New Orleans Depot
888-310-6005
NODepot@nodepot.com

So you want a Shipping Container?

What makes shipping containers so appealing?

  • DIY- Do It Yourself
    • Place and Stack like children's blocks
    • Cut out the contractor
    • Create your own business niche
    • Lower your carbon footprint
  • A Premade Structure
    • Wind and Water Tight
    • Corrugated Steel Pattern
    • Industrial Strength and Look
    • Recyclable/Repurposable
  • Modular
    • Deliverable
    • Stackable
    • Modifiable
    • Cost Effective

Reasons for wanting a Shipping Container?

  • Storage
    • A used shipping container can be purchased for approximately the same as one year at a storage facility
    • Shipping containers are designed for ocean voyages and therefore offer protection from the elements
    • The steel structure of a shipping container is a theft deterrent and very secure
  • Dwelling
    • The design and structure of a shipping container offers a maximum usable interior space
    • Shipping containers are designed to be stacked offering the option of creating multi-level dwellings

What are the realities of Shipping Containers?

  • Used vs New Shipping Containers
    • A used shipping container is about half the cost of a new shipping container
    • Used shipping containers are dented with a high probability of holes/leaking and contaminant residue from shipping usage
    • New shipping containers have a complete inner and outer coating with no previous owner markings, dents, rust, etc.
    • New shipping containers offer a variety of consumer amenities such as waist high door handles, lock boxes, extra venting, doors on both ends, etc.
    • Note: New shipping containers are actually called 'One Trippers' and have performed at least one freight load to pay for transport
  • Modifications
    • Once a cutout larger than 2ft x 2ft on any of the side panels is performed, the vertical stability of the walls/rails decreases to the increase of the cutout
    • Shipping containers require a steel craftsman for welding/fitting, torch/plasma/abrasive cutting, etc.
    • Likewise, Industrial metal preparing and coating requires a similar sandblasting and painting craftsman
    • Deconstruction with the added new construction can roughly double the labor involved
  • Insulation
    • Steel is an excellent thermal conductor- the temperature inside the container can be much colder or hotter than the exterior temperature
    • The stability of the interior climate is greatly enhanced with proper temperature shielding on either interior, exterior or both
    • Likewise, insulation is a must for climate control systems
  • Utilities
    • Plumbing is usually difficult when trying to meet code for shipping container dwellings and is moderately hindered by the steel corrugated walls and subfloor cross members
    • Electricity is not as difficult when trying to meet code yet it may require added protective conduit
    • Mounting, plumbing and venting solutions are required for HVAC systems
  • Logistics
    • Delivery of shipping containers are performed by tilt bed trucks such as tow trucks for 20ft’s or Landoll’s for 20ft and longer containers. A 20ft shipping container delivery is less than the cost of shipping containers delivered by Landoll’s
    • Delivery by flatbed trucks without tilting capabilities requires a forklift or crane for removal. Important to note that 9.5ft tall shipping containers cannot be transported on a standard 4.5ft tall flatbed because the overall height would exceed 13.5ft- a step deck flatbed would be required
    • Shipping container placement is limited by the tilt delivery trucks- the longer the shipping container the more limiting
    • Exacting placement and stacking also requires lifting capabilities such as a forklift or crane
  • Size
    • All shipping containers are 8 feet wide
    • Standard shipping containers have two heights, 8.5 feet and 9.5 feet- the later more so with 40ft or longer shipping containers
    • Standard shipping containers have a variety of lengths- 10ft, 20ft, 40ft, 45ft, 48ft and 53ft. The most common are 20ft and 40ft

Are shipping containers right for your project?

  • Placement
    • As a rule, shipping containers without structural modifications only need to be supported at the four corners preferably 6 inches or higher to prevent standing moisture and rodents from housing in the floor cross members. Likewise, enough room should be allowed for sub structure plumbing
    • Tilt Bed delivery of shipping containers is limited to access, maneuverability, height and ground conditions. Cranes are required for exact positioning and stacking
    • Shipping containers should be stacked corner casting on top of corner casting. Juxtaposing a shipping container on another by placing a corner casting on a main rail, top or bottom, will most probably result in structural failure
  • Practicality
    • Shipping containers are designed to open, close and lock from the outside
    • Stacking other than corner casting to corner casting requires substantial reinforcements
    • Community ordinances may prohibit and permits may not be available
    • The delivery fee may be substantial over long distances
    • The availability of contractors and craftsmen familiar with steel workmanship is limited

What to believe?

