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Packing a Shipping or Storage Container

07.03.2022 - Posted by Updated On 07.03.2022    

Shipping and storage containers, whether being used for intermodal shipping, domestic moving, or as a storage unit, can be loaded with a lot of things; and you load them with even more things if they're loaded properly.  If you load a container properly you'll be able to fit more into it, and it will be easier to access should you need to retrieve anything.  When loading a shipping or storage container it is best practice to start by loading items in order of largest to smallest.  Below are a couple of basic guidelines:

Furniture:  Start by loading items like large appliances and furniture first.  These items are best placed along the front wall, on the end away from the doors.  Once you have all of these items loaded it's a good idea to cover them with plastic, heavy moving quilts, or sleeping bags.  This insulation will keep dust and dirt off your furniture, while protecting them from damage during transit or storage.  If you have more than one mattress, load the mattresses along the sidewalls of the container, and reserve one mattress for the very end, and load it against the door to protect your last items from damage and falling out when the doors are opened.

Boxes:  When loading cardboard or moving boxes, give extra attention to make sure the boxes are as full as possible; this will keep your items from moving around and possibly breaking.  When the cardboard boxes are full and ready to be loaded into the container, load the heaviest boxes first and the lighter boxes on the top of them.

Extra Room and Empty Space:  If you have your container loaded and have extra room that isn't being used, try and fill the space with extra items to prevent your boxes from moving and shifting around during transport.  You can use “filler” items, such as pillows, couch cushions, even a bean bag would work well.

Tie Downs:  Shipping containers come equipped with several tie downs on the floor and walls.  Tying off your boxes and furniture will provide additional security that your items will not shift around during transit.  Nylon rope or ratchet straps work the best.

If you're using your shipping container as a storage unit that you won't be moving from one location to another, the practices outline above are still good advice.  The only amendment to make in the process would be to leave a walk way down the middle, so that you can still access items throughout the entire container.  Also, if your container is going to be in a damp or humid location leaving an open bag of cat litter will help to manage the moisture.

Using a shipping container for storage or moving is a great way to keep your goods secure while either storing them for later use, or while they are in transit from one location to another.  Shipping containers are readily available in most every major city around the United States and can deliver them almost any location where you might need it.  To learn more, search for a container on or contact our staff to help find the container that best meets your needs.

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