Different Ways to Move Shipping Containers

Shipyards, warehouses, and other hubs move shipping containers around their facilities all day: from carriers to storage, from storage to staging, and more. All that movement requires a convenient, easy solution that doesn’t slow down operations.

When it comes to moving shipping containers safely across short distances, these facilities have many solutions to choose from:


Moving Shipping Containers


Utilizing Equipment From GKS


Using a Jack

While a toe jack alone is not a complete moving solution, it can be a vital part of a safe moving plan. Toe jacks are excellent for lifting heavy material or shipping crates up onto a dolly or other moving equipment. Toe jacks can protect workers from unnecessary strain and keep a shipping container level while it’s being elevated.

Using a Dolly

Dollies are fantastic for moving shipping containers short distances. Dollies are compact, easy to use, and, in many cases, specifically designed for shipping containers. Operating a dolly does  not require a specialized license, so anyone can use it—which is especially important when a facility is short-staffed or an employee is out sick.


Other Transportation Methods


Using a Forklift

Some may choose to use a forklift to move shipping containers across short distances. However, many forklifts are too small to lift a shipping container on their own. This leaves two options:

  1. Using two forklifts in tandem. This requires two machines and two licensed operators. Because there is no way to automatically coordinate the movement of the two forklifts, this requires a steady hand and can be incredibly risky.
  2. Using a very large forklift with a weight limit of 15,000 pounds. These forklifts are much more expensive than the alternatives.

Securing a shipping container safely to a forklift is not always possible. This increases the risk of this method. If a forklift navigates over a rough patch of ground, the bumping and jostling can cause the shipping container to slip.

Using a Tilt Bed Trailer or Truck

Tilt bed trucks can be a great option for moving shipping containers around. The truck bed is designed to allow the container to simply slide on and off. However, because this method puts the shipping container at an angle, it’s only appropriate for loads that can be tilted. Also, loading a shipping container onto a tilt bed truck requires quite a bit of space, so for situations with limited square footage, this may not be a practical solution.

Using a Crane

In many cases, a crane may be a sufficient choice for moving a shipping container across a short distance. A crane can handle the significant weight and size of a shipping container and is safe for lifting such a large object.

However, there are a few drawbacks to using a crane. Cranes are expensive to rent or purchase, and they can only be operated by a licensed professional. This can be cost prohibitive in some situations. Additionally, cranes are extremely large and require significant square footage for both storage and operation. In tight quarters, a crane may not be convenient.

Benefits of Using GKS Dollies

GKS is proud to offer the best shipping container dollies on the market. Our dollies are designed by German engineers who are laser focused on quality and performance.

GKS shipping container dollies are made with specialized cones for securing the container to the dolly. This prevents the shipping container from slipping or shifting while the dolly is in motion, which is especially important if the load is uneven or the dolly is moving across uneven or cracked floors.

GKS shipping container dollies are also made with a towing eye for easy hook-up to a trailer, forklift, or other vehicle. Our dollies also have a pull bar for manual towing.

Our shipping container dollies come in three different sizes, so you can choose the carrying capacity that suits your needs.

GKS dollies come with a five-year warranty, and each unit is tested individually for performance and durability before it leaves our facilities.Our U.S.-based support team is always available to answer questions and find a solution for you.

To learn more about our shipping container dollies, talk to a member of our team.

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