Important points that are further explained below are:

  • Container selection
    • 60 mm tubing60 mm Square Tubing
    • proper corrugations style
    • condition required by municipality or inspector

Mini Containers

International vs Domestic Containers

Ocean-going containers are all 8' wide which is the width of a container vessel slot. Ocean going containers are utilized on roads, rail and ship which allow them to transport internationally. Ocean-going containers include both standard and high cube versions of 20', 40', and 45'. Containers must have a valid CSC plate in order to sail with cargo. One time use containers come with a valid CSC for a duration of 5 years before re-inspection is required.  

You will notice some containers (48's and 53's) are 6" wider (8'6" wide outside). These are domestic containers meaning they stay in North America and only used on roads and rail. The extra 6" of width is huge for some modifications that require over 8' of interior width. The 53' steel, non-insulated and aluminum insulated both provide 8'2" width inside. For storage purposes, this provides the ability to store two 4' pallets side by side, two ATVs side by side and the extra 6" is often the difference of being able to get out of a vehicle stored inside versus having to crawl out of a window or the trunk. 

Manufacture Types - Container Selection for Your Next Mod Project

Container design for the most part has become standardized where most manufacturers' finished products look pretty much identical. Container Modification World products are designed after the most common container type. If you are shopping for a container to modify and pan to use our kits, ensure the container you purchase has the following:

  1. a 60 mm square tubing running the length of the container along the top of the corrugations.
  2. corrugations that are 11" o/c (actually 10 15/16" or __mm) similar to Figure A. below

Conversely, what you do not want buy is a container with the flat bar running the length of the container welded to the top of the corrugations and the Hanjin style corrugations similar to Figure B. below.

Even if this seems confusing to yourself as the consumer, the two varying types should be common knowledge to your container retailer. If your retailer doesn't know the difference, they likely do not have much experience in the industry and you might want to continue to call around. Often the cheapest supplier is not the best supplier. Be careful of non-local container traders that are just looking to move inventory and do not have a yard with inventory, forklifts and the ability to repair units if they arrive damaged. 

Container Conditions

Containers range in condition and industry standard terminology typically includes the following types of conditions:

  • As Is
  • Wind & Water Tight
  • Cargo Worthy
  • IICL5 or IICL6
  • One Time Use (OTU)

Many local municipalities or inspectors require the use of OTU condition containers for varying reasons. In California, you are required to provide assurance that no hazardous materials were shipped in the container during it's maiden voyage from China. Other municipalities require it for cosmetic reasons. Often, engineers will require OTU condition containers be used in container builds to ensure previous damage has not affected the container structure.

These are only a few examples and the important lesson here is that you do not want to spend thousands of dollars modifying a container only to find out afterwards it does not pass inspection or code. 

 Benefits to Used

Benefits to New

Cost savings

Not dented, rusty or structurally damaged


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