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How Shipping Containers Are Made

Shipping containers are constructed to withstand storage, handling, and shipping, as they are stacked one on top of the other.  This design makes it possible to move the containers from one mode of transport to another without unloading and reloading.



Shipping containers are made from steel and have a closed-top with hinged doors.

Shipping Containes are made from Corten steel, sometimes known as “weathering steel”.  Corten steel is an alloyed steel, mixed with other materials such as aluminum, steel, polymer that is fiber-reinforced or a combination of all of these, which “react” when exposed to air and water.  This means that if the paint gets damaged, the steel that is exposed will ”react” when oxidizing in a way that inhibits corrosion. The process that takes place is called ionic transfer, where the steel and zinc form a coating that assists durability and extends the lifespan of the container.


Phase 1 Sub Assembly

Unrolling and making the cuts out of steel sheets.

Shot blasting and priming of the steel sheets take place.

Pressing takes place to create the corrugation on the side panels to increase the strength of the container side walls.

Side panel sheets are welded together and lashing ring added to the top side rail.

Container front  and rear wall is assembled.  The main cargo doors are fabricated at this time.

The base frame is now prepared.  The container roof is then assembled using roof sheet die stamping and welding.

PHASE 2 Main Assembly

All of the above, from Phase 1 are transferred to the main assembly jig, so the container can be put together.

The base frame slides in first, next the front and rear frames follow, with the side walls and the entire structure is then tack welded together.

The roof sheets are then welded on, where it will now resemble the familiar shape of a container.  A secondary shot blasting will then clean the areas that have been welded.  A second coat of primer and a top coat are added, then baked in a oven.

PHASE 3  Final Phase 

The floor sheets are loaded with sealant applied to all peripheries that help with keeping the containers water-tight.  The are drilled and secured using self-tapping screws.

Ventilators are riveted into position over ventilation holes.  Galvanized lock rods with bushes and retainers, door handles, swivel catches are installed in compliance and required procedures of transportation under custom seal.

CSC (Container Safety Convention), plates are added to show all applicable data and approvals granted to the container.

A check for pin size water holes is done.

Markings are then applied with CSC (Container Safety Convention), UIC (International Union of Railways) and ISO (International Standards Organization) that comply with regulations covering intermodal freight containers.

A batch test is done to ensure the quality meets the construction standard required. This testing entails a floor test, roof test, door strength, maximum gross weight, stacking, racking, sidewall and front end wall strength.

Before delivery for shipment, a final inspection takes place in the container yard.

The shipping container is now made and ready for it’s first journey!