Levelling your Container

by Kathleen Donohoe

twilightAn important part of getting a shipping container is proper care – and this includes levelling the ground underneath it, before it arrives. If the container will be sitting on soil, any moisture trapped underneath it can rise into the subfloor, creating mould – which means your container won’t last as long as it should. Depending on the surface your container will be sitting on, there are certain steps you can take to make sure you get the most of your container.

One of the first things to do is to prepare the site – clear the area you want the container to sit of any trees, branches or debris. Then you need to decide if you need a foundation – and if so, which kind of foundation you want to use. A few different things to take into consideration are:

  • What the total weight of the container will be (what you’re putting in the container);
  • If the ground is soil, or sand, or what combination of this it is;
  • The water levels around the area;
  • If any sanitation or drainage will be required onsite;
  • Any materials or labourers that might be required;
  • Any local council by-laws and
  • Regional climates

There are three common types of foundations: a concrete slab, concrete footings, or wooden footings.

foundation-and-gradeConcrete Slab: The most expensive option usually, this is only needed for highly unstable ground. We recommend if a full concrete slab is required, that a professional team is hired to make sure the slab is correctly made and level – hence the extra cost.

c12a87b334294ae99856e79a921c7fb4Concrete Footings: When looking at getting concrete footings, you need to take into account how large they will be, the spacing required between each footing and the timeframe until the container arrives – if you are getting the container quickly, there may not be enough time for the concrete to set properly and this would render it useless. Measurements should be triple checked – because unlike the wooden footing, they are much harder to move!


Wooden Slab: This is the easiest foundation to put into place, and the most cost effective. Because of this, Container Traders will generally recommend this foundation to our customers. It requires the least amount of preparation time – as you can buy ‘Railway Sleepers’ from your local hardware store and using a level, simply put these into place where the container is needed. And if there are any issues in placement – it is much easier to move the sleepers to the correct place!

Thanks for reading our guide to levelling your container! If you have any further questions about your container, or our buying and hiring options, please ring the friendly team on 1300 89 89 70!