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How Long Do Shipping Containers Last?

For the people in the market for a shipping container, one of the main concerns is: “How long do shipping containers last?” Shipping containers are known for their durability and ability to withstand extreme conditions. Many factors, such as environment or usage, determine their lifespans. Maintaining your shipping container is the key. Let’s take a deeper look into; how long the shipping containers last.

Shipping containers are built to last for many years because they are made of high-quality steel, making them highly durable and strong. A properly maintained shipping container can last more than 35 years. As you can see, maintenance is a must in order to make them last for years. No matter why you use a shipping container, below are some examples to act upon immediately.

When to Maintain a Container?

  • Rusty Doors: As with all moving parts, the doors of your shipping container should be well-lubricated. If not, rust can start to develop and make your doors inoperable. If you notice rust, it is time to take action. Just by heavy-duty grease for the hinges or WD 40, you can easily solve the rusty door problem.
  • Bad Smell Inside Shipping Containers: Bad smells or odors can be a problem in shipping containers. In order to prevent that you can keep the container doors open for 3 days and pressure wash the interior.
  • Moldy Environment: Materials such as wood, fabrics, textile, or food items can be the source of mold in shipping containers. Mold can cause many problems, and if mold has already emerged, it might not be the easiest job to get rid of it. Keeping your shipping container clean is the best way to prevent this.
  • When a Door Suddenly Becomes Hard to Open or Close:With time, your container doors can become hard to open or close. The main reasons why your container doors may become this way are; they may require lubrication, or your container might have become unleveled over time. The solution for the first is easy. Simply lubricating the hinges should solve the problem. 

Shipping containers placed on the ground without a foundation can become unleveled over time. Placing containers on flat surfaces is often safe, but using a foundation is the safest way to prevent such problems. 

Maintaining a Shipping Container

Shipping containers last longer if maintained properly. There are several preventative actions you may take to be able to use your container for years. For instance, rust-proofing your shipping container to save its steel structure is a great idea. The extreme conditions can damage the exterior walls of your container, making it vulnerable to rust development. You should regularly check your shipping container for rusty spots, clean the area with a wire brush and then apply the primer paint first. When it is dried, paint the area with the color of your container.

Keeping your shipping container off the ground by one foot keeps its structural integrity safe and decreases the risk of moisture seeping into the base. This moisture can lead to rusting and mold forming. 

Keeping your shipping container dry and well-ventilated is also another necessary preventative action. This way, your shipping container will definitely be more hygienic and last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Shipping Containers Rust?

Yes, shipping containers can rust in time. As mentioned earlier, it is vital to notice rusty spots early on and treat them should keep your shipping container safe. Cleaning it with a wire brush and then coating it with rust-proof paint is the perfect solution to this problem. If the rusty area is larger, you can clean it with a grinder.  

How Many Times Can a Shipping Container be Used?

Shipping containers are built to last. Made from strong steel, these huge boxes are incredibly durable. Containers used by big logistics companies are usually retired after 10 – 12 years. After all, they constantly get knocked against each other during lifting and positioning. Then they are subjected to harsh weather conditions and seawater which can cause corrosion on the paint and the steel itself. 

Containers that are used for storage on land generally have longer lifespans because they are not subjected to the above conditions. They can easily last 25 to 30 years without needing any serious maintenance.

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