How to Open & Close Shipping Container
Doors when the Doors are Stuck

dreamstime_m_63528834Shipping containers often take a beating, traveling around the world, being exposed to freezing conditions, and rust due to seawater or when the frost has melted.  Contents may shift, while some containers are even dropped, causing doors and lockrods to warp and the container frame is racked so that the door gear will not operate correctly.  Injuries often occur as a result of personnel trying to open and close difficult container doors, often the result of inappropriate techniques being used to open them.

Shipping container doors are not typical doors and there are 4-5 hinges per door.  The hinge pins must be lined up correctly for the doors to be free to fully open and close.

Here are some likely reasons a shipping container door will not open or close.  Our tool helps to address these issues.

  • The container frame is racked so that the door gear will not operate correctly. This may be caused by cargo shifting during transit. Look at the container to make sure that the doors are aligned and level, both top and bottom.
  • The hinge pins and blade are seized due to corrosion.
  • The door gasket has been damaged and is preventing opening. Door gaskets are designed to present two or more fins against the structure or adjacent door. These are generally flexible but when the gasket is damaged, they may become hard or blocked thus jamming the door closed, or preventing it being closed.
  • Water has become trapped between frozen shipping container doors, particularly relevant to refrigerated cargoes, or containers with moisture releasing cargoes in cold weather.

This leverage tool uses the principles of leverage to do the difficult work. By providing an extended area on which to grasp, with both hands, a more stable platform to manipulate the latch handle is achieved.

Designed to fit and extend the door latch handles on side by side doors found on the following units with the safety of the truck driver, operator, and worker foremost in mind:

This intermodal container (also known as ISO ContainerConex Box, or Railroad Container) cargo inspection tool and leverage safety bar is to aid in opening and closing side-by-side doors found within Dismountable Shipping Cargo Container Trailer Transportation Industries (Railroad, Harbor, and Trucking Industries).

Eliminates the Need for a crescent wrench, screwdriver, hammer, and crowbar which are commonly needed/used to open stuck shipping container doors.

Related: Injuries from Opening/Closing Hard to Open/Close Shipping Container Doors