Before you go buying containers, you have to decide what you want them for. Are you planning to ship goods in the containers? If so, you need CSC - Convention for Safe Containers - certification testifying that the container is still suitable for safe handling and transportation in a commercial inter-modal transport environment. What this means is that the container should still be sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of being moved about from trucks to railcars to ships and back to railcars and trucks till it reaches its destination.
Containers are made of high tensile steel with a reinforced rigid framework, and designed to survive in the extreme conditions of an ocean voyage. Walls are corrugated steel sheets and interiors are made of treated timber. There would be double doors at one end of the standard container, retained securely by four locking bars that extend to the full height of the container.
Buying Containers for Storage
If you are buying containers for storing your goods, CSC certification is not needed. However, you have to ensure that the containers are still vandal proof and jemmy proof. Padlocks can be used for additional security to secure the lockable handles fitted to the four locking bars.
Depending on your storage requirements, you might need additional fittings like shelves. You might also desire to have light fittings inside. It is best to have these done by the container sellers, who are familiar with container specifics.
Transporting and Locating Containers
Containers are heavy, with a standard 20 feet container weighing over 2000kg. Hence container trucks fitted with cranes typically transport them. These trucks can load and unload the heavy container and transport them safely.
The containers should be placed on level ground as otherwise you might find it difficult to open the heavy doors. A good idea is to erect four level corner concrete blocks to place the four corners of the container.
The location where you want to put the container should have adequate area to handle the container and the large truck, with no overhanging obstacles up to a height of about 25 feet. An obstacle free space of 60'x20'x25' is a minimum at the proposed location.
Buy or Rent?
You can rent or buy the containers. Decide on the best option considering your requirements. If you rent, you can indicate that you would like a purchase option to be exercised later if needed.
Containers can be painted the color you want. They are very sturdy and require little maintenance. While storing goods, it is better not to stack damp affected goods against the walls, as closed areas like container insides are prone to condensation.
Containers can be modified and converted to suit different uses. For example, you can convert them into offices, canteens, shops and so on. The mobile offices and canteens are ideal for work sites. Container sellers would have the experience and facilities to customize the containers in these and other ways. Discuss your requirements with them when buying containers.