Shipping containers are the lifeblood of global trade, transporting goods all over the world. However, transporting these containers requires careful planning and preparation to ensure your cargo arrives intact. This article outlines tips for smooth shipping container transport whether going overseas or domestic. Following these best practices will streamline the process.

Choosing the Right Container

Selecting the appropriate container is the first critical step. The most common sizes are 20-foot and 40-foot, but 10-foot, 45-foot, and 48-foot containers also exist. Consider important factors like the weight, size, and type of goods you need to ship. Will a standard dry container work or do you need refrigeration or an open-top? Ensure the container is structurally sound, with no cracks or leaks that could endanger the cargo. Pick a durable container designed to withstand the rigors of transport. Matching the container to the cargo avoids headaches down the road.

Preparing the Container

After selecting the container, preparation is key. Thoroughly clean the container and check for any pests or debris left behind from previous shipments. Use appropriate dunnage like air bags, pallets, crates or plywood to stabilize and secure the load. Distribute weight evenly throughout the container to prevent shifting. Carefully block and brace cargo so it does not shift during transport. Cargo shifting poses a major risk. Add moisture absorbers if shipping delicate goods are prone to moisture damage. Weatherproof the container as needed if transporting outdoors. Always lock the container securely before transporting.

Choosing a Transport Method

With a secured, loaded container ready for transport, now decide how to ship it. For international shipments, ocean shipping is the most affordable option but also the slowest. Rail offers a middle-ground choice for inland transportation. Trucks are the most flexible but also the most expensive mode. Pick-up and drop-off locations will factor into the ideal transport method. Compare the pros and cons of each mode before selecting one.

Complying with Regulations

When transporting containers, comply with all relevant regulations. This includes rules for maximum container weight capacity, hazardous materials, refrigeration requirements, fumigation policies, and more. Acquire necessary permits and paperwork, especially for international shipping. Properly label and mark the container indicating contents, weight, hazards, etc. Familiarize yourself with government agencies overseeing transport regulations to avoid violations. Compliance prevents costly delays and penalties.

Safely Loading and Unloading

Use proper equipment to safely load and unload containers. Forklifts allow side access. Toploaders are designed for top access unloading. Cranes require spreader bars to securely lift and move containers. Remove any loose securing material before unloading to prevent falling debris hazards. Have a plan in place to safely redirect or unload shifted cargo. Proper loading/unloading protects human handlers as well as the goods.

In Conclusion

With 90% of the world’s cargo transported in containers, safe and efficient shipping is crucial. Follow the tips above when selecting a container, securing the load, choosing a mode, complying with regulations, and loading/unloading. Keeping best practices in mind streamlines shipping container transport whether going across town or across the world. With proper planning and preparation, you can ensure your cargo arrives intact.

Trust Boxtainer Inc. for All Your Container Needs

Shipping containers are vital for transporting goods worldwide. But mishaps happen – damaged cargo, delayed shipments, wasted time and money.

Our team understands containers inside and out. We offer tailored advice to select the ideal container for your needs. Reliable products, expert service, flexible delivery – Boxtainer Inc. simplifies container transport.


Contact Boxtainer Inc. today at (647) 200-1408. Get a quote from the shipping container experts!