The Optimal Foundations for Shipping Containers (Part One)


Investigating Best Foundations for Shipping Containers


Upon purchasing a shipping container, establish a delivery schedule and secure its arrival by tilt-bed or flat-bed truck. One often overlooked detail is the container's final position and the suitability of its foundational support.


For short-term usage, leave the container on its initial site, provided it's a smooth, stable, and level surface. This applies, for example, when buying shipping containers to transfer household items to a new home over a weekend.


However, if the container's longevity is planned for weeks, months, or even years at the same location, sufficient foundation is essential.


Continue reading to understand why foundations are crucial for shipping container placement and which types intersect optimally with shipping container parking.


Why Is a Foundation So Important for a Shipping Container?

Avoid Container Sinking

Primarily, a foundation stabilizes a shipping container against sinking deeper into the earth. Envision a shipping container as massive – an empty 20ft one weighs 5,181 lbs, while a 40ft one is a whopping 8,267 lbs. The weight Notably escalates when you load cargo or other materials inside. For instance, filling your shipping container with water could result in more than 5,000 gallons – or 41,000 lbs.


The Possibility of Ground Unfitness to Support Container Weight is often overlooked. Unless the ground is sheer, the bottom of your container might sink over time. Your region's soil texture can amplify this challenge. For instance, areas with high clay content may present problems. Clay is moist and soft and exhibits swelling/contraction with fluctuating temperatures and precipitation, causing the container bottom to settle. Evaluate your territory’s soil composition before placing the container on the ground.


Ensure Evenness of Container

Excellence in maintaining the evenness of your shipping container is pivotal to preventing significant structural displacement and warpage over time. Consequently, selecting an appropriate foundation significantly affects this result.

Displacement and warping can trigger severe structural issues. A shifted main door's frame can compromise normal door operation. Uneven floors, walls, and roofs are possible. When shipping containers are modified into multilevel structures, displacement can lead to irregular levels. Windows and doors could also malfunction. In severe cases, your container structure could lose its structural stability necessitating extensive renovations for restoration of its integrity.


Minimize Container Corrosion

An adequate foundation can mitigate corrosion on the base of the shipping container. How? Certain types of foundations can elevate the container's underside, preventing groundwater contact and rust formation. Others can erect a robust barrier between the container and its surroundings, effectively preventing groundwater contact with its base.


Corrosion can detrimentally affect the container's durability, and intense corrosion can facilitate wall damage and leaks.


Choosing a Foundation for Your Shipping Container

This decision hinges on the intended duration of your shipping container's location. For temporary stays, a short-term solution suffices. If your intention is for permanent placement, a long-term approach would be necessary.


Consider variables such as soil type, regional climate, and funding constraints. Consult a seasoned professional contractor or structural engineer for informed recommendations on the suitable foundation.