20_ft_Storage_containerStorage containers and shipping containers FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Pac-Van storage containers,
ground-level offices, and services.

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We're often asked the questions we've listed below, and you'll find the information by clicking on a question that interests you. If you need an answer that we haven't already provided, please contact us…

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How strong are Pac-Van portable storage containers?
How much space is needed for delivery?
How do you deliver a portable storage container?
Is there any site preparation necessary? Where can a container stand?
What color are Pac-Van portable storage containers?
What if I want to move the container later?
Storage containers and Connex boxes? What's the difference?
How soon is delivery from time of order?
What type of payment is required on delivery?
What kind of modifications does Pac-Van do?
Can shelving be installed in my storage container?
Is my lock protected?
How far does Pac-Van deliver?
How much will a container hold?
How big are Pac-Van portable storage containers? What does a container weigh?
What is the difference between a "standard" and a "high cube"?
Do you have 30' containers or between 20' and 40' or larger than 40'?
What flooring is in a container? Do you have containers with steel floors?
Can containers be stacked?
What if the container I rented needs repair?
Can containers be modified and still shipped?
What is the condition of a new/used container?
Are there a lot of dents in the used container?
How long will the containers last?
What does a container cost?


How strong are Pac-Van portable storage containers?

Very. 14-gauge corrugated steel sides. 14G steel roof. 14G steel cam-locking double doors. 1-1/8" thick marine wood floors.
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How much space is needed for delivery?

A 20' storage container needs approx. 75' of straight clearance. For a 40' storage container, approx. 100' straight clearance. Width requirement is approximately 12'. a minimum of 20' overhead clearance is required at the drop off location. Any obstacles like trees and overhead wires must be cleared prior to delivery.
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How do you deliver a portable storage container?

Pac-Van, Inc. can deliver your container to you via a tilt-bed truck if you would prefer us to unload it at the desired location. The driver will back the trailer and lower the end of the container until it touches the ground then will pull straight out from under the container. Our representative will ask you if we should load the container with the doors facing to the cab or to the rear of the truck. You must make that decision based on the desired location of the container door at your site. In confined areas a lift truck or crane can be used to set the containers.
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Is there any site preparation necessary? Where can a container stand?

The only thing to be concerned about is that the surface is fairly level, smooth, and firm. The truck and trailer weigh over 30,000 lb., a concrete pad, asphalt paving or other sturdy surface is preferred and most drivers will not drive off of a road or paved surface. If you need an off road delivery it is best to discuss the road condition in advance. In considering the resting location for a container Asphalt, gravel, grass, earth, concrete surfaces are all acceptable. The container is self-supporting at the four corners. Therefore, on soft unstable surfaces we recommend each corner casting to be supported with a concrete footing, railroad ties, asphalt or a bed of gravel to spread the weight. This is also very important for container doors to operate smoothly.
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What color are Pac-Van portable storage containers?

Pac-Van storage containers and ground-level officesare painted a standard neutral color to blend in with most surroundings. If you're purchasing a unit and require a specific color to match your building or company colors, please let us know.
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What if I want to move the container later?

We can move the container for you. Pac-Van storage containers and ground-level container offices are forklift-able, stackable, and fully portable; however, certain weight restrictions and damage liability limitations do apply. Always consult with your Pac-Van sales representative before attempting to move the container yourself.
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Storage containers and Connex boxes? What's the difference?

Storage containers, shipping containers, Connex boxes, domestic containersand portable steel containers are all names for the same thing. The name tends to change depending on the region of the country or, sometimes, the industry.
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How soon is delivery from time of order?

We turn normal delivery around as quickly as 24-72 hours, unless you're having modifications done. If you need something sooner, same day delivery may be available.
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What type of payment is required on delivery?

Click over to our Financing pagefor the available options, and the advantages of each. Once we deliver the unit, we will invoice you. Rentals: first billing cycle's rent, plus delivery and pickup fees. Purchases: when credit has been approved, an invoice for the total sales price is sent on the day of delivery, including delivery charge and sales tax. If you prefer not to use credit, C.O.D. arrangements can be made. We accept checks, cash, Visa and MasterCard.
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What kind of modifications does Pac-Van do?

Custom paint jobs, extra doors, shelving, turbine vents, partitions, insulation, HVAC, and many more storage container modifications. Call us toll free at 1-800-587-1784 for a quote.
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Can shelving be installed in my storage container?

Yes. We can install interior shelving high or low, wrap-around, along one side-just tell us what you need.
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Is my lock protected?

