3 Methods To Move A Shipping Container

If you ordered a modified shipping container, such as a portable office, and it’s ready for transportation, you have to know how to properly move it to your desired destination. Determine the right shipping container removal option depending on your needs and circumstances by reading below.

Container box
  1. Moving A Shipping Container By Truck

Trucks are usually used in container removals. If you decide to move your shipping container by truck, think about the container size and the accessibility of its final destination.

Check the following trucking solutions when moving a shipping container by truck:

  • Tilt Bed Truck: Use a tilt bed truck if you’re moving a shipping container for 200 miles or below. The truck bed can be tipped at a certain angle, allowing the container to easily slide off. The driver can set the shipping container on the ground without additional equipment.
  • Flatbed Truck: Use a flatbed truck if you’re moving a shipping container over 200 miles. Tilt bed trucks usually cost more than flatbed trucks when operating per mile. For this reason, a flatbed truck is a cost-effective solution to transport shipping containers for long distances. Because a flatbed truck doesn’t have surrounding walls, you’ll need a forklift or crane to lift the shipping container off the truck bed.
  • Step-Deck Truck: High-cube shipping containers taller than standard shipping containers are usually at least 9.5 feet tall. Step-deck trucks, such as flatbeds are equipped with a fixed, flat platform and a lower step-deck platform to accommodate tall shipping containers. A forklift or crane is required to move the shipping container from the truck bed.
  • Side Loader Truck: There is good access to the shipping container because a side loader lifts the container and is placed about one meter beside the trailer of the truck. 
  • Crane Truck: This is perfect for tight spots over fences and walls and difficult placements.

General Tips When Using Flatbed Trucks And Step-Deck Trucks

While you had taken your time choosing the best shipping container you need, it’s also important to consider important factors when choosing a shipping container removal service. Check the following tips:

  • New shipping containers should be properly removed from the trucks upon arrival to avoid the risk of getting damaged. The right method highly depends on the size of the shipping container.
  • For 20-feet or shorter shipping containers, a 6-foot tine forklift must be used to lift them using the built-in forklift pockets.
  • For shipping containers larger than 20-feet, a specialty 8-foot tine forklift must be used. Using a 6-foot tine forklift might break the flooring because of the extra weight.
  • You can rent a crane if you have a larger shipping container because cranes have built-in corner castings, making shipping containers easily rigged for proper crane transport.
  1. Moving A Shipping Container By Train

If the origin of the shipping container and the destination are close to rail lines, moving it by rail is another option. Just make sure to take into account additional logistics.

  1. Moving A Shipping Container By Freight

Transporting shipping containers overseas involves freight forwarding or sea transport. Also, it would require rail or road transport to get the shipping container to and from the shipping port. It’s important to communicate with a reliable freight forwarder company, specialized in arranging cost-effective logistics strategy to get your shipping container from one location to another. Freight forwarding companies liaise with shipping lines and transport companies on your behalf, ensuring a smoother container transport. 

Overseas shipping container transport would require you to obtain a Container Safety Convention or CSC Certificate. This certificate states the shipping container is qualified by a marine surveyor, following the right guidelines and specifications.

Shipping containers under control will not require a CSC certification because the container is already certified. However, if you bought a shipping container, the transporter must ensure structural safety of the container. For this reason, it’s mandatory to obtain a CSC certificate for sea and rail transport to ensure the safe journey of the container. Hence, if you’re buying a shipping container, it’s important to ask the supplier to issue CSC certification.


Moving a shipping container can be accomplished using different methods, such as by truck and rail. The best choice would depend on the size of your shipping container, the point of origin, and the final destination of the container. For overseas shipping container transport, working with a freight forwarder and directly through shipping lines are your best options. 

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.