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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  Delivery of the first shipping container!
This delightful blog is a must read if you wish to buy a shipping container!          
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What are containers made of?

 

How secure are shipping containers?
 

What is the difference between an ISO storage and a shipping container?

 

Guide to conditions

 

Container Inspection Services

 

Do I need permission to keep a shipping container?

 

Can you modify, and custom paint my container for me?
 

Would you buy back my containers at a later date?

 

How much does it cost to deliver my container?

 

What is a SCAC Code?

 

Can I inspect the containers before I purchase?

 

How does the buying process work?

 

Can you help me finance my container purchase?

 

How do I take delivery of my shipping container?

 

Do I need to neutralize/ de-identify containers after my purchase?

 

What are the requirements for international shipping?

What remedies are available if I receive a container with major damages?

Common Container Abbreviations

 

Container News & Uses

 

 

 

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What are containers made of?

 

Modalart intermodal freight and shipping containers are made of Corten steel. This is a high-tensile, anti-corrosion steel that is strong, durable, and capable of surviving extreme weather conditions on the high seas.

 

Our units have marine ply floors which have been tested for a safe storage load of 24 - 30 metric tons and air vents for air circulation.

 

Containers generally have double opening doors at one end with locking bars and catches. Modalart also offers containers with double doors on either end, plus a variety of other container configurations.

Container design, and types. Dimensions and weights

HOW SECURE ARE SHIPPING CONTAINERS?

 

Modalart containers are very secure and essentially vandal proof. For added security you can have your unit installed with a locking case, also known as lockbox. This added security helps prevent opening your padlock with bolt cutters. In addition, Modalart offers standard and heavy duty shipping container door locks.

 

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What is the difference between aN ISO storage and a shipping container?

 

There is none. All shipping containers can be used as ground storage containers. ISO containers conform to the International Organisation for Standardization recommendations on dimensions, corner fittings, markings and ratings amongst others.

 

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GUIDE TO CONDITIONS:

 

All containers arriving at our depots are initially listed "As-Is". (Our shipping lines generally retire containers after they have been in service for approx. 10 - 12 years.)

 

Upon inspection, the damaged and scrap units are removed from our inventory and continue to be listed "As-Is". The remaining units are then put up for sale and are graded as: "Wind and watertight". Some of these units might have light damages.

 

Importantly, they are sold first out of stack at our depots. See images of typical container grades.

 

Wind and Watertight ("WWT"): Great for storing materials that need to stay dry and secure. Structurally sound wind- and water-tight containers with original markings still applied and possible surface rust and minor dents.
 

 

   MODALART WWT QUALITY GUARANTEE:

  • No Leaks - no holes in container walls, roof, or floor

  • Working Doors - open and close properly

  • Door seals are undamaged

  • Wooden floor boards are intact

  • Functioning lock rods

  • Clean and empty

   Images of typical units: 20' 40' 40'HC 45'HC
 

 

Cargo Worthy ("CW"): Grade required to ship overseas, and certifiable for export: Structurally sound wind- and water-tight containers, cargo-worthy for shipping, often in cosmetically better condition than WWT units.

 

Premium ("IICL"): The Institute of International Container Lessors has the strictest and highest standards for used container repairs that are off hired. IICL-5 regulations

 

Factory Refurbished ("FR"): Cargo-worthy containers that have been painted (interior and exterior) and have all new seals and gaskets.

 

"New / One Trip": Factory new, one trip from the Asian manufacturer to the USA with one cargo load.

 

Also see CTIA Definitions.

 

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CONTAINER INSPECTION SERVICES

 

If you can't visit the depot to inspect your unit, we have a solution for you! ModalART offers container inspections by certified marine surveyors for a menial fee.

 

Please give the surveyor one or two days to complete the report before scheduling pickup with your trucking company. 

 

See examples of inspection reports.
 

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DO I NEED PERMISSION TO KEEP A SHIPPING CONTAINER?

 

Since shipping containers are non-permanent structures, you

generally don’t need to obtain a permission to keep them on your premises. However, you might get complaints from neighbors if you store your container in a residential area, near a road junction, or where sight lines may be affected. To avoid this, you might want to apply to the local municipality to approve a short term use of a container. In any event, we recommend you check with your local authorities prior to delivery.

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CAN YOU CUSTOM PAINT AND/OR MODIFY MY CONTAINER FOR ME?

 

Used cargo containers come in a variety of colors. If you find those unsuitable for your needs, our workshops in NYC, CT and MD can provide custom exterior painting in your corporate and/or preferred color. We can also add 6' roll-up or personnel doors, windows, lock boxes, louver and turbine vents to you container. Modalart can manufacture to any of your specifications! Just submit your drawings and designs for a free quote.  See some of our projects.

 

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WOULD YOU BUY MY CONTAINER BACK AT A LATER DATE?

 

Yes, we will be happy to buy back units, of course, subject to their age, condition, and their market value at the time of offer.

 

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DELIVER MY CONTAINER?

