Can shipping containers be dismantled? (Complete Guide)

Shipping containers as you may already know are made to withstand the weight of heavy goods and ship them to their destined location without damaging the items inside them.

Can shipping containers be dismantled?
Can shipping containers be dismantled?

They are the best-insulated way by which goods can be safely shipped to other countries. 

Can Shipping Containers be Dismantled?

The answer is yes. If you are looking for repurposing old and worn shipping containers Or even reusing the scrap parts of those containers they can be easily dismantled. 

But before you look for an option to get your shipping container dismantled, it is quite essential to know the different parts of these boxes so that you understand the complete process. 

This article will serve you with every information you need about shipping containers, their process of dismantling, and their different parts to get the best insight possible. We will also be mentioning the functions of each part so sit back and enjoy the article.

Types of a Shipping Container

There are various kinds of shipping containers and with their variety, the process of dismantling their changes. down below are some of the kinds of shipping containers you should know about.

Types of a Shipping Container
Types of a Shipping Container

Flat rack containers

These containers have foldable sides to turn them into flat rack containers. The flat rack boxes have innumerable lashing rings to help in securing the loads. These boxes are perfect for heavy loads like pipes, heavy machinery, and so on. 

General-purpose container

These containers are fully covered and are called dry containers. They are used to load general or normal goods that are mostly dry items. These containers are most probably used as a shed and for normal storage. 

Open top containers

Just like the name suggests these containers have a top covering that opens up. These boxes are heavyweight too of about 30 tonnes and more. These containers are for goods that cannot be loaded in the containers through the door. 

There are certainly more other types of containers but what is important to keep in mind is that the type of a container does not determine whether it is going to be hard to take apart. All containers have the same process of breaking them and re-using them.

Different Parts of a Shipping Container

Yes, as we mentioned above, shipping containers, even the giant ones can be taken apart provided one knows their different parts well. 

Different Parts of a Shipping Container
Different Parts of a Shipping Container


The sidewalls of the modern Shipping containers are made from corrugated steel sheets. The aluminum containers do not have steel sheets but aluminum sheathing. The sidewalls make up the body of the shipping containers. 


Most of the shipping containers have flooring of marine-grade plywood. Most of the time, the floor of the container is infused with insecticides so that the floors are prevented from small stowaways during voyages. 


The roofs of the shipping containers are made up of steel sheets and they tend to provide rigidity and strength to the storage containers. For the roofs, it is important to note that they must not be rusted at any cost or they lose their functioning. 

Cross Members 

Joists, or the beams that support the floors of the shipping containers are called the cross members. The cross members create a space between the floor and the ground to prevent moisture that may seep into the containers. 


The doors of the shipping containers Mostly called the cargo doors are two steel doors that you find at one end of the container. These doors act as a protection for the goods from theft or even changes in weather during long sea journeys. 

Security Seal 

Although the cargo doors are built in a way to protect the goods in the shipping containers, we certainly know how important double security is, right? Security seals use locking mechanisms to help in sealing the containers. The security seals are mostly color-coded and numbered. 

Now that you know about the different parts of the shipping containers it will be easier to understand Can shipping containers be dismantled? Let’s dive into that.

How to Dismantle a Shipping Container? 

If you are willing to dismantle a shipping container, it can easily be wielded, cut, and even modified to your heart’s content. Here is the step by step guide to do so : 

  • The first step involves taking off the side walls along with reinforcing them. Do not touch the corner castings while doing so. This makes it easier for you to unload your container as well. 
  • Next, remove the shipping container doors. Reach out for a crowbar and use them to remove the doors of the shipping container. 
  • Use an angle grinder in order to cut through whichever part you find difficult to slice. 
  • In case your shipping containers are open top containers, you are in luck for there would be no need to remove the top portion. 
  • Lastly, to remove the floor of the container, cut around holes of the bolts placed inside the floor with the help of a reciprocating saw. Then you need to cut out the bolts of the floor. Take a crowbar and remove the plywood floor of the shipping container.

Once the floor is removed, you have your dismantled shipping container ready in front of you. 

What to do with a Shipping Container Once it is Dismantled? 

Even if you do not dismantle a shipping container, it can still be reused in many different ways. You can use it as a normal container in your storeroom and so on.

But let us tell you that storage containers are quite easy to modify and dismantle. After the process is done, you just need to use it the way you wanted. 

Does the Type of Container Affect its Dismantling Process? 

The answer to this question is no. It does not matter how many kinds of containers there are, their type or shape and sizes do not affect their process of taking them apart and re-using them.

So you don’t have to worry about what kind of a container you are dealing with. 

You May Also Find Useful: Can Shipping Containers Be Buried? | Are Shipping Containers Fireproof? | Can Shipping Containers Float?


To sum up our brief discussion on shipping containers, we hope you were enlightened about the shipping containers, their uses, and their different parts. We tried our best to cover all the necessary questions in this article. 

As we said, it is quite essential to know the parts of a container box if you wish to dismantle it. That way the process becomes very less complicated and easier to carry out. 

We did even answer some other questions related to shipping containers to help you out more on this topic. We hope you found it useful and received all the information you wished to. Please do not hold back from sharing this article with your friends and acquaintances if you think they would find it helpful too.

Jaren worked for over a decade in the industry as a Package Handler. He started his career with FedEx but he later also worked with companies like USPS and Deutsche Post.

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