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Shipping Container Delivery Tips

30.08.2013 - Posted by Updated On 30.08.2013    

So you’ve decided to buy a shipping container, and now you need to start planning the delivery.  In many cases, the company selling the container has either their own trucks for delivery, or contacts in the immediate area of the depot that can help get the container to you.  If they don’t provide logistical support, keep reading and makes notes on all of the points below as you’ll need to answer these questions when talking to a trucking company or driver.

Is Unloading Equipment Available?

In most cases the container will be loaded onto a truck at the container yard or depot by a forklift or some other container handling equipment, so you don’t need to worry about that end of the arrangement.   Containers are commonly delivered on three types of trailers – chassis, flat beds and tilt beds.

Container chassis and flat beds are typically the most cost effective way to transport a container, as the trucks are more common and in some cases you can find a good deal on a back haul load.  However, if your container is arriving on a flatbed you’ll need a forklift or crane onsite to unload the container off of the truck.  If you don’t have a forklift or crane on site you’ll need to have the container delivered on a tilt bed trailer.

Tilt bed trailers and Landoll trailers have the ability to lower the end of the trailer to the ground and the container falls off under a controlled slide, most times assisted by a winch.

Landoll Container Delivery

Where Is the Container Going?

The driver will need to know if the container is going to a commercial or residential location, how much room is available to navigate the area, and if it’s a simple drop or the container needs to be lowered onto some type of foundation or target area.

When delivering a container, a basic rule of thumb is that you’ll need twice the length of the container.  If you’re having a 40’ container delivered, you’ll need every bit of 80’ so the truck can pull out from under the container without having to drive over, or anything important or immobile (like a tree or wall).

Planning, Scheduling, and other Details

As with most things in life, it’s well advised to plan your container delivery out in advance and be prepared when it arrives.  Plan out how long it will take to prepare your site, schedule the delivery, and then focus on getting the site prepared.

Site Preparation is important to plan out when you’re buying a container.  Depending on the compaction of the ground and how long the container will be on the site, you make want to make special accommodations for the container.

First and foremost, no matter how long the container will be on-site the surface where it will sit must be level.  If it’s not level it could lead to the container falling out of square, or “racking”.

If the container is going to be in one place permanents, or more than 5-6 months, it’s a good idea to put some type of foundation or support underneath it that will allow for drainage and breathing.  Some people use railroad ties to keep the container a few inches off the ground; others use a simple stone bed.  If you’re feeling ambitions you can build concrete footers or a concrete pad.

Shipping container delivered to cleared site

You should try to be at the location on the day that your container is due to be delivered.  Unless you have a forklift or heavy equipment on-site, once the container is on the ground you’re not going to be able to move it without assistance.  If you can help direct the driver to the proper location you’ll be doing yourself a big favour.

Container Delivery Resources

There are several great sites on the internet that can help you find a way to get your container delivered, but unless you know specifically what to search for they may be elusive.

  • If you have unloading equipment available, Drayage.com is a good place to start.  Find your state and city and look for the abbreviation “CH”, which means the company has chassis available.
  • uShip.com can provide results, but it can be expensive depending on where you’re located and the drivers available in the area.
  • ContainerAuction.com sellers are a great place to start.  On every listing page you can contact the seller directly and inquire about delivery costs and scheduling.

If you have any questions or are unable to find a driver in your area for any reason we invite you to contact staff at ContainerAuction.com.  Chances are they know someone in your area that can help, or point you towards local resource that can help.  Before you contact anyone, you’ll save a of time if you have the answers to 1) Is unloading equipment available, 2) Where is the container going, 3) When do you need it to be on the ground, and what does the ground look like?  With those three questions answered you’ll be well on your way to a quick, hassle free delivery.



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