Different ways to move shipping containers

Different ways to move shipping containers

Maritime containers are strong, sturdy, durable, and reliant structures of heavy-duty steel, corten steel, or aluminum. Due to their heavier size, none can move shipping containers by hand. Instead, they need particular instruments and machines like forklifts, cranes, etc., to shift them from one place to another. Are you looking for a creative and cost-effective way to move shipping containers? Before knowing about creative ways to move a shipping container, let’s know about its weight first.

Know the weight of your shipping container(s)

Steel shipping containers are available in multiple sizes, and it is essential to know the weight of the shipping unit before transport. For example, a 20ft shipping container weighs approximately 2,000 and 4,000 pounds, while a 40ft container can weigh 4,000 and 8,000 pounds. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a qualified transportation company to ensure that your SOC Containers move safely and securely.

Shipping container moving factors

How do I get a shipping container moved? Before moving your container, consider the following:


What size container do you need? This is the first point you must consider before moving the unit. They come in many sizes, with 20ft containers being the most popular. If you are unsure of the size, you will need to speak to a professional shipping container company that will help you.


Another thing to consider is how much weight your container can hold. This is important if you plan on loading your metal shipping container. Ask your transport company about the maximum weight your shipping box can hold. Your carrier will let you know how to move a 20ft shipping container or even more weight.


While looking to move your cargo box, you should consider the shape of the container. Some are square, while others are rectangular. The square ones can be difficult to move because they are bulky and take up a lot of space. On the other hand, rectangular boxes are easier to move because they are long and thin.


If traveling by road, check what type of surface your destination is on, as some surfaces cannot take certain weights. New shipping containers guarantee durability as they are brand new and are devoid of any damage. In contrast, before buying used shipping containers, they must be checked thoroughly as they have been through voyages and may have fallen prey to some dents.


It is important to consider ports when moving a maritime container. Ports provide an essential link for international trade and commerce. They are located in various parts of the world. For moving across, they cross through many countries’ ports or stations. Therefore, you will need to find one closest to your final destination.


Take into account the size of your storage container. Larger units will generally cost more to move than smaller ones. The international container moving cost will vary accordingly. When comparing quotes from different companies, be sure to ask about any additional fees that may apply.

Machinery to move shipping containers

To move heavy metal cargo containers, heavy machinery is a great way. They help you load your shipping boxes onto vessels or keep them in the container depot.

Let’s look at all the machines used in the movement of shipping containers one by one:


Forklifts are the perfect shipping container moving equipment. They can move large and heavy objects with ease. If you search shipping container companies near me, you can easily get forklifts for rent. Forklifts can move furniture, appliances, and other large items. Companies typically have a wide selection of forklifts, including electric and gas-powered forklifts. Be sure to measure the height and width of your steel freight container before choosing a forklift. Also, ask about the weight capacity to ensure that it can handle the box with ease.


If you’re looking to move a shipping box, or an oversized item, such as a piece of heavy machinery, you may need to use a crane. The cranes also come in handy for keeping goods in open-top containers and hardtop open containers. Cranes can be used for short moves. If you have a CDL, you can stop looking for more ways to move shipping containers because you can move them yourself. This is one of the proven convenient cost-cutting methods to move shipping containers.

If you don’t have a driving license or don’t want to move the shipping box yourself, many moving companies help you move large items safely and efficiently.

Gantry cranes

They are one of the crane types that lift the shipping units from vessels, and they are used to move along the dockside. They move efficiently around the dock and are quite expensive. Being used vastly in ports, you can find them in medium to high volume locations. The smaller version is also available that can be rail-mounted or have rubber tires. They also can lift, move, and set the boxes on stacks with ease.

Truck crane

For loading the shipping boxes on trucks, they are in much usage. The truck cranes lower the units where the truck’s arc can reach. Their limit is that they can lift only light-weighted or empty containers only. They are perfect for lifting 20ft freight containers rather than 40ft or any high cube container.

Large vehicles and trailers

When it comes to moving cargo units, size matters, the biggest challenge for anyone looking to move a freight box is finding a large enough vehicle to do the job. That’s why it’s best to use a truck with a trailer, like a tractor-trailer or an 18-wheeler. However, even if you don’t have your truck, many companies provide trucks for hire.

Just make sure you measure your driveway and the height of your garage door before you order a maritime container. You don’t want to order a 20ft cargo container to find out it’s too big to fit in your driveway. If you’re not sure which size box is correct for you, consult with a shipping expert.

Container lifting jacks

They can efficiently lift freight boxes that weigh up to 70,000 lbs. Lifting jacks are a cost-effective and mobile solution for moving units. There are two versions: one is manual, and one is automatic. The automatic one can lift the box by reducing the time by 5 mins. Businesses use them for faster lifting, leading to speedy trade proceedings.

Straddle carriers

Coming in different sizes, they lift the units from the top. It would be best to fix them on a concrete floor for moving shipping containers. They are perfect for large container volumes. For medium container volumes, the loaders use small straddle carriers.

