813.740.1911 Sales@A-American.com

Shipping containers are a vital component of global trade, providing a secure and cost-effective solution for transporting goods across long distances. Reusing these durable steel structures for storage uses, mobile offices, and tiny homes has become increasingly popular, not only because of their convenience but also for their sustainability.  


However, as with any reused item, concerns may arise about the container’s previous history. In particular, many people wonder if their shipping container might have carried hazardous materials in a past life.  


Our team at A American Container delves into this topic to provide you with the information you need to ensure safety and peace of mind when repurposing your cargo container.  

Did My Shipping Container Carry Hazardous Materials?  


According to the law, when shipping hazardous materials via container, a yellow hazard placard must be prominently displayed to alert handlers and others about potential dangers. 


By displaying this distinctive placard on shipping containers carrying dangerous substances such as flammable liquids or toxic gases, it becomes easier for workers at ports, warehouses, and transportation facilities to identify potential risks. 


The most important thing to know—this placard cannot be fully removed. So if you are looking to purchase a container, look out for the yellow hazard placard or the sticker residue as it can be used as a general warning that you might want to avoid it altogether, or it might need some extra maintenance before you use it.  


Other times you can literally smell the chemicals present and you know to shy away from that particular shipping container. Of course, in our yard, we don’t accept any units that are simply not safe for the public to use. Period.  


What Hazardous Materials Could a Steel Container Have Carried?  


If a steel container carried hazardous materials in its past life, those could still pose potential risks to human health and the environment. 


Hazardous materials that could have been carried in a steel container are flammable or toxic gases and liquids. The risk with flammable liquids is their potential to ignite or explode if exposed to heat or an open flame. Some of these gases are also known for their ability to cause severe harm or even death if released into the atmosphere. 


These gases can include: 


  • Gasoline 
  • Diesel fuel 
  • Ammonia 
  • Chlorine 
  • Hydrogen cyanide  
  • And more 


Further, solvents, pesticides, and industrial cleaners are often transported in steel containers and require special handling protocols due to their potential for fire or explosion. Even more dangerous, corrosive acids and radioactive materials may also be shipped within specialized containers equipped with additional safety measures. 

colorful 20-foot containers stacked at A American Container lot Tampa

How to Read the Hazard Placard 


The yellow hazard placard on shipping containers serves as a visual warning system and contains vital information, indicating potential dangers associated with the container’s contents.  


Each section of the placard holds valuable details that need careful consideration. The top number indicates the primary hazard class—such as explosives, gases, and flammable liquids—while additional numbers below provide further classification within that class. 


The A American Difference  


Before selling our containers, we prioritize their thorough inspection to ensure their safety and quality. Our dedicated team meticulously checks each container for any presence of harmful chemicals, rust, or leaks. This rigorous process is an essential step in complying with the law and ensuring that our customers receive only the best shipping containers on the market. 


To guarantee that our containers meet the highest standards, we also power wash and sanitize them both inside and out. By power washing, we remove any dirt, grime, or residue accumulated during transportation. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the containers but also eliminates any potential contaminants that may have attached themselves to the surface of the container. 


Read More > How We Process Our Containers  

the A American Container lot in Tampa Florida with 40 foot and 20 foot containers stacked

A American Container – Your Reliable Source for On-Site Storage  


When it comes to high-quality shipping containers, you can trust that A American Container is the right choice. With years of industry experience and a dedication to customer satisfaction, we consistently deliver containers that meet the highest standards of durability and reliability.  


Whether you need a container to store your most important goods or to serve as an office space, we have a wide range of options available to suit your needs. Don’t settle for anything less than the best—choose A American Container for all your shipping container needs! 


Contact us today at 813-740-1911 and let us help you find the perfect solution for you!  


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