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How to Secure a Shipping Container: Peace of Mind with Container Lock Systems

Red shipping container cargo doors with lock box

Safety and security are major concerns for organizations storing valuable items in shipping containers, locking up container offices after hours, and protecting the contents of other container structures. Shipping container locks bring peace of mind to organizations protective of their property. In this blog, we break down the built-in locking systems of shipping containers and learn more about additional shipping container locks that keep contents secure.

1. Understand the Built-in Security of a Shipping Container

It’s important to note that shipping containers – in general – are incredibly secure units. They are trusted as cargo boxes that travel across oceans and deliver valuable goods. Manufacturers make them out of reliable corten steel and into box shapes to create sturdy and stackable units that remain useful for over 25 years.

As manufacturers repurpose used containers, modifying them into a variety of different structures, shipping containers maintain their impressive security. Even as manufacturers add extra doors to improve accessibility, the security of the structure isn’t jeopardized. In fact, shipping container locks and other security modifications maintain the security of the unit.

2. Should You Utilize the Built-In Container Lock System?

shipping container lock box on cargo doors

Shipping containers are made with cargo doors that make up the entire end wall of the unit, allowing easy access to load and unload cargo. Container cargo doors come with locking mechanisms that remain secure as they travel long distances.

Cam and Lock System

The double doors use steel bars and a cam and lock system to keep doors fastened shut. The cam and lock system tightly secures the doors in place. Each of the two doors has two handles that both allow a person to open the doors as well as lock them in place.

Lock Boxes

Additional security locks can be installed on the opening seam of the cargo doors. Many companies opt to install a lock box which is a modification that conceals the shipping container lock and helps prevent break-ins. The lock box protects the lock from the possible use of bolt cutters or a saw.

How to Open a Shipping Container Cargo Door

3. Choose the Right Additional Shipping Container Locks

Some companies who request modified container structures have no need to keep the cargo doors operable. Instead, they request the installation of personnel doors, roll-up doors, or other container door options that grant access to the structure. These doors require their own locking systems and vary depending on what the company prioritizes in terms of security.

Latch Guards

For personnel doors, latch guards are commonly installed along the seam of the opening – which are flat pieces of metal over the locks, bolted from the inside. These guards deter thieves, making break-ins more difficult. Latch guards are helpful and easy to install.

Code Protection & Keypad Entry

Some companies opt for a code-protected lock entry to keep their container structure secure. In these cases, keypad entry locks are installed as an upgrade from a standard deadbolt lock. Container modification manufacturers commonly install keypad entry locks for structures like private offices. Companies can program the keypads with entry codes that secure the structure from unwanted visitors.

4. Don’t Ignore Security Modifications Beyond Locks

shipping container office with a roll up door and burglar bar windows

As other modifications are made to shipping containers, additional security modifications may be necessary.

Burglar Bars & More

Some companies prefer windows with burglar bars to further deter possible intruders. As you design your shipping container structure, no matter its intended purpose, consider enhancing the security of your shipping container with the right security modifications for your business. Discuss your security concerns with your container provider to see what they may recommend for your structure.

If you’d like to contact Falcon to discuss your shipping container project with security in mind, don’t hesitate to reach out. Here at Falcon Structures, we make container goals a reality. Reach us at 877-704-0177 or email us at to speak with a container expert.

5 Steps to Designing Your Modified Shipping Container


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