How to Pack a Cargo Container for Ocean Transit

When you have to move cargo overseas, you need to take more precautions than a simple move to the next state. The motion of the boat is a major source of loss, as crates that are unsecured fall into the ocean. How you stack your cargo can affect what happens to your stock inside the container as well. Failure to pack stock tightly, or to create adequate support, could cause boxes to topple and product to get crushed. These tips will help you pack your storage containers for ocean transit.

Stack Boxes Evenly

Storage containers are roughly nine feet tall, so you have plenty of room to stack boxes atop one another. Just make sure you do so evenly, and that you don’t leave any gaps in the crate itself. You should try to press stock against the walls, but don’t try to keep it flush with the container. Also, use standard box sizes when you’re packing stock, and don’t try to fit more stock into larger boxes. The uneven sizes are a recipe for disaster on the open sea.

Reinforce Stacks

Next, you’ll want to reinforce the stacks with some anchorage. You can use rope or bubble wrap to secure pallets, but the basic idea is that you don’t want a lot of movement. If you have heavier product mixed with lighter goods, be sure and stack the lighter goods on top to maintain a strong support base. If your cargo is sensitive, it may benefit you to utilize shock-resistant pallets that would help absorb some of the blows that can occur as the boat shakes.

Protect Your Cargo

You should consider draping some plastic over the top of your cargo container, which will help provide a bit of extra protection from the elements. Tarp will help shield the container from rain, even though the box is built to withstand most barrages of water. Make tarp a part of your packing protocol, and you’ll find loss inside the container to be a lot lower.

Secure Everything

Even used containers for sale can be outfitted with a lock box, which is a must if you plan to ship overseas. Your container should be in good hands, but dishonesty happens everywhere. Even with reputable shipping companies.


When you’re selecting containers, you might want to put some thought into access. Access points from the top or the side could provide easier access, and you can drape tarp over the gaps in the container. Pay close attention to your stock in transit too, especially if you are working with perishable goods. Breaking the cold chain is an avoidable source of loss.

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Port Containers offers shipping containers for sale online. Simply choose the size and style of your container, and Port Containers will ship the crate directly to your job site.