Lock Rods? Gasket? Corten? Demystifying Shipping Container Terminology for the Everyday Person.

Trailer delivering a storage container

Lock Rods? Gasket? Corrugated? Demystifying Shipping Container Terminology for the Everyday Person.

Are you in the market for a storage container? American Trailer Rentals has been in the container biz for 40 years. We know containers and we want to help YOU know them too! Having a stellar vocabulary is like having a secret weapon in your back pocket, especially when you’re on the lookout for an awesome investment like a storage container! Knowing the following terms may let your broker aware that you know exactly what you’re looking for.


10-20-40 foot containers in a stack
Various sized containers offered at ATR


Checkout our specs sheet to see specific storage container dimensions.

High Cube vs Standard

When in the market for a storage container, it’s crucial to grasp the distinction between a high cube and a standard storage container. Standard containers have a height of 8 feet 6 inches, and a high cube has an extra foot in height at 9 feet 6 inches. They both provide ample storage but if you have slightly taller items to store, or if you plan on driving a forklift inside, a high cube will be best.

Corten Steel

Corten steel, also known as weathering steel, is a type of steel alloy that has enhanced corrosion resistance. Corten steel is commonly used in shipping containers due to its durability. Shipping containers are constantly exposed to harsh environmental conditions during transportation across seas and continents. The use of Corten steel helps extend the lifespan of these containers and reduces maintenance costs.

Primary and Secondary doors

Most storage containers come with a set of doors on one end. The primary door is the one that opens first (right hand side). The Secondary door is the left hand door. A double door containers means having a set of doors at each end of the container.


Also called “molding” in the biz, the gasket is the rubber lining along the container doors that adds to the water resistance of the container. A gasket in good shape (not torn, ripped, or missing pieces) will ensure the doors are sealed from the elements.


Lock Rods

Lock rods are positioned on both doors of the storage container, serving as crucial components in the security mechanism. These lock rods pivot into place, securing or releasing the container. A hook mechanism at the top and bottom ensures effective locking and unlocking of the storage container.


Hasps are the locking mechanisms you can put a padlock into which prevent the handles from being moved.

Lock Box

Lockboxes are installed in the center of the doors where the two container doors meet. This added measure of security makes it virtually impossible for thieves from cutting locks with bolt cutters.


Shipping Containers on a Cargo Ship

Water and Wind Tight

This phrase is one thing you’ll want to check on when purchasing a container because it actually has multiple meanings. At face value, it refers to how well the containers can handle the elements, but as a technical industry term, it’s a statement on the condition of a used container. Used containers that are in a step below “Cargo Worthy” or “CW” condition can be referred to as “WWT” or “wind and water tight”. All of our rental containers here at ATR are all superior than cargo worthy condition and WWT condition because we purchase containers that are new, so this far exceeds any references to used conditions such as “CW” or “WWT.”

Cargo Worthy

This is a phrase used to describe a used container being safe to for loaded transport. All of the containers we sell are better than cargo worthy condition or at a minimum meet cargo worthy condition. However, if you need to transport something overseas, a recertification can be required based on the age of the container and the date it was last certified. 

To sum it up, knowing container lingo is key when diving into the market. But! If you’re not fluent in “Tainer Talk” American Trailer Rentals has a very savvy staff who is always willing to help. We’re positive you can snag the perfect container in our lot. Please call or submit a quote for details.