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5 Ways You Can Make Life Easier with Container Roll Up Doors

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Roll up doors are one of the most common shipping container modifications. They allow for straightforward access to stored material and provide basic security features to prevent unauthorized access.

Additionally, roll up doors are renowned for their space-saving design, making them an ideal choice for shipping container conversions and storage solutions in various industries.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at roll up doors and explore why they’ve become so popular.

How Do Roll Up Doors Work?

Traditional shipping container doors are incredibly secure, but they’re also time consuming to open. If you need a quick entrance, a roll up door can shine. But how do they work?

Roll up doors are typically placed on the long side of the container but can sometimes be placed on the end of the container, even replacing the container’s cargo doors instead.

A large piece of the container is cut away, and then the sides of the new entrance are reinforced with steel guide strips that will keep the door where it needs to be. Further reinforcement may be required beneath the entrance, with a threshold plate that pushes liquid away from the opening.

Instead of opening like a traditional door, a roll up door is placed on a drum and the door can be closed by pulling the door down. Contrarily, the doors can be opened by pulling the door up. They typically come with a rope or handle that makes access to the container easier.

However, roll up doors still have security features that help prevent unauthorized access to your stored material. On the side of the roll up door there’s a locking clasp that slots into a space in the side of the steel channel, allowing space to secure a lock.

The locking mechanism of a rental roll up door container.
This roll up door features a standard lock, but we’ve modified a protective lockbox onto the door for added security. While roll up doors are a cinch to get into, they have more security vulnerabilities than standard cargo doors.

Benefits of Adding Roll Up Doors to Your Container

There are several benefits to adding roll up doors to a container, whether you’re using it for short-term storage or for a long-term project. They allow for efficient entry and exit, even when your hands are full, are more space-efficient than other doors, and can be used in a variety of containers to add utility value.

1. Quick, Easy Access

Roll up doors are the quickest way to get inside a container, short of cutting off the side! They let you easily access stored materials, cutting the time it takes to open the container significantly.

In our tests, we found that a roll up door can be opened faster than a traditional cargo door. While both containers were locked and secured, the roll up door averaged 19 seconds to open. On average, the cargo doors took an entire minute. This is because cargo doors require more steps to open, lifting locking tabs and pulling the door locking handles out at the right angles.

The less time you spend trying to open the container, the more time you can devote to getting to work.

2. Space Efficiency

Roll up doors are also space efficient. Traditional cargo doors swing outward, and extra space may be required around the entrance to open. Roll up doors move up and into the container, letting you inside even when you have limited space. This helps you place your container in more locations than a container with a cargo door.

3. Versatile Customization

Roll up doors don’t come in just one shape or size. While the traditional roll up door goes from the floor to about two feet from the top of the container, you can have doors in different sizes and orientations.

Think about how useful it would be to have a rolling window on a pop-up shop container, or several roll up doors attached to a modified shipping container used for self-storage: breaking the container area into several small storage spaces.

4. Roll up, and It’s Gone

Even if you unlock cargo doors, there’s no assurance that those doors will stay open. In fact, in windy conditions, open doors can swing around, knocking against the side of the container and potentially causing damage.

When you open a roll up door, the door is stowed away on the drum above the door, making it easy to transport a large amount of storage. Additionally, if you need to use dollies, roll up doors simplify the process. With a ramp, you can quickly load or unload a container – only needing to open the door once.

Maintenance for Roll Up Doors

Pay careful attention to your container after severe weather events. In the case that you discover leaks around your roll up doors, you can take proactive measures to fix the problem. For example, you can re-apply silicone to the top of the door frame welds.

Clean dirt from the bottom weather strip (also called an astragal). If dirt or small stones get stuck between the strip and the bottom of the container, the container’s wind and weather tightness will be affected.

You should apply a light coat of lithium-based grease to reduce friction and prevent rust. If dirt impairs the smooth operation of the guide strips, wipe debris from inside the guides. If friction persists, apply a light coat of greaseless lubricant, like silicone spray.

As a reminder, adding a roll up door requires cutting material off the container wall. These modifications generally make your container less wind and weather-tight than a standard container would be. However, by following the recommendations above, you can ensure that your door will stay in good condition for longer.

Whether you need just one entrance, or several, roll up doors can help you customize a container to your preferences.

How to Get a Container with One or Multiple Roll Up Doors

There are a few steps that you need to follow if you want to secure a container with roll up doors.

First, you’ll want to contact Southwest Mobile Storage. We have locations in Arizona, California and Colorado so we can assist you in obtaining a container with a roll up door. Your dedicated sales representative will help you identify the best positions for your door and assist you in deciding on the type of storage container you should buy. If you want to rent a container with a roll up door, we may have some available. However, that depends on our unit availability.

Typically, one-trip containers are the best containers to buy for modification. However, your sales representative can tell you if we have more cost-effective containers on hand. After deciding on your container details, we can provide you with a quote, and then talk about what days work best for delivery.

Then, the only thing to do before delivery is to pick a solid, level space to position your container. After that, you can relax, and we’ll take care of the rest, giving you advanced notice of our arrival.


In conclusion, container roll up doors stand out as a transformative modification, offering quick and efficient access, space-saving benefits, versatility in customization and secure storage solutions.

These doors not only simplify daily tasks but also enhance the functionality of shipping containers across various applications. While they may pose some weather-related challenges, proactive maintenance can mitigate these concerns.

Whether you’re considering a roll up door for your storage needs, a pop-up shop, or any other purpose, their convenience and adaptability make them a valuable addition that can truly make life easier.

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