If durability’s what you’re after, there’s no better option than metal storage containers. These industrial-grade bins are made of solid-sided steel, which provides a much sturdier solution than typical cardboard or plastic. This makes them perfect for a range of applications where you need security, protection and long-term durability.
We know that choosing the right shipping containers is a difficult task, but understanding the many different types—and the advantages and disadvantages of each—will help you pinpoint which option is best-suited for your needs and budget.
- They’re Reusable—The No. 1 reason why so many of our customers prefer to use metal storage containers for their shipping applications is because they’re reusable. Not only does this help your business reach its eco-friendly goals, but it also helps save you a lot of money that you might otherwise spend on cardboard. What’s more, metal containers are highly recyclable. When your business is done with them, they can be refashioned into another container or another item entirely.
- They’re More Secure—Another great benefit of metal shipping containers is that they’re a bit more tamper-proof than plastic or cardboard. One reason for this is because metal bins are typically fused with welded seams, which are next to impossible to break open. On top of that, metal walls provide additional security and support when you’re shipping fragile or flowable goods and will help prevent heavyweight goods from damaging the container.
- They’re Easy to Clean—Besides insulated containers, metal containers are some of our more popular options for shipping food materials because they’re very easy to clean and sanitize. Note that you should use food-grade, stainless steel bins if you intend to utilize these containers for food and beverage applications. In the event of an accident or spill, steel containers can be easily wiped up and sanitized with an antibacterial cleaner so they’re as good as new.
- They’re Versatile—Metal shipping bins in and of themselves are versatile—they can securely hold many different items and have varying weight capacities, depending on which size you choose—but they also come in several different styles. You might choose rigid metal bins that don’t collapse or collapsible metal bins if you want to be able to easily store them when they’re not in use. You might also choose ones with mesh sides for extra product visibility or ones with rounded corners to accommodate sharp edges.
- They Can Save Space—In shipping, few things are as expensive as cargo space, so you need containers that help you optimize your truck or warehouse racks. Some metal bins are stackable for easier organization, with many featuring drop gates so you can access what’s inside while stacked. They can also be paired with tilt-and-store stands to save space and make dispensing easier.
- They’re Cost-Effective—While steel shipping and storage containers are more of an investment upfront than those made of plastic and other materials, that means greater savings for you down the line. You won’t have to worry about regularly reusing them and you can bet that if you’re on a budget, you’ll find like-new metal bins that fit nicely within your budget.
Are There Downsides?
Of course, with all kinds of industrial containers, metal bins are not ideal for every single application. As previously mentioned, they’re more expensive than your typical non-metal containers upfront, though they can help you save on replacement costs down the line. Additionally, these kinds of containers are heavier than plastic or wood, so they must be handled with heavy-duty machinery. The extra weight must also be accounted for in your shipping costs.
Finally, on occasion, your metal storage containers may rust. You want to make sure that you’re choosing high-grade steel containers—preferably styles with rust-proof coatings—to keep them protected from rust. This also makes them better-suited for indoor applications, but you can employ them outdoors if you take the proper precautions. Remember, Container Exchanger can always help you decide which kinds of warehouse containers are best for your specific applications.