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Shipping Storage Containers: Transportation Considerations for Shipping Containers

Shipping storage containers can be a great option for people who are moving or trying to ship many items.   However, the shipping of a container can be a very involved process.   From purchase to shipping and unloading, there may be several different companies involved in getting a container to its destination.

What can I ship?
There are many things that can be shipped in a shipping container.  Whether you are a business or just shipping personal property, there are many uses:
·         Moving- home goods, furniture, appliances
·         Cars
·         Bulk goods for businesses
·         Fundraising after disasters or less fortunate communities

Where do I start?

When shipping storage containers, you might want to think about how much stuff you are shipping. If you are shipping a whole house full of belongings, you might want to consider a 40’ container or larger. If you are just shipping a small car, you might be surprised to find that a 20’ container might suffice. Keep in mind those containers that are longer than 40’ or taller than 8’6” might require special trucking.

Do I need a certified container?

On the front door of every container is a “CSC plate”. The CSC plate is much like a car inspection sticker. Containers need to have a valid CSC plate to be shipped on a cargo container ship. For the plate to be valid, the container must be inspected by a certified inspector and be structurally sound. Many times, new containers will be certified. It is possible to re-inspect a used container to be shipped, but certified inspectors might be expensive and hard to find, unless you are near a port city. If you are shipping storage containers on a truck in the United States, you do not need to have a valid CSC plate.

Who ships the container?

Depending on where you are shipping a container, the location will usually dictate who will ship the container.  If you are shipping a container across country, you will have to contact a trucking company. Many containers can just be loaded on a flatbed trailer and driven to your destination.  If you are shipping storage containers on a cargo ship, you will have to contact a cargo line.  Sometimes these companies will arrange trucking to the ports, and other times, you will have to arrange the trucking.

Is there anything else to consider?

If you have figured out the logistics of moving the container from one place to another, most of the work is done. There are a few more things to think about, so the move is done smoothly. Looking into insurance of the goods inside might be a necessity, especially if your container falls off a ship, gets into a trucking accident, or if your goods are damaged.  Loading a container onto a truck might require a forklift or a crane on site. If you are on a tight timeframe, be sure to find out how long the company thinks the move might take.


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