Yes. All Pac-Van storage containers are equipped with four cam rods and four padlock hasps. In addition, supplemental, virtually indestructible rod locks can be provided for a monthly fee. Our ground-level security officeshave a proprietary heavy-duty protected locking mechanism. Call us at 1-800-587-1784 for a quote.
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How far does Pac-Van deliver?

We have offices nationwide and will deliver nearly anywhere in the U.S. Please use the Office Locator at top of this page to find the Pac-Van Office closest to you or call us at 1-800-587-1784 for a quote.
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How much will a container hold?

A 20' standard will hold about 1,150 cubic feet. A 40' High Cube is almost 2,700 cubic feet while a 40' Standard will hold about 2,400 cubic feet.
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How big are Pac-Van portable storage containers? What does a container weigh?

Standard lengths are basically 20' and 40'. There are 8'/10' and some 45' containers available while most other lengths need to be constructed. 20's weigh a little over 2 tons while 40' containers weigh between 3.5 and 4.2 tons.
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What is the difference between a "standard" and a "high cube"?

A "standard" can be either 20' or 40' or 48' long, but they are all 8' 6'' high. A "High Cube" refers to a container that is 9' 6'' tall.
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Do you have 30' containers or between 20' and 40'? Do you have containers larger than 40'?

Yes. Most sizes >20' but <40' need to be constructed. Quite often 40' containers are shortened to the required length. These containers will not, unless otherwise agreed upon, be CSC plated. We have some 45' and could construct containers of virtually any length. Ask your Pac-Van representative about your specific needs.
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What flooring is in a container? Do you have containers with steel floors?

Sine the 1990's almost all standard containers have been manufactured with plywood floors. Some earlier containers were manufactured with plank floors. Reefer containers have aluminum "T" section floors. A small percentage of new containers are manufactured with steel floors. Steel floors can also be installed in containers with wooden flooring. Call us at 1-800-587-1784 for a quote on these custom options.
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Can containers be stacked?

Yes. Containers are built to be stacked and through the 4 corner-posts most containers can safely support over 300 tons static weight. The roof panels and side top rails can support only lightweight items without causing permanent distortion/damage.
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What if the container I rented needs repair?

Pac-Van, Inc. will maintain the unit throughout the term of the rental period. If you need maintenance, simply give us a call and we will come out promptly. Many maintenance repairs are free of charge for the life of the rental term as indicated in your lease. In the case of sales, the unpainted containers are sold "as is".
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Can containers be modified and still shipped?

All containers shipped via rail or sea should comply with ISO and CSC regulations. In principal any modification that changes the integral design or structural strength of the container should be re-tested prior to shipment. However, most modifications made to a container can be shipped via flatbed truck/trailer. Check with your Pac Van sales representative regarding your specific needs.
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What is the condition of a new/used container?

Most of the new containers are manufactured predominantly in China. Therefore, new containers available in US from Pac Van Inc. have all been transported from factory sites by rail, road and sea transport. In order to save shipping costs most containers are offered to shipping interests on one-way use basis. By allowing a shipper to use the container for a single load, our cost to position a new container into North America is reduced significantly. These savings are reflected in the price to you. The majority of used containers are typically 10-14 years old when sold by the international shipping interests that originally owned and operated the equipment in international trade. Most are sold as they are considered to have reached the end of their practical working life. This does not however mean that containers are valueless or without new productive applications. Therefore we have our grading system that addresses the important aspects depending upon the intended use:

  • New (1 trip)
  • Premium or IICL-5 (2 to 8 years old): Excellent condition, meets specific repair standards suitable for regular cargo use.
  • CW - Cargo Worthy (Over 8 years old): Structurally sound, suitable for project or single move shipping.
  • WWT - Wind and watertight (over 8 years old): Suitable for storage.
  • AS IS: Minor damage, should be inspected prior to purchase.
  • Handyman: Needs work, damage to the container could be expensive to repair.

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Are there a lot of dents in the used container?

Some used storage containersare in better condition than others. Not all containers have had the same rigorous life. Lease and sale pricing is based on the grade of the container so you can talk to your Pac-Van sales representative to determine which grade meets your needs and budget.
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How long will the containers last?

Without any form of preventative maintenance a new container, in a storage environment, should last for more than 20 years. Used containers have a variable lifespan depending upon the condition of the container when purchased. Our containers should be free of problems for many years after purchase but as steel continues to rust attention should be paid to areas of rust and preventative maintenance performed as required.
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What does a container cost?

Because of changes in market, availability and other variables, Pac Van Inc. quotes specific prices daily. For more detail please call Toll Free: 800.586.1295.
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