Archive for the ‘About Shipping Containers’ Category

Get a 10ft Container! They are Small but Mighty

At Container Alliance, we have shipping containers and storage containers available for rent and purchase in sizes from 10 ft to 45 ft. We provide portable storage solutions in new one-trip, wind and watertight, and refurbished  conditions.

When choosing a shipping 10ft-container-front-cargo-doorscontainer, many customers opt for the ISO standard 20ft storage container or 40ft storage container. However, some clients find these sizes to be unsuited to their placement site or simply too large for their storage needs.

Those who have limited space on-site or who need less storage space should consider renting or purchasing our 10ft storage container. 10ft shipping containers only take up half the area of a standard parking spot and provide an impressive 582 cubic feet of storage space!


10ft-rollup-side-view1-630x32010ft storage containers are the most portable option available. Unlike our larger portable storage options, a 10ft storage container can be repositioned on-site with only a forklift. There is no need to go through the hassle and expense of getting a driver with a semi-trailer out to reposition your storage container!

The 10ft storage container is also ideal for those who are concerned about minimizing the aesthetic impact of a storage container on their property.

As with all storage containers, it is important to be aware of your needs when renting a 10 ft  storage container. The majority of 10ft storage containers are cut down from 20ft or 40ft shipping containers, leaving only two corner posts on one side of the container. As such, most 10ft storage containers cannot be stacked or traditionally hoisted. If your needs include stacking or hoisting please contact a sales representative, as some custom 10ft four corner post storage containers may be available.

10ft storage containers have the same security and durability as 20ft and 40ft storage containers. Our 10ft storage containers come equipped with secure cargo doors, a high-security lock box, and are wind and water-tight. We can also customize your 10ft storage container with windows, additional doors, electrical, or HVAC.

Container Alliance provides shipping containers and storage containers in California and is part of a network of shipping container providers all around the United States. We have been in business for 8 years and work with every client to find the perfect storage solution to meet their unique needs. You’ve got nothing to lose—give us a call at 800-386-2345 today and we’ll hook you up with a box, no matter where you are. Or get a quote now.

Sourcing the Best Shipping Container: Top Ten US Ports

Shipping ContainersIf you are in the market for a shipping container or have already acquired a shipping container, it is helpful to understand where shipping containers come from.

Whether a new “one-trip” container or a used container, shipping containers start their life in Asia and are shipped by boat to the United States. Excess shipping containers arrive in U.S. ports and are stored in terminals and depots adjacent to the ports.


PortsSince shipping containers in the U.S. are sourced from ports, it is helpful to know which ports in the U.S. have the largest volumes of shipping traffic. This important as the volume of shipping traffic affects the both the pricing and availability of shipping containers in your area.

At Container Alliance, we have created lasting relationships with the biggest and best shipping lines and leasing companies in the industry and are very careful in the products that we select.


As presented in National Real Estate Investor, the top ten ports in the U.S. are:


Shipping Container in a Port

10. Port Everglades, FL

9. Tacoma, WA

8. Charleston, SC

7. Oakland, CA

6. Houston, TX

5. Norfolk, VA

4. Seattle, WA

3. Savannah, GA

2. New York, NY

1. Los Angeles/Long Beach, CA

Excess shipping containers have a wide variety of applications outside of shipping. These applications include being used for offices, residences, and storage. At Container Alliance, we are proud to offer a number of sizes and types of containers for rent or purchase. We also offer a wide range of custom container modifications.

Please call us at (800) 386-2345 to talk to a sales rep or fill out a quote.

In the Energy Industry? Shipping Containers are the Perfect Solution

refinery-514010_640Shipping containers are the perfect solution to the unique and challenging demands of the oil industry.

The continuing oil boom in North Dakota clearly illustrates the myriad challenges the oil industry faces in ensuring success. While the challenges faced by the oil industry in North Dakota may appear to be somewhat extreme, they are not unique and are endemic to the industry.

The issues associated with the oil boom in North Dakota have been well documented, as the explosive growth that the oil industry has brought has also been accompanied by chronic housing shortages, overcrowded and over taxed public services, and security issues. These issues directly speak to the challenges the oil industry faces in creating and supporting functional work sites in remote areas with limited infrastructure.

Shipping containers are the ideal choice to meet these needs because they are durable, portable, secure, and easily customizable.

