Main Blog What are Shipping Containers Made Of

What are Shipping Containers Made Of [Materials & Components]

August 30, 2021
Coast Containers

What are Shipping Containers Made of?

Have you ever wondered what material are shipping containers made from? They may look like a simple steal box but they are actually made to withstand all of the elements at sea and are incredibly strong. Sea cans are stacked on top of each other and loaded with tonnes of goods. They come in a variety of sizes ranging from 10ft to 40ft. 

The primary material used to make a shipping container is corten steel. Corten steel has revolutionized shipping cargo across the sea because it is weather-resistant, weldable, rust-resistant, and doesn’t need to be painted. The properties that make up cor-ten steel make the walls of the shipping container incredibly strong and durable. 

Where are Shipping Containers Made?

So now that we know what are shipping containers made from, let’s talk about where they are made. Over 85% of all shipping containers are produced in China where the labor is cheap and most products are made. China has 10 of the largest shipping container manufacturers in the entire world including CIMC, Singamas, CXIS, and SEC.

Components and Materials of Shipping Containers

Most of the components of a steel shipping container can be found below., although some materials of a steel shipping container may differ such as the flooring may vary from marine-grade plywood or bamboo flooring.

Corner Castings

Corner castings are used to reinforce the corners of the container. They also have twist-lock connections which allow them to be anchored to each other. They are designed to be strong enough to be lifted by a crane when fully loaded. 

Twist Locks

Twist locks are used to securely connect sea cans to anchor points (like on a vessel) or to other containers to secure or stack the shipping containers. 

Cross Members

Also known as beams or joints, cross members support the floor. They also help with preventing moisture from coming into the container by lifting the container away from the ground. This ensures that seawater, rain, and other elements don’t get inside the container.

Forklift Pockets

Forklift pockets are exactly as they sound. There are pockets on the shipping container where a forklift can move a shipping container easily and safely. 

Cargo Doors

A shipping container has two cargo doors, one on either end. Cargo doors are weather-tight, rodent-proof, and secure preventing theft. 

CSC Plate

CSC is an acronym for The International Convention for Safe Containers. The plate is attached to the shipping container to certify that an inspector has examined it and it is safe for carrying cargo. 


Most shipping containers are made with marine-grade plywood. The marine-grade plywood is infused with an insecticide to prevent bugs. The use of bamboo flooring has also increased thanks to its lower cost, durability, and is a renewable material.

The Properties of a Shipping Container Due to the Used Materials?

The amount of weight that a shipping container can carry depends on the size of the container. The most popular size g container is the 20 foot standing shipping container which can hold over 40,000lbs. The properties of the Corten steel and cross members make the container incredibly strong and stackable.

Shipping containers also offer protection against all the elements at sea as it is weather-resistant, rodent-proof and rust-resistant.


Shipping containers are made from various materials making them durable boxes to cross the ocean. Corten steel is used to make the simple structures and other shipping container metal components reinforce the container to make it strong and durable for its long journeys. The majority of shipping container manufacturers are in China with over 85% and 10 of the largest manufacturers. This is due to the cheap labour in china. 

From China they then make their way to us as one-trip containers or used containers if they have been on more than the initial trip from China.At Coast Containers we offer new and used containers in a variety of sizes with our 20ft container being the most popular. If you would like to purchase a shipping container from us please visit our website to get a quote today! Not interested in purchasing a container but would like to rent one? Our partner company Make Space Storage would be happy to help you with all your storage needs, including container rentals, self-storage and RV & boat parking!

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