Truth vs Myth

  • Myth- There are an abundance of cheap used shipping containers for sale
    The Steamship industry sells off aged and damaged containers to middlemen brokers who in turn add their respective costs/fees/markup/taxes to the retail market
  • Truth- Shipping containers make great storage facilities
    The shipping container concept is easily adaptable to personal and commercial storage
  • Truth- Shipping containers can be coverted into dwellings
    Single and multi-level dwellings are common place in european countries, militaries and industries
  • Myth- Modified shipping container dwellings are cheaper than conventional built dwellings
    The modified steel shipping container actually is higher in cost than a constructed dwelling of comparable size
  • Myth- Shipping containers are discarded and not recycled or repurposed
    The life of a shipping container spans steamship usage, the retail aftermarket and then metal recycling

Are you ready?

Dwelling Cost Considerations

  • Modifying or Remodeling per TEU (Twentyfoot Equivalent Unit)
    • Modifying a Shipping Container is more like Remodeling or Adding to an Existing Structure
    • The Cost to Remodel/Modify can be 1.5 to 2 times the Cost of TEU New Build
    • Realize your Cost Threshold
      • The overall Cost to Modify a TEU should be less than the Cost per TEU New Build
      • The added Modifications and Delivery may not justify the savings compared to TEU New Build
      • The Recycling Mindset will help you generate a Cost Threshold
        • "...may be cheaper overall, but a New Build makes more sense..."
        • "...is suffenciently cheaper overall, out-weighting a New Build..."
  • Foundations
    • Sub Structures such as Pilings, Concrete and Stairs cost the same
    • Positioning onto the foundation is an added cost unlike New Build
    • Connecting Mechanisms such as Steel Plates on top of the Piers are required
  • Transportaion
    • New Builds incorporate the shippings costs of building supplies in Price Per Square Foot
    • Remodeling/Modifying Costs do not include Delivery or Positioning Fees
    • The purchase site transportation fees increase with distance

Find a shipping container to purchase

  • The Search
    • Browse the internet
    • Google Maps
    • Craig's List
    • Yellow pages
    • Ask around
    • If you are in the New Orleans region, call or visit us
  • The Find
    • First, the roof- No rust or puncture holes, Domed upward
    • Second, the floor- No patchwork, No heavy delamination, No unknown coating, Screws secure, No uneven planks, No downward bow
    • Third, the doors- No rust or puncture holes, Complete door gaskets, No tight door hinges or lock rods
    • Lastly, the walls- No flatened corrugation, No heavy rust or paint pealing
  • The Purchase
    • Consider delivery and taxes
    • If purchasing more than one, ask about a reduced rate per unit
    • Inquire about modifications
    • Do not purchase a used shipping container without inspecting first

Planning

  • Verify
    • Inform neighbors of your intentions
    • Check with local zoning commisions
  • Delivery
    • Figure out which way you want the doors to be facing
    • Make sure the delivery vehicle can manuver- clearance 10ft wide and 14ft high
    • Make sure the ground is suitable to support the heavy delivery vehicle
    • Place mounting blocks during delivery
    • Coordinate the delivery of the lift vehicle closely with the arrival of the containers
  • Position
    • Level the container once in position to keep the doors in alignment
    • Consider a solid foundation to mount the container
    • Position where the container entrances are visible from main access roads
    • Realise that the door lock rod cams need clearance to swing open
    • Check ordinances regarding structure placement close to property lines

