Does Your Shipping Container Need Ventilation?

With shipping containers being used as common storage solutions for businesses around the world, the subject of shipping container ventilation comes up quite often.

People are concerned about the safety of their stored items and the longevity of their purchased or rented shipping containers.

As shipping container experts, the professionals at Rent-A-Container make it our business to help you with all of your shipping container questions, including whether you need to add ventilation to your container.

See below for more information, and reach out to our team for help finding the perfect container for your needs.


shipping container vents


Shipping Container Vents Are Standard, But They Might Not Be Enough

Most shipping containers you can rent or buy had a past life aboard a container ship. These massive vessels take long trans-oceanic journeys and face all manner of weather conditions at sea. To prevent the items inside the containers from becoming damaged, sea container ventilation is standard. 

Built-in shipping container vents are small and designed only to release pressure and promote air circulation inside the containers. However, that may not necessarily be enough ventilation for long-term storage needs. These small vents provide only a small amount of air circulation. 


When More Shipping Container Ventilation Might Be Necessary

Without proper cargo container ventilation, a few common problems could damage your stored items over time. 

The following are some examples of what can happen if your shipping container is not properly ventilated:

  • Condensation and moisture inside the container
  • Mold growing on stored items
  • Rust on the interior steel walls of the container
  • Bad smells from condensation
  • Damage from exposure to extreme heat

To avoid these problems, consider the following situations in which it might be a good idea to add more shipping container ventilation.


Placing your container in a hot and humid environment? Learn How to Reduce Humidity in Your Shipping Container To Keep Moisture-Sensitive Items Dry


Shipping Container Ventilation for Sensitive Items

If you are in a moderate climate and storing relatively sturdy items, the built-in shipping container vents might be enough. But if you are storing items that are sensitive to heat or moisture, you may need to upgrade your ventilation.

Items like fabrics, wood, volatile chemicals, metals that can rust, packaged foods and dry goods can all be highly sensitive to condensation and heat that can occur with improper sea container ventilation.


Sea Container Ventilation for Container Offices

Shipping container offices are gaining popularity with businesses as an affordable, durable and customizable option for office space. If you plan to convert a storage container into an office of any kind, ventilation is a must. 

People are going to be working inside the container for hours each day — you don’t want them sweating or breathing in too much moisture. Improper ventilation can lead to health problems like asthma, pneumonia and other respiratory issues.


Ventilation for Shipping Container Homes

This is similar to the container office ventilation problem described above. If someone is going to live inside a shipping container home, they are not going to want to sweat it out while they sleep or breathe in mold from indoor moisture.


How to add ventilation to storage container


How to Upgrade Cargo Container Ventilation

The beauty of shipping containers is that they are infinitely customizable. That means you can easily add more shipping container vents if you need or want to. Here are a few shipping container ventilation options to consider:


Passive Vents 

Passive vents allow air to flow into and out of the container through small openings. These come standard on containers, but you can add more.


Active Vents 

Active vents use a mechanical fan to push fresh air into the container and/or draw stale air out. These may increase your utility bill, but they’re equipped to take on more extreme conditions.


Supply-Only Vents 

These vents bring fresh air into the container and work best in tandem with passive vents. You can turn them on only on hot days or keep them running all the time.


Balanced Vents 

Typically attached to ducts, these vents can bring in fresh air and push out stale air simultaneously and promote thorough air circulation throughout the unit.


Foundation Vents 

Foundation vents keep moisture from accumulating in the foundation of your container. These shipping container vents don’t work with slab foundations, but with railroad ties and concrete piers, they can keep out unwanted moisture and prevent rust.


Other Storage Container Temperature Control Options

For most climates and storage needs, some combination of shipping container ventilation options will keep stored items safe. But certain items and extreme climates may call for some heavy-duty temperature control alternatives.


Insulation for Cargo Containers

You can buy insulated shipping containers or add the insulation yourself. Insulation protects items inside storage containers from extreme heat and extreme cold. And you can use it in combination with shipping container vents.


Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Perishable foods, certain chemicals and medical products may require you to take shipping container temperature control a step further. Many shipping containers for sale come with fully installed refrigeration systems that can keep your stored items at the optimal temperature at all times.


Shipping Container Ventilation Solutions at Your Fingertips: Call Rent-A-Container

You want to make sure your stored items are safe from moisture and extreme heat. We understand that. That is why the team of shipping container ventilation specialists at Rent-A-Container is on call to answer your questions and help you find the perfect storage container.

For expert advice on your container ventilation options, reach out to us today. Call us at (800) 880-7061 or contact us online.

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