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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    91

    Default Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    I'm considering purchasing used 20' or 40' shipping containers for super storage instead of using semi vans. Anyone else doing this?

    Pros:
    Ground-level storage
    Wind and water tight, sturdy
    Stackable
    Relatively cheap
    Could be converted to a temporary hot-room fairly easily

    Cons
    Not movable without a crane or a huge forklift

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Imperial, MO, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    I've worked in transportation (trucking) for almost 20 years and can say you hit the pro's and con's on the head.

    One item of note is that water-tight shipping containers generally cost a bit more than watertight dry van semi trailers. You'd likely have to pay someone to move either one from the point of purchase to you. Either one will need a level (prepared/graded) spot on which to sit. The trailer will need some solid footing for the landing legs in front, as they tend to sink into soft ground or summer-time-hot asphalt and then tip forward or sideways. Additionally, you'll need to put blocking under the trailer axles or have to worry about the trailer tires dry-rotting and springing a leak (equals more balance issues).

    Unless you are forklift loading/unloading equipment from your storage "unit", I would NOT underestimate the value of being able to safely move in/out of the ground-level overseas container. I've seen way too may accidents from people falling out of, off of, or off of steps/ramps with semi trailer storage over the years.
    "Teach your kids to hunt and fish, and you won't have to hunt for your kids"
    Four Ridge Apiaries www.fourridgebees.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    I don't know if you are planning to store comb but any time we've stored comb inside it increases our wax moth battles exponantially. What about the inside temps during a hot Iowa July? I assume your supers would pretty much be on at that time but I know it is not unusual between flows to have a couple hundred supers sitting in the equipment yard. It would be nice to have it set up at "loading dock" level for loading and unloading pallets, supers in the case of a hot room, and equipment off trucks for storage.

    I'd be interested to hear what you decide and how it works.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,991

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    I use 2 of them. I load them up with unused comb, shut the doors and gas them.... nothing lives. Don't open till you are ready to use them or you have to regas. Seems to work pretty well and the containers are easy to obtain if you don't live too far from a port (Wilmington, NC in this case).
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    783

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    I use 2 of them. I load them up with unused comb, shut the doors and gas them.... nothing lives. Don't open till you are ready to use them or you have to regas. Seems to work pretty well and the containers are easy to obtain if you don't live too far from a port (Wilmington, NC in this case).
    What do you gas them with? -js

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,991

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    Quote Originally Posted by dixiebooks View Post
    What do you gas them with? -js
    Phosphene.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    I use a 40 foot and found it to be one of the wiser investments I have made.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    949

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    We purchaced a 40" Highboy (one foot taller) this year.
    Thank heavens I called around to some local beekeepers first who gave me some good advice.

    1) Do not buy a container over the phone or internet. Drive out to the lot and pick one out inspecting it VERY CAREFULLY.
    Each container has its own number that is on all 4 sides. Once you pick one out, make sure that number is on the invoice. If they show up with a different one and you don't want it, send'em down the road.

    2) It appeared to me that they all sell for the same price no matter who you call. in Portland OR it was $3450.00 plus $350 to deliver. All of them gave the same price. Out of the blue I found a company that offered me the highboy for $2950.00 and $ 250.00 to deliver.
    Shop around and don't get in a hurry.

    3)We carved a hole inbetween trees and dropped it there. All of the places were worried about the interiorr getting hot and melting your combs in hot sunny weather. Ours is in the shade and cannot be seen except for the doors. Our container is green in color. Next summer I am going to paint the doors camo so it is hidden from sight completely. Think about where it will set and color. They can bee an eyesore in the wrong spot.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    I have one, I cut a hole through my honey house wall and pushed the container up to it which provides me with surplus storage during the season.
    I fill it with supers through the winter, I also have two dry vans to store boxes.
    The thing I like about the dry van trailers is that I can pull the trailers away from the facility so that I am better protected in case of building fire.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,991

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    we have a 40 ft ocean container. Great investment. Airtight,keeps out bears.No moth problems as everything usually freezes in october.
    need another! there are also container rental companies that sell refurbed ones that are repainted and in real nice shape.
    Nick

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    dennison MN
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    tons of them for sale on craigslist here in MN anywhere from 1500 to 3500 and i even found guys that refurbish them and will put any style door on there you want. i dont think you can go wrong with one of these. seems like it would last almost forever. only down fall i see is the eye sore thing. just my 2 cents-

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    Thanks for all the comments. This is all pretty much in line with what I was expecting.
    We are still using two semi vans that my dad bought 30+ years ago and they are in sad shape at this point. Not even bird tight.
    I used to work for a company that did certification on overseas containers, among other things, so I am familiar with the quality standards and what they are built to withstand. I'm sure they'd easily outlast a semi trailer with a minimal amount of upkeep.
    I like the idea of a 40' for the sheer volume, but I like the idea of using 20'ers because they could be moved with a 20' flat bed bee truck if needed...in theory. Just not sure how I'd load them on and off the truck.
    Being able to drive a forklift inside would be a huge advantage in my opinion.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,074

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    Quote Originally Posted by acbz View Post
    ... but I like the idea of using 20'ers because they could be moved with a 20' flat bed bee truck if needed...in theory. Just not sure how I'd load them on and off the truck.
    I have seen these containers being moved and placed by a rollback flatbed (technically not a tow truck, but often used by towing companies these days). I would expect that a local tow company could assist with moving 20' containers, empty ones, at least.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Super Storage / Shipping Containers

    Quote Originally Posted by acbz View Post
    I like the idea of a 40' for the sheer volume, but I like the idea of using 20'ers because they could be moved with a 20' flat bed bee truck if needed...in theory. Just not sure how I'd load them on and off the truck.
    Being able to drive a forklift inside would be a huge advantage in my opinion.
    20' containers should be easy to remove from a trailer. lift each side with skidsteer and place cribbing under each side. drive vehicle out and slowly lower each side by removing cribbing.

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