20ft (8ft x 8.5ft) Dry Van Shipping Container

  • The 20ft Dry Van is the most common shipping container
  • Exact Exterior Dimensions:
    • Width: 95.875"
    • Height: 102"
    • Length: 238.50"
  • Exact Interior Dimensions:
    • Width: 93"
    • Height: 94", (Door Header: 90")
    • Length: 235"
  • The Rectangular Steel Frame is the Core Structure
    • 8- Cast Steel Corner Blocks
    • Top Rails are usually 10 gage Steel Tubing
    • Bottom Rails are 10 gage Shaped Steel Plate
    • Corner Posts are 1/4" Shaped Steel Plate
    • All steel components are welded together
  • The Panels are welded to the Core Frame
    • 16 gage Steel Corrugated Side Panels are roll formed
    • 16 gage Steel Corrugated Roof Panels are press formed
    • 15 gage Steel Corrugated End Panels are also roll formed
    • Bottom Rails and Sub Floor Cross Members are 10 gage Shaped Steel Plate
    • Corner Posts are 1/4" Shaped Steel Plate
  • The Doors provide Static Structure and Entry
    • Forged Steel Hinges with hardened 1/2" Steel Pins
    • 16 gage Steel Corrugated Panels and Tubing comprise the Doors
    • Galvanized Steel Lock Rod Tubes have Cam Mechanisms, Lock Handles and Mount Bearings
    • When closed, the Doors provide the same static reinforcement as the welded Front Panel for the Core Frame
  • The Floor is the Base of the Core Frame
    • 14- 10 gage Steel C and Z Shape Crossmembers
    • 2- 10 gage Steel Fork Lift Tunnel Crossmembers
    • 6- 21 ply/1.125" thick Treated Plywood

40ft (8ft x 9.5ft High Cube) Dry Van Shipping Container

  • The 40ft High Cube Dry Van is the second most common shipping container
  • Exact Exterior Dimensions:
    • Width: 95.875"
    • Height: 114"
    • Length: 479.875"
  • Exact Interior Dimensions:
    • Width: 93"
    • Height: 106", (Door Header: 102")
    • Length: 476"
  • The Rectangular Steel Frame is the Core Structure
    • 8- Cast Steel Corner Blocks
    • Top Rails are usually 10 gage Steel Tubing
    • Bottom Rails are 10 gage Shaped Steel Plate
    • Corner Posts are 1/4" Shaped Steel Plate
    • All steel components are welded together
  • The Panels are welded to the Core Frame
    • 16 gage Steel Corrugated Side Panels are roll formed
    • 16 gage Steel Corrugated Roof Panels are press formed
    • 15 gage Steel Corrugated End Panels are also roll formed
    • Bottom Rails and Sub Floor Cross Members are 10 gage Shaped Steel Plate
    • Corner Posts are 1/4" Shaped Steel Plate
  • The Doors provide Static Structure and Entry
    • Forged Steel Hinges with hardened 1/2" Steel Pins
    • 16 gage Steel Corrugated Panels and Tubing comprise the Doors
    • Galvanized Steel Lock Rod Tubes have Cam Mechanisms, Lock Handles and Mount Bearings
    • When closed, the Doors provide the same static reinforcement as the welded Front Panel for the Core Frame
  • The Floor is the Base of the Core Frame
    • 10 gage Steel C and Z Shape Crossmembers
    • 1/4" Steel Gooseneck Tunnel at Front End
    • 21 ply/1.125" thick Treated Plywood

Skirt Adaptor

  • 6" or 12" High by 20ft, 30ft or 40ft Long
  • Uses:
    • Mounting Platform
    • Stacking
    • Decking
    • Juxtaposing
  • Sub-Floor or Ceiling Plumbing, Venting, etc.

Corner Casting Lock

  • Universal Lock
  • Connecting Uses:
    • Container to Container
    • Container to Skirt
    • Skirt to Skirt
  • Once tightened, welding is also an option

Base Mount

  • Base Mount Lock
  • Connecting Uses:
    • Metal Substrate to Container Casting
    • Concrete Substrate to Container Casting
    • Wood Substrate to Container Casting
  • For Steel Substrate, welding is an option

Modifications

Configurations

Terminal New Orleans Depot is an Off Port Shipping Container Terminal

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Terminal Evans Delivery, NOLA is our Intermodal Agency

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