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Shipping Container Spec Sheets

09.07.2017 - Posted by Updated On 09.07.2017    

If you're building something out of shipping containers, occasionally an engineer or area planning commission will require a spec sheet (short for specifications). The question comes back to the staff at a couple of times a week wanting to know what exactly they want, and where can a spec sheet be found.

What is a Shipping Container Spec Sheet?

A spec sheet is a set of documents that specifically label out the specifications of the container. From simple things like length, width, and height, the rate weight of the container and its gross capacity and stacking height. It can also get very technical by explaining the materials that make up the flooring and tolerances of the internal dimensions.

shipping container spec sheet
The engineer or building code enforcer typically asks for this so they can be sure that the building constructed from the shipping containers is safe and won't collapse on those inside of it. Similar to a wooden frame house, the building inspector reviews the plans and issues a permit before construction starts so that he's confident that it's habitable.

Where Can I Get a Shipping Container Spec Sheet?

This isn't always a clear question to answer. Most used containers are sold into the secondary market at 12-15 years or older, and have been bought and sold many times over through mergers and sale/leaseback agreements. Finding the original owner that still has the original documentation would be very time consuming. New shipping containers are typically one way trip containers and since most containers are manufactured in batches, it would require the unit number to find out when it was made, where it was made, and who it was made for.

If you're searching for a spec sheet, you'll probably find that most companies, either shipping lines or leasing companies, typically don't go out of their way to provide these. It's time consuming to locate, and they could have “trade secrets” as to how their containers are manufactured. If you can avoid the requirement for your project it's strongly advised. is an online marketplace for new and used shipping containers of all standard, ISO, sizes. Occasionally some domestic use sizes, such as a 53' show up, but it's rare as most of the active sellers specialize in overseas shipping. If you have a question about a specific container feel free to contact the seller directly through the listing page, or if you have a general question about containers you're welcome to contact directly.

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