Side Opening Containers

For some applications, a container that opens from the side is more practical than one with doors that open at either end. The side opening sea container is designed to cater to this exact need. In this post we tell you all you need to know about this versatile side-opening container. We look at the size line-up, features of such container models, tell you the benefits of open-side containers, discuss some common uses for side opening cargo containers, and check out some of our side-door container modifications. By the end, it should be clear whether a side opening shipping container will suit you.

The sea container has seen quite a few modifications and innovations since its invention. These have been necessary to increase the types of goods cargo containers can transport, as well as to enhance its functionality in goods shipping and other uses.

One such clever modification is the addition of side opening doors.

Side opening shipping containers are pretty similar to regular general purpose shipping containers. They share the same features with regular containers with the only difference being that they open on the side too. The side doors can cover the entire length of the shipping container, or a smaller part, depending on the intended use.


These shipping containers come in two common sizes:

  1. 20ft
  2. 40ft

Just like regular sea containers, they can be made in custom sizes ranging anywhere between 5ft and 40ft, depending on the customer’s requirements.

Side opening sea containers are also available in high cubes, which gives them an extra foot in height compared to normal sized shipping containers. For example, they are 9ft 6in instead of 8ft 6in internally. The extra headroom will come in handy if you need to load or store extra tall items.


Our side opening sea containers feature the following:

  • High-quality steel construction that provides the toughness and durability you’ve come to expect from shipping containers
  • Water-sealing on all doors to keep the goods inside dry and vermin-free
  • Solid, marine-quality timber floors
  • Standard doors that open the full 270 degrees
  • Large side doors for easier access and loading large items

Upon request we can also install container accessories such as:

  • Whirlybirds
  • Air vents to prevent condensation inside the container
  • Container ramps for smooth and easy loading
  • Heavy duty shelves ideal for goods storage
  • Security lock boxes
  • Windows
  • And much more...

The options we provide are endless. We will add whatever accessory you require to make the container suitable for the intended use.


  1. Easy loading and offloading - Side opening sea containers are especially beneficial because they provide easy access for loading and offloading goods – especially when a forklift or pallet truck is being used. The forklift or truck can drive in, place and stack the goods without too much effort.
  2. Access for extra-large items - Side opening shipping containers fitted with larger doors provide adequate room for extra-large items that can’t fit through the container’s regular doors. This increases the number of items that you can ship and store using these metal boxes.
  3. Better access to stored items - With the back to front loading style of the shipping container, accessing goods that were loaded first will require you to remove front items to get to them. With a side opening container, goods that were loaded first do not have to come out last, which makes retrieving items fast and efficient.
  4. Better utilisation of the container - Side doors also help improve the utilisation of the shipping container, as the container can be divided into two or more parts to serve as multiple cafes, shops or offices.


  1. Because of their versatility, side opening shipping containers can be used for a variety of purposes. These include:

    1. Storage - The side opening container is perfect for onsite storage as it provides a wider opening for storage of bulky goods while the easy access of goods makes organising, storing, and retrieving items a quick and easy task. This, coupled with the shipping containers robust and secure build, make for the perfect storage facility.
    2. Transportation - With all the features of a regular container and the added benefit of a side opening door, side opening shipping containers are ideal for transporting both regular and bulky cargo. Side doors provide a better option for loading and offloading.
    3. Conversions - These containers are also ideal for conversions. Some of the popular conversions include turning them into homes, sheds, offices, cafes, pop-up shops and so much more. For conversions where ruggedness is not a priority, more aesthetically pleasing doors can be used such as sliding glass doors, or even a roller door.


Over the years Tiger Shipping Containers have done numerous side door installations on new and used shipping containers. Here are some examples of our work.

    1. The double roller doors Installation. For this, the customer requested to have their new-build 20ft shipping container fitted with heavy duty roller doors – something we were able to implement with amazing results. The side roller doors make the container perfect for commercial use due to the storefront-like accessibility.
    2. Engineering module modification Side opening shipping containers are perfect for housing machinery. The wide doors enable free air circulation (a requirement for some equipment), easy installation of the machine because of the improved access, and easier and safer access for operators. All this while still enabling the piece of equipment to be shipped anywhere safely and conveniently without being disassembled. The side opening container below was created for a customer who required housing for a power generator. We fitted full-length side opening doors on both sides of the 20ft shipping container, creating the perfect portable generator housing. Whether it’s a simple fit-out or a complicated engineering module, you can count on us to provide exactly what you require.
    3. The bright red container For this modification, the customer needed their side opening cargo container to match an existing building next to which the container would be placed. We applied a new coat of paint (bright red) and installed side opening doors on the container. Because of how the container was to be situated, access wouldn’t be possible from the left-hand side, so we needed to install the doors on the right-hand side of the container. We also added some lock boxes for the doors to improve security. The side doors were fitted with rubber seals to ensure that the container retains its weatherproofing.
    4. Side Access container For this container we applied a new coat of paint to a second-hand 20ft A-grade container and installed 2 container doors on it. The results were stunning, and we added another satisfied customer to our records.


At Tiger Shipping Containers we provide a wide range of new and used side opening containers at unbeatable prices. Whether you require a container for storage, shipping or conversion, you can be sure we’ll provide the perfect side opening container to suit your needs.

Call us for a free quotation: 1800 072 039.


    Dangerous Goods Containers

    10ft Dangerous Goods Shipping Containers (Class 3)

    Flat Rack Containers

    20ft Flat Rack (Collapsible) Shipping Containers

    High cubes containers

    20ft High Cube Shipping Container (9”6/ 2.9m High)

    Open-top containers

    20ft Open Top Shipping Container

    Refrigerated Shipping Containers

    20ft Reefers For Sale Or Hire (Refrigerated Shipping Containers)

    Side opening containers

    20ft Side Opening Containers (2.6m or 2.9m High)

    Flat Rack Containers

    40ft Flat Racks (collapsible)

    High cubes containers

    40ft High Cube Containers

    Open-top containers

    40ft Open Top shipping container

    Refrigerated Shipping Containers

    40ft Reefers For Sale Or Hire (Refrigerated Shipping Containers)