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Top Tips on Taking Delivery of Shipping Containers for First-Timers  

If you are importing or exporting goods for the first time. You will need to know a few things before scheduling the delivery of the shipping container. Some of these include permits, delivery charges, clearance space, and ground conditions. If you do not take the necessary precautions, you may not be able to take delivery of your goods. And the extra cost and delay can be hard to afford. Some things to prepare for when taking delivery of sea freight containers:

Permission to Store the Container on Your Property 

Whether you need permission to store the container temporarily on your property depends. On the location and the applicable local regulations. Unless you are in an obscure place, the shipping container should be able to provide the necessary information. But you should always check with your local administrative authorities to get it right before taking delivery.

Delivery Fees

It is important to know that most shipping lines or freight forwarders. Do not include the delivery fee in their container shipping and storage quotation. It is because the fee varies with the distance the container has to travel to your site. According to 360Connect, most suppliers charge a flat fee for delivery within a distance of 50 miles and an extra rate per mile for distances beyond the limit. If your property is difficult to access, you may be charged more.

Lead Time for Container Delivery

You should ask the container supplier how much in advance you need to book your containers. If it is a peak period shipment, you can expect to wait for as long as four to six weeks, but during the off-season, you may get delivery in two to three days, depending on the demand and rostering system. Matching the availability of your goods to the delivery of the container is important. To avoid extra charges and blocking capital. If the need to ship is urgent, you can ask for expedited delivery on the payment of extra charges.

Clearance Space 

You must ensure adequate space for the supplier to unload the storage container at your location. A 20-foot container will require 75 feet of clear straight space. While a 40-foot container will need 100 feet of clear space for the unloading. The minimum width required is 12 feet, and you also need to provide 20 feet of overhead clearance.

Site Preparation

Suppliers will want to know details of the site so they can advise you on what to do to make it suitable for container delivery. You will need to tell them how long you need to keep the container on your premises. Because long-term storage requires more site preparation. The ground should be smooth, firm. And level and there should be a concrete pad or paved road to place the container. Further, the site should not be prone to flooding and be easily accessible by the semi-trailer flatbed truck.


To ensure smooth delivery, you need to provide the driver with specific instructions. For example, you may need the container door to face a particular way for easy loading or unloading. Or the approach roads may be tricky to navigate.

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