Shipping container delivery

Shipping containers are delivered on trucks and the type of delivery truck will depend on the size of the container and delivery destination.

Container delivery with tilt bed trailers

Tilt bed trailers are the most commonly used shipping container delivery method for deliveries in or around major Canadian cities such as Toronto or Montreal. The bed of the trailer will tilt upwards to allow the container to slide off and into position. This means that the driver will arrive on site and should require no additional equipment to set the container on the ground provided all of the following delivery criteria are met:

1. Ample space to maneuver on the property
2. Minimum Straight-line clearance is met
3. Ground is firm, dry and level

For more information on requirements for a successful tilt trailer container delivery, click here.

Container delivery with a flatbed trailer

If your container delivery is outside of a major city or in a remote location, it is usually more cost effective to deliver a container with a flatbed trailer. Flatbed trailers are the most common methods of long-distance transport and more cost effective per km.

The shipping container will sit on the deck of the flatbed trailer. The deck is fixed and machinery such as a crane, boom truck or forklift will be required to unload the shipping container from the truck.

Container delivery with a step deck flatbed trailer

Flatbed trailers were designed to transport standard height shipping containers which are 8’6”H. Within the past decade, the shipping industry has been using high cube containers more frequently, which are one foot taller than standard height containers (9’6”H). These high cube containers require a lower deck, known as a step deck or drop deck, to transport these containers and ensure they respect legal road height limitations.

A step deck is lower to the ground, with a fixed deck and also requires machinery to unload the truck such as a crane, boom truck or forklift.

Machinery required to unload your container from a Flatbed or Step deck trailer

As previously explained, a container delivered on a flatbed or step deck trailer will require machinery on site to unload the container from the deck. The equipment required will depend on the size and weight of the container.

Heavy Duty Forklifts
20’ and 40’ empty containers can be unloaded using an 18,000lbs heavy-duty forklift with a 48” load center and 8’ long forks. Please keep in mind that standard warehouse forklifts typically do not meet these criteria.

Crane or Boom truck
Renting a crane or a boom truck to offload a shipping container from a flatbed or step deck is often the most common machinery used. A crane or boom truck is capable of lifting the container from its corner castings and allowing for more on site flexibility with regards to space constraints and container placement. It can also be more cost effective than renting a heavy-duty forklift.