Do Cargo Ships Load My Containers with the Doors Inwards?


Shipping a large amount of goods always makes a shipper worry about crime. There is a large amount of cargo lost every year due to theft, to the tune of almost $50 Billion USD. It seems that one of the most logical methods shipping lines might use would be to stack the cargo with the doors inwards.

If you do a quick search on the web for pictures you will find this is not the case. In fact, most cargo lines ship their shipping containers with the doors facing outwards. Why is this? Here is a little more information about cargo security and why shipping lines stack this way.

How is My Container Secured?

To properly secure a container starts with the packing of the container. Shipping containers that are properly packed will have a weight distribution that will not allow any parts of the container to be compromised by bending or warping.

Once the container is packed, the door is locked and sealed. The seal on the door of the container has a serial number on it. This proves that the container has not been opened since it has been packed.

It is important to note, this seal is not an anti-theft device and can be bypassed easily by anyone who wishes to gain access. Anti-theft protection is left up to the container owner.

Ways inside Your Container

Once the container has been sealed and locked, the criminal has very few options open to them. They can bypass the security (cut off the locks) and then open up the doors. This will of course break the seal and show the container has been opened.

The other options available to them are to either remove the entire front door, or to cut into the container from the sides, top or bottom. Given enough time, any of these methods can prove effective for criminals and lead to lost cargo.

Why Stack Containers with the Doors Out?

The stacking of the containers on the ship is left up to the crane operator who is loading the ship. Trucks arrive to the unloading circle with an orientation that has the front of the truck and the back of the container facing in a way that leads to stacking containers with the doors facing outwards.

If a ship is loaded differently, containers can be stacked with the doors facing inwards. This is typically not the case.

The other reason containers are stacked doors outwards is so that the ports can record the condition of the seals. If seals have been broken, and the doors are facing outwards, a port can notice this and inform the proper parties of the breach.

When loading goods to be shipped overseas, trust professionals like Cratex Group to handle the process for you. We have years of experience with industrial packing and can assist with any packing needs or questions about cargo ships.