Reach stackers

Reach stackers are the perfect option for handling heavy containers. They can stack the freight units up to 2-3 boxes and transfer units between the stack, rail wagons, chassis, or the ground. The machine is driver-controlled and operated and doesn’t need any additional assistance.

Top & side Loaders

The top loaders lift the marine containers from the top side and make one pile for them. As a result, they are faster in speed, turnaround, and automation.

The side loaders lift and move the steel freight containers. They carry the boxes within 5-10 mins and need only one operator.

Understand department of transportation regulations in your state

When it comes to sea containers, there are a lot of regulations that shippers need to be aware of. Rules can vary from state to state, so it’s essential to understand the regulations in your area. There are laws regulating shipping container depots to store or distribute goods in many states. For example, a shipping container depot must be located at least 500 feet away from any residence or school in California. If you’re planning to use the container depot, make sure you understand the regulations in your state. Failure to comply with the regulations can result in fines or other penalties. It’s also important to contact your local Department of Transportation (DOT) to find out about any special requirements on cargo container rentals or permits that may be necessary. For example, small unit movements don’t grab much attention, while international containers are moving and need to follow the guidelines for weight and dimensions.

It is also essential to be aware of the weight restrictions at your departure and arrival locations. Many ports have weight limits for a SOC container that must be met to avoid additional fees. If your unit exceeds the weight limit, you may be charged an overage fee.

Now, after knowing about moving your cargo containers with machines, let’s know about the ways in which they are transported across countries.

Shipping container transport by truck

Shipping container transport by truck is a common and efficient way to move goods. A 40ft shipping container can hold the equivalent of a houseful of furniture, appliances, and boxes. When filled, the weight can be up to 25,000 pounds. The transport cost will depend on the distance, container size, and cargo weight.

Many companies offer truck transportation services for shipping units. The process is simple: you call the company, and they will send a driver to your location to pick up the boxes. The driver will deliver it to the destination specified by you. Most companies have a flat fee for this service, regardless of the distance traveled.

Tilt Bed Truck:

You can use a tilt bed truck to move shipping containers if the distance is less than 200 miles. The truck has a bed that can be tilted up, allowing the units to be loaded and unloaded. This is a prevalent option for those who need shipping container relocation as it allows for easy loading and unloading.

Flatbed Truck:

Moving a shipping box can be a daunting task. But with the help of a flatbed truck, it can be done relatively quickly. A flatbed truck is a vehicle with a platform level with the ground. This type of truck is used in moving boxes because it can flexibly accommodate their size and weight. Flatbed trucks are also very durable and can handle rough terrain, making them ideal for cargo transportation to and from ports.

Step-Deck Truck:

A step-deck truck has a platform at the rear that can be raised or lowered, allowing units to be loaded and unloaded. This makes it possible to transport them without using a crane. Step-deck trucks can transport large boxes quickly and efficiently, saving time and money. They are ideal and versatile.

Shipping Container Transport by Train

You can also ship your containers by train. Trains are a great way to transport large items, such as furniture or appliances, and they’re also cheaper than hiring a moving company. Plus, if your destination is near a train station, it’s worth considering.

Shipping Container Transport by Ships/Boats

When you need to move a lot of cargo units overseas, the best way is by ship/boat. They can carry a much larger load than planes or trucks. Movers often choose this method to move shipping units because they don’t have to worry about customs restrictions or weight limits when you ship by boat.

One way to transport freight units by boat is through a shipping container yard. These yards are located near ports, where cargo ships dock to pick up and drop off units.

If you’re moving shipping containers overseas, you can buy or rent one. Buying shipping containers can be expensive, but it’s a good option if you plan on using them frequently. Leasing cargo containers is cheaper if you only need the container for a one-time move.

How much does it cost to move a shipping container?

The moving price varies on shipping container moving factors. When looking to move long distances, you have a few different options. You can choose to move everything yourself or hire a moving company. If you decide to move everything yourself, you will need to rent a truck and pack all your belongings. This is an excellent option if you are on a tight budget, but it can be time-consuming and stressful. Another option is to hire companies that move shipping containers. Again, this is a great option if you want to avoid the stress of moving yourself, but it can be expensive.

There are many reasons why you might want to move a shipping container. Perhaps you’re downsizing and don’t have the room for all your belongings, or you’re starting a new business and need a place to store inventory. Whatever the reason, opting for shipping container solutions can save you time and money.

Thus, you saw how you could move and transport your containers. So after knowing about it, “Are you also looking for shipping containers for sale in Miami?” Your search has found its way. LOTUS Containers, a prominent shipping container provider, helps you get new and used cargo containers of all types and dimensions to help you with the local and international project-related needs. Along with them, we offer container buyback, intermodal transportation, and container depot services to help you in all your business needs to help you scale your business to new horizons.

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