Shipping Containers: It’s What’s On the Outside That Counts

Shipping containers are definitely having a moment. But with notoriety comes curiosity, and you may be asking yourself, “What are shipping containers made of?”

If you’re wondering about how shipping containers go from slabs of metal to the versatile units we all know and love, you’ve come to the right place. At Mobile Mini, our shipping containers can meet almost any need you can come up with. From storage units to mobile office spaces, pop-up shops, and even backyard hangouts, our shipping containers are portable and easy to customize and convert. We stock standard and extra-wide units ranging from 10- to 40-feet with internal capacities of up to 2,414 cubic feet.

What Are Shipping Containers Made Of?

When it comes to shipping containers, strength is key. Before they made their debut in everyday life, shipping containers were used to transport heavy cargo across the world’s waterways. The ocean can be a rough place; that’s why shipping containers are always made from strong metals like aluminum and steel that will repel rust (within limits), take a beating, and keep on going.

Now, when it comes to metal, all things are not created equal. Steel is supreme when it comes to strength, durability, and longevity. At Mobile Mini, we exclusively stock 100% corrugated steel shipping containers. Steel is known for its ability to handle heat, rain, sleet, even natural disasters, making it the perfect choice to house and protect your most valuable goods.

How Are Shipping Containers Made?

This is where things get interesting. Most people are surprised to learn that shipping containers are assembled in parts, which we’ll detail below:

  • Container Walls: The first step in creating a shipping container is to shape its walls. Large panels of metal are put through machines to corrugate them, or create ridges. These ridges give shipping containers their unique shape and unparalleled strength. When metal is flat, it’s easier to bend and damage. Ridged (or corrugated) metal is stronger and more durable.
  • The Floor: Shipping containers contain floors that, while metal on top, are actually made from wooden frames. The wooden foundation and metal paneling create strength and give in the floor of your unit. If your floor was just steel with no wooden frame, it would actually be harder to maneuver goods and to get the most out of your unit. These wooden frames are often treated with pesticides to repel termites and other insects that might view a shipping container as their next meal.
  • Corners and Doorposts: The corners and doorposts of a shipping container are extremely important when looking at the overall integrity of the unit. These features reinforce the container’s body and help ensure durability over time. The process of creating shipping container corners and doorposts is intricate, and these features are designed and constructed separately from the rest of the unit.

Once all of the individual pieces are complete, the unit is ready for assembly. The walls, corners, and doorposts are welded together, and the unit is drilled into the wooden floor frame. The roof is then welded onto the semi-completed unit.

The last and most important step is installing container doors, which are rubber-sealed to ensure that each unit is air- and water-tight. As a final step, the entire container is coated and painted to assist in repelling rust, heat, and contaminants. Paint also keeps containers looking like they should, which is key when they are used for residential and commercial purposes. (At Mobile Mini, we ensure our units are freshly painted!)

Why Are Shipping Containers So Great?

Now that you know how these units are made, what makes them so great? Outside of the durability and versatility that we’ve already covered, shipping containers are secure and reliable. Due to their unique construction process, shipping containers are weatherproof and built to withstand even the toughest storms and natural disasters.

At Mobile Mini, our units are also as secure as they come. Each of our shipping containers comes standard with our tri-cam locking system. These locks are impossible to drill and cut through, pick, or hack, and they’re virtually theft-proof. When you rent with us, no one and nothing is getting into your unit without a key.

The Mobile Mini Difference

Mobile Mini was founded almost 40 years ago to take the stress and hassle out of storage and jobsite rental. Today, we are an industry leader in customer service that offers safe, easy, and efficient delivery, pick-up, and relocation with every order. Our award-winning customer service team is available 24/7 to answer questions and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. You are never more than a phone call away from our dedicated network of experts.

Shaping steel into corrugated panels is tough; storage and jobsite needs shouldn’t be. Check us out today and see how easy these things can be!