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What is the flooring in a container?

Container floors are typically constructed with marine-grade plywood, providing durability and moisture resistance. The floor features steel cross members, wooden floor joists, and treated plywood sheets.

Shipping container floors are typically constructed using marine-grade plywood, a type of wood known for its durability and resistance to moisture. This plywood is carefully chosen to safeguard the cargo from water damage during transportation.

The specific materials used for the floor may vary depending on the manufacturer and intended use of the container. However, a common configuration consists of multiple layers:

  • Bottom Cross Members: The floor structure begins with steel cross members that run perpendicular to the container's length. These cross members, spaced approximately 12 inches apart, provide the primary structural support for the floor.
  • Floor Joists: Wooden floor joists are then attached to the bottom cross members. These joists run parallel to the container's length and offer additional support.
  • Marine-Grade Plywood: Sheets of marine-grade plywood, typically around 1 1/8 inches (28 mm) thick, are placed over the floor joists. These plywood sheets are treated to resist moisture and rot, ensuring their longevity. The installation of the sheets is typically done with their grain direction perpendicular to the long sides of the container.
  • Fasteners: To firmly secure the plywood sheets to the floor structure, nails or screws are utilized.
  • Treatment and Coatings: Some shipping containers may undergo treatments or have coatings applied to the plywood to provide additional protection against moisture and pests.

The combination of steel cross members and marine-grade plywood creates a robust and lasting floor that can endure the challenges of shipping while providing a stable surface for cargo. It is important to note that although marine-grade plywood is designed to resist moisture, it is not entirely waterproof. Additionally, alternative flooring materials like bamboo or steel may be used in some containers.