairs, which rest assured will be completed before they are dispatched to you.
The most common colours for new shipping containers in the UK are blues and greens, however, from time to time, we do receive some odd coloured units which may have been painted specifically for the shipping lines.
The benefits of new containers are that they are much more aesthetically pleasing than used ones and in colours that are more likely to blend in. Similarly, we expect them to have very little rust and the paintwork will overall be in good condition. New containers have new door seals and door gear making them much easier to open and close, they are fitted with high security lock boxes as standard (a steel shroud that covers the locking pin used to secure your container), they all have marine ply flooring and multiple small vents inside. Dependent on what you intend to use your new shipping container for, and in what conditions, we would expect a container which has been well maintained in the ideal environment and storing non corrosive materials to last in excess of 25 years.
We recommend new containers for customers whom appearance is important and who need easy access to their unit. We also recommend new containers to customers who are converting their shipping container either themselves or by us.
Used containers are units that have been used on multiple occasions to ship goods around the world. We expect used containers to enter the UK market at roughly 12-18 years old. It is important to note that it is not the age of this equipment that is important but the overall quality.
Used containers vary in colours, they can be, most commonly, blue, brown, yellow, red, green (very rare!). Ironically, Corten steel, from which containers are manufactured, is designed to rust, and so, a container with rust is not a reason to be alarmed and in fact should be expected with used containers.
The manufacture of Used shipping containers is exactly the same as that of new containers. However, due to their age, the door gear, although often loosened at depot prior to dispatch, can sometimes be a little stiffer on used containers than new ones. Regardless of this, the containers remain weather proof and of a good, solid construction.
In the right conditions and with maintenance, we expect used containers to remain useful for 10-15 years.
Used shipping containers do not have lock boxes fitted onto them as standard. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a lockbox fitted (usually around £60) should you need your container to remain secure.
We recommend used containers to customers who are working to a budget and to whom appearance is not important. However, it is worth considering a repaint should you want the best of both worlds!
We are happy to discuss your requirements and make recommendations as to whether a new or used shipping container would suit your needs. Please call 01543 373768.