Durable and Portable

shipping container in oil and gas industryThe oil and gas industry works in some of most extreme environments in the world and North Dakota is no exception. Placing equipment, housing, and office space becomes extra difficult in such environments and the durability and portability of shipping containers are uniquely suited to address these challenges.

Shipping containers are manufactured from corten steel and are guaranteed to be wind and water-tight. They stand up to the rigors of being transported to remote locations and are easily placed on-site with less requirements for set up than more traditional modular options.


Safe and Secure

shipping containers in the oil and gas industryThe oil industry’s move into North Dakota has been marked by huge investment into expanding oil and natural gas production. As with any large-scale construction or large-scale industrial project, this investment has been accompanied by a huge amount of equipment, machinery, and construction tools.

All of these equipment and tools require storage, especially given the harsh physical environment of North Dakota. The presence of such large amounts of equipment and machinery raises the question of security of these tools. A shipping container is the perfect solution for ensuring the security of valuable goods. Made of corten steel and with limited and secure access points, shipping containers are inherently secure and can be easily modified with security accessories to be made even more secure.



shipping containers in oil and industryAnother major issue for the oil industry in North Dakota has been that there are not enough buildings available to meet demand. The lack of available buildings are a consequence of the oil and gas industry’s tendency to work in remote locations with small populations.

Shipping containers can be easily modified to meet the demand for more buildings and serve a variety of different applications. The demand for new buildings in the oil industry encompasses every aspect of life; ranging from housing to offices to school buildings to laundry and bathroom facilities. Shipping containers are best suited to meet these needs because they can be modified off-site and quickly placed on-site. Using shipping containers allows clients to avoid many of the problems and costs associated with doing construction in remote and difficult locations.


The challenges faced in North Dakota are truly universal in the oil industry, our partner companies in Texas and Missouri have also worked with the oil industry to address many of the same challenges. See their solutions here and here.

Container Alliance is a network of shipping container sellers all around the United States. To get started with renting or buying a shipping container today for use in the oil and gas industry or one of the hundreds of other applications, contact us today by calling 800-386-2345 or get a quote now.


Bringing Safety Back to Shipping Containers

Container Security – Your Options

By design, the shipping container is safe from nature’s worst. Corten steel construction makes shipping containers strong enough to withstand a hurricane, while leaving their contents unscathed. Unless otherwise modified, each ISO container has lockable cargo doors on one end, including dual-locking rods and a four-handle latch system.20ft-onetrip-container

But what about those unnatural predators—people armed with bolt-cutters?

Here at Container Alliance, we know that you’re seeking storage because your belongings or your company’s belongings mean something, and you need to keep them safe. That’s why we offer a variety of security fixtures made to equip your container against both Mother Nature and your neighbors. If nothing else, you can opt for added security just to maintain your own peace of mind—and know that nothing is getting in or out of your container.

Unfortunately, the default padlock is visible, rendering the entry point susceptible to anyone with the right tools. Everyday break-ins, however, can be easily avoided with the choice of a couple simple additions.

Sliding Door LockboxThe lockbox

You can eliminate your worries by adding on a locking system concealed by a small box just as durable as the entire container itself: the lockbox. It’s inexpensive and could save you a whole lot of trouble. The placement of a lockbox is flexible; many customers opt for roll-up or sliding doors, which are more convenient, but can be less secure without added locking systems.

Security bars

People turning their container space into living space may want to amp up the safety of their box by ordering the installation of security bars to their container. We can deck out your windows, doors and turbine vents with strong bars that keep people (and anything else) out of the space when you’re there (and when you’re not).

Container Alliance is a storage container provider in California and a network of additional shipping container providers all around the United States. Our partner companies aim to best suit your storage container needs, whether you’re in Oakland or Chicago. You’ve got nothing to lose—give us a call at 800-386-2345 today and we’ll hook you up with a box, no matter where you are. Or get a quote now.

Top 10 Most Popular Container Modifications in Southern California

You know those old and rusty cargo containers you saw sitting in the shipyard as you sped past on the highway? Not all shipping containers look like that. In fact, Container Alliance is in the business of providing top quality storage units in the forms that work best for you, whatever your intended application may be. To further personalize your container, we serve our customers with a variety of modification options that tailor the box to their intended purpose.

