Why Is A Shipping Container So Durable? 


The gold standard of worldwide freight, shipping containers are well-known for being durable and sturdy. There are several reasons why a shipping container needs to be so robust, which is why this blog is the perfect guide. 

Once you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll have a thorough understanding of what shipping containers are made from and why they require such a strong structure. We will also explore the ways shipping containers get damaged and how the team at ContainerCo can make sure you have everything you need for maintenance. 

What Is A Shipping Container Made From? 

If you’ve been down to any port around the world, you’ll likely have seen stacks of these enormous steel boxes. But, what are shipping containers made from? There is a unique type of steel called corten steel, also known as weathering steel. 

Corten steel is not your typical steel; it holds properties that make it perfect for constructing shipping containers. This is a group of steel alloys that were primarily developed to avoid the need for consistent painting. Additionally, this material is weldable and rust-resistant. Although rust can occur on shipping containers, the rust will not usually go any deeper than the surface – making it easier to remove. 

Shipping containers will commonly be painted with a very premium paint that comes as both a paint and primer in one. Although the paint is very durable, over a few years, the shipping container will almost definitely require maintenance – mainly if it’s constantly being shipped across the world. 

How Is A Shipping Container Constructed? 

There are a few steps to constructing a shipping container, but overall the process is not too complicated. Firstly, the corten steel is sliced into sheets and then sandblasted. Next, the sheets are welded to create the wall panel that will ultimately be one of the sides of the shipping container. 

The floor base is next. This is typically made up of I-beams laid out perpendicular to create a raft-like structure. Next comes the construction of the corners and, ultimately, the door. Corner posts will be welded to the I-beams, and the door will lastly be welded to the inside of the I-beams. 

Lastly, rubber seals are installed to ensure that the doors and the floor are waterproof. This will typically be followed up by a water tightness test. Decals or lettering will subsequently be added to the shipping container’s tag or number.   

Can A Shipping Container Get Damaged? 

Although shipping containers are made from very durable materials, they are still prone to damage with prolonged use. Surprisingly, the most insignificant marks, cracks or splits can still lead to functional issues. As mentioned above, there is extensive sealing and waterproofing throughout the container. Even if the tiniest crack appears in the seal, it may compromise the water tightness of the structure. If your shipping container is being used for exporting across seas on ocean liners, your contents may be at risk of being damaged. 

Any shipping container that is transported worldwide will experience its fair share of rust – particular due to the heavy sea conditions. Some of the most common areas for shipping containers to experience damage are: 

– Door sections

– Seams

– Welds

– Any dented area

For more information on how shipping containers get damaged, read our previous blog, The Damage and Repairs of a Shipping Container

How Do You Maintain A Shipping Container? 

The key to maintenance is consistency. A slightly damaged shipping container is much easier to amend than one severely damaged. Reasons why you’d want to maintain your shipping container include: 

– Avoid damaged goods 

– Decrease financial risks

– Increase time for the container to be certified for transit use

Rust or damage to the body of the shipping container can be amended with rust removal and repainting. However, you may experience specific parts or accessories becoming more damaged over time than the actual sides of the shipping container. ContainerCo has an extensive range of shipping container parts that are perfect for your maintenance needs. 


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!

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