How to Inspect a Shipping Container – Part 3

Before you read this blog article, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 which explains the importance of choosing the right container supplier and how to verify if dents and dings are harmful.

Doors on a Shipping Container

Since the doors are the only moving parts on a shipping container, it’s imperative to inspect them and make sure they’re working properly. There are three important components to check: the header, the locking rods, and the gaskets. Before you open the doors, you can inspect the gaskets which are the rubber pieces that seal around the door. Make sure they are not rotten and that there isn’t a build up of rust behind them. Next, take a look at the locking rods. Do they line up properly? If they are bent you may not be able to open and close the doors. Give the doors a try to make sure they function properly. If they are stiff, that’s ok! You may just need a little grease. If  you have trouble opening them, make sure the container is sitting level because this can also cause the parts not to line up properly. Once the doors are open, check the header for rust. A little rust is ok but if there is so much rust that some of the beam is missing then you should avoid that.

Interior of a Shipping Container

When you’re inside the shipping container, there are two things you should look for. The first is any stains or odors. For example, hay from a farm can often have a lingering odor, but it’s easily fixed by pressure washing or simply airing out the container for a few days. But a sniff test can also help you determine if there’s mold or indication of rotten wet wood. The second thing to review is the floors of the container. You want to ensure that they are structurally in good shape. Make sure there are no holes in the floor and that the wood is not soft or rotten. It’s quite common for a used container to have floor patches. Inspect the patches to make sure they are flush with the surrounding floor and sealed tight against the other pieces of surrounding floor. If the patch was professionally done, you have nothing to be worried about.

open doors on shipping container