8 Ways to Enhance Your Shipping Container Security
Keeping your most prized possessions (or anything you may own) in a heavy-duty steel box seems like a good plan. Shipping containers are great for storage and offer protection from weather and wildlife. But unless they are outfitted with security measures, they aren’t 100 percent foolproof if a vandal or thief really wants to take a look at your stuff. That’s the case with any storage structure like a garage, barn, shed, or pole building.
The good news is that there are several security accessories and measures you can add to your shipping container to make it very difficult for anyone to breach.
Heavy Duty Padlocks
Padlocks are the simplest way of quickly making your shipping container more secure. There are a wide variety of padlock styles available at the local hardware store. We recommend that you use the thickest lock you can fit on the shipping container and make sure it’s always locked when you’re not near your shipping container.
If you want locks that can withstand bolt cutters, which thieves commonly use, consider bolt locks and cylinder locks. Use locks with short, thick necks or shackles since they are difficult for most bolt cutters’ blades to grasp.
For extra-strength padlocks, consider CISA security container padlocks, which are more effective than a conventional padlock. They are rated by the insurance industry and are compatible with all of the different sized shipping containers, including 10 foot, 20 foot, 40 foot, and high-cubed versions.
CISA security shipping container padlocks are superior to conventional padlocks because:
- They have a pick and drill resistant keyway
- They are made from carbonitrided solid steel, which makes them cut-resistant
- They are nickel-plated
- They are rust-resistant
- They have an internal mechanism made from bronze, phosphor bronze, and brass
While padlocks are an excellent first step to securing your shipping container, if you’re storing something irreplaceable or valuable, you might want to take your protection up another level by combining the padlock with a shipping container lock box.
A shipping container lock box is a steel box that prevents your padlocks from being damaged. They are large enough to fit a padlock and key into, but small enough to prevent anyone from picking your locks and cutting the shackle or shank. These lock boxes make it difficult to break into your shipping container.
Typically, reused shipping containers don’t come with a container lock box installed and must be added as a shipping container accessory. They are easy to install and are usually either bolted on or welded.
Think about the front door of your house - how many locks are on it? It's likely you have a lock on the doorknob handle, and you have a deadbolt lock on the inside, too. You can use the same principle with your shipping container by adding an inner bolt lock. The positioning inside the door makes it impossible to remove from the outside unless a thief gets inside the shipping container through another door.
An inner bolting system should be fitted to the inside of the shipping container door, allowing it to slide across the door to be locked from the inside. This type of lock is simple to use, simple to fit, and will provide safety and security.
Let’s say a thief uses bolt cutters to snip the padlock you have on your shipping container. He’s in! That’s unless you’ve added a crossbar lock!
These locks are extendable clamps, typically made from tubular steel, and are attached to the shipping container’s door on locking rods or the handles. A keyed lock mechanism allows the clamp to be securely fastened in place.
They are resistant to bolt cutters, and lock picks and designed so that even if someone overcomes your padlock or locking latch, they cannot access the shipping container. Note that these types of locks are usually portable and don’t need welding.
Another form of security to add to your shipping container are windows. Whether you're using your shipping container for storage, office, or business, adding windows allows you to have that natural light shining through while still protecting your shipping container. Shipping container windows come with security bars, preventing thieves from breaking the window and entering your shipping container.
If you are storing your valuables in a shipping container long term, you might want to invest in an alarm system. Depending on the alarm system and your shipping container's location, you might need close access to buildings, a phone line, and standard power supplies. However, if your shipping container is being used in a remote location, it may be possible to use a cell phone alarm to control the system.
Alarm systems for shipping containers may include all the modern features that other systems have, like motion detectors, sensors, and closed-circuit TV monitoring.
If you don’t want to invest in robust security measures like special locks or an alarm system, installing fencing around the area where the shipping container is located may make sense. At a minimum, it will serve as a deterrent against potential thieves. Think of it as the first line of defense.
There are many different types of fencing to choose from, and we recommend something tall enough to be challenging to climb and something with a gate or door secured with a lock. Also, consider solid fencing that blocks the view of your shipping container.
Where is your shipping container located? Is it near the main road or in a high-traffic area? Is it visible or noticeable from far away? Is there anything about it that would attract attention?
Locks and alarms aside, the best security measure you can take with your container is thinking through where you want to put it. If you are getting in and out of it often, you’ll need it to be in a convenient spot. But, if it’s convenient for you, it could be just as accessible for unwanted guests.
Consider placing your shipping container in a place as shaded and secluded as possible. Install security lights to illuminate the area around it in case anyone gets in bad ideas. By keeping your shipping container in a not easily visible or accessible place, you have a greater chance of deterring intruders.
Shipping container security is essential, especially if you're storing valuable items within yours. You can take many types of security measures to protect your shipping container, and we're here and happy to help. If you're interested in learning more or have any questions we can assist you with, please click our chat bubble in the bottom right and connect with our team.