Trapped moisture inside shipping and storage containers can cause problems for any materials inside made of textiles such as paper and leather, electrical items and general household furniture. Even cardboard boxes used to keep your items in can be reduced to a soggy mess. If steps are not taken to minimize condensation trapped within the steel body of the container as temperatures fluctuate, then upon opening the container you may find the contents have become wet and mouldy. On top of this, if liquids are stored in the container there is a risk of freezing them during very cold periods. To even out temperatures inside containers and absorb some of the moisture we recommend using ply lined containers for goods that can perish in this way.

Four steps to a lining and insulating our containers

1. A timber frame is inserted inside the steel structure of the container. We don't drill so there won't be any leaking holes left

2. A mineral based insulating substance, known as Rockwool, is used to pack the walls of the container. Rockwool is highly efficient at trapping heat and is made of naturally occurring substances, so it poses no health risk

3. Timber ply boards are nailed to the frame over the insulating material

4. The edges are finished off with beading to ensure no gaps are left

Hardy enough even for the Highland mountains!

The doors on shipping containers can also be ply lined, if required (however they cannot be insulated due to the structure of the doors). This gives added protection if the container is to be kept in extreme weather conditions. For instance we ply lined container a 6ft container for the Highland Rescue team, to be located in the Scottish mountains! It was an absolute necessity for the container to stay dry and frost free in order to preserve the vital medical supplies inside.

Choosing your ply lined container

Ply lining containers is second nature to us, and of of the most popualr modifications we do. We are able to ply line any size container, and provide a variety of finishes depending upon your requirements. For example take a look at this 20ft ply lined container.

Cost of supplying and fitting ply lining to containers

Choose from two standard options of ply:

  1. 9mm Redwood finish - for an attractive finish

  2. 12mm Redwood finish - extra thickness with an aesthetically pleasing look
For any other grade of thickness - POA. All ply surfaces can be painted over, or varnished, upon request.

9mm Redwood:

  • 10ft - from £650

  • 15ft - from £950

  • 20ft - from £1050

  • 30ft - from £1485

  • 40ft - from £1735 (for high cubes add 20%)

12mm Redwood:

  • 10ft - from £710

  • 15ft - from £1040

  • 20ft - from £1140

  • 30ft - from £1580

  • 40ft - from £1850 (for high cubes add 20%)

Prices shown are for ply lining excluding doors - for lining including doors, there will be a supplimentary charge. Surcharge also applies to lining around apertures (for additional door, windows etc.), and for extra wide containers.

Alternatives to ply lining - Wipe Clean Melamine

For containers used as kitchens/canteens/food preparation, walls and ceilings can be lined with wipe clean melamine. This is 8mm thick, with edges in plastic trim, and available in a white or beige finish. Many container conversions completed in our workshops are used in the catering industry where hygienic, wipe clean surfaces are essential for health and safety requirements. For more information on melamine lining, see our article on Containers for Catering.

We can also fit with Stainless Steel lining over ply lining, which provides a hygienic, fire, heat and corrosion resistant finish. See our workshop conversion as an example.

Fire protection and steel lining

We offer a fire retardant spray coating, which works by creating an invisible layer that when exposed to heat, creates a carbonized shield to deflect it.

Prices for fire retardant treatment:
  • 10ft - £175

  • 20ft - £235

  • 25ft - £345

  • 30ft - £345

  • 40ft - £460

For catering conversions we offer fire retardant plasterboard upon request (POA).

Occasionally we get requests for a steel lining overlay on our standard container linings. This is particularly good for workshop and catering conversions - POA.


Still unsure if ply lining is worth the extra? See what our customer Nigel Storr, from Fodens of Streethay Farmers and Growers, told us about his decision to have his container ply lined:

"Just a big thank you for Container delivered yesterday, well worth the extra to have it ply-lined out. You have all been thoroughly professional from start to finish."

John Daines, Director of Tarvin Community Woodland Trust Ltd, had a 20ft once used container ply lined:

"This is just to thank you very much for the container. Opening the doors gave a bit of a wow! factor; it looks great. The lining and insulation will reduce damp and condensation but also we have a facility to store stuff on the walls."

SmartWater Technology Ltd chose to have their 30ft container ply lined. Impressed with both our standard of work and customer service we received this testimonial:

"Extremely helpful and professional, There may be a need in the future for another container, if so, I'll be contacting you and you only"

R Harris

"The quality of the interior ply is brilliant, everyone has admired it!"

Mrs Francis des Rosiers, Cambs

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