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How to Prevent Condensation in Shipping Containers

Tuesday 2 May 2023 Filed in: General

Find out ways to keep your shipping container and its contents damp-free inside. From cheap and simple solutions to help with moisture control to the complete "belt and braces" approach that eliminates condensation completely.

Why is condensation in shipping containers a problem?

Excessive temperature fluctuations inside closed metal containers causes condensation to form and unless is it left open to dry out, the moisture is trapped inside and will eventually drip from the ceiling, run down the walls and onto anything that is stored inside. This is worse in the winter when persistent cold weather prevents the container from drying out at all.

Whether you need to think seriously about condensation prevention depends mostly upon what you are storing inside you shipping container. If it's household furniture, fabrics, soft furnishings, textiles, electrical goods, paper or card they will be particularly susceptible to retaining moisture from damp conditions and will eventually be damaged by mould and mildew. No one wants to open up their container to the smell and sight of damp and soggy cardboard boxes!

Budget solutions to managing condensation

There a number of solutions to control condensation, depending on your budget and how important it is to keep your contents dry. If the container is used for building material for instance, or items are frequently taken in and out for the container, condensation shouldn't be too much of an issue. If you want to be on the safe side then think about investing in cheap solutions that will absorb some of the moisture once it has formed:


This is a textured coating that is simply sprayed onto the container ceiling. It helps insulate the ceiling which will slow down the formation of condensation and its capillary action also absorbs it. The textured surface speeds up evaporation of the moisture. While Grafotherm won't eliminate condensation completely, it does keep it under control.


The Absorpole comes in the form of a solid plastic container filled with the desiccant Calcium Chloride, which is non toxic and highly absorbent. They are hung inside the container to absorb moisture as it forms and can hold 2 litres of water. For a 20ft shipping container two poles are recommended, and four for a 40ft shipping container. At just £35 per pole this is the cheapest option, although poles will be need replacing when full.

The importance of ventilation in shipping containers

In addition to these simple methods, condensation can be managed by ventilating your container well. Don't leave it shut up for extended periods of time and think about having vents installed. From small ISO shipping vents to small, medium or large louvered vents fitted into you container, increasing the airflow inside is important to drying out.

Lining and insulation

This combo is the only way to banish condensation completely and forever! It's effective as in maintaining a stable temperature inside the container, condensation can't from at all. Have you container lined and insulated and you'll never have to think about drippy ceilings and walls ever again. We offer three types of lining at Containers Direct, placed over 100mm Rockwall insulting material.
  • 9mm redwood finish ply lining

  • OSB lining - a budget and environmentally friendly version using KronospanTM boards

  • Melamine lining - wipe clean, recommended for container conversions such as site offices and catering units

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