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How Shipping Container Transport Works

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Shipping containers are mobile storage solutions that keep stored material safe, no matter what. But just how portable are they? In this blog, we examine how containers can move between locations and help you control your equipment, regardless of what project you have going on.

How much does it cost to transport a shipping container?

The price of transporting a shipping container depends on several factors. The distance port-to-port, the size of the container being transported, the price of gas, and the elevation difficulty during delivery can affect the price. Because of this, the cost of transporting a shipping container can change frequently.

However, we don’t charge hidden fees like other companies. When we give you a delivery quote, you’ll know the total cost upfront. For an up-to-date quote, contact us and let us know about your container need.

How do you transport a shipping container?

At Southwest Mobile Storage, our workday starts early. Our drivers rise in the morning and hit the roads before rush hour, helping us deliver our containers to the customers we serve right when they need them.

The process of delivering your new container has many steps. We transport containers with a forklift, removing containers from the stack in our yard. Next, we lay the container down on a flatbed trailer. We must strap down the containers to ensure nothing shifts during transport. From there, our delivery truck can leave our yard and arrive at your location.

Once we arrive at your location, we need to position our truck in a place that enables us to tilt the truck bed and slowly slide the container off the back of the truck.

Our experienced drivers are highly skilled and have a proven history of making safe deliveries. They will take all necessary precautions to prevent damage to your property.

How do you move a shipping container?

When you need to move a shipping container, give us a call. We typically transport containers near our service areas in Arizona, California, and Colorado.

If you want to move a container, call your sales representative, and they can provide you with more information.

40Ft. containers weigh around 8,000 pounds when empty, but can get much heavier when fully loaded. We can’t move loaded 40Ft. containers because of the pressure it puts on our forklifts and truck winches.


Will you give me a heads-up before my container is delivered?

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we understand that our customers are busy people. Contractors rush between construction sites, homeowners are running to work or taking care of household tasks, and retail business owners are planning deliveries.

You’re getting things done, so we want to make receiving a container as stress-free as possible for you. That’s why we give a 2–3-hour delivery window 24 hours before container delivery.

Then, 30 minutes before we arrive at your location, you’ll receive a call from our driver. This allows you to focus on the things that are important to you, and we’ll take care of your container!

Can you move containers loaded?

We can move most loaded 20ft shipping containers, but we cannot move loaded 40ft shipping containers. Loaded containers over 20′ can put pressure on our forklift and trucks.

If I Buy a Modified Container, Can You Send It Out-Of-State?

Modified containers are flexible to your needs. Delivering these units is just as flexible.

When you purchase a shipping container, we will arrange the transportation to your final destination with our national network of transportation companies.

Keep in mind, if you want to purchase a modified container out of state, you’ll need to use a forklift to move the container from the trailer bed to your preferred location.

How much space do I need for my shipping container transport?

The amount of space we require to deliver a container depends on the size of the container. If we deliver a container to you and you have an adequate forklift on hand, we don’t require as much space. However, if we’re transporting a container to you and you don’t have access to a forklift, you’ll want to have free space so that your container can roll off the back of our flatbed trailer.

  • 10’ – 15’ Containers: We require 50 feet of space for our truck and the container.
  • 20’ – 24’ Containers: We require 60 feet of space for our truck and the container.
  • 30’ – 40’ Containers: We require 120 feet of space for our truck and the container.

In addition to these, we also have height and width requirements. We require 13 feet, 6 inches of height clearance as a minimum and a 12-foot width clearance for all deliveries.

What Surfaces Can I Place a Container on?

You can place a container on any solid, level surface. However, some surfaces help to support shipping containers better than others.

Concrete Pad

A flat and level concrete pad is an ideal surface for placing shipping containers. Concrete provides excellent stability and can handle the weight of the container without damage.

Asphalt or Paved Surface

Concrete and other properly paved surfaces can support shipping containers. However, it’s essential to ensure that the surface is in good condition. Look for locations free from cracks or potholes that could compromise stability.

Gravel or Crushed Stone

A well-compacted gravel or crushed stone surface can distribute the weight of the container effectively. Ensure the surface is level and properly compacted to avoid sinking or shifting of the container.


This blog examined how shipping containers can be transported between locations. We discussed the factors that affect the cost of transport, how containers are transported and how much space is required for delivery. We also discussed the best surfaces for shipping container foundations.

One of the most significant benefits of working with Southwest Mobile Storage is that we take care of the delivery and setup of your container. Talk with us today, and we can further discuss your container need.

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