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Container Delivery and Pickup: Our Most Asked Questions

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After renting or buying a shipping container from Southwest Mobile Storage, you may have questions about container delivery, pickup and moving. This blog post answers some of the most asked questions we receive. Below are 15 FAQs about delivery, pickup and moving a storage container with SMS.

15 FAQs About Container Delivery, Pickup and Moving

General Questions

1. What is the cost of container delivery and pickup?

Our branch locations have different container delivery and pickup rates because local transportation costs, such as gas, vary by region. Your delivery and pickup location also influence the price. The farther you are from our branches, the more expensive it is to transport containers to and from your site. Additionally, larger units require bigger trucks to transport.

2. Do I need planning permission to have a container on my property?

It depends. You typically do not need planning permission to keep a shipping container on your property. However, local laws and regulations vary widely, including homeowners’ association restrictions. It’s always best to consult local regulations before scheduling a container delivery.

A Southwest Mobile Storage container delivery.
Storage container delivery starts by loading your container onto a flatbed truck with a forklift. Then, the container is secured and prepared for transport.

Questions About Delivery

3. What if I can’t be there for container delivery?

That’s OK. As long as you’ve told us where you would like your shipping container placed, cleared the area and ensured our drivers have access, you don’t have to be there while we deliver it.

4. What if I don’t have room for a shipping container delivery to my location?

If your property doesn’t have room for a shipping container to be delivered, we can still help meet your storage needs. You can store your storage container at one of our Arizona, California, and Colorado branches. Please give the branch nearest you at least 24 hours (one business day) notice to access your container at our location. You can then pack it, and we’ll keep it for you at one of our branch locations. If you need to re-access it, let your dedicated container expert know at least 24 hours (one business day) before your arrival.

We’ll store your container for as long as you need us to, and if you ever move somewhere with enough room to place a container, we’re happy to deliver it at that time. Please note we charge a storage and handling fee to keep your container at one of our branches, and we may require a minimum storage period, which your container expert will explain during the quoting process.

5. Will a container delivery fit into a parking space?

Yes. Parking spaces in the United States are typically 19 feet deep by 8.5-9 feet wide, so any standard-width containers smaller than 19 feet long will fit into a parking space. The largest storage rental we offer that can fit into an average parking space is 15 feet long. The smallest is an 8×10 container. A 15ft container fits perfectly in a standard parking spot. They are 15 feet long, but the doors are 3 feet wide, making the total footprint 18 feet.

6. What are the rules and regulations for placing a storage container or portable office in a parking lot?

We can place your storage container or portable office in a parking lot if there’s enough clearance and our drivers can access it. However, you must check with the property manager for any restrictions regarding storage or office containers in your lot.

Container delivery graphic.

7. Will your trucks damage my driveway?

No. Our container delivery is done with precision by highly experienced drivers, and we’ll place your container onto wood dunnage blocks to prevent damage to your driveway. As long as you’ve provided the necessary clearance space, there shouldn’t be damaged during your container delivery and pickup. If you’re worried about potential damage to your pavers or thin concrete driveway, mention your concern to your sales representative before delivery.

8. Do you level your containers when you deliver them?

Yes. We do a rough level of the container to ensure the doors open and close correctly. If your storage container is not on a level surface, you may experience difficulties opening and closing the doors. Ensure that your container is leveled to prevent container twisting. An uneven container placement can lead to problems with your cargo doors opening and closing correctly.

9. What times do you schedule container delivery?

Our professional CDL drivers begin container delivery as early as 6 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you need another time, we will do our best to accommodate. We provide a two-hour delivery window and, if needed, a call 30 minutes before arrival.

Watch this short video about everything you need to know before your container delivery.

A shipping container awaiting delivery in a storage yard.
Rent a 20ft container delivery and fill it with your items. Out of space at your location? You can keep your container at our lot for convenient, worry-free storage.

Questions About Container Pick-Ups

10. How do I arrange container pickup?

If you’re finished with your rental or need us to move your container, contact your Southwest Mobile Storage container expert to arrange for one of our experienced drivers to pick it up. Call 800-686-9114 and ask to speak with a dedicated container expert.

11. Do I need to be there to accept the pickup of my unloaded container?

It depends. You don’t need to be there for container pickup if you’ve made sure the following things are taken care of:

  • Your container is empty and swept out.
  • Your container is unlocked.
  • Your container has nothing leaning on the sides or stored on top.
  • Your container can’t be behind a locked gate and must be easily accessible for our trucks.

This short video highlights everything you need to know before your container gets picked up.

Moving or Transferring Locations

12. Will you move a loaded 40ft container?

No. Our trucks have weight restrictions that do not allow us to pick up or transport loaded 40-foot shipping containers. According to industry standards, we can only move loaded 20ft shipping containers or smaller.

13. Do I need to be there to accept the relocation of my loaded container?

Yes. We need to verify that there are no prohibited items inside it and ensure everything is packed tightly enough not to slide during transit. Therefore, you need to be there for pickup to unlock it and remove any prohibited items we might find.

14. Are there any items you cannot transport in a container?

Yes. Our drivers must look inside your loaded storage container before pickup to ensure it doesn’t have prohibited items that might pose a safety risk. Because of this, we won’t move shipping containers with illegal substances, animals, humans, paint or flammables inside.

15. What’s the largest container size you can move when loaded?

Due to the combined weight of the container, its contents, and the trailer hauling it, industry-wide standards limit us to only moving loaded 20-foot containers or smaller. The heavier weight can damage the winches on our truck and, in some instances, will damage our trailers when lifting it.

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