How to Secure a Shipping Container to the Ground
Naturally, we receive a lot of customer questions about shipping containers. These queries range from wanting to know if they can buy a specific color, how to prepare the site for delivery or about the differences in shipping container conditions. We try to answer commonly asked questions like these on the FAQ page of our website.
One question we also get that is not addressed on our FAQ page is “Do I need to secure my shipping container to the ground?” The short answer is “not likely.” Because that response is pretty vague, let’s dig a little deeper and determine whether you even need to anchor your container, and if so, how you would go about doing that.
Our 40-foot shipping containers are heavy, weighing in at about 8,500 lbs. Let’s put that into perspective a bit. That’s two times heavier than an adult giraffe and more than 2.5 times heavier than an average car. Under normal circumstances, that container isn’t moving unless you want to.
- 10 ft Collapsible Containers are about 2,200 lbs.
- 20 ft Shipping Containers are about 4,500 lbs.
- 40 ft High Cube (HC) Shipping Containers are about 8,750 lbs.
- 53 ft Shipping Containers are about 12,500 lbs.
Long story short: they’re all heavy. And that’s before you even put anything in them.
That means for most people or businesses in most places, it is NOT necessary to invest time or money in securing your container to the ground – once it’s delivered, it can stay put as long as you like.
When Should I Secure My Shipping Container to the Ground?
According to the International Organization for Standardization rigidity test, a shipping container can withstand wind speeds of 180 mph without wavering. However, if you live in a region where natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes can pop up from time to time, it’s not out of the realm of possibility (but still unlikely) that your shipping container COULD be impacted if the storm was bad enough.
So whether you want to minimize the risk of storms affecting your container, or you live somewhere away from serious weather but just want the peace of mind that your container is secure, there are some easy and effective ways to anchor your container.
How Do I Secure My Shipping Container to the Ground?
The ideal way to secure your shipping container would be to think ahead and construct concrete footings to which you’d anchor each corner of the container. This is easily done because shipping containers come with corner castings that allow them to be tied to the ground.
Here are some common methods used to secure shipping containers to the ground:
- One of the most popular ways is to use a steel plate to attach the container to a foundation concrete pad.
- Involves pressing a steel plate with welded anchors underneath into the wet concrete. There should be one concrete plate at each corner of the container.
- Once the concrete is cured, the container is placed on the plates and the welding is completed. Because the anchors are located under the concrete, this method makes for a very solid securement. But, it takes some advanced planning before the concrete is poured.
- Probably the fastest and easiest way to secure a shipping container to a foundation is to use ground plates and twist locks.
- This method was originally designed to be used as a way to stack containers on a ship, semi-trailer truck or railway container train.
- It is also utilized to secure container buildings with more than one story.
- The ground plates are bolted into the concrete foundation in locations where the four corners of the container will sit. Once installed, the container is lowered onto the plates so that the corner castings align with the twist locks.
- When the levers are twisted into place, the container is secure.
- Even easier and more simple than twist locks.
- Shipping containers can be secured to the foundation using heavy-duty steel chain.
- You’ll want to make sure the chain is high-grade strength.
- The chain is fished through the hole of the corner casting and connect it to a hook or bent rebar that is attached to the foundation.
While securing your container to the ground ensures that it’s not going anywhere, unless the storm of all storms comes along, it’s not necessary for the majority of shipping container owners. But, it’s always good to know how to do it, just in case.