How To Extend The Life Of Your Shipping Container

Shipping containers are by no means a cheap commodity; they are a long-term investment and should be cared for. If you own a 10, 20 or 40 ft shipping container, you’ll need to know how to maintain and effectively ensure you get the most out of your container. Although shipping containers are made from sturdy steel and a very durable structure, they are not invincible and will require practical maintenance steps. 

This blog will outline the best strategy to ensure your shipping container remains are robust as possible. It may seem like you have the daunting task of carrying out tasks, but it’s all necessary to ensure longevity for your shipping container. 

Ensure They Are Sitting On Foundations

Shipping containers are incredibly sturdy structures but still require the appropriate foundations whenever they sit. A shipping container risks sinking into the earth if not properly elevated and may also increase the likelihood of moisture damage due to the lack of airflow. 

It’s key that there are foundations set under your shipping container – especially if the ground below is soil or clay. Some of the popular choices for shipping container foundations include: 

– Concrete piers or slabs

– Wooden blocks 

– Structure of concrete slabs to create a “raft” 

Deep Clean Twice A Year

Similar to spring cleanings at home or to empty the gutters, include deep cleaning the shipping containers to your annual job list. Getting stuck into every corner and crevice will give your container a clean and healthy look that keeps it healthier. 

We recommend cleaning the container twice a year to ensure the consistent removal of debris. When dirt is left in the container, the possibility of moisture building up increases; moisture will then lead to rust if not adequately removed. 

Add A Coat Of Rust-Preventing Paint

It may have been a while since there was a fresh coat of rust-preventing paint in your shipping container. This paint has been specifically formulated to decrease the likelihood (and treatment) of rust. Although this paint is very effective, it does require new coats every few years to ensure you’re receiving the best protection possible. 

It should also be noted that this paint is highly toxic and should be applied by professionals wearing the necessary safety equipment. The steps for re-painting a shipping container are as follows: 

– Remove any rust present on the container

– Apply a generous layer of primer

– Paint the entire exterior container with a rust-preventing paint

– Task complete – apply local paint touches up once a year

Install Vents Or Whirlybirds 

As previously mentioned, moisture is the number one cause of rust within shipping containers. When maintaining your shipping container, you should do everything in your power to eliminate the presence of moisture. One of the most effective means of doing this is to install vents and whirlybirds. 

Increasing airflow within the shipping container will flush moisture out far more than the occasional opening of the door. The ventilation of vents or whirlybirds will lead to a decrease in airflow. Along with these additions, you may want to consider installing desiccants within. Made mostly from silica, these chemical structures will extract moisture from the air, ensuring an even dryer space and thus decreasing rust. 


At ContainerCo, we pride ourselves on providing an extensive range of shipping containers for hire or purchase. Our range of 10ft, 20ft and 40ft containers can be used for various purposes, including shipment, storage or construction, to name a few. Featuring more than just containers in our product range, we also sell accessories and parts for shipping containers to ensure your container can be maintained and repaired after prolonged use. 

Offering specialised containers along with dry standard variations, ContainerCo’s containers include refrigerated, dangerous goods, high-ball, open-top and side-opening options. As a fully-established shipping container company, we also have the facilities to modify purchased shipping containers. Our specialised team can assist you with altering containers into workspaces, cafes, tiny homes or construction site offices. 

We can serve Kiwis across the country with facilities operating in Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch, Wellington and Waikato. So next time you require a shipping container, make sure to hire or buy yours at ContainerCo today! 

Contact us on 0508 732 873 or request a free online quote today!

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top