Prevention of damage to shipping containers

Prevention of damage to shipping containers

Profitability, sustainable growth and customer satisfaction are the chief attributes that contribute to the success of business organizations. One of the primary areas where an organization must focus to reduce costs and increase profitability is the optimal use of capital equipment to extend their lifespan with regular inspections and maintenance.

Companies engaged in container depot operations administer the ownership and leasing of containers, and this is their principal business activity. Containers have to endure extreme weather and external shocks during transportation and handling. While damages resulting from poor weather and handling are unavoidable, we can do a lot to prevent routine repairs that arise from negligence. Rather than spending scarce resources on repairs and major overhauls, asset owners can instead focus their attention on preventive maintenance.

Let’s see how we can impart good care and attention to shipping containers to reduce their chances of suffering damages, and prolong their service life.

Inspect the roof
We often overlook the roof of the container during routine inspections. This is a section that endures substantial stress during sea voyages because cargo ships stack containers on top of others in tiers which can go up to 12 in modern mega cargo vessels. Dents collect rainwater and lead to corrosion of the metal surface. Level out the dents and coat such repaired areas with rust-proof paint.

Check the underside
Turn the container right-side up in a secure position to get a direct view of the underside. Even out the dents, close the gaps and treat these areas with anti-corrosion coating. Remove all traces of rust and apply an anti-rust coat.

Weatherproof rusted areas
Container bodies comprise the frame, wall panels, doors and cross members. Unique weather-resistant steel referred to as COR-TEN is used to manufacture shipping containers. But this steel is not entirely corrosion-proof, and they are sensitive to salty environments as apparent in the oceans. To ensure that the container body does not rust, treat it with a commercial-grade anti-rust coating. Repair the dents and scratches and apply a coat of paint.

Look for modifications on containers
Manufacturers design shipping containers in a way that prevents the accumulation of water, dirt and corrosion. However, when the container owner makes modifications as part of customization, they become potential hazards when the newly welded areas, new enclosures and partitions begin to attract moisture and water. To avoid this problem, pay special attention to modifications made while performing routine maintenance. Clean such areas to keep them safe from corrosion.

Place containers on a level surface at all times
Always place the container on a flat surface to prevent the collection of water in the corners and bottom.

Lubricate the door hinges and handles
The doors and hinges undergo wear and tear from frequent use. Check and lubricate these moving parts to ensure their smooth operation. Commercial grade cleaners will remove dirt and rust that accumulates on the door hinges and locking bars.

Check reefers for peak performance
To ensure the peak performance of reefers, seek professional help to identify problems with compressors, condensers and tubing well in time to avoid downtime and expensive repair costs. Only qualified technicians should carry out such repairs.

Periodic maintenance is the key to keeping containers in top condition. It ensures that your containers meet international safety guidelines for safe transportation over land, waterways and intermodal means. Sorting out problems in time saves a lot of extra work, time and money.

iInterchange Systems / presents a choice of software on SaaS as well as “on-premises” model. Their leading iRepair software solution is a web-based integrated platform used by Container Depots and Terminals to administer repair and maintenance-related work processes and achieve optimal levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction.