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What are Shipping Containers Made of?

27.01.2020 - Posted by Updated On 27.01.2020    

On the surface, shipping containers are just big steel boxes that are moved around the world loaded with all different types of goods. And for the most part, that's correct. However, while that's correct there are components that go into shipping containers that can help to impact the price of both new and used shipping containers. Steel components make up most of the container, and most of the cost. Following steel is the plywood flooring and the paints.

Steel Components of a Shipping Container

CORTEN Steel: The sides of every dry shipping container are made up of CORTEN steel. This is a highly durable steel designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.

Square Tubes: The square tubes in a shipping container make up all of the frame on both ends, top and bottom rails of the container. They're the skeleton that holds it together.

High Grade Stainless Steel: HGSS makes up a very small part of shipping container components and cost (>1%), but should still be listed.

shipping container rolled steel

Plywood Flooring: The plywood flooring that goes into a shipping container is a hardwood, marine grade product that can handle impressive weights and a great amount of abuse. Due to the quality, the price of the flooring has an impact on the overall price of the container.

Paint Components of a Shipping Container

Zinc Rich Paint: The zinc rich paint is one of the more expensive paints used on a container, and it's the first coat applied. The adhesive qualities help the overall paint job to last much longer.

Epoxy Primer: The epoxy coat is a middle coat that helps to form a strong base to protect the container in all conditions.

Top Coat: Container top coats create the notable features of the container and help to create its brand identity.

Thinner: This is typically just a one shot blast to seal everything together, very inexpensive but very helpful.

Undercoat: Just as a car has an undercoating of paint applied at the factory, so do shipping containers. There's nothing very cosmetic about it, just an added layer of protection against nature

Door Hardware: As important as it is, the door hardware (handles, locking rods, etc.) make up a relatively small portion of the cost of the container.

Corner Casting: Corner castings are typically supplied by an outside vendor and tested for strength and durability by smashing, twisting, and cutting them open to check for imperfections.

In the past published an article on "Shipping Container Price Factors", all the above ingredients have an impact on price in varying degrees, and will later have an impact on the resale price when the container is off hired into use for storage or conversion projects. is an online marketplace for buying and selling both new and used shipping containers. Our sellers provide containers around the United States, and around the world. If you have any questions about a specific listing please contact the seller directly through the listing page.

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