To discover the modifications that Southern California residents opt for most often, read on:

1) Refurbishing

If you’re looking for a recycled, used container with like new quality, our refurbished containers are the choice for you. Although they maintain much of their original strength, used containers vary greatly in condition levels and sometimes this means holes and dents that compromise the security level. That’s why our refurbished containers are our most popular modification for Southern California containers; refurbished containers offer the same storage abilities as our tip-top one trip containers, but at a cheaper price. After smoothing out any the container’s surface, we apply fresh paint to even out unsightly surface rust, scratches, and dings.

2) Lock BoxesLock Box

Although the solid structure of the container is more than secure enough to keep natural elements out, unfortunately, it’s still possible for crafty thieves to break in. But fear not: you can easily remedy this by adding on one of our lock boxes, making you the only person with the ability to access your container. Our lock boxes, welded onto the steel doors, hide and protect a padlock from bolt cutters. They are the second most popular container modification in Southern California because they give you the security and peace of mind that your precious belongings or company inventory remain safe and only accessible to you.

3) Roll Up Doors

Roll Up Doors

Roll up doors add a new level of convenience to your container. By default, all shipping containers come equipped with two cargo doors. Roll up doors, however, are the third most popular modification in California because they improve the loading and unloading process tenfold. Especially recommended for customers storing extremely heavy products, Roll up doors turn one side of your container into an open space that can stay open for the whole process of loading the box. They also provide a second entry point that can be useful when multiple people are assisting with the loading and unloading process, or simply to improve accessibility when positioning limits it.

4) Turbine VentsVents-Turbine

The turbine vent is a popular option for Southern California container buyers and renters because it keeps the air inside fresh, maintaining more of a livable environment. For customers intending to spend long periods of time inside of the container, turbine vents are always recommended; but for anyone simply using the container for storage, well-circulated air can only be a good thing. Good air means less risk of dust buildup in a stuffy environment that leaves any stored items in a condition far from the best. Choose turbine vents to keep the container environment crisp.

5) 36” Steel Door

Our lightweight steel doors are a very common choice because they allow customers to access their containers as if they were a rooms in their houses. Selected for both residential and commercial applications, the 36” steel door makes coming into the container a comfortable step. Gone are the wasted minutes of opening the roll-up door, and the strenuousness of pulling open cargo doors. With our popular 36” steel door, walk right in!

6) Electrical PackageElectrical Outlet

Many customers bring electricity into the equation to accommodate certain storage needs. If you are storing smaller belongings, lighting inside the container is not just helpful, but necessary, no matter the time of day you are accessing the container. Electricity is also necessary for our Southern California customers using the container as living space, as we can equip the box with standard power outlets for personal electronic use. Just contact us and we’ll figure out the best package for your individual needs.

7) Steel Sliding DoorsSteel Sliding Door

Although similar to our standard lightweight steel doors, our steel sliding doors can make accessibility even more convenient for you. If you need to load and unload items in a continuous fashion, these doors make matters easier as you can bring as many things as you like in while the door stays simply propped open. While this effect mirrors that of our roll-up doors, the steel sliding doors are much easier to open and mimic that of residential sliding doors.

8) Insulation

To increase the functionality of their shipping containers, many people in Southern California opt for insulation. Dry containers are perfect for many types of storage, but without insulation, the stored contents become susceptible to damage via temperature changes. For certain perishable or sensitive items, this can be a problem—however, insulation can change that to produce a more livable environment for the stored items. 

9) Windowsstandard-window-1-of-1

For a variety of different container applications, windows can make the overall experience more convenient and pleasant. Without installing a lighting system, it’s difficult to see all of the contents inside of the container, making them hard to access. For this reason, many people opt for the modification of windows. Windows bring in natural lighting helpful to both people using the container for storage and people who will be inside the container for long periods of time (such as those converting their container into a home office.

10) Skylights

To shed some light on your storage, or to provide a source of natural illumination for your mobile office or living space, consider adding skylights to your container. We can replace some of the container’s steel ceiling with window glass, so you feel less like you’re inside of a box. Skylights are one of the most popular modifications in Southern California because they provide similar lighting benefits as windows without compromising the privacy of the inside of the container. Whether you’re dealing with a 20’ or 40ft container, there is a large amount of room inside and without some form of lighting it becomes impossible to see the contents of the far end.

