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5 Important Shipping Container Laws You Need To Know For Your Business

Shipping Container Laws

Shipping containers make up the backbone of international trade, and over the past few decades, they’ve become more diverse in their use than ever before. More and more, these steel boxes are being used to do far more than just ship goods overseas they’re being converted into homes, retail stores, schools, libraries, fire stations, and more. 

If you’re considering using SCF shipping containers to create your next business venture or project, it’s important to know the laws and regulations that pertain to the use of shipping containers.

Shipping Containers Must Be Inspected Before Use

Inspections are required for all new containers, including those that have been used in the past. In addition, inspections are required when the container has been modified after its original manufacture. 

These inspections can be done by a competent person at the time of purchase or by a qualified inspector before it is loaded and sealed by customs. The purpose of these inspections is to ensure that the container is structurally sound and safe for transport, handling, and storage.

The Type Of Product Being Shipped Will Dictate The Type Of Shipping Container Used

Shipping containers are one of the most popular ways to transport goods long distances, but there are weight restrictions. Containers that have been used in international trade cannot be heavier than twenty metric tons. 

In addition, rail freight container carriers will not take a container that weighs more than thirty-five tons. Companies should also make sure they know what is and isn’t allowed on the inside of a container. For example, hazardous materials like gasoline and oil are not allowed on the inside of a container unless they’re sealed in an approved barrel or drum.

There Are Weight Restrictions For Shipping Containers

There are weight restrictions for shipping containers, so you must know them before purchasing. In general, a 20-foot container should be able to carry about 44,000 pounds and a 40-foot container can hold up to 70,000 pounds. 

There are also size limitations, your container cannot exceed 105 square feet if you’re transporting by water or 20 feet if you’re traveling by land. You must also make sure that any cargo being shipped in a container is clean and dry otherwise, it could become moldy or cause damage during transit.

Also, Check – How To Choose A Lawyer For Your Needs

Shipping Containers Must Be Properly Labeled

Shipping containers are commonly mislabeled, which can cause a host of problems. These kinds of mistakes can waste money and take up precious space in shipping yards. To avoid these setbacks, here are five important shipping container laws that you need to know for your business: 

  • The US Department of Transportation requires the following labeling on all rolling cargo containers: This is a car, truck trailer, or semi-trailer. 
  • Customs authorities require Hazardous substances labels when there are hazardous materials inside the container.

There Are Environmental Regulations For Shipping Containers

Shipping containers have been in use since the 1950s, so it’s not surprising that there are a few laws around their usage. The EPA has environmental regulations in place that make sure shipping containers are disposed of properly. There are also different rules and regulations depending on what you’re using your shipping container for. 

For example, if you’re turning your shipping container into a retail store, then you may need to install proper drainage and plumbing connections. Overall, it’s important to make sure you know the laws that apply to your specific situation because ignorance is not an excuse if your business violates them!


SCF shipping containers are a great cost-effective way to store and ship goods, but you need to know the laws in your area before you get started. The laws vary from state to state and there are federal rules as well. Be sure that you follow all of the regulations or else you could be fined or even have your business shut down. These 5 important shipping container laws will help protect your business and keep it running smoothly.

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