 

Transportation costs will obviously vary depending on the distance your container needs to travel from our depot to your destination. While we do not transport containers ourselves, you can get a free quote on delivery here www.modalart.com/form.htm. Trucking companies, brokers, and carriers will independently email you a quote.

 

Hint: Two 20’ containers can be transported on one truck, thus substantially reducing transportation costs per unit.

 

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WHAT IS a SCAC Code?

 

A Standard Carrier Alpha Code is a unique two to four letter code that identifies and verifies those transportation companies that have proper insurance to enter the terminal. If you wish to pick up your container yourself, or use a trucking company, please ensure that you/they are set up in our terminal system with a SCAC code. 

 

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CAN I INSPECT THE CONTAINERS BEFORE I PURCHASE?

 

Yes, you are welcome to inspect our containers before purchase.

 

To help us make your visit productive, we will need to know the quantity, grade and size of containers that you are looking for. This will determine which depot to visit.

 

Please bear in mind that most depots are neither manned to receive unexpected visits, nor make personnel available for you to remove a particular container that is buried in a stack. You will need to contact us well in advance to arrange for a visit.

 

If you can't visit the depot to inspect your unit, we have a solution for you! ModalART offers third-party container inspections by certified marine surveyors for a menial fee.

See examples of inspection reports.

 

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HOW DOES The buying process WORK?

  1. Register as a new customer with ModalART and then place your order.

  2. After you have agreed to purchase, ModalART will email you an invoice. We will confirmed availability of your containers at the quoted price and at the depot nearest to you, and will have reserved your units.

  3. You pay the invoice, and ModalART receives the funds.

  4. After ModalART has received your funds, you and/or the depot/terminal will be sent a release reference. If ModalART is not shipping for you, you will need to provide this documentation to your trucking company. After giving the depot/terminal 24 hour notice, your truck can pick up your container(s).

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CAN YOU SHARE REFERENCES OR CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS?

 

Yes! It is crucial to us that your are 100% satisfied with our products and services ! We strive to provide your with top quality shipping containers at the most competitive prices across the USA. Our goal is to make each and very customer experience and excellent and memorable one.

 

See customer's testimonials. We truly appreciate all customers that share their feedback with us!  Thank you very much!

 

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CAN YOU HELP US FINANCE OUR CONTAINER PURCHASE?

Financing of storage containers, storage trailers, reefers and chassis is available through Box Credit, LLC for US companies in good standing and for transactions in excess of $25,000. Upload the Equipment Finance Application

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HOW DO I TAKE DELIVERY OF MY SHIPPING CONTAINERS?

Our container prices are ex depot and do not include delivery. You can pick up the containers yourself, or arrange for delivery with your, or one of our trucking partners for an additional charge.

We do not mark up transport to keep your final container cost as low as possible!

Get a free quote on delivery. You will receive our current container price list instantly, which includes a list of trucking contacts.

Our delivery providers will then independently send you an email with their quote on delivery. Please get in touch with the trucking company you select directly to make the final arrangements.

Delivery can usually be arranged within 24-48 hours and in some cases, same day delivery is possible. Keep in mind that estimated delivery times and dates can be adversely affected by weather, traffic, scheduling, availability and mechanical failure, and are therefore not guaranteed.

Delivery Methods:

  • Flatbed truck (conventional step deck trailer)

If you have the ability to offload the container at your premises using a forklift, loader, or crane, we can arrange for delivery of your container with a flat-bed trailer.

If you would like the carrier to unload your container, we will arrange for delivery by tilt-bed truck. Their decks are hydraulically tipped allowing the container to gently slide off the bed and onto the ground.

 

Videos:

Delivery of shipping container with a tilt-tray
  Container being lifted onto a container trailer
  Container loading & unloading interactive training

The following is important for a smooth delivery:

  1. Clearance:

    The truck will need ample room to back in and unload.  Please keep in mind that the large trucks are 75 feet long. Although they are only 8'6" wide, at least 12' of width is advisable. In case of very tight spaces, you can rent a forklift to move your container on site. 
     

    You will need about 80’ of straight clearance when taking delivery of a 20’ container and 100’ straight clearance for a 40’ container.

     

    Overhead clearance needs to be at least 14' - 20' for the loaded truck. When the trailer is tilted, the highest point would be about 28' high. Please take note when depositing your container indoors.  

     

  2. Obstacles:

    Be aware of any trees, overhanging branches, fences, low hanging power lines or other obstacles that that would impede access to your property and placement of the container. These obstacles need to be cleared before delivery. Some situations can be remedied if you get delivery by a crane truck.
     

  3. Soft, unstable surfaces/ground:

    Please keep in mind that Landoll trucks weigh approx. 40.000 lbs. and can easily get stuck in soggy ground.
     

  4. Site preparation

    You will need a relatively level, smooth, and firm site to place the container, such as cement, pavement, asphalt or gravel. On soft, unstable surfaces each corner casting should either be placed on a concrete footing, railroad ties, asphalt, or a level bed of gravel to distribute the weight evenly. This will ensure that container doors will operate smoothly
     

  5. Positioning

    Shipping containers only have doors at one end. To have them facing in the desired direction once offloaded on your property, provide instructions on how the container is to be first loaded onto the delivery vehicle. Indicate “doors facing to truck cabin” or “doors facing to truck rear /
    tail lights” based on your site, how you are going to load the container, and how the driver will need to access the site so when it is offloaded the doors will face in the desired direction.

