I-Spy an ISBU…

25 Jul

AS we work our flu-ridden butts off;

It’s mailbag time;

“Dear Ronin,

Can you tell how old a container is, just by LOOKING at it?

I’m just trying to get a general idea of how old the containers I’m looking at are, before “going head’s up with the owner.”


Looking thru the chain-link…”

Dear Peeping Tom,


There are ways to get an idea how old the containers you’re spying on actually are.

The best way is to look at the CSC Plate on the container box itself.

CSC is short for “Container Safety Convention.”

It’s just a “Safety Approval Plate” that certifies that the box conforms to international transport standards.

Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t look exactly like this. There are several different varieties of plates.

This plate is usually located on the left door of the container and it’ll have a number on it, like the VIN number on your family car or truck. It WILL tell you the date of the container’s manufacture.

But, you’re “on the outside looking in”, right? How good are your binoculars? 😉

Another good way is to look at the doors of the containers.

Are they flat or are they corrugated?

IF the doors are flat, you’re looking at an almost twenty year old box. Based on current data, the factories building Shipping Containers in China switched over to corrugated doors in the early 1990’s. My sources tell me that they did NOT all do it at the same time.

Another way to tell the age of a container is to look at the wood flooring of the container itself.

By noting the SHAPE of the floor panels, you can cross-reference the manufacturing information to help establish an approximate age. Are they large panels or squares?

Of course, this can be misleading as it’s possible that container has had it’s floor replaced during it’s life “in the trenches…”

Or, you could just pick up the phone and call the guy…

Hope this helps.