Did you know that more than 80% of shipping containers originate in China? To celebrate Chinese New Year, we’ve taken a look at the lifecycle of a shipping container, from the initial manufacturing to shipyard destinations and then beyond shipping to its next life.

If you’ve ever wondered about the journey of shipping containers, we’ve got it covered here.


Shipping containers are made from Corten steel which is designed to resist rust and other corrosion, making it the ideal choice for something which sees a lot of exposure to the elements over its lifespan.

The steel is cut, sandblasted and sprayed to protect against contaminants before being assembled into its container form. The container is then primed and painted to further protect against the elements before its varnished wooden floor is installed. Finally, the door is sealed with rubber and the container is waterproofed fully to protect its eventual cargo.

Container Facts:

•	A container travels over 10,000 nautical miles from the port of Shanghai to Felixstowe where it is collected to begin a trip to a Cuboid Site •	A single container uses over 2 tonnes of steel and weighs over 2.2 tonnes – the equivalent to a large adult male hippopotamus. •	On average 2.6million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) of containers were produced annually over the past 10 years. Almost 300 each hour.

How long does a container last?

Once made in China, a container will face high seas and every type of weather. The construction process described previously creates robust, weatherproof containers that can stand up to adverse conditions.

But nothing can resist the elements forever, and it is estimated that the average container has a lifespan of approximately 10-12 years at sea as an active shipping asset. However, that is not the end of the story.

These are durable containers and there are many maintenance tricks that can extend their life and make them suitable for use in other areas. By getting them away from the sea after around a decade of life, shipping containers can carry on being a useful asset for as long as another 15 years or more for other purposes.

Second life as secure storage

Containers which start life as parts in China and then go on to explore the world can be repurposed in their later years. Away from the sea, wind and rain, they are the perfect option to provide secure, durable self-storage at sites across the UK.

Cuboid Self Storage

That being said, Cuboid Self Storage’s fleet of containers have not had such an exciting life. They are always “one trip” containers, which means they have only ever done one trip over from its country of origin. This provides a purely wind and watertight solution for our customers.

Heavy-duty container locks and solid steel construction make them a perfect option to provide secure storage. Add in CCTV measures, the aforementioned ventilation system and sites which provide easy access 24/7, and you’ve got a self-storage option that suits all purposes.

Our self-storage containers to rent are located within easy reach of local communities to make storing your belongings as easy as possible. Under the Cuboid banner, containers which start life in China become a safe, secure storage option which offers you the ultimate peace of mind.

Want to rent self-storage near you? See our available locations and enquire today.