Delivery vehicles for Shipping Containers

Delivery vehicles for Shipping Containers

We aim to be as flexible as possible and can provide our clients with three prime container delivery options. However, we can arrange more specific delivery services if you need them or arrange for you to collect containers yourself; provided you or your haulier have a suitably equipped vehicle.

If you are unsure about anything mentioned below, please call us not matter how trivial you think the question may be because it may be quite an important question that if not addressed prior to delivery, could cause major problems later on that could mean you face additional costs for a failed delivery/collection charge. Hopefully, with the below details, we can avoid that.

Container delivery using a flat-bed or skelly

This type of vehicle is not equipped with any lifting equipment of any kind and therefore relies on you having the appropriate lifting equipment at your delivery address. In terms of cost per mile, this type of vehicle is the cheapest way of delivering containers. A skelly trailer is the industry nickname for a ‘skeletal frames’ container trailer – a type of trailer with no physical bed, but its designed specifically for shipping containers.

One of the most popular reasons to use a flat or skelly trailer is if you’re going to export the container. Typically speaking we offer a service where we deliver the container and if you can fill it within 2-hours, the container will stay on the delivery vehicle and is then moved to the shipping port once filled. And don’t forget if you are shipping the container, please order a shipping container bolt-seal. These have unique numbers on the bolt and cap which match. They are recorded at each point of your containers journey and are a good indicator, if the number has changed since it left you, that the container has been opened somewhere along the journey.

Another popular reason for a flat or skelly delivery is if you have your own materials handling equipment on site, such as a forklift, crane or similar, and you can offload the container yourself. Why pay for a hiab delivery if you have the capability to offload and position the container yourself?

Hiab or crane equipped delivery

This is our general delivery service and, unless stated otherwise, what we quote for as standard on majority of our jobs. This type of vehicle is fitted with its own integrated Hiab or lifting crane that’s used to off-load the container at your delivery address. Their lifting capacity is limited so, if you have a container that’s loaded with goods that we will have to look at an alternative vehicle called a side-lifter.

Hiab vehicles have one crane arm that’s located to the rear of the driver’s cab making the front of the vehicle very heavy meaning they should only be used on hard-standing ground. They generally cannot be used to cross muddy fields or parks. We do however offer some flexibility here, provided the ground is dry and hard and/or the site has been surveyed by one of our team in advance of delivery something may be workable. Please note that site surveys are a chargeable item and the haulier may/will ask you to sign a disclaimer irrespective of the condition of the ground or if a site survey has been undertaken in advance. Furthermore, officially, it is up to the driver discretion on the day of delivery whether to attempt the job or not. Hiab equipped vehicles are not designed for ‘off-road’ work.

Whilst Hiab equipped vehicles cost slightly more per mile than a flat bed, they are much cheaper than renting in your own forklift or crane to lift off the containers.

Side-lifting equipped vehicles

As mentioned above, side-lifters have the capacity to lift loaded containers. So, if you are going to fill your own container but need a few days to do this, we will need to deliver your container on a side-lifter and then collect it using the same type of vehicle. Side-lifters operate in a very particular way and can only load and offload containers to the right hand side of the vehicle (as the vehicle faces forwards i.e. off-side.) Although not essential we typically deliver the empty container using a side-lifter too. This ensures the container is in the correct position for when we re-attend to collect the loaded container. We ask for advanced notice if you require this type of vehicle please. For more information about our sidelifting vehicles, their capacities and how they operate please read our recent guide about moving loaded shipping containers.

Collecting your own shipping containers

You are more than welcome, if you have your own suitably equipped vehicle, to collect from any of our depots. Alternatively, if you know a haulier or want to arrange a haulier yourself, we can of course release shipping containers from any one of our depots to them too on your say so.

If you want to arrange your own collection from the depot your truck must be a standard container skeletal trailer or flatbed with twistlocks. Any other type of collection vehicle (a flatbed with no twistlocks for example as well as step frame trailers, gooseneck trailers, curtainsiders, euro liners are all not suitable to collect a container with from most of our depots) has to be ran past us and authorised prior to collection – this is because a lot of our depots simply will not release containers unless they’re going on a vehicle with twistlocks. Twistlock insisting depots will check all vehicles and quite simply will prevent non-conforming vehicles from leaving the depot with the containers so please double check and if you are at all unsure please contact us. All containers must be secured to the depots satisfaction before being allowed to leave. (we add this measure in as an extra check, if you arrange haulage regularly and are happy with the requirements we can waive this checking process for you)

After payment has been received we will issue you with a unique release reference, depot address, contact details, opening and closing times; including the last lift time. Please do not arrive after the last lift time as you will not be loaded. Access is within normal working hours which will also be confirmed but please note that the release reference is only valid for circa 14 days from issue. Failure to collect within this time frame will null & void the release reference and you’ll incur storage charges.

Your driver may have to wait in line with the other vehicles. We cannot affect the waiting time or compensate for it under any circumstances. For more information please read our recent guide about collecting your own shipping containers. Our depots also reserve the right to close at short notice for health and safety reasons, the most common disruption may be caused by high winds or snow and ice that can make yard operations dangerous. we cannot compensate for any wasted journey costs from third party hauliers in such an instance.

AM/PM specific deliveries

We can upgrade any of the above delivery services to an AM or PM specific service. We obviously need to know this in advance because our standard delivery service is anytime daytime between our usual working hours of 07:00am -18:30pm within our working week of Monday – Friday. If you know throughout the week you are out at 1pm for example, an AM delivery service although at a premium on our standard service, may be preferred.

Timed deliveries

We can typically upgrade any of the above to a timed delivery service. Slots are typically in a 1 hour window (between 8am and 9am for example) but will vary nationally depending on the location of the job, availability, the haulier we’re using and of course the times you want!

Please contact us for more information about these upgraded services.

Other important delivery information

Please be aware that all scheduling and all deliveries (including AM/PM and our timed delivery services) are undertaken on a best effort basis only. As we work in an operational environment we will occasionally experience problems or delays with our jobs that are beyond our own control. This could be high winds or bad weather causing port or our depots to close for health and safety reasons, problems with hauliers, drivers of trucks unable to work, traffic incidents on the roads and more. We will of course keep you posted as much as possible if we do experience any such issues. Please be aware that we cannot accept any third-party charges with delays to a container delivery under any circumstances.

If you have any questions about this article, our products or service please call our friendly team for free on 0800 999 8988 any time 08:30-17:00 weekdays or send us a message via the contact form on this website and we will get back to you.