10 MORE Frequently Asked Questions about Shipping Containers

We get a lot of questions about shipping containers here at Southwest Mobile Storage.

We’ve previously answered 50 of our most frequently asked questions, but there are many more questions that customers have asked.

In this article, we’re going to answer another 10 of the MOST frequently asked questions about shipping containers!

Let’s go!


1. What are ISO standards?

The international body that sets standards for shipping containers is the International Organization for Standardization or ISO.

These standards cover how containers are manufactured, how they are classified, their specifications and more.


2. What are container modifications?

Modifications, or customizations, are the ability to change a shipping container to use in an alternate way than just shipping.

Pop Up Restaurants

Modifications can be as simple as adding doors or windows to a container to as more complex, such as creating pop up shops or businesses.


3. What do the numbers on shipping containers mean?

Numbers that are shown on shipping containers help to designate and track the container by the corresponding shipping liner.

In order of position, these numbers represent:

  • The owner’s code
  • The category identifier
  • The serial number
  • The check digits

Stack of Shipping Containers

Photo by Caleb Russell on Unsplash


4. What regulations/permits do I need to have a container on my property?

It depends on what you’ll be using the shipping container for.

If you’re using the shipping container for storage at our facility, you probably don’t need to get any permits.

If you’re planning on using the container at a business or home, typically a permit isn’t required, however there have been cases where a city or county require a permit.

This is especially true if the container is in a high profile area and/or is blocking a sidewalk or street. Your local zoning department will be able to determine this.


5. What if I need a specific sized container?

We can modify any sized container to fit your particular project. Just give us a call!


6. Why are shipping containers so popular for other uses?

Shipping containers are very versatile structures.

Because of their strength, durability, and portability, shipping containers can be used in a variety of environments.

They also tend to be cheaper than using traditional building materials


7. What is shipping container architecture?

Shipping container architecture is the concept of using shipping containers as structural elements instead of using traditional materials.

The idea can be traced back to the 1980s from Philip C. Clark, who patented a method to convert steel shipping containers into habitable buildings, like houses.

Detroit Shipping Co

However, Clark was not the first person to use containers for something else.

We discuss how containers evolved into other things in this blog.


8. Do you move loaded containers?

Yes, we do!

Our rental containers can be delivered to your property.

Whether you’re using the container for moving purposes or storage, whenever you’re finished moving your items inside, just let us know.

Southwest Mobile Storage Moving Solution

If you’re moving, once you finish, just give us a call and we can come pick up the container and then move it to your next destination or back to our high security facility to store.

If you’re using it for storage, such as at a construction site, and need to have it moved to another location for use, again, just give a call.


9. Can I use a shipping container as a temporary office?


Temporary offices or workplaces are great for meeting with clients or business partners. And temporary workspaces can give you a variety of options for all business needs.

Different types of industries can use temporary offices:

  • Freelancers
  • Construction companies
  • Start-up companies
  • Small to medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • Multi-national companies


10. How are shipping containers eco-friendly?

Shipping containers can be recycled and repurposed for all types of projects.

Houses, hotels, restaurants, schools, and more have been made from shipping containers, reducing the use of other materials such as concrete, wood, and steel.

You can also add eco-friendly extras to containers, as well. Many people have used solar power and recycled water to reduce consumption and practice sustainability.

As you can see, shipping containers have an extensive history and continue to evolve as we find alternate ways in using them.

If you’d like to begin using shipping containers for your upcoming project or if you have any frequently asked questions about shipping containers that have not been answered here, give us a call at 800.686.9114 or fill out the form below.

Our container experts have over twenty-five years of experience with shipping containers and helping customers find the right size and right type for their project needs.