How High Can Shipping Containers Be Stacked?
How High Can Shipping Containers Be Stacked?
You’ve probably seen pictures of container ships carrying hundreds of containers stacked on top of one another, wondering how are they not falling off or collapsing on themselves with all that weight.
And the truth is, there is a science to determining how high can shipping containers be stacked, and when dealing with such heavy items that carry valuable goods, it’s no surprise that the requirements are strictly followed in the shipping industry.
There are specific methods that can help you can determine how high can shipping containers be stacked in any particular situation, and so, in this article, we’ll go over the most important aspects that you need to consider, and will also go over the best practices of stacking shipping containers.
How High Can You Stack Shipping Containers?
When shipping containers are stacked on one another, it creates a tremendous amount of pressure to the bottom containers, as well as the deck on which the entire stack is placed.
Therefore, there are a few essential factors that need to be considered when determining how high can you pile on containers on a ship or any other surface.
The first factor you need to consider is the maximum stack load of the lowest container, which can be found on the CSC plate or in the documentation. After all, your stack is only as strong as its bottom container, so you need to figure out how pressure can it withstand and then make sure that you do not go over that.
It’s always better to be conservative and cautious and not stack to the very limit of what the container is said to be able to hold, as even relatively small structural issues could reduce the resilience of the container and put it at risk of collapsing.
Also, if the containers that you are stacking are not identical, you should also look at the second lowest and even the third-lowest containers to ensure that they can withstand the pressure from above as well.
If you plan on placing the containers on a ship, the next step when measuring how high can shipping containers be stacked is figuring out the maximum stack load of the deck.
Basically, it’s the amount of pressure that the deck’s surface and the entire structure of the ship can withstand, which is crucial to ensuring that the cargo ship reaches its destination safely and that the containers remain in place and undamaged.
Obviously, the height of the stack and the number of stacked containers will depend on the ship that they are being placed on – heavy-duty container ships can carry a huge load, while smaller vessels may not permit stacking at all.
The final consideration with container stacking is ensuring that the visibility on the navigation bridge isn’t impaired – there are specific requirements that need to be met for the ship to be allowed to leave the port.
If the containers are not stacked for shipping, but rather for a housing project, then other considerations need to be made.
For one thing, since their load will be much lighter, they could theoretically be stacked higher, but in that scenario, wind loading and other aspects that affect stability would likely add limitations in their own right.
Container Stacking Best Practices
The most important aspect of shipping container stacking is to put the safety of both the workers and the cargo above all else – taking risks can have terrible consequences when dealing with containers weighing many tons, so it’s always better to be safe and follow the best practices of the industry.
Before beginning, it’s crucial that you analyze each container and make sure that they are in good condition and structurally sound, as even one faulty container can topple the entire stack.
Another thing to consider is to stack the containers in the most stable way possible – try to line up each corner with the containers above and below, so that there is no displacement of force.
You should also lock the containers together, as that will provide additional stability and help protect the stack from environmental elements.
If you’re stacking containers on land, make sure that they are not only able to withstand the pressure, but also consider factors like wind and structural integrity, especially if it’s a housing project and the containers will need to remain stable for many years.
Avoid Low-Quality Containers
Stacking containers is a challenging process that requires you to be very thorough and careful – even the slightest mistake can result in huge losses, and put people’s lives in danger.
That’s why, in addition to thorough preparation, you must make sure that your containers are in good enough shape to handle being stacked on one another. Older containers that have suffered from damage may not have the structural integrity to withstand stacking, even if their CSC plate says otherwise.
So, it’s crucial that you buy from a reputable seller that has a solid track record and has earned the trust of his clients.
And at Conexwest, we can offer you peace of mind knowing that your shipping containers will be up for the challenge. Over the years in the industry, we have worked with thousands of clients across America, including names like Google and the U.S. Navy, and we pride ourselves in delivering the best possible solutions to each and every customer that we serve.
If you want to learn more about Conexwest’s selection of shipping containers for sale or have any questions about stacking, don’t hesitate to call us at (855) 878-5233 and our experts will help you find the best solution for your needs and your budget.