Frequently Asked Questions

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How much is inside one of those 40ft shipping containers?

A technology does not need to be complex to be revolutionary. Every so often a relatively simple idea comes along that revolutionizes an industry and, in the process, has profound effects on commerce, society, and the global economy. Containerized shipping is one such technology. The importance of this technology was brought to mind last month (May 2001) with the death of Malcolm McLean at the age of 87.

In the mid-1950s, McLean, who began as a truck driver in North Carolina and built a huge trucking company, came up with the notion of taking the body from a tractor-trailer and placing it fully-loaded on a ship, a railroad car, or even an airplane. Ocean shipping in this manner saves the tedious, expensive, and time-consuming job of unloading cargo from a truck or a railroad car, loading it into the hull of a ship and reversing the process at the ship’s destination. A standard container can carry up to 20 tons (U.S.) fully loaded. It can keep shipments together, protect them from the elements, from damage in handling, and from theft. An estimated 90 percent of the world’s trade today moves in containers. One hundred million container loads crisscross the world’s oceans each year in over 5,000 container ships. According to one of the web sites listed below, there are enough containers in the world today to build an 8 foot high wall twice around the Equator.

Not everyone welcomed the container revolution. Port operators resisted investing in the expensive new equipment needed to hoist containers on and off ships while longshoremen who handled the cargo fought to keep their jobs which were threatened by the new technology. But the advantages of containerization were too powerful to resist. And the effects go far beyond the ports. In fact, many observers attribute the rise of trade between the U.S. and Asia to the reductions in cost and shipping time that containerization made possible. As an example, standard shipments from Hong Kong to New York, which took approximately 50 days in 1970, today take only 17 days. Malcolm McLean, while hardly a household name, is recognized as one of the most important innovators of the past 50 years

Containerized cargo includes every commodity imaginable — retail such as clothing and electronics, foodstuffs, agricultural products and industrial goods.

This 40′ container was 39’4″ long, 7’6″ tall, and 7’8″ wide inside. The container holds 2261 cubic feet of area (despite the figures displayed on the outside). That is about 84 cubic yards. In the business, ships are divided into 20′ container units known as TEU (twenty foot equivalent units).

Types of steel storage containers.

Most steel storage containers are 8′ or 10′ wide and 8’6″ high and available in different lengths. Among the most common containers available:
Standard containers (10′, 20′ & 40′)
Select sizes based on your available space and storage needs. You can stack multiple containers next to or atop each other as needed.

High cube
Provides added interior height (9’6″) and length (45′) for carefully storing small vehicles, construction equipment, and light machinery.

Reefers
Refrigerated steel storage containers for keeping perishables and certain chemicals cool for storage or transport.

Storage container additional tips.

You get what you pay for. Although storage containers can get expensive, don’t skimp on quality just to save a few dollars. You may be able to buy an “as is” model for a few hundred dollars, but the container may have rust, sealant cracks, and other problems that can damage your contents. The additional money you pay for a quality container is a small price to pay to avoid problems later on.

Born on dates. Much like a vehicle, each container is furnished with a unique vehicle identification number (VIN) plate that indicates how old the unit is. This allows buyers of used containers to learn the precise age of the container.

Space considerations.
For a 20′ storage container, you need at least 75 feet of clearance for delivery, installation, and to maneuver in and out of the container. You need at least 100 feet of clearance for 40′ units.

Safety first. Drivers typically won’t deliver to areas where they have concerns for their own safety, or if they feel they may inadvertently cause property damage they would be responsible for.

Learn more about containers.
For additional information about the storage container industry and to research best practices, check out industry association web sites like the National Portable Storage Association.

Uses of Storage Containers?

Shipping containers are storage containers that are versatile in terms of acceptable uses. Anyone requiring instantaneous extra storage space can benefit from using storage containers if the individual has an appropriate location where a storage container can be placed. Storage containers are sold in a variety of sizes and dimensions. Some storage containers are as long as 20 feet in length and some are made that are 40 feet or more in length. With an assortment of features that accompany one or more storage containers, consumers will find that storage containers storage provides people with amazing features and conveniences.

Many businesses recognize the value of storage containers with high clearance features and extra wide widths: the additional space makes storing items simpler and the extra moving space makes the manipulation of stored items a far easier task. Portable storage containers are made of durable material that keep items safe from rain, snow, sleet, hail, and other inclement weather. As a consequence, inventory, documents, records, or whatever else is housed in one or more storage containers remains protected and intact. Each storage containers is manufactured of incredibly strong corrugated steel: typically, the steel used in storage containers is between 12 and 14 gauge. Additionally, the latter material makes storage containers fire proof and such boxes can be manufactured with special security devices for additional security.

Do the units come in different colors?

Rental units come with a fresh coat in a neutral color. Custom colors are available on sales units, although we recommend neutral colors that will blend in with the units’ surroundings.

What happens when my unit needs maintenance or repair?

AZ Container will maintain the unit throughout the rental term. Renters who need maintenance should call and we will make a service call. We perform regular maintenance and repairs on rental units at no charge.

Are all units weatherproof?

Yes. All of our heavy duty steel containers are water-tight and meet International Standards Organization (ISO) specifications for holding and transporting ocean cargo. However, minimal condensation (moisture) can form when the interior temperature is lower then the outside temperature.

How is my lock protected? Is my unit secure?

All of our units come standard with secure lock boxes that are virtually inpenetrable with tools such as bolt cutters. Windows come with security bars.

What if I want shelving?

We will install shelf supports or brackets for customer-supplied wooden or metal shelving.

What type of modifications will you do?

We make modifications to sales units. Generally we can custom-build any size container. Modifications include but are not limited to doors, windows with security bars, lock boxes, skylights, turbine vents, custom HVAC units, sliding doors, rollup doors, window awnings, custom paint colors, and custom vinyl flooring.

What payment do you require upon delivery?

On rentals we require the first month of rent and delivery and pickup fees. On purchases we require the total sales price including delivery charge and sales tax. We accept checks (personal or business), cash and most major credit cards.
 

How do you deliver the container?

Our driver will back in the truck, raise the trailer about 15 feet, and slide the unit off of the back of the trailer. Then the truck pulls ahead straight from underneath the unit.

How much space do you require for delivery?

This depends on the size of the unit. For a 20-foot unit, allow at least 75 feet of straight clearance. For a 40-foot unit, allow at least 110 feet of straight clearance. On all deliveries, allow for 10 feet in width.