Modern freight containers were first designed in 1956 to carry goods throughout the world. With time, human needs grew complex and now there are different container types either available or customized as per buyer’s requirement. Pretty much every element of the metal shipping container can be modified; here is the customizing shipping containers guide.

Why customize containers? 

There are thousands of different kinds of goods transported all over the world. It is not possible to design customized maritime containers for every type of good. That is why buyers further customize containers according to their needs before trading.  Sometimes, this customization eases effective and safe handling and pristine condition of the goods before and during the transport.

What are the factors to be considered? 

There are multiple factors that come under consideration for the customization of cargo containers. The factors include-

Know the Market
First and foremost research the container market to know if the type of container you are looking for is available or not. If not, then only go for container modification.

Weight and Dimension of Goods
Goods’ dimension and weight are the first consideration in the case of modification. For example, if the object is huge or bulky, the buyer may want to customize the shipping container door for safe and easy loading and handling of the objects.

External Weather
Weather is the second most important factor that decides if customization is needed. There are certain goods that are dangerously susceptible to temperature. They need fixed temperatures throughout the entire journey to remain in the desired condition. As the goods get transported, they may journey through different regions with different temperatures. Here, if the goods are sensitive elements like chemicals or medicine, the freight unit might need further modification to maintain a steady temperature.

The temperature of the Goods
Some of the goods’ have their own temperature. Many of the times, that becomes a deciding factor for remodeling shipping containers. For example, some industrial equipment emits heat. A freight box carrying such goods will need a modified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Expert Consultation
They are sturdy but very critical items. Before any modification, do consult with experts to know if the modification suits the structural integrity.

What are the elements in shipping containers that can be modified? 

Almost all of the elements of the maritime unit can be remodified according to the requirements of the buyer. Let’s take a look at the customizing shipping containers guide to know the elements that can be modified:

1. Doors and Windows 

Cargo container doors are the most frequently modified elements in cargo boxes. In case, traders need frequent access to the container interior, they choose to modify the door to their preferred one like- the personnel door, roll-up door. Aside from access, if the goods are heavy and protruding, the buyer may decide to customize the gate for safe and easy loading and discharge of his goods.

2. Locks and Latches

Every maritime container door comes with its own locks and latches. In case, the door is modified, then there is a need to add new container locks and latches. Or, if the buyer is looking for custom shipping containers to safely transport highly valuable items, the buyer may choose to add more security systems like crossbars, lockboxes, etc.

3. Floor 

Shipping container floors are also requested to be modified for further leverage. Previously, only plywood sheets that were made from hardwood trees were used. Now bamboo flooring is used as an environment-friendly and economic option for shipping container manufacturing.

China International Marine Containers (CIMC), China in partnership with Hapag Lloyd came up with steel sheet-made ‘weight neutral’ flooring.

Another most common re-modification for old shipping containers is fork-lift pockets. Most of the new shipping containers have fork-lift pockets on the side I-beams of the steel floor structure. These fork-lift pockets are necessary for the easy lifting of heavy boxes.

4. Insulation

Maritime units are made of corten steel with high-temperature retention capability. They reflect the extreme form of external temperature whether heat or cold. Insulation is often the most important requirement for traders to maintain the goods’ condition during transport. There are insulated containers available. But, in the case of additional insulation requirements, there are different types of insulation like blanket insulation, spray insulation, etc.

Blanket insulation provides a cost-effective insulation option where different materials like sheep wool, fiberglass, rock wool, etc. are used. But, blanket insulation provides low-quality temperature control.

For more temperature control, spray foam insulation is a better option to work in a harsh or cold atmosphere.

5. Paint

Painting in freight units is not only for aesthetic purposes. The freight boxes get treated to primer and several coats of paint to prepare them for harsh weather and heavy handling. Paint acts as a layer of protection from the weather, rust, or pest for wooden flooring. New cargo containers come in top condition and intact painting.

But, if someone opts for buying used shipping containers, they often come with rust or faded color. Often time container traders have to treat rust, dent, or damage and repaint them for added protection to the cargo.

6. HVAC System

Cargo units are made of Corten Steel which is known as weathering steel as well. This steel alloy not only has high heat retention capacity but also acts to repel rust or corrosion. High-temperature retention will mean extreme heat, shipping container condensation, or dampness inside the box that might damage the quality of goods inside. Comprehensive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) modifications are needed for goods that need controlled temperature.

To repel moisture and damp ventilation that allows better airflow, ventilation is often refurbished in the shipping units. Sometimes the interior needs to be dry and cool, in that case, air conditioning is added. For example, goods like vaccines will need to be kept at a cool temperature to retain their medicinal quality. Some goods may lose their desired purpose if they freeze in extremely cold weather. HVAC is an extremely popular modified element for cargo units.

7. Electricity and plumbing

Electricity and plumbing are in demand for HVAC systems, lighting, or security modification in the cargo units. But, plumbing modification needs extra care in winter to ensure proper function or they might burst in cold temperatures.

8. Ramp and Wheel

Ramps and wheels are added for easy mobility, cargo loading, and discharge. These days, ramps and wheels have become very popular for the ease they provide.

What are the things to be considered after modification?

Newly manufactured maritime units are attached with the CSC plate certification to approve it for transportation. But after modification, the old CSC plate is no longer valid. For traders, it is necessary to get their freight box approved with CSC standards, after modification. Otherwise, it may not be deemed to be safe for transport.

With this, customizing shipping containers guide, you might have got a full idea about all things that go into customization. So, if you are looking for a container that suits your need perfectly without further modification, BOXXPORT is here to help you. We are a stellar shipping container company that provides comprehensive container solutions. Whether you are looking to buy new shipping containers or sell old shipping containers, we are ready with our industry expertise to bring the best to you anywhere in the world.