The short answer to the question of how long it takes to build a shipping container would be a matter of hours, including the automated process of joining the steel walls and drying to paint; we might even say that the time is negligible.

However, the time lag between ordering and delivery of the container kits is short enough that production is not overrun or reduced too much, which reduces volatility.

 Shipping or freight containers

In order to facilitate their transport and storage, the dimensions of these shipping containers are regulated by the international standard ISO-6346. They are modules that are prepared to transport all types of materials, whether light, bulky or heavy. Shipping or cargo containers transport everything from parts for the manufacture of certain products, to vehicles, machinery, foodstuffs and more. 

The most common containers are made of steel. There are also aluminum and fiberglass-reinforced plywood containers. The floor of a cargo container is usually made of wood (some are made of bamboo). They are usually coated with a special moisture-proof coating.

A characteristic feature of the containers is the presence of twistlocks at each of their corners. This allows them to be lifted and moved by cranes, and to be placed on top of each other.

Shipping or freight containers

Manufacturing of the containers

Containers are manufactured in highly efficient and automated factories, virtually all of which are located in China. Eight out of every ten containers built worldwide are produced by just three Chinese companies: CIMC, Dong Fang and CXIC.

The most common container is produced from steel sheets and profiles. It is made following a procedure that is rather more complicated than we might imagine. In the manufacturing chain of a container, steel sheets are transformed to give it its characteristic corrugated shape. The edges of the container are formed by square tubular profiles, to which the steel plates are welded. The strongest side of this box is logically the floor side, and the whole assembly is primed before painting.

Manufacturing of the containers

How long does it take between the time you order the container and the time it is put into service?

The most important question is: How long does it take between the time you order the container and the time it is put into service?

In normal times, according to reports, it takes as little as six weeks. Needless to say, these are not normal times. According to reports, this year’s lead time has been as long as four months.

At the end of July, inventories of new containers were only two to three weeks, which meant that the market quickly absorbed newly built equipment within a month.

How long does it take between the time you order the container and the time it is put into service