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Choose the Right Exterior Door for Your Shipping Container

Sep 25, 2019
Marissa Morin

Shipping container structures are known to be affordable, mobile, and secure, but a trait that is just as important — and yet often overlooked — is a shipping container’s convenience. The doors of a modified container are what allow these structures to be accessible, so choosing the right door is an important step of the design process. To start, we recommend you answer the following questions.   

  • How will my organization use this container?
  • How often will members of my organization need to access the inside of this container?
  • Will my organization be storing over-sized items inside the container?
  • Will members of my organization be working or living inside the container?

Once these questions have clear answers, you will be able to select from the following options.

Cargo Doors

Cargo Doors

Cargo Doors are the heavy-duty, weather-tight, and secure swinging doors located at the end of a container. They use a cam and lock system which ensures that the contents inside the container are protected against theft and environmental threats.

Use cargo doors if,

  • Large items need to be placed inside the container easily – even by forklift.
  • Immediate convenience is less of a priority.

Personnel Doors

Personnel Door

Personnel doors are made of steel and are carefully welded into the wall of the container to ensure that the structure remains wind and water-resistant. The insulated core of a personnel door works to keep containers cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

Additionally, these doors come with a deadbolt and steel lever handle, so opting for a personnel door won’t compromise the security of your portable buildings. Instead, personnel doors will help keep important papers and valuable items safe. If extra security is desired, consider adding a keypad entry.

Use a personnel door if,

  • The container is a portable office building, living space, or storage space.
  • The interior needs to be accessed frequently by walking in and out.

Roll-Up Doors

Roll-Up Doors

Roll-up doors, sometimes called overhead doors, are different from cargo doors in that they lift from the bottom and roll-up inside the container. They are lockable, easily unlatched, and lightweight.  These doors are also welded into the container wall and can be installed anywhere along the side walls or at the ends of the container.

Falcon Roll-up doors incorporate a special rain pan to keep rainwater out. Roll-up doors come in a variety of widths and styles including those that are extreme-duty and wind-rated for special needs or environments.

Use a roll-up door if,

  • The container will store large equipment.
  • The contents need to be frequently accessed, more often than cargo doors realistically allow.

Sliding Glass DoorsSliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors are the same height and width of double wide personnel doors but they are made of durable glass framed with vinyl. These doors come with secure locks that leave the interior protected, although they should not be considered as secure or as durable as the alternative doors mentioned above, since they are transparent.

Use a sliding glass door if,

  • The container is used as an office, store front, or living space.
  • A stylish design and natural light are desired.

Door Combinations

Exterior Door Combinations

For larger containers, especially those that use a combination of storage and working or living space, it’s common to consider multiple entryways. Extra doors are one of the most popular modification options for shipping containers.

The design of any shipping container building should fit the specific needs of each project. Whether a container needs to offer more convenient access or the ability to move items in and out easier, there is a door – or multiple doors – that can meet that need.

Have questions about what door is right for your project? Reach us at, 877-704-0177 or sales@falconstructures.com to speak with our shipping container experts.

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