Frequently Asked Questions About Shipping Containers




Whether you are building a home, maximizing storage capacity, or designing a retreat cabin, repurposed shipping containers have hit the market. However, we all have questions and concerns about using an upcycled shipping container for storage, living, and adventurous solutions. In this blog, we will tackle the frequently asked questions about shipping containers.






1. What are shipping containers, and how are they used?


Shipping containers are large, steel boxes used to transport goods globally. They come in various sizes with the most common being 20 feet and 40 feet long. Shipping containers are designed for cargo support, but they can be repurposed into cabins, tiny homes, offices, and storage containers. 


Exterior of XCaliber's 10' Standard 1-Trip Shipping Container
XCaliber Container's 10' Standard 1-Trip Shipping Container



2. What is the difference between a New and Used Shipping Container?


A new shipping container has been manufactured overseas, loaded with goods, and then shipped. Once the shipping container has arrived at the designated location, the goods are unloaded, and the container is sold. New shipping containers are in excellent shape, as they have only undergone one load of cargo previously transported in them. They may show minor signs of previous use, however.


On the other hand, used shipping containers have undergone several trips overseas with multiple loads of cargo. They will have faded paint, rust, dents, and dings, but they will remain functioning and durable.



3. How much can I store inside a shipping container?


To understand how much you can store, you must know the container's internal volume. The internal volume of a 20’ container is 1,172 cubic feet, and the internal volume of a 40’ container is 2,392 cubic feet.


Interior of XCaliber's 20' Standard Premium Refurbished Shipping Container
XCaliber Container's 20' Standard Premium Refurbished Shipping Container



4. Are my stored items safe in a shipping container?


Yes! Shipping containers are fabricated from 14-gauge corrugated steel, making them durable and able to withstand the elements. There are many security features you can add to your shipping containers, such as window bars, window shutters, door bars, and lock boxes.


Exterior of XCaliber 20' Climate-Controlled Storage Container with Door Bar & Lock Box
XCaliber Container's 20' Climate-Controlled Storage Container with Door Bar & Lock Box



5. How hot can it get inside a shipping container?


Any container made of steel will get hot in the summer. Temperatures can range up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can install air conditioning units, solar roof vents, and spray foam insulation to circulate and cool the warm air.



6. Are shipping containers bulletproof?


Shipping containers are not designed to be bulletproof, but the National Geographic show “Doomsday Preppers” tested this theory. Once tested, they concluded that a shipping container would stop a .22 caliber rifle round.


Exterior of XCaliber's 45' High Cube Wind & Watertight Shipping Container
XCaliber Container's 45' High Cube Wind & Watertight Shipping Container



7. Do shipping containers pose a greater risk of lightning strikes?


The shipping container’s material—steel—is a conductor. Consider installing a lightning rod that will extend higher than the container and is far more conducive. Therefore, if lightning were to strike in that area, the electrical current would attract the lightning rod.



8. Do shipping containers have any source of ventilation?


Shipping containers are made with vents on the upper portion of the side walls. If the shipping container is placed in a cold or wet environment, these vents can make the unit more susceptible to condensation, leading to rust.



9. Can I stack shipping containers?


Yes! With proper engineering and reinforcement, shipping containers can be stacked safely and securely.



10. How durable are shipping containers?


Shipping containers are built to withstand harsh marine environments, making them extremely durable. They are constructed from corrosion-resistant steel, making them resistant to deterioration. With proper maintenance and insulation, shipping containers can last several years and remain durable.


Exterior of XCaliber's 40' Standard Basic Refurbished Shipping Container
XCaliber Container's 40' Basic Refurbished Shipping Container







1. Can my shipping container be used for commercial purposes?


Yes! Shipping containers are repurposed for commercial uses, such as pop-up shops, cafes, mobile offices, and event spaces. Their modular nature and unique aesthetic appeal make them a popular choice for creative entrepreneurs.


Custom Container Made By XCaliber - Used for Scoots Smashburgers
Custom Container Built By XCaliber Container For Scoots Smashburgers 



2. Can I bury my shipping container to make a storm shelter or bunker?


Unfortunately, the walls, roof, and floor of a shipping container are not strong enough to withstand the pressure of being buried. If you are planning to bury the container, you will need to reinforce the structure inside and out. However, you can create a disaster relief and storm shelter that is not underground from a shipping container. 



3. Can shipping containers be used for housing?


Absolutely! Shipping containers can be transformed into stylish, innovative ways of living. You can add extra security features, creative interior design, and temperature-controlling units to give the container a homey feel. Shipping containers are an eco-friendly and cost-effective housing solution.


Interior of XCaliber's 40' Retreat Cabin
XCaliber Container's 40' Retreat Cabin



4. Do I need a permit to construct a shipping container home?


Yes, in most cases, you will need a building permit to construct a shipping container home. Regulations vary by location. The safer option is requesting a shipping container home from a company that specializes in repurposing shipping containers—like XCaliber Container!






1. Do shipping containers regularly need maintenance?


Most shipping containers do not need regular maintenance. However, you can do a few things to improve the container’s quality of life. For instance, most container doors have grease inserts that wear out over time. Replacing these inserts and seals can make old doors much easier to open.



2. What should I do if my shipping container leaks?


The best way to take care of a leak is to cut out the rusted metal patch and put a new patch in. A temporary silicone patch can stop a hole in emergencies.


40' Custom Cabin from a Shipping Container
40' Custom Cabin from a Shipping Container



3. How do I keep my plumping from freezing in extreme temperatures?


Before freezing temperatures, open and drain the lines or keep a drip to prevent pipes from bursting.  



4. How do I prevent musty odors?


Make sure to replace AC/heating filters and ensure the shipping container is ventilated properly. 



If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us! You can also review our website answering our FAQs: FAQs – XCaliber Container

📞 (940) 242-3178
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