Insulated vs Dry Storage Containers: Different Uses

As soon as you know you need to buy or rent a storage container, there are many additional choices for you to make that can improve the quality of storage. An important factor to consider: do you need a dry container or an insulated container?

While dry containers tend to be cheaper, an insulated container can allow for interior climate control that can be necessary to maintain the quality of certain stored items. Insulation can also make the inside of a container livable and less susceptible to sharp temperature changes that will inevitably result from a container being in sunlight.

See below to learn more about the differences between dry and insulated storage containers to discover the option best for you:

20ft One TripDRY

Dry containers are not equipped with additional insulation, maintaining the same state as their past lives when shipping cargo. They can also be refurbished with new paint to increase lifespans and improve quality. For many potential container applications, dry storage containers are the perfect choice.

Dry containers are generally used for commercial, residential, and industrial storage, especially useful for keeping heavy items safe, such as construction equipment. Storage containers are also well suited for storing belongings of any size—like hunting or fishing equipment—because of the structures’ durability and resilience to virtually any weather condition. Your dry container will stay standing no matter how brutal the outside weather becomes.

As dry is the condition of the standard shipping container, you will find these containers at the most reasonable prices.


Insulated ContainerDue to added functionality, the insulated container is a different animal than the dry container. There are several ways to insulate the interior of a container, which include fiberglass, rigid polystyrene foam panels, and closed cell spray foam. Generally, Container Alliance insulates with R-13 value fiberglass surrounded by wood studs, and then finished with plywood and drywall or particle ply. Similar to the type of insulation you will find in conventionally-built homes, this makes being inside of the container tolerable for long periods of time.

A typical use of the insulated container is the mobile home office. The container is a perfect size for an office, with a structure allowing for mobility if the customer so desires. With an insulated interior, the container allows people to stay inside comfortably for entire days. Some people take the insulated container to the next level by quite literally living inside of the container—proper and thorough insulation has made the growing trend of shipping container homes possible.

Insulated containers will be priced higher than simple dry containers, but the added insulation maximizes the amount of different options for use. We can insulate your container in the manner perfect for your specific use.

The Perks of Office Containers

Due to the shipping container’s portability and security, a popular application for the ISO container is turning it into a mobile office. Office container units are perfect office solutions for construction job sites, properties under remodel, boatyards, mining sites, and more. 

With a mobile office unit from Container Alliance, you get the durability of a sea-transport-ready shipping container along with everything you need in a small office, plus any specific modifications necessary for the container to best serve you. When you work with Container Alliance, your container can be customized to suit your specific requirements.

Thousands of people have chosen shipping containers as the solution for their office needs. But why work out of a container instead of building a permanent structure or converting a pre-existing room into an office? There are a handful of benefits that come along with using a shipping container base structure.

40ft Office/ Storage Combo

They’re functional

All of Container Alliance’s office containers consist of insulation, electricity, windows, and personnel doors. These features separate them from the shipping container’s simple default form with two cargo doors, allowing for more convenient accessibility and replicated comfort of being inside a normal room. In addition, we offer 40ft units modified as both office and storage space in the same container, providing the beneficial aspects of both office and storage containers.

They’re cost-effective

Shipping container offices allow you to avoid the expensive strings attached to using traditional building methods such as foundation, walls, etc. After purchasing the container you can expect a high standard of quality for the next ten years or so, allowing it to pay for itself in the long run. For the customer with short-term needs, these units are also available for rent, allowing you to choose the length of your lease. We’ll arrange delivery and pick-up.

They’re compact

Our 20ft containers take up the space of just one standard parking spot, giving you the amenities of a traditional office but in a smaller size. However, even 20ft shipping containers are spacious enough to be comfortable—people do live inside of them, after all. We also offer 40ft offices to accommodate the customers needing additional space for work. With an office unit, everything is safe and contained.

40ft Office Container /  Storage Combo

They’re movable

We can equip the unit with electricity, heating/AC ability, windows, and a personnel door—providing the comforts and requirements of standard offices, but in portable form. Just load it onto a suitable truck and your shipping container can move anywhere. Unfortunately, Container Alliance’s trucks are only able to hold empty containers, but it’s easy to find trucking companies that can help you out with relocating your office container.

