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How to Keep a Shipping Container Cool

14.07.2019 - Posted by Updated On 14.07.2019    

As a heatwave loosens its grip on the North Eastern United States going into the summer, it's a good time to think about how to manage extreme heat that can build up in a shipping container. Most items stored in shipping containers can take the heat; such as grains, farming equipment, construction supplies, but some more sensitive things like wooden furniture, antiques, and other household goods may show some signs of damage from sitting in an unvented steel box when the outside temperatures soar into the high 90's or over 100 degrees. There are a couple of simple things that can be done to make sure that the container doesn't turn into a large steel oven.

Large Shipping Container Vents

shipping container vent Shipping containers come equipped with small breather vents on each end, but they're not designed to regulate heat and humidity. To adequately manage the elements of nature a larger vent would be required, however to have that factory installed would mean that the container wouldn't be suitable for long term, overseas shipping. Large shipping container vents can be purchased at and installed quickly with regular tools or even a cutting torch. They allow airflow, but prevent rain and animals from getting into the container.

Whirly Bird Vents

Whirly bird vents, or roof turbine vents, are typically installed on the roof and when the wind, or even a breeze, is blowing the provide air circulation into, or out of, the shipping container. They install roughly the same way, and with the same tools, as large shipping container vents, only on the top of the container. The downside to whirly birds is that they can sometimes allow rain into the container, either through the vent itself or if it's installed improperly it can leak around the base.


Insulating a shipping container requires a little more time and effort, but if you are willing to sacrifice some of the internal space of the container it can provide the year round benefit of cooler summers and warmer winters. The three most common ways to insulate a shipping container are rigid mineral board, spray foam insulation, or fiber glass insulation.
shipping container insulation

These are a sample of three of the most common ways to keep a shipping container cool. You could also install windows to allow for greater air circulation, an air conditioning unit, or just make sure to open the doors on a hot day. However, large container vents, whirly birds, and insulation all allow the container to maintain a higher level of security at a reasonable cost. is an online marketplace for buying and selling both new and used shipping containers of all sizes. Our active sellers have access to containers throughout the United States, and around the world. To find a shipping container in your area just search through the menu bar, or directly on the map. If you can't find a container in your area feel free to compete the request form and a seller will contact you directly.

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