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A shipping container cover.

The Advantages of Shipping Container Covers: A Closer Look

The world is an ever-evolving ecosystem of businesses, and for companies in various industries to be successful, adaptability and innovation are two key factors that need to be a part of their company strategy.

One culture that has caught on in recent years is the creative use of shipping containers in various industrial use cases. This cultural shift is a testament to the adaptability of companies in recent years.


Aside from their primary role of being the medium for transporting goods across massive waterways like oceans and seas, shipping containers have found new use cases in various industries. Some of these use cases include being used as workspaces, versatile storage units, and construction site shelters.



Advantages of Shipping Container Covers

In this in-depth guide, we explore the advantages that shipping container covers offer to companies in various industries, and the best ways to get the most out of them. Click any of the links below to learn more:



Key Takeaways


  • Shipping storage container covers offer sustainable options for using abandoned/empty shipping containers for practical use cases.
  • Shipping container covers make it easy to extend the storage capabilities or office space of a company.
  • Shipping storage container covers can be mounted using the interior, exterior, and combo mount.
  • Shipping containers have several real-life applications, such as commercial storage solutions, industrial workspaces, and construction site shelters.


Maximizing Storage with Shipping Container Covers


While the storage capacity of individual shipping containers is already an engineering marvel, it is what they can do when combined with shipping container covers – typically, industrial warehouse fabric that pushes their utility to new heights.


Shipping container covers are mounted between two or more shipping containers, which act as the wall or support of the entire structure.


The resulting structure can be used as a temporary structure or permanent structure for storing materials, safeguarding equipment, protecting valuable assets, and lots more.


The most important feature of shipping container covers is that they are cost-effective ways of expanding a company’s storage capabilities.






Transforming Empty Containers


Sustainability has always been important to us, and one of the many ways to ensure environmental sustainability is by transforming old and discarded empty shipping containers into sidewalls for shipping container covers.


By integrating shipping container covers into two or more empty shipping containers, vacant spaces are creatively transformed into functional storage spaces and work areas that can elevate the experience for everyone at your company.


In recent years, the transformation of empty containers into fully functional and sustainable spaces has become a highly welcome industrial solution.


Customizable Solutions


In the industrial landscape that we find ourselves in today, one size rarely fits all, as the needs of different companies differ from one another. This is certainly true for shipping container covers.


It does not matter if your company’s current needs are accommodating oversized industrial equipment, integrating features like ventilation and skylights, or meeting specific industry standards with blast-resistant storage spaces, shipping container covers can be tailored to your specific needs.



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With the right team of consultants and engineers, your empty shipping containers can be customized to suit your company’s unique requirements and needs. Contact us for a consultation.

Types of Shipping Container Roof Covers


Shipping containers come in various forms and offer a very specific set of advantages depending on your storage and office space requirements.


Below are three of the standards of types of shipping container covers that you can choose from depending on your company’s needs:


Prefabricated Roof Kits


Prefabricated roof kits for shipping container covers are roofs designed and manufactured at a manufacturer’s site before it is delivered for installation at the client’s site. These types of roof covers are usually made from steel or fabric supported with high-strength galvanized steel tubing for durability and ease of installation.


Typically, prefabricated roof kits are meant to be a hassle-free solution for adding a roof to your shipping container with the least amount of preparation in the least amount of time.


The main advantages that these roof kits offer are their efficiency and quick-forward installation, which allows you to start enjoying the benefits of shipping container covers in no time.


The major disadvantage is the lack of customization, which makes it hard to fit the specific needs of a company.


Steel Roofs


Steel roofs are known to provide durability and last a long time, especially when used in areas with extreme weather conditions. Steel roofs for shipping container covers can withstand harsh weather conditions and bear heavy loads with ease.


Steel roofs may be harder to install since they must be transported as a unit before installation, thus requiring higher transportation costs.


Fabric Shelters


Fabric shelters are the most common and easiest shipping container covers to install. While fabric container covers are quite lightweight, making it easy to maneuver them, they are far from fragile.


