The Ultimate Guide To Metal Storage Containers

Storage containers are a market that is growing at a rate of around 12% per year. This steady and serious growth is thanks largely to people waking up to how useful they can be outside of the docks.

Metal storage containers are multifunctional storage spaces that come in various sizes and shapes and can have a vast array of uses. You can utilize them in commercial, industrial, and even residential settings.

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The containers are made from industrial-grade reinforced steel and can reliably be used to transport sensitive goods across long distances through cargo ships. Their durability also allows clever companies into portable offices and mobile homes.

Of course, as the name suggests, they also make great extra storage for businesses or homes. In fact, this has quickly become one of their primary uses. Construction companies in particular benefit from using them on-site to store materials and tools or even use them as an office.

We’re going to take a deep dive into the different types of containers so you can figure out which will suit your job site best. Read on to find out more.

Types of Metal Storage Containers

Metal storage containers come in different structural models, construction types, dimensions, and materials. Each of these different types of metal shipping containers suits particular purposes. Here are a few different types of containers:

Standard Container

These are general-purpose containers, also referred to as dry storage containers. These are the most commonly used types of containers. They have an enclosed construction that helps protect the inside contents from wind, water, and harsh weather conditions.

These containers usually come in the standard ISO sizes, which are 10ft., 20ft., 24ft., and 40ft. You can invest in customizing the container to improve security and functionality. You can do this by adding shelves, ripe racks and installing high-security locks.

Flat-Rack Container

Flat-rack containers have walls on either side that you can fold out to create a level surface if you’re shipping oversized objects like large vehicles, machines, or construction equipment. Even though the end walls may look flimsy, these are highly stable and can easily secure up to 45 tons of cargo.

These are great to move into a hard-to-reach section and expand upon arrival on a construction site.

Open-Top Container

Open top containers are similar to standard containers. However, the key difference here is that the top of the container is removable, which makes it suitable for shipping and handling overheight cargo.

These open-top containers are perfect for getting equipment, machinery, and bulky objects you your job site that can’t fit through doors. You can load them in using a crane through the top.

Tunnel Container

These storage containers are similar to the standard size containers as well; however, these containers are longer in length, hence the name. These containers have doors on both ends and are perfect for quick loading and unloading for smaller goods, or you can utilize them to store products with long lengths.

These are great to store one type of material in one end and a different type in the other. As they have two doors, it’s simple to access both ends.

High-Cube Container

High-cube metal storage containers are taller than general-purpose containers. They measure 2.89m of 9ft. 6in height where standard containers are 2.59m or 8ft. 6in tall. The slight seeming height increase adds around 344cu ft in its storage capacity.

High-cube, metal shipping containers can store large machines, vehicles, and equipment. These containers can also give you some extra headspace if utilizing these as a portable office.

Open-Side Container

These containers have a hinged door at the sides, which gives more accessibility to enter the container from the side. This is very useful for wide equipment that can’t fit through the doors of a standard container.

Reefer Container

A reefer container can store and transport different types of temperature-sensitive cargo like fruits, vegetables, and meat. These refrigerated container units need to utilize an external power supply to power a cooling unit to regulate the container’s temperature. If your construction site requires chemicals kept below a certain temp, these could be the ticket.

Insulated Container

These are very similar to refrigerated reefer containers as they contain a controlled space that can withstand a fluctuating temperature. Their functionality resembles that of an insulated vacuum flask which makes them perfect for long-distance transportation of goods like chemicals to your work site.

Half-Height Container

As the name implies, half-height containers have a low centre of gravity, allowing them to carry heavier loads while staying more stable than tall containers. Because of this, these containers are used to transport dense, heavy goods like stones, coal, and other minerals.

Tank Container

Tankers have a strong steel reinforced body made with specialized anti-corrosive metals, and they are used to transport industrial liquids safely. These containers are filled only up to 80% of their capacity, and they keep the contents safe to prevent spills.

Difference Between New and Used Conex Boxes

The reinforced steel construction of the storage containers gives them a very long life of around 30 years. This means, depending on your use, you can find either a new or a used shipping container. Or, you can rent one from us.

New Metal Storage Containers

Usually, the newest containers you can find are called one-trip shipping containers. They are almost as good as new and only used a few times with virtually no wear and tear. If you need to find containers that look as good as new, one-trip containers should be your top priority.

New containers are often used in construction as these shipping containers make perfect portable offices and homes. These containers are highly durable, and they come in one colour which makes them easy to customize and do modifications.

Most of the one-trip containers are retired after a single trip which means there’s almost no chance of chemical contamination in these containers.

Used Metal Storage Containers

Used containers will have signs of wear and tear as they may have small dents, scratched paint, or rust, which can slightly diminish their aesthetics. However, these containers can be up to 50% cheaper than buying a new or a one-trip container. You can also hire a maintenance service to shine up these containers, which can help improve their aesthetics greatly.

These used containers have seen a lot of use. Over several trips, they may have transported toxic materials, so it is not recommended to use them for building living areas or portable offices.

Container Dimensions

As we briefly mentioned, standard shipping containers come in different ISO sizes. These are 10ft., 20ft., 24ft., and 40ft. All standard storage containers have similar height and width, but they can vary in length.

10ft. Shipping Container

The relatively small size of the 10-foot containers helps them take minimal space, which can help tackle space limitations in industrial sites. The portable containers can easily fit in small spaces like driveways or parking lots. These containers are generally used in construction sites, malls, schools, and hospitals.


Interior: 9ft. 4in Lenght x 7ft. 8in Width x 7ft. 10in Height

Exterior:10ft. 0in Lenght x 8ft. 0in Width x 8ft. 6in Height

20ft. Shipping Container

These are twice the length of the 10ft. containers and can be ideal for mid-size storage for commercial purposes. Some companies also use these to create storage sheds and garages.


Interior: 19ft. 4in Length x 7ft. 8in Width x 7ft. 10in Height

Exterior: 20ft. 0in Length x 8ft. 0in Width x 8ft. 6in Height

24ft. Shipping Containers

These can be utilized when the 20ft. containers are too small, and you can’t go for the expensive 40ft. Option. These are used to store large equipment efficiently.


Interior: 23ft. 5in Length x 7ft. 8in Width x 7ft. 10in Height

Exterior: 24ft. 0in Length x 8ft. 0in Width x 8ft. 6in Height

40ft. Shipping Containers

These containers are the largest size and therefore provide the most internal space. They are extremely durable, thanks to their high-strength steel construction.

These are ideal for storing heavy equipment and excess inventory at large sites. They’re often stacked when companies are working on very big jobs.


Interior: 40ft. 0in Length x 8ft. 0in Width x 8ft. 6in Height

Exterior: 40ft. 0in Length x 8ft. 0in Width x 8ft. 6in Height

Rent or Buy Metal Storage Containers

Renting a container can be much more expensive in the long term than finding and buying metal storage containers for sale. If you only need a metal storage container temporarily, renting them can be a good option. However, if you need shipping containers for the long term, it’s best just to buy them.

If you’re looking to use the container for storage, you can look at buying a used container. However, we recommend getting a new container for a portable site office or break room.

Steel Storage Containers for Your Site

Metal storage containers can offer great solutions to several storage problems. They can even transport your goods to the site inside them and then stay. Containers are available in several sizes and types, and you should easily be able to find one that suits your needs.

Feel free to contact us at Seamaster Maritime & Logistics, and we will help you find the best containers that suit your needs without breaking the bank. Contact us today to get a quote.

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