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Shipping container

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Hello all!

TLDR How much weight will the top of a shipping container support? Not the corners, mid top. (lbs per square foot?)

I'm hoping someone here knows a lot about shipping containers.

We finally got our 20' shipping container for event storage. It will be filled with camping equipment and shade structures. We are not allowed to modify the outside of the container in any way. We want to put a temporary deck with railings on top for views of the sunrise, sunset and Black Rock City in general.

I am thinking of sheets of 1/2 or 5/8 plywood laid on top for a smooth ish surface and then 2x4s for railings. All to be disassembled and stored inside. I am wondering how big I can make the deck as I'd rather not have 20 people up there and buckle the top. I will also not build a proper 16" on center framed deck as it will only be used for one week out of the year. Thats a lot of work for one week.

I have been searching for specs on this but the websites only include in empty and cargo weights.

My gut feeling is two sheets of plywood making an 8x8 area allowing eight to ten people will be fine but... or is the answer no it won't take any real weight no matter the distribution, and I axe my whole idea.

Thanks in advance!

I cannot tell you how much it will hold on weight up there. No idea.

*If* I was to do something like that, I'd be looking into putting some channel iron or an I-beam inside, up against the roof.

I would suggest you do an internet search on stacking shipping containers or similar. I know this isn't your question but it may yield some information. Further notice on the container the corners and in the center outside edges. There should be re-enforced areas there to take the weight of stacked containers. That may be of some help to you.

@ Stwood  Yes I have thought about that. Some sort of adjustable post with a beam, even just a 4 x 4. might just do that.

@ Redman  I have looked around quite a bit but all the stacking info is about the weight bearing of the ends and corners and of course that is not the info I need. Thanks for the idea though, I will look some more though to be sure I'm not missing something.

A new concept is to build small 2' platform sections and saddle them across the outside beams and not touch the corrugated top. Hmmm more thinking required...

Hmmm....2'x8' platforms that saddle the sides. Yea, I like that.

Hey on the inside, research basement jacks. Cheap and easy.
4x4 post 20'? long, supported by 3 basement jacks.


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