The fabric shelter roofs used by Sunbelt Rentals are made of 18 oz poly-coated vinyl flame-resistant NFPA 701 fabric and combined with single-tube, high-strength galvanized steel tubing for support and weather resistance. This is the same fabric used in most of our temporary structures, like the MAX 756 blast structure.


Two major advantages of fabric shelter roofs are their ease of installation and ease of customization for specific use cases and container sizes.

Temporary Structures Equipment
MAX 756 Blast Structure

Engineered to meet American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 756 blast criteria, these spacious, climate controlled structures are perfect as job site break areas, offices, and meeting spaces. The next generation MAX 756 is even suitable for zone 1 of your job site.

Diagram of a MAX 756 Blast Structure.


Installation Options for Shipping Container Roofs


Shipping container covers can be installed using several methods. Each method is suited to different needs and preferences.


Explore three installation options that may suit your needs below:


Exterior Mount


Exterior mounting occurs when the shipping container cover is connected to the outside edge of both containers, which helps to increase the size of the roof depending on the type of roof (arch, flat, v-shaped). Exterior mount, also known as outside mount, encloses the entire dimensions of the storage or office space created by the shipping container.


This type of mount allows for additional interior storage as it allows you to use the top of your shipping containers on the inside. It also helps to clear water and snow from the end of the roofs more easily.


Exteriorly mounted shipping container covers are more expensive to install than interiorly mounted container covers.


Interior Mount


In direct contrast to exterior-mounted shipping container roofs, interior-mounted container covers connect two shipping containers on the inside. This installation option decreases the size of the shipping container cover, which reduces the cost of installation and is typically used when the budget is low. However, it does allow for more covered space under the cover.


However, since the container cover does not extend to cover the shipping containers themselves, it leaves them exposed to extreme weather conditions and direct sunlight, two things that can lead to early rust formation.


Combo Mount


The combo mount approach lets you install from the exterior end of one container to the interior end of another, increasing the total covered space and reducing the total cost of installation. This kind of installation is used to provide variety.




Accessories and Customization for Container Covers


The customization of empty containers to suit the needs of your company doesn’t stop at the shipping container covers alone. It extends to the addition of accessories and customization options that help to enhance the functionality of the space created using container covers.


Two major customization options include:




You can illuminate your new container-covered space using skylights. Skylights can help brighten up your interior and contribute to the energy efficiency and overall comfort of the space. Also, the addition of lighting to a space increases the safety index of that space by a large percentage.


Sunbelt Rentals has some of the best lighting equipment for industrial and general construction use. We are always ready to help you light up your container-covered space using skylights and other lighting accessories.


Ventilation Systems


Regardless of whether you are using your shipping container-covered space for storage or office space, the function of professionally installed ventilation systems cannot be overstated.


You need to ensure that the environment within your container cover is comfortable and well-ventilated. This is especially true if the space enclosed within your container cover is sealed on either end, with only doors as the access points.


Plus, for storage spaces, ventilation is a critical aspect of maintaining the condition of stored items and equipment.


Sunbelt Rentals offers some of the best ventilation systems on the market alongside our catalog of shipping container covers.


Real-Life Applications of Shipping Container Covers


In the end, it doesn’t matter if you have the best-looking shipping container-covered spaces in the world if there are no real-life applications for owning them. After all, the true test of any innovation lies in its practicality.


Explore some of the best ways shipping container covers are used in various industries to solve real-world challenges.


Commercial Storage Solutions


Businesses in almost any industry can utilize shipping container covers to optimize their storage capabilities with the right customization and installation team. Container covers can help to facilitate organized and secure storage for equipment, inventory, assets, and more as a means of improving the overall efficiency of your company.


Shipping container covers can provide a clearspan interior space that is ideal for storing large industrial equipment, commercial inventory, and lots more.


Industrial Workspaces


Most industries are always in need of extra workspaces, either temporarily with the procurement of a new contract or permanently with the expansion of the business and the hiring of new staff.


