Shipping container accessories are specialized components designed to enhance the functionality and efficiency of shipping containers. These accessories range from locks and shelving to ventilation and insulation. With the rise in popularity of container homes, offices, and pop-up shops, these add-ons have gained significance not only in the logistics industry but also among architects and home designers. 

Shipping container accessories

By leveraging these accessories, you can customize your containers to meet specific needs, ensuring safety, security, and optimal use of space. Understanding these accessories is crucial for anyone looking to modify or optimize their container’s potential.

#1. Wheels

Wheels
Source: Myteeproducts, zoro

Shipping container wheels are designed to facilitate the relocation or movement of shipping containers, whether empty or fully loaded, within on-site premises such as construction sites, warehouses, parking lots, or farms. They are not meant for public road use, ensuring safe and efficient transport within controlled environments​​.

Where to purchase:

Top material to look for:  Steel Construction, USA Steel

Benefits

  • Mobility: Facilitates easy relocation of containers.
  • Operational Efficiency: Enhances operational efficiency by saving time and resources required to move containers  
  • Ease of Installation: They are generally easy to install and require minimal tools​.
  • Damage Prevention: Helps in preventing damage to the ground surface and the container itself during movement​
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Offers a cost-effective solution to move containers without the need for heavy machinery or external help.

Estimated Product Cost: varies based on the type and quality of the wheels. 

Maintenance Tips:

  • Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect the wheels for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Lubrication: Ensure that the bearings are adequately lubricated to prevent friction and wear.
  • Cleaning: Keep the wheels clean from dirt and debris that could impede their function.

#2. Ramps

Ramps

Shipping container ramps are essential for creating a smooth transition between the ground and the container floor, facilitating the loading and unloading of goods using forklifts or hand trucks. They improve accessibility, especially for heavy or bulky items, ensuring a safer and more efficient operation.

Where to purchase: Discount Ramps, HD Ramps

Top materials to look for: Steel, Aluminum

Benefits

  • Improved Accessibility: Provides a level access point to the container, crucial for handling heavy goods​​.
  • Safety: Designed to securely sit on platforms, preventing accidents during use​.
  • Portability: Many ramps are portable and easy to install, allowing for versatile use across different locations and container setups​​.
  • Cost-effectiveness: A one-time investment in a durable ramp can save time and resources in the long run.

Estimated Product Cost: Varies depending on the size, material, and capacity of the ramp

Maintenance Tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep the ramp surface clean from debris, dirt, and grease to maintain traction and safety​​.
  • Inspection: Regularly inspect for any signs of wear, corrosion, or structural damage.
  • Anti-corrosion Treatment: If made of steel, anti-corrosion treatments can help extend the lifespan of the ramp.

#3. Door Locks

Door Locks sc

Shipping container door locks are crucial for ensuring the security of the contents within the container. They deter theft and unauthorized access and ensure that the goods inside remain secure during transport or while in storage​.

Where to purchase: Conexwest and USA Containers

Top materials to look for: Steel, Heavy-duty metal

Benefits

  • Security: Provides a robust barrier to unauthorized access.
  • Variety: Available in various types to suit different security needs and container specifications.
  • Ease of Use: Many lock types are designed for easy installation and operation.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Some locks, like truck seals, are more cost-effective and provide basic security​.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Lubrication: Regularly lubricate the locking mechanisms to ensure smooth operation and prevent rust​.
  • Inspection: Regularly inspect the locks for signs of wear, damage, or tampering.

#4. Door Hinges

Door Hinges

Shipping container door hinges are fundamental components that ensure the secure and efficient operation of container doors. They are specifically designed to handle the heavy loads and constant usage associated with shipping containers, ensuring that the doors open and close smoothly, thereby aiding in the protection and accessibility of the container contents​.

Where to purchase:

Top materials to look for: Stainless Steel, High-Strength Alloys 

Benefits

  • Strength and Durability: Built to endure the toughest conditions and support the weight of shipping containers.
  • Reliability and Low Maintenance: Engineered for reliability, it reduces the need for frequent maintenance or replacements.
  • Easy Installation: Designed for ease of installation, it is compatible with most container door configurations.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Their excellent resistance to corrosion makes them ideal for use in harsh marine or industrial environments​​. 

Maintenance Tips:

  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning is essential to remove crud build-up that binds the door and makes it difficult to move.
  • Lubrication: Lubricate the two hinge surfaces to maintain smooth operation and to keep crud from building up again​.

#5. Vents

Vents

Shipping container vents are essential accessories for maintaining good airflow and reducing the accumulation of heat and moisture within the container.They are crucial whether the container is used for storage or habitation, helping to maintain a comfortable interior atmosphere by allowing air to circulate, which in turn reduces heat and humidity levels inside the container

Where to purchase:

Top materials to look for: Metal, Aluminum, Polypropylene, Silicone

Benefits

  • Promotes better air circulation even in the absence of wind, which is particularly beneficial for removing excessive condensation from windows​​.
  • Helps in reducing the temperature inside the container, making it a safer and more comfortable environment for stored items or inhabitants​​.
  • Easy installation, as in the case of louvered vents, which require simple steps for fitting them onto the container.
  • Certain vents come with bug screens to keep out insects, providing an additional layer of protection​​.

