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Shipping Container Foundations: Wood Frame

14.08.2023 - Posted by Updated On 04.09.2023    

Shipping being used for long term, single location residential or commercial storage containers can gain a few extra years of life if they're put on some type of foundation. A foundation will keep the container off the damp ground and typically allow for some airflow or dead air space to expedite the drying process.

In the past we discussed concrete footing foundations, and simple railroad ties to lift the container off the ground. However, if you;e in a higher traffic area, or a place where your container will be in sight of neighbors you might want to put together something that looks nicer than railroad ties, but perhaps not as involved as digging big holes and pouring concrete. One good alternative that is both cost effective and easy to install is a wood frame foundation.

A wood frame foundation can be constructed of pressure treated 4x4 lumber, and should be built to match the footprint of the container, in our picture it’s a 20’ container so the frame needed to be 20' long, by 8' wide. While you can put some additional joists across the middle for additional support, it's not totally necessary because containers carry all of their weight in the frame. If there is any un-level ground the frame should be built out so it's completely level. If the container is set on an uneven foundation it can cause the frame to twist and fall out of frame, then the doors will become very difficult to open and close.

wood foundation for a shipping container
Once the frame is constructed and in place, the truck can be scheduled to drop off the container. Be sure and tell the driver in advance the doors must be facing a specific direction. If it's on a tilt bed, the truck will pull out from underneath the container and if either side is obstructed the doors could be facing the wrong way on the foundation.

The retail sellers on help to provide both commercial and residential buyers with new and used shipping containers around the United States and Canada, as well as other parts of the world. In most markets in the United States, if you purchase a shipping container and need it set on a specific foundation, the seller can help you coordinate the details with a local trucking or towing company. Be sure and ask in advance to make sure, and be as specific as possible to guarantee a smooth delivery.

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