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Main Blog 5 Tips on How to Repair Damaged Shipping Containers

5 Tips on How to Repair Damaged Shipping Containers

September 22, 2022
Coast Containers

It is common for owners and businesses to repair a damaged shipping container since some of the damages that can occur can be relatively simple to fix. Whether the shipping container damage has happened when transported or is due to being used for long-term storage, there are several ways to prevent, repair, and identify the problem. Keep reading to find out some practical tips on fixing damaged shipping containers.

What are Common Types of Damage to Shipping Containers?

Before determining the extent of repairs and the best way to restore a damaged shipping container, it is essential to identify which of the most common types of shipping container damage has occurred. Harsh weather, many years of use, and poor maintenance and handling can often lead to dents, scratches, and rust. Here are some of the most common kinds of shipping container damage: 

Shipping Container Rust

Shipping containers are often made of industrial-grade steel, contributing to their reliable and sturdy design for transporting various cargo and goods. However, they can be prone to rusting throughout their lifespan. This is especially common amongst used shipping containers and containers that have been exposed to harsh weather conditions and environments.

Dents & Transportation Damages to Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are strong and durable. However, as they are transported from one place to another and are used to store various cargo and items, it is common for dents, scratches, and some transportation damages to occur. In some cases, some dents can include holes and damages that can impact the structural soundness and reliability of the container.

Container Floors, Door & Window 

If the container has condensation or is in harsh environments, some damage to the shipping container door, floor, and windows can happen. For example, doors might be more challenging to close, or the window and door seals may become worn and less reliable. In addition, shipping container floors can become worn, cracked, and damaged, especially if the container has had lots of use with little maintenance or poor handling.

Damaged Shipping Container Parts & Accessories 

Some container parts and accessories, such as ventilation, heating, and shipping container security systems, can become damaged with time and use. If these parts and accessories are not repaired and maintained, they can lead to significant damage, thus requiring more extensive reparation.

Refrigerated Container Damages 

Refrigerated containers, sometimes named Reefer containers, are insulated shipping containers frequently used for transporting medications, perishables, and cargo that must be kept around a specific temperature. These containers can become damaged with use and may need more maintenance and repairs than a regular standard sea can. 

How to Prevent Shipping Container Damages From Occurring? 

For the variety of damages that can influence the condition of the shipping container, there are several things an owner can do to help prevent many of the problems listed above from occurring. With regular maintenance and checks, owners can ensure that they do not wear out the container to the extent that it is damaged beyond repairs. Instead, owners can quickly address any damages with consistent upkeep and inspections. In addition, being mindful of the shipping containers certification standards can help owners know the details surrounding the container and its capabilities. 


One of the best ways to prevent damage is to be aware that during certain seasons, shipping container maintenance may change, as different aspects of the weather and environment may cause different types of damage. For example, shipping container maintenance during the winter is essential to ensure that the cold winter weather does not damage the container. Snow can cause rust and, once melted, can cause the container to sink into the softer ground. This can cause difficulties with opening and closing the container doors. Regarding shipping container maintenance during the summer, it is essential to maintain good ventilation, increase airflow, and reduce condensation from building up internally and externally. This will help keep the contents within the container from becoming damaged or ruined. 

Main 5 Tips to Repair Damaged Shipping Containers

Before repairing the shipping container, remember to inspect and document the damage. By doing this, repair work can be faster and be performed more smoothly since it has already been determined what the damage is and the best course of action to fix and resolve the issue. 

Tip 1: Treating Rust, Condensation Damage, and Mold

If there is rust, water damage, or mold, owners should treat these issues as soon as possible. Putting off these repairs leads to more significant problems in the future. For example, rust holes can occur, and if left untreated, condensation damage and mold can lead to damage to the floor and contents of the container. 

Tip 2: Repairing Dents, Holes, and Scratches

There are several ways to fix a damaged shipping container with dents, holes and scratches. Some shallow dents and scratches can easily be fixed. However, deeper scratches and larger dents may lead to more extensive repairs, such as patches for any holes in the container. Depending on the damage and repair needed, the container may need to be inspected to ensure that it is structurally sound and meets all the requirements. 

Tip 3: Replacing Container Parts 

When replacing and repairing parts such as a shipping container security system or vents, it is essential to seek professional help if the maintenance is difficult, complicated, potentially hazardous or requires special tools. Some container parts are easier to replace than others, and it is vital to maintain the shipping container certification standards. With a non-certified container, many owners have difficulties if they plan to use it for their business and commercial use since it does not meet the regulations and standards needed. 

Tip 4: Repainting the Shipping Container

After repairs, repainting the shipping container has multiple benefits. It is not only aesthetically pleasing but also helps prevent further rust and damage from occurring in the years to come. Repainting the container is especially helpful if you have patched it or if you have treated rust, scratches or replaced certain parts of the container. 

Tip 5: Regular Inspections & Professional Services

With regular inspections before and after transportation and when the container is stationary, businesses can reduce maintenance and repair costs by not allowing damages to grow. In addition, by checking the container regularly if there are any accidents or problems that call for professional services, owners can seek help immediately. With this tip, owners can rest assured that they are maintaining safe work environments and that their shipping containers can be used commercially for transportation, storage, and other business purposes. 

Final Thoughts

A used shipping container is in good condition upon purchase, but over time any container can become damaged. With these tips on how to repair damaged shipping containers, owners and businesses can replace damaged parts and repair dents while preventing further damage. Over time, it is expected that owners may need to repair damaged shipping containers since, with use and time, rust, dents, and scratches will occur. 


Whether you purchase a used or new shipping container from Coast Containers, you can rest assured that all of our containers for sale are inspected to ensure that they are rodent-proof, structurally sound, in good working condition, and wind and watertight (WWT). Feel free to contact us today to get your custom quote and learn more about the various types and sizes of used and new shipping containers we have for sale.

Not ready to buy yet? Visit our partner company, Make Space Storage, which has self-storage units and container rentals available across Canada.

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