The inside of a shipping container looking outward; light is shining in from the opening.

How to Open & Close a Cargo Shipping Container

As the Northeast’s premier shipping container experts, we’re always looking to give our customers more information. And if you’re planning to invest in shipping containers for sale in CT or another nearby location, you probably have quite a few questions on your mind. Shipping container doors aren’t like standard garage doors, so one of the first questions we tend to get from new customers is about opening and closing shipping containers. 

  • “How do I open and close my shipping container?”
  • “Is it difficult to learn how to open a shipping container?”
  • “How can I keep my container secure?”

Don’t worry. We’ve got answers to all of your burning shipping container questions! Here’s what you need to know about opening and closing shipping containers.

Opening Your Container

  1. Begin by identifying how many handles are on the container. The majority of storage units have two doors, but the number of handles can vary. Most doors have either one or two handles.
  1. Unlock any locking mechanisms on both the right and left-hand doors, then lift up the latch (or multiple latches) that block the handle(s). From there, allow the handles to go slack.
  1. If there’s only one handle, firmly pull out the handle and pull the doors open. You may need to open the left door first, or you may need to start with the right. See what works for your individual container.
  1. If there are two handles, pull out the handles at the same time and swing the door open. If you don’t pull both handles at the same time, you will have a very hard time opening the door.

Closing Your Container

To close shipping container doors properly, just follow the above procedure but in reverse. If there’s only one handle, you can pull it out and shut the door, and if there are two, you’ll need to turn both at once. Also, remember to close the doors in the correct order. If you opened the right door first, close the left door first (and vice versa).

Troubleshooting Issues

Shipping containers aren’t designed to be difficult to open, but there can be occasional issues that arise. Here are some common problems that you might experience while opening or closing a shipping container:

  • The doors are difficult to open or open unevenly: Check if the door frames are misaligned by examining both the top and bottom of the container.
  • The doors are making strange noises: You might have corroded hinge pins or blades. Look into anti-rust products or replace the hinges.
  • The doors feel “jammed” when you go to open them: The door gasket might be damaged. A damaged gasket can easily block entry into the container.
  • The doors won’t open at all. Check for ice trapped between the doors, especially if you deal with refrigerated products or the weather is cold. If there is no ice, the door may be rusted shut.

Contact LGI Transport for Shipping Containers Today

Interested in purchasing your own new or used shipping container? Whether you’re transporting or storing your company’s inventory or building your own shipping container storm shelter, LGI Transport has the perfect selection of containers to choose from. Contact us today to get started!