Top-Ten Things to Know BEFORE You Buy or Modify a Conex Box (Intermodal Shipping Container)

Tri-Star is a full-service container modification, repair, and storage provider. Know as Conex boxes, intermodal shipping containers, ISO boxes, or just containers, a Conex box can be modified and customized to be used for many purposes.

Here are the top ten things to know before you buy or modify a container.

1. What is the size of a Conex box?

The sizes are 20-ft and 40-ft. Common heights are 8-ft 6-in. and 9-ft. 6-in. The weight of a 20-ft box is about 5,000 lbs. and can hold about 27 tons. A 40-ft. box is a little over 8,000 lbs. and can hold about 30 tons.

2. What is the life expectancy of a box?

The life expectancy is about 10-12 years. It can be a shorter life expectancy depending on climate and amount and type of use. You will want to create a standard maintenance plan for your containers.

3. Can containers be modified?

A new or used container can be modified. There are many ways to modify your container to meet your specific needs. You can add doors, windows, vents, insulation, interior walls, railings, kitchen, bath, decks, roofs, cutouts, security systems, ramps, custom doors, and more. Modifications can turn your container into exactly what you need. If you can describe it, we can build it.

4. Besides shipping, what other ways are containers used?

From a tiny house to a custom golf simulator, the uses and modifications of a box are endless. Other uses include construction site offices, guard shack, break room, generator room, school classrooms, restaurants, workshops, offices, emergency hospitals, portable toilets, studios, art galleries, disaster shelters, and more.

5. Are Conex containers wind and watertight?

For a container to make trips across the ocean, it must be wind and water-tight. You can also modify a container with climate controls that heat, cool, and remove humidity. You can modify a container for a job site workroom, to store a generator, keep tools and equipment that are sensitive to the temperature, etc.

6, What wear-and-tear should I expect from my container?

Your container may have some minor “scuffs and scratches” from loading and unloading, but it is built to be durable. You will want to have a regular maintenance schedule, based on usage of a container, to have it sandblasted, repainted, and repaired.

7. What paint options do I have for my container?

You pick the color and design and we’ll do the rest.

8. Can you store my container?

Yes, Tri-Star has short and long-term storage options available.

9. What should I consider when looking at new versus used?

We can help you compare pricing and make the best decision for you.

10. What is the entire list of services at Tri-Star?

  • Lengthening modification
  • Shortening modification
  • Partitions
  • Doors at both ends
  • All types of doors (roll-up, spring-loaded ramp, swing, etc.)
  • Windows and vents
  • Insulated boxes
  • Heated and cooled boxes
  • Kitchen and bath
  • Electrical and plumbing
  • Decks, roofs, and mounting systems
  • Security systems
  • External lighting
  • Sandblast and paint
  • Storage
  • Pick-up and delivery


To schedule a time to meet and discuss your needs, call Tri-Star at (877) 598-0333 or contact Tri-Star online.