They’re reliable

All of our shipping containers come from overseas in Asia, proving their strong dependability against crazy weather conditions and security against the strong natural elements that could potentially wreak havoc on the content of the container. Our units are all guaranteed to be wind and water tight. Additionally, the insulation provided with all of our office units gives them a one-up over our regular shipping containers in terms of interior quality.

They’re versatile

Container Alliance’s modular containers are the ideal solutions for essentially anyone needing a portable office, or someone looking for a sturdy way to conduct important indoor work while on site. Some examples of the situations benefitting most are below:

  • Construction offices
  • Home or Business Workshops
  • Sales Offices
  • Laboratories
  • Kitchens
  • Business Kiosks
  • School Yards
  • Emergency Housing
  • Computer Data Centers
  • Garages

20' Office mod before20' Office modification
20′ Office Container Before & After Insulation

Container Alliance is a nationwide network of shipping container and portable storage providers. To find out more information by personally speaking to one of our sales representatives, call 800-386-2345 today—or get a quote now.

Refurbished vs. Wind and Water Tight Containers

refurbished vs wwt containers

What’s the difference?

Refurbished Containers are used containers start out as Wind and Water Tight containers that are then given a treatment. The used container has surface rust wherever it is scratched which can be wire brushed off the container removing it while exposing bare steel. We then primer the container for a fresh coat of paint. The end result is a container, which looks much better and also lasts much longer. These repaired containers will last much longer than the untouched or “AS IS” WWT containers. If you are ok with a used container with some dents and minor cosmetic blemishes inside and out then a refurbished container is a great option.

Wind and Water Tight Containers or ”WWT” containers are basically self-explanatory; meaning whatever is stored inside a WWT container is protected from outside winds and any kind of liquid or water that can get inside it. These containers are specifically built for transporting goods cargo ships, which means that they can easily usually withstand any kind of weather and water conditions they are faced with. WWT Containers can be used to store anything needed to, but they are put to the best of their potential when they are being used to ship cargo while stacked on top of and under other heavy filled shipping containers. Compared to Refurbished Containers, WWT containers are not refurbished – in fact; they are basically used containers without refurbishment. They still have the scratches, dents, and rusty spots and paint patches, they have surface rust where scratched and are normally labeled by the shipping lines.


Refurbished Containers – Some advantages to choosing a Refurbished Container can be that they are fixed up, repainted and still guaranteed to last. Though they are used, Refurbished Containers can be repainted to fix rust and other scratched imperfections on the container. This technique used to repair containers is becoming a popular one with many container companies today including Container Alliance. Though these containers are not brand new looking on the outside, they are still in far better shape than WWT Containers are and the fact that the surface rust has been dealt with, grinded off and repainted will preserve the life of your container.

WWT Containers – The advantage of choosing a WWT Container over a Refurbished Container is that these containers are already used which is easily show on the outside of the container and sometimes even the inside of the container, but they are still great for storing goods to exported or imported. They are still able to take on the winds and powerful seas after being used. They are the most economical container that does not have damage and is in waterproof condition.


Refurbished Containers – Going with a Refurbished Container usually is already an advantage in itself over a simply used one, the only disadvantage being that they are a bit more expensive. If you desire the traditional look of an ISO shipping container you will want to stick with a standard unpainted unit as it appears from the shipping line.

WWT Containers – The disadvantages associated with the WWT container VS Refurbished lie in the fact that the WWT containers are not preserved in any way. WWT have been used to transport cargo throughout the world over land, sea and road. Wherever the container is scratched surface rust is present and over time will naturally deteriorate the steel. Although the newer “CORTEN STEEL” is less susceptible to rust refurbishing these newer Corten units will preserve the life of the container.

Double Door Containers

double door container

Have you considered Double Door One Trip Containers?

Typical shipping containers come with a double cargo door on one end of the container.  This door opens in two sections allowing the entire interior end dimension of the container to be accessed.  In the used ISO shipping container world the only option available is containers with cargo doors on one end.  Container Alliance has seen interest from clients who would like to see containers with doors on both end.  In 2012 Container Alliance started a new program bringing in one trip 20’ containers, one trip 40’ containers and One trip 40’ high cube containers with doors on both ends.  These new one trip containers are built in the container factories in asia and brought to the united states with one cargo load only.

