Shipping Container Rust Prevention Tips and Tricks

January 28, 2022

We rely on shipping containers to last and withstand any environment to keep your cargo safe, whether it be land or sea. However, these containers become old and eventually rust over time, which can cause problems. But don't worry! There are many ways to prevent rust from taking hold of your container. Here are our top recommendations for preventing rust on your shipping container.

Keep it clean and remove moisture

The most crucial factor in rust prevention is to keep your shipping container clean. This means cleaning off any dirt, mud, or other grime that can accumulate on the surface of the metal. If moisture is present, it will only accelerate the rusting process as moisture drives the oxidation reaction leading to rust. If you notice any water or moisture buildup inside your shipping container, drain it immediately and find the cause. If there's a leak in your container, you need to get that patched immediately to prevent further damage.

preventing rust in shipping containers

Position your container properly

If you're planning on getting a container, find out what direction the wind blows in your area. Containers exposed to strong winds, especially next to the ocean, will rust much faster than those with minimum exposure. You must also ensure your container is level with the ground. Any tilting can cause water to collect in one place and speed rusting in that area. If you place it on dirt, be mindful that it might be level one day but can shift another day. It's best to put it on a concrete slab or supported platform when possible to avoid the risk of erosion affecting your container.

If you must place it on dirt or an erosive surface, make sure you regularly inspect your containers. Inspect the walls, floor and roof of your container for any damage, leakage or water signs, especially after heavy storms. Regular shipping container roof maintenance will ensure you can identify and act on any buildup of water on the roof, which could eventually leak and affect the structure of your container. If you can prevent damage, you'll save yourself a lot of time, money and hassle later.

Rustproof your shipping container with paint

Another way to prevent rust is to regularly apply a coat of paint or sealant to the surface of the metal. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, as they are prime spots for rust to form. If rust has already begun, you'll need to remove it before painting over it, as simply hiding the problem won’t treat the rust and can still lead to structural damage! You'll need to scrape the rust until the metal is visible, then you'll need to paint the metal and seal the paint. Sandblasting is another excellent way to remove rust if you have access to a machine.

If you're not able to seal or paint your shipping container, you can also try using a wax or oil coating. These coatings will help create a barrier between the metal and the environment, slowing down the rusting process.

By following these tips, you can help keep your shipping container in good condition for years to come. Rust is a natural process, but it doesn't have to ruin your container. So follow these tips and tricks and keep your cargo safe! If you need assistance with your container, please contact us at Betta Storage for your container requirements!

Betta Storage Containers in NSW
  • Container Hire

    Our hire fleet consists largely of units built within the last 5 years, which means your belongings or goods will stay safer and more secure in a clean and well-presented container

  • Container Engineering

    The many and varied applications for the use of shipping containers can be greatly increased with features that can be added or modified to a standard shipping container

  • Container Delivery

    We operate our own 20` tilt tray trucks at very competitive rates. Our experienced drivers do their best to get the container to into the required place

  • Our network

    Because we work with affiliated companies in each Australian port, we know we can meet your needs no matter the location