Either way, it is safe to say having extra industrial workspaces is a welcomed idea that can improve the experiences of workers at your company and, consequently, improve the quality of products produced by your company.


You can use shipping container covers to create adaptable work environments for manufacturing, maintenance, and other industrial activities.


Construction Site Shelters


Construction sites can be quite hectic, and one of the things construction workers seek out the most is a shelter to help them rest and recover in time for the next shift. Shipping container cover spaces is one of the best ways to provide shelter for construction workers, equipment, and materials.


Shipping container cover modules ranging from 20’ wide models to 54’ wide models can serve as adaptable environments for manufacturing, maintenance, resting, and other industrial activities.

Temporary Structures Equipment
Shipping Container Covers

From industrial sites to equipment storage, these shipping container covers work in various applications. Engineered for high winds and snow loads, they offer reliable protection for assets or personnel. Learn more about our Shipping Container Cover solutions below:

The diagram of a shipping container cover.


Frequently Asked Questions


Question: How do you stop condensation on the roof of a shipping container?


Answer: Condensation forms on the roof of a shipping container when the temperature inside the shipping container drops to a level that is lower than the dew point and the presence of high humidity in the area.


There are several options for preventing condensation on the roof of a shipping container. Some of them include:


  • Dehumidifier: The installation of a dehumidifier can help keep the air inside your shipping container dry by taking water out of the air and expelling it as water.
  • Insulation: With the help of an expert team of shipping container installers, you can easily insulate the inside of your shipping container and shipping container cover to ensure that the temperature on the inside stays warm.
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation is perhaps the most cost-effective way of reducing humidity in your shipping container. Since ventilation allows the balance of air temperature both on the inside and the outside. However, ventilation as a method of preventing humidity is not ideal for areas with wet climates.
  • Desiccants: Desiccants are compounds designed to absorb moisture from the air, and they come in many forms. Desiccants can be applied to the inside of your shipping container as paint on the wall and roof or small bags on the floor and walls.


The team at Sunbelt can help you protect the inside of your shipping container against condensation.



Question: How much weight can a shipping container hold on its roof?


Answer: Typical containers are made of corrugated steel and have a load-bearing capacity of roughly 57,000 pounds (25,855 kg).



Question: How do you put a roof on a shipping container?


Answer: Typically, the installation of a roof on a shipping container is carried out by a team of expert installers and engineers to ensure the safety of the structure and functional efficacy.


Typically, a shipping container cover or roof can be installed using the interior, exterior, or combo mount methods.


The steps may include:


  • Gathering materials
  • Choosing a roof type
  • Preparing the container
  • Choosing an installation method
  • Sealing joints and edges
  • Insulation (optional)
  • Final inspection
  • Maintenance



Question: How do you reinforce a shipping container roof?


Answer: You can reinforce a shipping container roof using the following:


  • Roof trusses
  • Steel plates
  • Additional roofing layers
  • Insulation boards
  • Regular roof maintenance



Question: Can a shipping container be used as a fallout shelter?


Answer: The short answer is yes, but should you?


While shipping containers can serve as a foundation for a fallout shelter, the conversion requires a lot of careful planning, investment, and expertise to meet the safety and functional requirements.


We recommend you consult shelter construction and emergency preparedness experts for projects like this.




If you are looking for an innovative and easy way to create extra storage space using items you already have, shipping container covers may be the answer to your storage problems. Shipping container covers are easy to install, versatile, and practical options for companies with empty shipping containers lying around and the extra space to use as a storage space.


Shipping container covers offer practical solutions to a wide array of industrial and non-industrial applications ranging from asset storage to employee rest and work areas.


Sunbelt Rentals offers some of the best shipping container cover installation services in the United States, as well as other industrial services like safety training and equipment installations, typically required by commercial industries and construction companies.



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Ready to see how our Shipping Container Cover solutions can help get the job done? Contact our team of rental experts now for more information.