The Ultimate Guide to Metal Storage
A metal storage container is a multi-functional unit with a wide range of industrial, commercial, and residential applications. From creating additional space for warehousing to building a restaurant, metal storage containers can help you do it all.
You can also use storage containers for:
- Building an apartment complex
- Storing materials, tools, equipment, and machinery at manufacturing sites
- Creating sales offices, interaction areas, retail shops, and display areas
- Starting a container café, coffee shop, or bar
- Accommodating additional inventory and holiday layaway items during peak sale seasons
- Keeping sound and lighting equipment safe during concerts, events, and conferences
- Relief and rehabilitation activities in the event of a disaster
- Vaccination centers, remote medical clinics, and pharmacies
Understanding the various shipping containers, their uses, and benefits can help you pick the most appropriate storage container units for your applications.
Let’s explore a few more important details.
What Is the Difference Between Metal Storage Containers, Shipping Containers, and Conex Boxes?
Metal storage containers, Conex boxes, shipping containers, portable steel containers, sea containers, and cargo containers all refer to the same thing; units that help transport goods across continents.
Shipping containers may go by different names depending on the country, geographical location, or industry they serve.
While they might have a different name, all standard ISO containers have a similar structure made from high-strength Corten steel.
You can also invest in customizations such as high-security HASP locks, shelving brackets, and pipe racks to improve the container’s security and space utilization.
Flat Rack Container
Flat rack storage containers have collapsible walls which you can fold to make a level surface or a ‘flat rack’ for shipping oversized goods such as heavy vehicles, machinery, and construction equipment. A flat container has highly stable end walls that can secure up to 45 metric tons of cargo.
Open Top Container
An open-top storage container has a removable top, which makes it suitable for handling over-height cargo. Open top units are also perfect for machinery, equipment, and bulky products that cannot fit through the doors and need cranes for top loading.
High Cube Container
High cube metal storage containers are taller than general-purpose containers. They measure 9ft 6 in or 2.89 meters in height, whereas standard containers are 8ft 6in or 2.59 meters tall. The extra foot increases the storage capacity of high cube containers from 2,350 cubic ft. to 2,694 cubic ft., allowing you to store an additional 344 cubic ft.
A high cube container can store larger machinery, equipment, or automobiles in your storage unit or look for more headspace in your office container. Architects and designers also find the excess height of high cube containers useful when constructing false ceilings, ventilation, and additional space.
Open Side Containers
These units have a hinged door that can open on one of the sides too. Open side containers provide more room to enter the container, significantly improving the accessibility. If you have extra-large items and equipment that can’t fit through regular doors, you can use open side containers.
You can purchase a reefer container to store and transport all kinds of temperature-sensitive and perishable cargo such as meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Refrigerated ISO containers or reefers use an external power supply to regulate the temperature inside the container.
Similar to refrigerated containers, insulated container units have a controlled space that can withstand temperature fluctuations. The construction of an insulated container incorporates a vacuum flask, just like a ‘thermos’ flask, making them ideal for long-distance transportation of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, organs, food, and other biological materials.
Half-height storage containers have a low center of gravity, which allows them to handle heavier loads better than taller containers. As a result, these containers find application in transporting denser goods such as coal and stones.
Tankers or tank containers have a strong steel body enhanced with anti-corrosive materials for protecting and transporting all kinds of industrial liquids. For safe operations, transport companies fill the tanker to 80% of its capacity to prevent surging.
Metal Storage Container Dimensions
Storage containers come in the following ISO Sizes: 10′, 20′, 24′, and 40′. All standard storage containers have similar width and height, with varying lengths.
The convenient size of 10-foot storage containers helps tackle space limitations at industrial sites. These portable container units can easily fit within small spaces such as a parking space or a driveway.
These units are often used at construction sites, schools, convenience stores, malls, hospitals, and manufacturing plants.
Exterior Dimensions: 10’0” L x 8’0” W x 8’6” H
Interior Dimensions: 9’4” L x 7’8” W x 7’10” H
A 20-foot storage container is ideal for small to mid-size commercial storage, fire training facilities, and industrial storage. Companies can use these units to create garages, storage sheds, and moving equipment storage.
Exterior Dimensions: 20’0” L x 8’0” W x 8’6” H
Interior Dimensions: 19’4” L x 7’8” W x 7’10” H
The 24-foot container is a great storage solution when 20′ containers are too small, and you don’t have the budget or space to rent 40-foot units. The additional length of these container boxes helps you store pipes and other large equipment efficiently.
Exterior Dimensions: 24’0” L x 8’0” W x 8’6” H
Interior Dimensions: 23’5” L x 7’8” W x 7’10” H
40-foot metal storage container units offer the largest space among all metal storage containers. They are ideal for storing excess inventory, heavy equipment, and machinery for large commercial, material movement, and construction projects. Their high-strength steel body offers maximum durability and keeps your valuable goods safe.
Exterior Dimensions: 40’0” L x 8’0” W x 8’6” H
Interior Dimensions: 39’9” L x 7’8” W x 7’10” H
Renting vs. Buying: Which is Better?
Renting a container is much less costly than buying a container. If your business needs temporary offices or a short-term storage solution, renting a container is the best option. Some companies also provide discounts and lower prices if you rent for a more extended period.
However, you can also purchase storage containers, container offices, and combo units if you have long-term storage needs.
For instance, a retail store might require temporary storage to cater to seasonal variations in demand. On the other hand, if a manufacturing unit is expanding its product storage facilities, buying a container can help reduce overhead costs.
Metal storage containers offer one of the best options for storage, transportation, and preservation of goods. When picking a suitable container, there are all kinds of options to choose from, ranging from the container type to its condition and size. You can also accessorize your containers with high-security locks, vents, and other accessories to improve their functionality.
Depending upon how long you require container services, you can either rent or buy the most appropriate container for your business.
Mobile Modular Portable Storage is one of the leading suppliers of shipping containers. We offer both rental and purchase options on our portable storage, office, and combo containers.