Maintenance Tips:

  • It’s essential to keep the vents clean to ensure they function correctly. Regular cleaning of the container and its vents to remove dust, debris, and any blockages is advisable.
  • For containers used in humid or rainy climates, ensuring that the vents are clear of obstructions and in good working order is crucial to preventing condensation and the associated problems

#6. Shelves

Shipping container shelves serve as efficient organizational tools, transforming the interior of containers into well-arranged spaces that can hold a variety of items, from documents to heavy equipment. 

Where to purchase:

Top materials to look for: Metal, Wood, and plastic

Benefits

  • Versatility: They come in various types, like adjustable and removable shelves, catering to different storage needs.
  • Space Optimization: By installing shelves, more vertical space is utilized, thus increasing the storage capacity of the container.
  • Load Capacity: Some shelves have high load ratings, holding up to 550 pounds per arm, making them suitable for storing heavy items​.
  • Ease of Access: Organized shelves make it easier to locate and access items, saving time and effort.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Keeping the shelves clean and free from debris is essential for maintaining a well-organized space.
  • For metal shelves, especially in coastal areas, considering a rust-resistant coating or treatment is advisable to prevent corrosion.
  • For wooden shelves in humid climates, applying coats of polyurethane or varnish can protect the wood from humidity, mold, or rot. 

#7. Door Seal Gaskets

Shipping Container Door Seal Gaskets are crucial components designed to ensure a tight seal when the doors are closed, thereby protecting the contents from external elements such as water, dust, and pests.

Where to purchase: 

Top materials to look for: EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

Benefits

  • Protection: They provide a barrier against water, dust, and pests, ensuring the contents remain safe and dry.
  • Durability: EPDM is known for its excellent resistance to harsh weather conditions, and it’s used in various climates around the world​.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: EPDM is one of the most cost-effective materials used for door seals​.
  • Versatility: Available in different profile designs to fit a variety of container manufacturer’s door specifications.

Estimated Product Cost: The cost for shipping container door seal gaskets ranges from $110 to $230 depending on the supplier and the specific requirements of the gasket

Maintenance Tips:

  • It’s important to inspect the door seals regularly for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Replacing gaskets when necessary is crucial to maintain the integrity of the seal.

#8. Roll Up Doors

Roll-up doors enhance the ease and accessibility of entering a shipping container, making it significantly easier to access on a regular basis​​. They can be installed to replace the factory cargo doors or as an additional entry point on the side or end of the container.

Where to purchase:

Top materials to look for: Galvanized Steel

Benefits

  • Provide easier and more convenient access to the container’s interior.
  • Offer additional or alternative entry points to the factory cargo doors.
  • Save space as they roll up overhead, instead of swinging outwards like traditional cargo doors.
  • Can withstand heavy use and extreme weather conditions due to the durable material they are made of​.

Estimated Product Cost: The cost of a roll-up door for a shipping container is around $542.56

Maintenance Tips:

  • Maintaining the roll-up doors involves cleaning and lubricating the moving parts to prevent wear and tear. 
  • Utilizing commercial-grade cleaners to remove any dirt, grit, and rust, followed by lubricating the hinges and locking bars with a product like WD-40, is advisable.

#9. Window Kit

Shipping container window kits are essential accessories for those looking to convert their shipping containers into habitable spaces such as offices, homes, or storage rooms. They provide natural light and ventilation, which can make the space more comfortable and livable.

Where to purchase:

Top materials to look for: Galvanized steel

Benefits

  • Natural Light and Ventilation: Window kits provide a way to let natural light and fresh air into the container, making the space more comfortable.
  • Ease of Installation: Many window kits are designed for easy installation, with some even offering a weld-and-go or bolt-in option for those with little to no experience.
  • Security: Some window kits come with security bars, adding an extra layer of protection to your container space.
  • Customization: You can choose from a variety of window sizes and styles to suit your preferences and the aesthetics of your container.

Estimated Product Cost:Around $400 to over $500 per kit

Maintenance Tips:

  • Inspection and Touch-Up: Inspect the frame for scratches, dents, or any signs of corrosion. Touching up paint or treating the metal as necessary can prevent further degradation​.
  • Proper Installation: Ensuring that the window kit is installed correctly, following the manufacturer’s instructions, can prevent issues down the line

#10. Insulation

Insulating a shipping container is an essential process aimed at enhancing its thermal performance, thus regulating temperature, reducing energy consumption, and creating a comfortable living or working environment inside the container.

Where to purchase:

Top materials to look for: fiberglass, spray foam, rigid foam (polyurethane, polystyrene, or phenolic foam)

Benefits

  • Climate Control: Insulation provides climate control, protecting the interior from extreme outdoor temperatures​.
  • Energy Efficiency: By reducing heat transfer, insulation can lower energy consumption.
  • Moisture Resistance: Some insulation materials, like rigid foam, are resistant to moisture, which is crucial for preventing mold and mildew.
  • Sound Deadening: Certain materials, like polystyrene, also help in deadening sound​.

