Way back in May of 2013, we posted about ramps. And while the concept of ramps has not changed in that timeframe, options for container ramps has. We’re taking a fresh look at ramps and what your options are.

Why to consider purchasing a ramp?

Container ramps are aimed to make loading and unloading items safer. Cargo container thresholds are approximately 6 inches from the ground without blocking under a container, which can make it more difficult to get heavy items in and out of the container.

Lifting loads can cause unnecessary short- or long- term injuries. Some loads are on wheels and are simply too heavy to lift into a container. Using a ramp decreases the likelihood of injuries to occur, reduces health risks related to lifting heavy objects and lowers the risk for loads falling or spilling.

Cement ramp made with indentations for the lockrods so the doors can open

Cement ramp made with indentations for the lockrods so the doors can open

Do you want a permanent or portable ramp?

There are pros and cons to both options. Here are some things to consider when trying to decide the best route to go.

Permanent Ramp


  • Easy to use

  • Don’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt putting it in place

  • No lip – easy to roll right into the container


  • Hard to build to work well. The lockrods that lock the door shut extend down beyond the bottom of the door, so you need to make allowances for that. Most people remove one set of lockrods and then make indentations in ramp for allow for the lockrods.

  • You cannot move your container around after you build a permanent ramp.

  • Only works with one container

Various portable ramps

Various portable ramps

Portable Ramp


  • Can work with multiple containers

  • Many different options available

  • Generally no need to customize anything



  • Must consider the weight of the container and who will be moving it around

  • Must train employees to use the ramp safely

  • Must store the ramp in or out of the container

What is the right style of ramp for me?

Ramps come in a variety of sizes and styles. To figure out the best option for you, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the weight limit you will need for the container?

  • Do you need a smooth rolling surface for managing a pallet jack with small wheels or are you moving in larger, heartier wheels that can handle a variety of surfaces?

  • Will the ramp be used in a variety of different kinds of weather? Rain and snow can make a ramp very slippery.

  • Who will be using the ramp? Will the weight of the ramp be an issue?

  • Will the ramp be stored in the container, along side it, or somewhere further away? You may want to consider something lighter if the ramp will be moving around a lot.

Ramps come in various lengths with different weight limits. They come in different surfaces: a grit coat surface, aluminum curb, punch plate or wedge ramp. We have listed different options below including their specs so you can check through what will work best for you.

The right ramp for you really depends on your situation, who will use it and what you want to put into it.  At the end of the day, if you can get things in and out of your container safely and easily, that is all that matters.

How to figure out ramp pricing?

Call us!  We would love to help you pick the right ramp for you.  Depending on the specific ramp, pricing will vary.

Grit Coat Ramps.jpg
Aluminum Curb Ramps.jpg
Punch Plate Ramp.jpg
Aluminum Ramp Wedge.jpg

Container ramps.  You are planning on rolling things in and out of your container, but how to make that perfect ramp.  It can be simple or complicated, depending on what kind of ramp you need and how much energy you want to put into it.  To help narrow down the right container ramp for you, we have 3 questions to ask yourself. Should it be removable or stay in place? How sturdy/portable does your container ramp need to be?  Do you want a fixed-height ramp or not?

1.  Should my container ramp be removable or stay in place?  Obviously, having a ramp that stays in place is easiest to use.  However, it is also the most difficult to make.  The main reason is that container doors lock into place when lockrods that run the height of the door hook into lockrod holders below and above the door.  Please see the picture.  If you want to make a ramp that will stay put, you need to take this into account.  One great solution is what is in the first picture in this blog.  A cement ramp was made with indentations for the lockrods to clear the top of the ramp.  They also removed one set of lockrods to make this easier.  You could also accomplish this with gravel, but it would take some work to get that to work perfectly and you’ll have to redo that work as the weather moves the gravel around.

If you don’t want to go through the bother of doing that, think about a movable ramp.  They are easier to put together and can still be just as functional.

2. How sturdy/portable does your container ramp need to be?  If you are rolling heavy loads into the container, you will need a heavier-duty ramp.  If you are rolling smaller, lighter items, you might not need to go overboard.  Some materials to consider are plywood, aluminum, even wood planks.  Who will be doing the moving?  If you will have a range of employees doing this, you probably want to go with something lighter so more people can move it.  If you are moving something like a car, you really just need something to go under the wheels, so 2 smaller ramps might do the trick.

3. Do you want a fixed-height ramp or not?  If you are rolling things like pallets in and out of a container on a regular basis, you want a nice, smooth connection between container and ramp.  Other times, like moving a car in and out of the container for the season, that is less important.   If having a smooth flow on and off the ramp is important, you may want to consider a fixed-height container.  They are commerically available from companies like Grainger.    Some people will make this by making a plywood ramp that has built-in supports to keep the ramp a certain height.  This makes loading and unloading pallets an easier, smoother process.  If you do this, please make sure you have your container in place and you take into account blocking under the container if you are using blocking.

Other times, that smooth rolling isn’t as important.  Perhaps you won’t need to use the ramp often, or you are moving larger, self-powered items like a car.  Then having an easy ramp that you throw down when you need it might be just the thing for you.

The bottom line is, you can go fancy or you can go super basic.  It really depends on your situation and what you want to put into it.  At the end of the day, if you can get things in and out of your container easily, that is all that matters.

AuthorSuper Cubes