Double door one trip containers are built under ISO specifications only difference being the front end wall and corner castings and pillars have been replaced with an additional cargo door with standard ISO security locking bars, element and rodent proof seals and easy to use handling gear.

The Advantages

Access  – Double door one trip containers are simply more accessible with access from both sides you can access more items with ease and allow you to create a more flexible and efficient storage solution.  When storing your items in a storage container it’s good to have a double door one trip container. You won’t have to worry about what you will store first because, you won’t have to worry about the item being all the way to the back and have to unload and reload the container to access the hard to reach items. With the double doors the back can become the front and front can become the back.

Cost – We have many clients that come to us with customization needs, we often add roll up doors to the opposite end of cargo containers.  We have found that in many cases it is cheaper to purchase a one trip double door container vs. modify the container to suit your needs.  You also may be pleasantly surprised when you are quoted single vs. double door pricing.

Resale Value – Double door containers always seem to have a higher resale value than single door units.  If you decide you wish to sell your container down the road you can expect to get more value for this type of container.

Double door one trip containers are an excellent choice – ask your sales representative today for more information regarding double door containers.

Cargo Containers – The Environmental Impact

International Cargo Transport and The Environment


The cargo container has revolutionized the way the global economy works and has not only created a more efficient method of international trade, it’s become an underlying constant to stem growth of international gross domestic product.  It’s commonly talked about how the invention of the cargo container has had this huge impact, but the effects on our environment, not always bad, have also been significant and should be addressed.

One of the most positive aspects of the shipping container when it comes to global transport is the fact that these cargo boxes are manufactured to be some of the strongest modular structures in the world and therefore the amount of cargo that one unit can carry over it’s lease term is astounding.  These ocean freight containers are being built to carry cargo, and do so for 10 years or more, then can become part of an entirely new world of portable storage, portable offices, disaster relief shelters, structures and housing to name just a few.  Point being is that the shipping container is the epitome of recycling and repurposing.  There is something to be said for one structure that is manufactured in Asia carries cargo for huge multinational companies for more than a decade and is then repurposed multiple times, all the while having the potential of being someones home one day! We can learn from this concept, though not a new one, it seems to be lost in translation on smaller scale efforts.  Some of these gigantic manufacturing industries need to be more conscientious of their product from the outset, creating something that can be used through multiple phases, with many different functions.

Environmental Efforts


Going over percentages and numbers as they relate to Cargo Container Ships and Maritime transport can be staggering at first glance and is often misleading.  Cargo Container Ships are actually some of the most carbon efficient means of transporting cargo –  and with most of the world’s manufactured goods being carried by ship, this process is most definitely on the right track.  The increased efficiency has also led to environmental benefits associated with the movement of cargo.  Regulatory efforts on emissions by the World Shipping Council (WSC)  are also leading to what could be drastic change in the output of Co2 and other harmful gases

One of the primary concerns with Cargo Container Transport has been Vessel Discharge.  Ballast water, gray and black water are all forms of discharge that are routinely released off the liners.  The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a set of guidelines that will help regulate vessel discharge to an extent where the impact on invasive marine species is lessened significantly.


repurposed shipping container

Shipping containers repurposed for housing

Millions of cargo containers are used throughout the international supply chain and are used and repurposed many many times after their shipping life has expired. Shipping containers for sale has created an auxiliary industry for containers being reutilized typically as storage containers. Storage containers for sale throughout the united states and the world.  Beyond repurposing, it is now possible to recycle almost 99% of most containers to make new steel products.  The portable storage industry has taken the cargo container and created a streamlined product that end users have embraced as an affordable, viable and environmentally sound method for mobile storage of goods.

New Materials

Floors of cargo containers have typically been manufactured using tropical hardwoods.   It takes approximately two cubic meters of hardwood to floors for three 40’ Containers.  The cargo container industry uses roughly 1.5 million cubic meters of hardwood per year to meet global demand.  There is an obvious change that needs to take place within this area of the container world.  Some of the largest shipping lines have vowed to only buy containers that use “responsible forestry” in their manufacturing.  Change has already started to take place with more sustainable floor types being used and new products being tested constantly.

This is all we can hope for, is that the industry recognizes their misgivings and works diligently to alleviate the problems that have severe impacts on our environment.