Call Us: Atlanta (678) 829-5902

Call Us: Atlanta (678) 829-5902

Informative Articles


Why are the Doors of My Shipping Container Difficult to Close?

By September 7th, 2017 About Containers No Comments

This article is a bit of a continuation from our post last month. In that post, we focused on the basics of opening/closing the doors of a shipping container. In this post, we will discuss the two main reasons the doors of your shipping container may be difficult to close (after they’ve been opened).

Uneven Surface

When a shipping container is delivered, it’s usually delivered with the doors closed. If the container is dropped on a surface that is uneven, it can create some big-time challenges when opening/closing the doors. While it may be a bit difficult, you can usually get the doors opened. However, it may be virtually impossible to get them closed again.

The reason is because a container can twist or rack when it’s placed on an uneven surface. It is always best to place your shipping container on as level and hard-packed a surface as possible (like concrete, asphalt or gravel). However, if you are unable to drop the container on a hard-packed surface, the container can be placed on the bare ground as well.

When placing a shipping container on a grass/dirt surface, we recommend leveling that area as best as possible. However, sometimes you may not be able to do so. That’s okay. Just keep in mind, that you may need to level the container (by shimming up a corner or two once it’s been dropped).

Before opening the doors of the container, we suggest that you perform a visual inspection of the doors. This is usually a pretty good indicator if the container is not level or “racked”. Focus on the black rubber gasket/seal that runs around the perimeter of each door. That gasket/seal should line up straight across the top. If one side is higher than the other, the container is most likely unlevel. If you try to open the doors now, it may be very difficult to close them again.

To shim up a corner(s) of your shipping container, we recommend using pressure treated lumber. You may only need to shim up a corner(s) an inch or two. It may take some a bit of experimenting, to determine how much you need to shim up your container. Once you’ve added the shims, check the door gasket across the top of the doors. If the gasket is lined up, you’ve probably done a good job leveling the container. At this point, the doors of your shipping container should open/close without a problem.

Uneven Distribution of Product/Items

Once you’ve determined that your shipping container is level, it’s time to start loading it. It’s important to pay attention to how you distribute the load throughout the container. You may not experience any issues going forward (no matter how you load your product/items into the shipping container). However, if you notice that the doors are difficult to open/close after you’ve loaded the container, you may need to check how the product is distributed. Moving some items around may be necessary to alleviate any issues with opening/closing the doors.

If your product/items have been distributed evenly and you are still having trouble with the doors, you may want to check the corners of your container. If the shipping container has been placed on grass/dirt/asphalt, it’s possible that a corner(s) may have started to sink a bit.

This is a common problem as you start to add weight to your container. One or two of the corners may sink down below the level of the surface. If this happens, you’ll just need to shim up those corners until the container is level again. This should make the doors easy to open/close again.

It’s always best to make sure your container is placed on as level and hard-packed a surface as possible. If your shipping container is going on grass/dirt/asphalt, make sure you have some pressure treated lumber on hand. You may need to do some leveling. It’s also best to distribute the product as evenly as possible throughout the container.

These tips will ensure that your shipping container is always level. We hope that this information is helpful. If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing a container or renting a container, please contact us at (678) 902-9525 or complete an online quote request.



Post Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *