Sticky, hard-to-open shipping container doors sure can be frustrating, especially when you intend to use it as some type of storage unit which involves lots of going in and out. Opening and closing shipping container doors therefore should never feel like a full body workout. Luckily, this problem is simple to diagnose and relatively easy to fix.

red shipping container with closed doors

Sticky doors happen but they’re nothing a bit of adjustment can’t fix.

What Causes Sticky Doors?

Misaligned Doors

Like most people, you’re going to want to immediately apply grease. Don’t. When it comes to shipping container doors, the key thing to do is to shut both doors and make sure that the top and bottom of each door line up perfectly. If not, then that right there is what’s causing the sticky situation.

two men inspecting a shipping container's door

Two of our experts inspecting a shipping container’s door.


How to Fix?

First and foremost containers must be placed on level ground. If it isn’t, grab a jack and dig up some space beneath the low corner. From there, lever the container up until the doors are of equal height. You can then place a bulky load (eg: timber sleepers or bricks) under that corner and then remove the jack.

Super Strong Seals 

Designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, shipping containers can handle just about anything that is thrown at them—thanks to the super strong seals around their doors. While they serve to keep the container watertight during shipping, they may be a bit too tight for a personal storage application.

How to Fix?

Doors on shipping containers are manufactured with a thick rubber inner and outer seal. Whilst the rubber seal does a great job at securing the container tightly, it sometimes prevents the doors from opening and closing easily. That being said, you can cut and remove the inner seal which will free up the doors. Bear in mind this cannot be done if the container is being used for shipping purposes.

Shipping containers are specifically designed for shipping and storing goods. While they are built to be extremely durable, they are still prone to the whims of Mother Nature and a multitude of other damages over time. If yours is specifically suffering from sticky doors, make sure to look into the cause. After all, a little inspection could save you heaps of time, money, and stress.

Looking to get your very own personal storage or shipping container unit? We can help you with that. Visit our website today to browse through our collection and learn more about our wide range of services.