Pac-Van, Inc.

How to Choose a Site for a Shipping Container


Courtesy of Courtesy of Pac-Van, Inc.

In our Renters Guide, we discussed many things to consider when renting or leasing a storage/shipping container.  Once you’ve made the decision that you need a shipping container, you will need to figure out where to place it.   There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a site.  They include:

  • Accessibility
  • Clearance
  • Grade/Surface
  • Drainage
  • Current Site and Future Changes


Overhead accessibility to the site is important.  The truck and trailer that will deliver the container will need to have a clear entrance to the job site and to the final spot on which the equipment will be placed.  This means the area should be free of hazards, including blind spots, vehicles, trees, other buildings, sand, mud, etc.  Our driver will also require 120 feet clearance in front of equipment location to allow for the unloading of the shipping container and maneuvering throughout jobsite.


Please make sure that there is at least 14 feet of clearance for the truck in order to minimize the risk of damage to the equipment.  Items to look out for are tree limbs, bridges, overhangs and power lines.


A storage container can be placed on many surfaces; however there are more ideal situations than others.  A level surface is always preferred over a location with any sort of incline.  A concrete surface is ideal but not required.  If the grade is level, a number of types of surfaces would work including, in order of preference, concrete/asphalt, gravel, grass, dirt, and sand.  If a storage container must be paced on a slight incline, a solid surface is always preferred.  As you can see, there are many types of foundations for shipping containers that can be utilized.


A container can be placed directly onto the ground, but you will need to ensure that water can drain adequately.  Standing ground water could create an issue with moisture seepage through the floor, which can result in mold and mildew, rotting of floor boards, and possible damage to the contents being stored.  If water will not drain adequately, the shipping container can be set on blocks to assist in draining.

Current Site and Future Changes

On the day your container is delivered, please be aware of the appointment and make sure the site is ready to go, clear of all debris, vehicles, other jobsite equipment, etc.  Once your storage container is delivered, please make Pac-Van aware of any jobsite modifications, changes to the landscape or condition of the equipment.  Pac-Van can come out and make a maintenance call, if necessary, which will ensure a smooth and seamless pickup when the container is no longer needed.

At the end of the day, good communication with your Pac-Van sales rep is key.  Let your rep know about the location at which your storage container(s) will be placed, and he or she can assist you in choosing the most appropriate spot.  Contact us today to be connected with your local container specialist.

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