From Site to Site: How We Safely Unload Your Shipping Container


We’ve told you how we design a shipping containerdevelop a shipping containertransport a shipping container, and even deploy a shipping container. Have you ever wondered how we unload a shipping container experience?

Our top priority is always safety. And the safe unloading of your shipping container experience primarily depends on the size and weight of the structure(s). From there, we can determine what tools to use to safely move your experience from the truck to the site.


One of our recent projects with IMG included six 10-foot containers, a 20-foot container, a 30-foot container, and a 40-foot container. The 10-foot and 20-foot containers were relatively easy to move with a boom truck and forklift. But the design called for the 40-foot and 30-foot units to be stacked on two of the 10-footers. Talk about a challenge.

For this scenario we couldn’t simply use a forklift due to the potential of expressed energy pushing into the center of the unit – eliminating support on the two ends. This would have created a bend or curve that could undermine the integrity of the structure and of all the elements inside. Not good.

So for a situation like this, we used cranes. They’re a little more expensive, but the monetary difference is certainly less than what it would take to repair or replace a container, and branding elements inside, if it were damaged by unwanted torquing.

Self-Offloading Trailers

Another of our ongoing projects is with Electrolux. For this client we built a 40-foot container with a custom luxury kitchen. Which means that the container isn’t empty. In fact, it weighs about 23,000 pounds. For this scenario we use offloading trailers that can handle a massive amount of weight and can place containers precisely and safely. Offloading trailers also include stabilizers for maximum safety, so that activators can unload a container quickly and easily.

Stronger Supports

There are times when we need to install steel supports to reinforce a unit. In this case, we create stronger, thicker beams at the bottom and top so that when we unload the unit to tip it on its end, the weight is fully supported.

Most people don’t realize that there is a natural bow to steel which does not exist in wood. It sounds counterintuitive, but a wooden 4×4 post will not bend as readily as a piece of steel. That’s why in certain instances we opt for stronger supports so that the torque doesn’t compromise the container or destroy windows, cabinetry, appliances, and other assets.

Specialized Materials and Techniques

At Boxman Studios, we believe in the idea of ‘Betterment’ in everything we do. For example, when we were building Electrolux’s mobile kitchen, we sourced a specialized grout that held the glass tile backsplash in place. Typical grout cracks when exposed to the torque that results from routine travel and movement. This grout, which has a rubberized compound, flexes to move with the unit and keep the glass secure.

Additionally, we used special rubber mounts in the Electrolux kitchen as a way to keep the appliances in place. Plus, we utilized Lexan plastic instead of glass to ensure that the windows were shatter proof.

You see, our commitment to excellence extends far beyond the shipping container itself. That’s why when it comes to loading, erecting, and unloading our projects we consider the safety of our customers, their customers, passers-by, motorists, activators, and our own employees. We want everything to arrive intact and ready to wow audiences – which means considering every possible scenario. When we’re doing our jobs right, all you have to do is Just Add People.