Shipping Container Shelves

You know what I always need?  More ~cowbell~ shelves!  This week, I’m adding shelves to the back of my shipping container - because the back of a shipping container is a good spot for shelves, and I’ve not been making very good use of the vertical space in the shipping container.  I’ve got a high top container (9.5’ high), and I’ve been mostly using the floor for storage space, which is quite silly.  So I’ve added shelves!  This is a fairly simple build that should work for any more or less normal shipping container - it’s completely free standing, just wedged into the corrugations of the container.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Comments from Blogger)

2019-01-14 by Aaron

Hmm…very interesting. I’m actually looking into a 20’ container for my Burning Man camps storage, delivered onto the Playa and picked back up. Shelves would be very handy, however I’m not sure I’d want to build shelves like that if the entire container was going to be moved around. Sad, since they’re pretty simple to build and place, and otherwise are pretty sturdy front-back.

Any thoughts, other than welding some things onto the side, of shelves that would stand being moved around? Also going to have to deal with EMT conduit pole, although normally we bundle them up into 4-6 poles with bungee-balls. Was thinking, eventually, it’d be nice to have some small (probably welded) selves built into the side we could store and secure them into.

2019-01-14 by Russell Graves

As long as the shelves are properly wedged into the corrugations on the side, they’re not going anywhere. I’d absolutely trust these shelves for transport, though if you wanted to be extra-super-sure, drill holes from the outside and put a few bolts through.

Or glue them in place. Run glue beads across the rear crossmembers where they press against the rear wall, and the whole unit won’t go anywhere either.

2019-01-14 by Aaron

Hm. Is an interesting thought. Initially we won’t have enough stuff to really fill it up, so pretty sure it’ll be fine. I think drilling and putting in some bolts will be the easier to be 100% sure, and I’ll add some caulk around the washer/bolt on the outside, and again on the inside before tightening down. Does rain sometimes in Reno, so want to do a decent job with some basic sealing of any penetrations.

Or I could just weld in a few stops/bolt points. A few bits of steel with a MIG welder should be pretty easy, and doesn’t need to be that pretty, as long as it’s a good weld. Really the bigger deal will be putting front/back stops to keep stuff from sliding around, although probably a few ratchet straps would manage that reasonably well. What’s potentially more interesting, to me, is the hanging shelves you talked about doing eventually. I’ll keep an eye out for whenever you post that.

2019-01-15 by Unknown

Considered making the passenger seat fold flat or removable for the Volt? I can get 10’ pipe completely inside my Jetta with the passenger seat removed. And at least 8’ furring strips in the Forester with the back seats folded. Still can carry a passenger behind the driver too.

2019-01-15 by Russell Graves

No. I have a perfectly good truck for hauling large stuff.

At a minimum, I’d have to pull out the car seats to haul large things (the back does fold flat), but the passenger seat would still be in the way, and removing that, disconnecting the heater wiring to it, etc, just radically exceeds my threshold for “annoyance to transport large things” when I have a crew cab/long bed pickup for such purposes.