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Watertight Storage Containers | Wind and Watertight Shipping Containers | Outback Storage Containers

watertight storage container

Outdoor Watertight Storage Containers

Outdoor watertight storage containers have gained in popularity over the last thirty years as an alternative to building a shed or outbuilding.  From farmers storing grain to lawyers storing years of accumulated files, there are many businesses that require keeping their equipment and valuables dry from the elements. 

How Watertight are Shipping Containers?

I’m often asked “How watertight are shipping containers?”  That answer depends on the storage container that you buy.  If you buy a new “one trip” container then, yes the container is very watertight.  The same can be said for cargo worthy containers.  Although they are “used”, they are certified to carry goods on ships on the ocean therefore they need to be watertight.

The grey area lies once you get to the grade called “wind and watertight”.  Although it’s implicit in the name, these containers are not always watertight, therefore each one must be properly inspected when it arrives.  Any holes found must be patched by either welding in a patch, or by using a patch sealant.

watertight shipping containers

Heavy Duty Watertight Storage Containers

I’m often asked if heavy duty watertight storage containers can hold the weight of a machine such as a skid-steer, mini excavator, or a tractor.  The short answer is yes.  Storage containers are rated, on average to hold up to 63,000 lbs.  The average weight of the piece of equipment people want to store inside a container is around 7,500 lbs.  The floor of a container has cross members every couple of feet and the floors are constructed of 1” marine grade plywood making them very heavy duty resulting in a container that can easily handle the weight of a machine.

Best Watertight Shipping Containers

The Best Watertight Storage Containers

 Who makes the best watertight storage containers? The short answer is leasing companies.  Leasing  companies are the companies that own hundreds of thousands of containers that carry the goods that we buy here in the United States to us from Asia.  They are built to a higher specification than your typical “one trip” container that is built for resale in the US. By definition, one trip containers only make one trip across the ocean from Asia to the United States.  The reason that leasing companies build the best watertight containers is that they must withstand the harsh environment of being on the ocean for their useful life which is typically ten to twelve years.  Add in the rigors of being dinged and dented while being loaded and unloaded from a ship as well as having forklifts running in and out of them and you can see why these would have to be built to a higher specification than your typical one trip container.

Watertight Underground Storage Containers

Watertight Underground Storage Containers

We get asked about using watertight underground storage containers all the time.  Although it might seem like a good idea to bury a container in the ground to be used as a shelter, it’s not.   Burying a container underground is not recommended for two simple reasons.  First they’ll rot very quickly.  Second, the hydrostatic force of the earth pushing on the sides of the container will cause it to buckle from the pressure and gradually implode.  If you’re thinking about going this route with your container, don’t.  You’d be better off making your underground shelter out of concrete.

Airtight Watertight Storage Containers

Airtight Watertight Storage Containers

Are airtight watertight storage containers really airtight?  The answer is sort of.  All containers come new with doors that seal up airtight. They also come with a minimum of two vents that allow for the escaping of gasses or fumes that might be present in the container due to the nature of the goods that they carry.  The vents are there to prevent the container from becoming pressurized than they are create airflow throughout the container.  If you really want your container to be airtight, you should tape off the vents on the inside of your container.  This can be done quickly and easily with packing or duct tape.

Wind and Watertight Shipping Containers

Wind and Watertight Shipping Containers

Wind and watertight shipping containers are the most popular containers sold as they offer the best value for your money.  Typically, they’ve been depreciated by the leasing company to the point where it makes sense for them to sell then off to customers across the world who are looking for cheap storage.  Oftentimes, this creates a fantastic opportunity to buy a container that has many years of life left for a real bargain.  With some simple maintenance, a wind and watertight container that has been used for ten years can easily last another ten or twenty years and can be had for a fraction of the cost of a new container.

People often ask if Out Back Storage has wind and watertight shipping containers for sale and are very happy to learn that we do.  In fact, we sell wind and watertight containers to most of our customers as it just makes more sense to buy a wind and watertight container vs a new container based on the cost vs quality.  Simply put, you can get more container for less money.  So long as you are comfortable with a container that is not perfect aesthetically that does not have that new container smell.  Buying wind and watertight vs new makes sense especially if you’re looking to buy more than one container.  For a little more than the price of owning one new container, you can purchase two wind and watertight.

Wind and Watertight Legal Meaning

Wind and Watertight Legal Meaning

In my day to day business of selling 40’ containers, I’m often asked what the legal meaning of wind and watertight is.  To different shipping container salespeople, it can mean different things but the most common definition relates to whether or not moisture from ran, fog, mist, or snow can enter a container.  If the answer is no, then the container is deemed to be watertight.  As such it may also be called wind tight as no wind will be allowed to enter through any cracks in the steel or gaskets around the doors.

Cargo Worthy vs Wind and Watertight

Cargo Worthy vs. Wind and Watertight

A container that is “Cargo Worthy” vs. “Wind and Watertight” can sometimes be difficult to tell apart.  One thing is certain however is that a container that is cargo worthy will always be watertight.  Conversely a container that is wind and watertight may not be cargo worthy.  Also, just because a container is cargo worthy does not mean that it has no rust.  I’ve seen many cargo worthy containers that looked terrible due to having surface rust all over them.  I’ve also seen containers that were in beautiful condition that were wind and watertight that were not cargo worthy.  They could be deemed not cargo worthy due to a hit to a corner cube or a C Channel in the floor being bent.  There are many criteria that a surveyor could deem a container no cargo worthy that you would not notice if you’d not had extensive training on how to surey container.  New, “one-trip” containers are all wind and watertight and are typically certified for a period of 5 years before they need to be re-inspected.  The build date of the container is on the CSC plate as well as the date of next re-examination.  On containers older than five years, typically they are re-inspected every two years.  The re-inspection date will be a sticker that is affixed to the CSC plate by the container surveyor.

Containers that are deemed to be in Wind and Watertight Condition will almost always cost more than containers that are not.  The exception to this is a container that is in excellent condition with good paint and very little rust that may have a small hole that is easy to fix.  These containers will be more valuable than a container that is in poor condition due to rust and faded paint but may happen to be wind and watertight. 


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