Estimated Product Cost: Range from $1,500 to $5,000 for a standard 20-foot container, depending on the material chosen and labor rates in the area.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Preparation: Before insulating, clean the container thoroughly and repair any damages like holes, rust, or dents.
  • Proper Installation: Correct installation is crucial; for instance, framing out the container provides a cavity for the insulation and a structure to secure internal walls.
  • Moisture Prevention: Installing a vapor barrier can help prevent moisture accumulation, enhancing the lifespan of your insulation.

#11. Roof Kit

Shipping container roof kits serve as economical and durable solutions to create sheltered spaces like garages, carports, or protected work/storage areas between two containers, shielding materials, machinery, and people from adverse weather conditions.

Where to purchase:

Top materials to look for: Galvanized steel and ultra-resistant PVC fabric

Benefits

  • Space Maximization: By installing a roof kit, you can significantly maximize the space between containers, converting it into a functional area for various purposes.
  • Longevity: Roof kits enhance the lifespan of your containers by protecting them from the elements.
  • Customization: Various models and sizes are available to fit 20-foot or 40-foot containers, with options to choose a suitable width between containers to match your needs​.
  • Protection: They provide protection from UV rays, rain, and snow, ensuring a safer and more comfortable environment.

Estimated Product Cost: range from $5,500 to $13,000. 

Maintenance Tips:

  • Avoid Excess Weight: Do not overload the roof, especially at the center, to prevent damage over time​.
  • Rust Treatment: At the slightest sight of rust, it’s crucial to treat it immediately. Rust can be easily cleared from the roof using sandpaper or a wire brush, helping to prolong the life and use of your shipping container​.
  • Install Gutters: Fitting the roof with gutters can also be beneficial to further protect the container​.

#12. Lighting

Shipping Container Lighting Solutions are designed to illuminate the interiors or exteriors of shipping containers, making them suitable for various applications such as offices, homes, storage spaces, or any other specialized use.

Where to purchase: LED Lighting Supply, USA Containers

Top materials to look for: LED

Benefits

  • Energy Efficiency: LED lights consume less energy compared to traditional lighting systems, reducing electricity costs.
  • Longevity: LED lights have a longer lifespan, often exceeding 50,000 hours of use.
  • Brightness: They offer bright and clear lighting, which is crucial for visibility and safety​.
  • Low Maintenance: LEDs require minimal maintenance and are less likely to need replacements.

Estimated Product Cost: Prices can vary based on the type and brand of lighting solution chosen. 

Maintenance Tips:

  • Keeping the lights clean and free from dust ensures they function correctly and maintain their brightness.
  • For solar-powered lights, ensuring the solar panels are clean and well-positioned to receive sunlight is crucial for optimal performance.

#13. Furniture

Shipping container furniture provides a unique, industrial-inspired look, drawing from the design aesthetics of cargo containers. They can be utilized in homes, offices, or other buildings, offering versatile solutions for those seeking a distinctive style. These pieces of furniture can serve various functions, from being simple decorative pieces to practical storage solutions

Where to purchase: Wayfair and AliExpress

Top materials to look for: Metal, Wood.

Benefits

  • Durability: These furniture pieces are built to last, with many designed to withstand heavy use and movement over time​.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: They add an industrial sophistication to any space, with their rugged yet sleek appearance stemming from repurposed shipping containers​.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Many pieces are upcycled or handmade, promoting sustainability.
  • Unique Storage Solutions: They offer stylish storage solutions, and their robust construction can handle a variety of items, thus enhancing home decor.

Estimated Product Cost: The cost can vary widely based on the design, materials, and where you purchase the furniture from

Maintenance Tips:

  • Regular cleaning and proper care, depending on the material used (e.g., rust prevention for metal pieces, varnish for wooden items), would be essential to maintaining the longevity and appearance of the furniture.

#14. Solar Panels

Solar panels for shipping containers are an innovative solution for generating electricity, particularly for off-grid applications. Solar panels provide a renewable energy solution for shipping containers. They are ideal for off-grid scenarios, powering lights, appliances, and other devices within the container. This is particularly beneficial for containers repurposed as homes, offices, or remote workstations.

Where to purchase: Bob’s Containers or BoxPower

Top materials to look for: Polycrystalline, Monocrystalline

Benefits

  • Renewable Energy Source: Harnessing solar power is eco-friendly and helps reduce carbon footprints​.
  • Cost-Savings: Over time, solar panels can significantly reduce electricity bills, providing a cost-effective power solution.
  • Self-Sufficiency: Ideal for remote locations, allowing for a degree of self-sufficiency in terms of energy supply​.
  • Easy Installation: Some kits are designed for easy DIY installation, making it a practical choice for many users.

Estimated Product Cost: The cost can range widely depending on the wattage and brand

Maintenance Tips:

  • Regular cleaning to remove dust and debris from the solar panels is crucial to maintaining their efficiency.
  • It’s advisable to have a professional periodically check the system to ensure it’s functioning correctly.

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