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Shipping containers have come a long way in the past decade. It’s not so much about the design of shipping containers as it is about changing the way we use them. Today shipping containers are experiencing a renaissance thanks to innovative recycling and repurposing initiatives around the world. The humble shipping container is being used not just for transportation, but for homes, offices, storage, workshops, classrooms, clinics, and more. They have become a sustainable building material thanks to their structure, shape, and adaptability. As a result, the types of door options available for shipping containers have adapted to the changing uses providing easy access for people, vehicles, and storage items. Here we look at five options for shipping container doors and their recommended applications.
1. Cargo Doors
Cargo Doors are the “original” door used for shipping containers. They are installed as the standard container door, located at the end, allowing easy access to the content stored and shipped inside. These heavy-duty doors are weather-tight and very secure. They swing outwards to accommodate more content inside. The secure cam and lock system is sturdy in design preventing theft and reducing the risk for damage due to inclement weather and other environmental threats.
Cargo doors are the right choice when you are strictly using your shipping container to store items. Keep in mind they are less convenient than roll-up or garage doors. However, if you don’t need access to the content too often, this is an affordable, simple option without the need for modifications or installation.
2. Man/Personnel Doors
If the container is being used to store smaller items such as office supplies, retail inventory or tools, or the shipping container has been modified as an office, a man door offers entry for personnel. It is a secure, weather-resistant point of entry, allowing easy access to items in the container.
In general, the man door uses a convenient push bar system ideal when carrying items out of storage. They are available in different finishes and styles, to suit your needs.
Even if you only use your shipping container for storage, but access it more frequently, the man door makes it easier to enter and exit the container without dealing with the massive cargo doors. The man door is ideal for busy storage containers, or when your container has been modified for office use.
3. Roll Up Doors
For easier access to storage containers, the roll-up door is ideal, especially if you are storing larger items or items in bulk such as crates or barrels. They are also perfect for pop-up kiosk applications.
With a roll-up door, you get added protection and security for your stored items with 26-gauge corrugated steel. The doors are highly durable, and easy to operate, using a sturdy locking mechanism for added security. You can choose from a number of sizes, or request customized doors.
Although more costly, it is worth it to make the most of your container space. The steel frames make roll-up doors suitable to maintain the structural integrity of your shipping container. If you are trying to optimize space, roll-up doors are the answer.
Constant access to larger stored items, as well as busy areas where time is of the essence also make the roll-up the logical choice. They can be installed in addition to the existing cargo doors, or to replace them.
4. Garage Doors
Garage doors can be insulated or non-insulated, and automatic or manual. They are very convenient and highly secure designed to protect your belongings from theft and the elements. Designed for easy loading using a forklift, as well as storage for vehicles and large mobile equipment, the garage door can be the perfect solution for construction sites, farms, etc.
5. Glass Doors
Glass doors come in three styles to suit your needs. They are ideal for modified shipping containers being used for living or workspace, allowing easy access while letting in plenty of natural light. Depending on your needs the doors are chosen much like the glass doors for a home. The styles include:
French patio doors
These double glass doors come in a variety of styles and colours and offer an elegant, upscale look to your shipping container. They come in both inward and outward swings, with the outward option suitable when exterior space is limited.
Bi-folding doors are a unique choice allowing you to completely open up your living or workspace. This is an excellent option for modified pop-up shop containers, as you can open them completely to let more people enter your shop.
Sliding glass doors are ideal when space is limited, as the space taken to open and close the door is not a consideration. Made of durable glass and usually a vinyl frame, they are more secure than French patio doors but not as secure as a standard man door.
Glass doors are an excellent option when the space is used for work, retail, or homes.
How do you install glass doors in a shipping container?
Installing glass doors and sliding doors in a shipping container is one of the most common container modifications.
The container exterior wall can be cut without interfering with the integrity of the steel structure. The wall is cut, and the frame is welded to suit the door and frame size before the glass doors are installed. The door is sealed to protect against the elements and the interior of the container is finished with trim and paint.
Combining Different Types of Doors
Of course, you can also customize your door styles and installation to improve function, security, access, or optimize space.
Modified shipping containers for office or living space for example often require different combinations of shipping container doors like sliding doors, an entry man door, and a “back” egress door for safety.
An office with storage, a storage space requiring frequent access, or storage spaces that need to accommodate a variety of different sized items might require roll-up doors and a man door.
There are endless shipping container door combinations you can create to completely customize your unit.
Conterm’s highly specialized and skilled team can transform any shipping container into a unique, modified container. Our shipping containers for sale or shipping containers for rent can all be designed to your specifications. Contact us to discuss your shipping container needs.