Recycling a damaged shipping container


I am wondering if you cut all 4 sides and the top off of a standard 40' conex shipping container.

Would the floor have any strength as a walking bridge over a creek?

Is there really any strength added to the floor by the 2"x2" square tube running on top above the walls and the 16 guage wavy sides?


Oct 12, 17 2:57 pm

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Leaving part of the sides would probably give it a bit more load capacity.  You might need to weld in some stabilizing elements to keep the sides from collapsing.  

Oct 12, 17 3:15 pm

No, you can't cut out all 4 sides.

Oct 12, 17 3:18 pm
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Non Sequitur

Why not just build a wood & steel bridge if you're going to cut 83% out of the container?

Oct 12, 17 3:27 pm

It is a shipping container. It is an efficient shape for enclosing boxes. No, just no.

Oct 12, 17 4:04 pm

Just open the doors on either side and you have yourself a bridge tunnel or tunnel bridge, duh.

Oct 12, 17 4:13 pm

Just to be pedantic about it, you're talking about adaptive reuse of a shipping container, not recycling it ... carry on.

Oct 12, 17 4:20 pm


That's a question you should ask a civil engineer.

If you use only the container floor as a bridge, it may not be strong enough for this purpose. A lot of the structural capacity would have come from the side walls loosely acting as girders.

There are factors to consider like - maximum live load - pedestrians only or occasional light vehicles? a finished surface which will add kN to the dead load; final span; abutment type and anchoring; are parapets required or not; etc.

I suggest you post this question on an engineering forum:

Oct 16, 17 1:14 pm

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