stacked shipping containers

Your Guide to Stacking Shipping Containers

Are you trying to stack two or more shipping containers? You might have a large-scale shipping container operation on your hands, or you might just be an individual consumer who wants to know how to best stack our shipping containers for sale in Connecticut. No matter why you want to know the best practices for shipping container stacking, the same general guidelines apply. Read on to learn how to stack shipping containers safely and easily!

Put Safety First

Before you even begin the process of shipping container stacking, everyone who is going to be involved should be informed of safety standards and expectations. Moving around thousands of tons of metal is a dangerous job. One simple mistake can have fatal consequences. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Use only the proper equipment for the job. This is not the time to try creative DIY or makeshift solutions.
  • Do not exceed load weight or extension limits while operating machinery under any circumstances.
  • Only work with trained and licensed forklift and crane operators.
  • Do not travel under a raised load under any circumstances.
  • Block off the area from foot and vehicle traffic. Use cones, barriers, or flag holders as necessary.
  • Follow all OSHA and jobsite safety regulations.

Inspect Before Stacking

While light to moderate wear will not affect the strength of a container in most cases, heavy usage or excessive damage can compromise a shipping container’s structure. Especially in the case of damaged flooring and corners, one crumpled container can cause your entire stack to come toppling down. Before you stack your shipping containers:

  1. Examine them for damage such as holes, cracks, and dents.
  2. Check both inside and outside all of your containers, paying special attention to ceilings, flooring, and corners.
  3. Don’t forget to inspect corner castings. 
  4. When in doubt, never stack containers that appear to have structural damage.

All of our shipping containers for sale in California and throughout the rest of the US have been pre-inspected multiple times, so you can rest assured that they are free of structural damage that compromises their ability to be stacked correctly. Still, especially if your container has been sitting for a long time, it’s always worth taking some extra time to be sure the stacking process will be safe.

Follow Site Storage Regulations

Unless you’re stacking containers in your own backyard, chances are you have another set of rules and regulations to keep in mind. There are usually requirements for container stacking of containers in shipping yards, goods storage lots, and other locations where shipping containers are regularly transported. Most storage sites will be able to provide you with information including:

  • The maximum number of storage containers that can be stacked.
  • The process for moving stack loads.
  • The gross weight limit for stacks.

Always follow these regulations, even if you have done things differently at another location. Do not argue with site supervisors or try to bend the rules. Not only will you be seen as a nuisance, but you could also be charged a hefty fine or lose site access privileges.

Stack Smart

Shipping containers should always be stacked with maximum stability in mind. The best way to stack shipping containers is “corner post to corner post.” In other words, the four corner posts of a shipping container should be lined up against the corner posts of the container it sits atop.

Weight distribution also matters in the realm of stability. If you have a larger container and two smaller ones, it’s best to put the two smaller ones on the ground and stack the large one on top, since the smaller containers can become more unstable atop a single base. Wondering how to arrange several differently sized containers? Rather than making guesses and suffering potentially fatal (or just plain expensive) consequences, it’s best to speak with an experienced site supervisor, storage expert, or machine operator about what method they think is best.

Always Secure Containers

If your containers will be taking a trip across land or by sea, secure them properly with lashing rods and use twist locks to increase stability. If you have a choice for placement on a cargo ship, choose “fore and aft” storage rather than “athwartships” to protect your containers from choppy seas and windy weather. 

Shop Shipping Containers at LGI Transport!

LGI Transport provides a variety of shipping container solutions for commercial and personal use. Shop our shipping container for sale throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, or check out the other areas we serve here. Ready to have high-quality steel shipping containers delivered right where you need them, all on YOUR schedule? Reach out to our team and we’ll help you find something that suits your transportation, storage, commercial, or personal needs. Speak with a specialist today!