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How Does a Storage Container Delivery Service Work?

One of the many reasons storage containers are beneficial is because they can be conveniently delivered to your location. Suppliers can deliver storage containers to just about any work/residential location, such as a restaurant, retail store, or construction site. Before reaching out to storage container suppliers and scheduling a delivery, make sure you learn about how a storage container delivery service works.

Related: Where to Buy Storage Containers

How are storage containers delivered?

Storage container delivery companies are well-equipped to deliver your storage container and protect it against in-transit damage. Most companies will use the following equipment to ensure a safe and efficient delivery:

  • Flatbed or rollback truck
  • Internal tie-downs
  • Tie-down points on truck

When using a roll-back truck, normally the delivery service will use a self-unloading tractor trailer (aka roll-off trailer) to unload the storage container onto your site. On the other hand, when using a flat-bed truck, you will need to use a crane, forklift, top-lift, or large boom truck to help unload the heavy container.

What sizes can be delivered?

Storage container delivery services can deliver containers of all different sizes using their equipment. The most common storage container sizes are:

Both the 20-foot and 40-foot container is 8 feet wide by 8.5 feet tall. There are also high-cube options that add 1 foot to the height, at 9.5 feet tall. Delivery trucks can transport one 40-foot container or two 20-foot containers at a time.

Some people need a slightly larger storage container and require a “custom” size. An example of this would be a 53-foot container. Many trucks can fit a 53-foot container, but additional equipment may be necessary. It depends on the company’s truck sizes and available additional equipment. Note that this may result in extra charges to your delivery service. Make sure to ask your supplier about additional delivery charges for custom-sized containers as well as if their trucks are big enough to handle the delivery.

Related: Types of Shipping Containers

How much does delivery cost?

Delivery charges will depend on the size, type of truck, and equipment needed for your delivery. It will also depend on the distance the delivery company has to travel to deliver your storage container.

Many delivery services will charge a fixed rate for local deliveries up to a certain amount of miles (about 50 miles). This will start at $100-$200, depending on the size of the container. Normally, the bigger the container the higher the cost.

After this fixed rate, the service will most likely charge an additional fee per mile – around $2 per additional mile. Note that these fees can add up if you are requiring the delivery service to travel a far distance.

To learn more about the cost of a storage container, read our storage container pricing guide.

How do I prepare for my storage container delivery?

Once you schedule a delivery day/time with your supplier, it’s important to make sure you are prepared for your storage container delivery. To ensure a safe and seamless process, follow these steps to prepping your site for the delivery:

1. Indicate residential vs. commercial site for supplier

Before your supplier delivers the storage container, let them know whether the container is being delivered to a residential or commercial site. There may be specific preparation guidelines depending on type of site. For instance, many residential sites require residents to get a permit from the city/town or follow HOA regulations to have an on-site storage container. Suppliers who have industry experience will likely be able to talk to you more about these guidelines.

2. Clear sufficient space

Make sure you ask your supplier how much space will need to be cleared for the delivery. Normally, 20-foot storage containers require about 60 or more feet of clearance space and 40-foot containers require about 100-150 feet or more. The total space you need will depend on the container size, type of truck, and equipment required. The service may need to use a forklift or crane to unload the container if there’s not enough space, which will likely cost you more.

3. Make sure your surface is firm

Storage containers are very heavy and can weigh up to 45,000 lbs! In order for a delivery service to deliver safely, you need to make sure the surface the container will sit on is firm and not soft. For instance, concrete will be a better surface than soil or grass. Standing water can damage the container. Pac-Van recommends that if you plan to keep the container in the same spot for more than 6 months, you may want to add foundation to the ground to help with water drainage. Note that if the site is not compact, solid and dry, the service may not be able to complete the delivery.

4. Ensure a level surface

In addition to making sure the surface is firm, you want to make sure the surface is level. If the storage container is delivered and placed on an uneven surface, this may cause issues with the container sitting correctly on the ground as well as opening and closing the container’s doors.

5. Remove obstructions

Make sure you remove anything that may obstruct the truck’s delivery. Look out for uneven payment, potholes, steep inclines, fallen trees, roof overhands, power lines, etc. If the delivery truck can’t easily and safely access your site, they may not be able to complete the delivery. 

How do I get a quote for total cost?

It’s hard to come up with an exact estimate for the total cost of the storage container delivery service. The only way to know for sure the exact out-the-door cost and budget properly is to do proper research, then reach out to suppliers and ask for a quote. To learn more about storage container rentals, take a look at our renter’s guide or our "rent to own" guide.

360Connect makes it easy to compare rates for a storage container delivery service. Simply fill out our online form and we’ll connect you with suppliers that fit your needs. Then you get to compare quotes and save up to 30% on the delivery service!

Get free quotes from up to 5 storage containers suppliers!
Just answer a few questions and get matched to top suppliers near you.
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