Storage containers have come a long way from the 1830’s when they were mostly used to store coal. They were referred to as “loose boxes” and were made of wood. By the 1900’s, storage containers were made of iron and had a closed top design to enable better transportation between road, rail, and sea. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that it was realized unloading goods from trucks would be much more efficient if they could unload a container, then remove the goods. This enabled the truck to be unloaded and be on its way to pick up another load of goods in a fraction of the time it would have taken. In the 60 years since, the storage container has changed with the times.
During the first 20 years of containerization, there were no industry standards. This caused some incompatibility issues between the cargo container and the mode of transportation. Between 1968 and 1970, industry standards were created to alleviate any incompatibility issues.
Today’s shipping container can store anything from televisions to automobiles to perishable goods. The climate inside the shipping container can be manipulated to ensure the goods inside are safe from the elements. If you only need ventilation, intake vents will allow air flow into the container, and outtake vents will reduce excessive heat and humidity. Storage containers are weather resistant and in some cases, rust resistant.
Storage container companies are very innovative in container design and security. Tri-cam locking systems are tops in cargo container security. The system involves three solid steel interior bars, hidden lever, padlock pocket, hidden 6 pin tumblers, and hardened steel construction which makes it virtually drill and pry resistant. The doors can be located on one end or both ends of the container. Side doors can be installed as well.
The standard shipping container width is 8 feet. Lengths vary from 5 feet to 45 feet and everywhere in between. Optional partitions can be installed to segment the container in half or into thirds or fourths. Side doors are installed with each partition making each segment independent of each other. Shelving and removable ramps can be used to easily handle and organize goods. Extra wide storage containers are about 10.5 feet wide which makes them perfect for stacking pallets side by side.
It’s hard to imagine the advancements that will be made to the container in the years to come. The advancements will depend on the innovative ways consumers choose to use the storage container in the future.