How Can You Insulate a Shipping Container?

Shipping containers travel all over the world and are exposed to varying temperatures. How can you ensure your goods and equipment are protected from the cold, heat, and humidity? Your shipping container can be insulated to create a climate-controlled structure, ensuring your items stay in excellent condition. Plus, adding insulation can extend the lifespan of your commercial shipping containers.

There are four eco-friendly insulation options available. Let’s take a closer look at these insulation materials so you can make an informed decision on insulating your cargo containers.

Types of Insulation for Shipping Containers

While insulation used to be found primarily in buildings and homes, it is increasingly being used in shipping containers to preserve the quality of goods and equipment. Four insulation materials for cargo containers include Styrofoam, spray foam, batt insulation, and mineral wool insulation. The type of environmentally friendly insulation you need depends on the climate of the location of your business and the function of the shipping container.


Polystyrene, or Styrofoam, is a cost-effective insulation option that is quick and easy to install. The insulation panels are secured directly to the walls of the shipping container or bars flush with the walls. It’s most suitable for storage purposes. Styrofoam insulation can last about 50 years.

Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation is sprayed directly onto the interior walls of the shipping container. The foam expands and hardens as it dries, creating a water-proof seal that is resistant to mold, bacteria, and fungus. This insulation method is often chosen to create a climate-controlled space for temperature-sensitive equipment. Polyurethane foam insulation can last an average of 80 years.

Batt Insulation

This type of insulation is often found in commercial buildings and residential homes. It is made of woven strands of fiberglass and requires a wooden frame to be installed in a shipping container. It’s then covered by a vapor barrier and plywood finish-out. It provides an excellent moisture barrier and can last up to 100 years. It could be a great option for storage containers for storm shelters.

Mineral Wool

Sometimes referred to as rock or slag wool insulation, mineral wool is ideal for situations where non-flammable materials are needed. Steel framing is required to install this type of insulation to ensure the container is non-flammable.

Get a Shipping Container to Insulate Today

Installing insulation is just one way to modify a shipping container. Hopefully, this guide on the types of insulation for cargo containers was helpful. If you have any questions about insulating commercial cargo containers or are looking for used shipping containers in California or the surrounding areas, get in touch with LGI Transport today.