Shipping containers are being increasingly used in far more versatile ways than they were originally designed for. Their key use initially was to allow goods to be shipped overseas and overland while being protected from theft and damage.
However, human ingenuity quickly found alternative designs and uses for these robust steel containers. One of the improvements was to exclude the solid metal on one of the sides and replace it with double doors. Most designs still include the traditional, smaller double doors at one end too, for even greater accessibility.
5 benefits of an open side container
Here are some of the benefits of these specially modified open side storage containers, compared with a traditional design:
Full side access
Traditional 20ft or 40ft shipping containers come with a double door on one end for loading and unloading. While this is usually sufficient, this arrangement does have some limitations – especially when it comes to loading and accessing items.
For example, a traditionally designed shipping container with double doors on the end must be unloaded in the opposite order it was loaded, as it’s not possible to get access to something at the back of the container once it’s full.
In contrast, with a 20 high cube open side container, you get full, uninhibited access to the container via two doors along the side. These doors can be opened partially, or fully, thus opening up the entire length of the shipping container and providing you with more options for how you pack, unpack, or otherwise use the container.
Open side containers generally still come with the traditional smaller double doors on one end, providing even greater flexibility for how you load, unload, or access the container.
Easier to load and unload
By opening up the side with big doors, loading and unloading the container becomes much easier. Items that may have been difficult to load from the end can now be loaded from the side instead. This means you can take advantage of a wider range of machinery to load items into the open side container, including forklifts, tractors, or even bobcats.
Additionally, you can also have more people loading or unloading the container at one time and there’s more space for loading equipment, like a forklift for example, to move around and help.
With an open side container, larger or unusually shaped items that may not have been able to be loaded into an end-door container can now be accommodated with ease, allowing them to be shipped over land or overseas within the protection of an open side container, either 20ft or 40ft.
Ideal for frequent access
Shipping containers are no longer just for shipping any longer. Aside from their use as a traditional 20ft or 40ft storage or shipping container, you can now find converted containers used as mobile offices, or even welded together to create fully liveable houses.
Aside from offices or homes, open side shipping containers lend themselves for more flexible uses too, like for pop-up shops or stalls at markets or open-air events. The open side means it’s easier to display items during the day, which can then be securely locked away and protected at night with minimal time or effort.
And, if you need to move your premises to a new location, just secure everything inside, close the doors, and load up your open side container. Once your 40ft open side container, or 20ft open side container is at your new location, it’s simple to get everything set up again and ready for business.
Open side containers can, of course, still be used for their traditional purpose, as they’re weather tight and built to withstand the elements. However, they are more versatile than traditional containers, as it’s a lot easier to access the items you’ve stored.
Having side access means that, if you need to get something out of storage at any time, you don’t need to fully unpack and repack the container just to get a single item or items stored at the back.
Convert into a more permanent office or retail/hospitality venue
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution for an office, retail, or hospitality space open side shipping containers are a great option. Because they already have the door infrastructure installed on the side, it’s a lot less effort to transform one into a glass sided storefront, for example, than traditional shipping containers, which require a lot more work to customise.
Like traditional shipping containers, you can also get 20ft high cube open side containers as well as 40ft high cube. This provides an extra foot of head height, giving the container more space. This extra height is perfect if you need just a little more storage space, but don’t want to bump up to the next container size.
No compromise on quality
While you may think that the extra doors and hinges on an open side container makes it weaker, or less able to withstand transportation than a standard container, that’s not the case at all.
Like their end-door counterparts, side opening shipping containers are also designed for transporting cargo at sea or on land. They’re constructed with high-quality materials including steel frames, vertically corrugated steel side and end walls, a die-stamped corrugated steel roof, wooden or bamboo flooring, and corrugated double hinged doors. They’re also able to withstand extreme temperatures, ranging from -40c to +70c.
The transportation world is designed around moving 20ft and 40ft containers (as well as some smaller in-between sizes). Open side containers adhere to these standard sizes, they simply have greater accessibility via the double doors installed down one side. This means they can be transported or stored anywhere around the world – just the same as a traditional closed side container.
Enquire about an open side container for sale today
There are some great advantages to choosing an open side container over a traditional end opening container. So, whether you need to safely ship items overseas or over land, require additional storage space, or want a more flexible temporary (or semi-permanent) structure, an open-side shipping container can give you the flexibility you need.
Plus, they come with the same renowned robust construction and security features you have come to expect from the ubiquitous shipping container.