 

Please note: Requirements for picking up containers at a marine terminal vs. inland container depot:

  • Driver must have a valid TWIC and SeaLink® Card.

  • Truck must have a valid RFID tag and be registered properly in PortTruckPass - www.porttruckpass.com.

  • Trucking company should be registered with the Uniform Intermodal Interchange Agreement (UIIA).

  • Trucking company should have valid insurance and credit with the Steamship Line (SSL).

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DO I NEED TO Neutralize/de-identify containers after MY purchase?

 

When you become an owner of a container, you will be responsible for removing all steamship line decals and ownership markings from the box. This is called "de-identification" or "neutralization." It can be as easy as painting them over. The removal of decals and markings is legally required in the purchase documents.

 

This is legally required because it confirms that the container is no longer part of the shipping line/leasing company fleet. This avoids any future confusion about ownership of units.

 

Those that do not neutralize their units will be considered in a breach of contract, and their units will be repossessed.

Container Neutralization Requirements

Modalart can provide de-identification and neutralizes services for a nominal fee.

 

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WHAT ARE THE Requirements for international shipping?

 

Containers must have a valid safety approval plate or CSC Plate (Container Safety Convention) that confirms that the unit is safe for handling. The plate is valid for five years from the date the ISO container was manufactured. Units without a valid CSC plate will be rejected for loading at the terminal.

 

CSC validity can be maintained by

  • PES (Periodic Examination Scheme) inspection update which valid for a maximum of 30 months, or 

  • ACEP (Approved Continuous Examination Program), if the container is inspected continuously.

If you wish to ship your container overseas, it must be inspected and certified by a Certified Marine Surveyor to ensure that the unit is structurally sound.

 

Modalart can provide inspection services prior to unit pick-up at a terminal or depot facility for a nominal fee.

Container Inspection Services

Certified Container Inspectors Search

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What remedies are available if I receive a container with major damages?

If you receive a new, one trip unit that is damaged, immediately document all damages (pictures and repair estimate) and send this to Modalart within 48 hrs of receipt of container. We will then inform the steamship that brought the unit in. Subsequently, a surveyor will then be sent to your location to inspect the container. Modalart will then negotiate an acceptable amount for discount after the claim is settled with the steamship line.

If you receive a used container with major damages, also contact Modalart immediately with photos and a written estimate of damages within 48 hrs of receipt of container. Modalart will work with you to resolve any issues concerning excessive damages that were unknown to Modalart and the customer at the time of sale.

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Common Container Abbreviations

 

ASIS Not inspected before sale.
CW Cargo Worthy: This container quality standard is required to ship the container overseas.
DV / DC Dry Van / Dry Container.  "Dry Van" Container transporting dry vs. liquid goods.

DD

Double Door Container:  Doors at each end, also called “tunnel containers.”
DM Damaged units.
DUO Duo-Con Containers. Two 10′ units welded together back to back and pre-configured for separation into 10' units.

FR, SD

Flat Rack Container: Containers with no sides or top, may have end barriers (front and back) that fold down, or are fitted with fixed corner posts to secure cargo.

FSA

Full Side Access Container: Similar to an Open Side container, however, fitted with doors along the entire length of the container to provide full access on that side.
G/S "Genset". Portable diesel or electric power generator that provides electricity for refrigerated containers when being transported on trucks or rail wagons.

GP

General Purpose Container:  Used for most general purpose cargo. This is the standard container size, no bells and whistles (e.g. reefer). It's 40' x 8' x 8'6" for an FEU and 20' x 8' x 8'6" for an TEU. 
HC / HQ "Hi-cube" or "High-Cube" containers are 9’6” tall. 
HH "Half-Height" - containers are either 4' or 4'3" high
HR "High-Cube Reefer" see Reefer
IICL5

Identifies a „good“ condition, better than WWT, and oftentimes CW.

IN
 

Insulated Container: For cargo that requires moderate temperature control, this is essentially a refrigerated container without the cooling components. These are primarily used for domestic storage.
New/One Trip One trip from the Asian manufacturer to the US with one cargo load.

OT

Open-Top Container: Standard general purpose container with four walls and a floor but no top, often covered with a tarp and called a “Ragtop.”

SD

Side Door Container: One side of the container opens as well as the end.
Reefer/Chiller Refrigerated, or rather temperature controlled containers mostly capable of keeping a cargo temperature range of at least –25 C to +25 C.

TC

Tank Container:  For liquids.
WWT Wind and watertight (great for storage). See above.

 

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CONTAINER NEWS & USES

 

Here are some typical container uses: Branding event pods, prefabricated houses, mobile offices, restaurants, retail stores, apartment buildings, student's quarters, hotels, motels, guest houses, shops, galleries, emergency shelters.

Now see some project examples from Modalart.

 

For inspiration, also make sure to visit us at:        

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