Best Lock for Shipping Container – 5 Top Reviews, Guide, FAQs
It’s difficult not to agree with us when we say that finding a strong enough lock to securing shipping containers can be a daunting task.
This is why we’ve decided to test the popular ones on the market out in an attempt to rank them from worst to best.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss what a lock for a shipping container should be able to do for you. We will also help you judge whether a certain lock will be secure enough for you or not.
Best Lock for Shipping Container
This is a keyed lock that secures both doors of a semi-trailer or storage container. It has an adjustable bar that allows it to lock onto many different sizes.
2nd Best Lock for Shipping Container
This lock may be small but it is incredibly strong. It’s made to be simple to use and provides immense security to your shipping container.
3rd Best Lock for Shipping Container
This shackle padlock has a hardened exterior that’s silver in color. It is resistant to both prying and cutting and the 6-pin cylinder makes it near impossible to pick.
These three products are the ones that stood out the most in terms of quality and performance.
Now, let’s look at the reviews for the top 5 best locks for shipping containers.
Best Lock for Shipping Container - Best 5 Reviews
This was a lock that we have not been able to break into to this day. We started many months ago with our tests and tried all sorts of tools that a typical thief would have to penetrate it. Hacksaws, hammer, bolt cutters, drills, nothing could defeat this lock and for that, it definitely deserves the top spot on our list.
Not to mention that the lock is weatherproof and resistant to rust and corrosion as well. This means that this lock will most probably last you a lifetime if you perform maintenance on it every six months or so.
Features of Equipment Lock HDCDL Steel Heavy Duty Cargo Door Lock - Best Lock for Shipping Container
Dimensions: 11.2 inches x 6.9 inches x 5.4 inches
Weight: 12.1 pounds
Made of steel
Available in packs of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5
This incredible padlock provides great moderate-level security to your shipping container. It’s made of hardened steel which makes it very difficult to cut.
It also features heel-toe locking which means that its hardened steel shackle rotates completely free. This is great because it makes it nearly impossible to break into it using leverage or cutting attacks.
It comes with four European-style keys and these keys can only be removed from the lock once it is in the locked position.
Features of FJM Security SPSA80-KA 3-1/8" Triple Chrome Plated D-Shaped Security Padlock
Dimensions: 0.8 inches x 3.1 inches x 2.2 inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Made from hardened steel
No spring-loaded parts that tend to wear out over time
The locking mechanism of this lock is exactly the same as that of a traditional padlock. However, there’s one key difference: the latch is located within the body of the padlock. This is important because this makes it nearly impossible for any thief to cut the latch with bolt cutters or any other similar tool.
It has 6 spool pins inside the locking cylinder. This makes it very difficult to pick this lock even if the thief has a lot of time and top-notch lock picking equipment.
Features of Master Lock 6270KA Hidden Shackle Padlock
Dimensions: 3.6 inches x 3.2 inches x 2.1 inches
Weight: 1.81 pounds
Silver in color
6-pin lock cylinder
Features spool pins
This product features an extremely durable guard for your lock and a 2-inch padlock for your shipping container. The guard is made of solid, hardened steel which is more than enough to protect the lock from any sort of cutting, prying or leverage attacks.
It took us barely a minute to mount it onto our shipping container and the lock has been working well ever since.
The lock guard and lock itself are both about 2 inches long which means they won’t take up a lot of space on your container’s door.
Features of Ranger Lock RGUN-0L Universal Super Extended Lock Guard with 2-Inch Hardened Steel Lock
Dimensions: 4.7 inches x 3.9 inches x 6.6 inches
Weight: 3.55 pounds
Includes 2-inch steel body with a 2-inch padlock
Black in color
Protects padlock latch and shackle
This patented security locking system is something that really impressed us with its performance. It was able to withstand hacksaws, drills and even an acetylene torch.
The locking system is sturdy and made of hard, high-quality material that is sure to last you a lifetime. It will protect your lock from both potential thieves as well as punishing weather conditions.
Not only that but it is also quite versatile. You can use it on your shipping containers just fine. It also works very well on cargo trailers, storage trailers, horse trailers and enclosed trailers.
Features of SnatchLatch Trailer Lock Security
Dimensions: 6 inches x 4 inches x 9 inches
Weight: 5.35 pounds
Black in color
Provides protection from ice, snow and rain
Best Lock for Shipping Container - Buyers’ Guide
Is it easy to break into locks meant for shipping containers?
It’s definitely not impossible to break into a lock that’s meant for a shipping container. However, locks such as these are often quite heavy-duty and do require a lot of time and resources in order to be penetrated. Time and resources, however, are very hard to come by for most potential thieves. This is because shipping containers are often regularly being moved from one place to another.
Still, it’s a good idea to add two or more layers of security onto your shipping containers in the form of multiple locks. If you only have a padlock on your shipping container, it could quite easily be broken into just by the use of bolt-cutters. Container lockboxes are a great investment. They make it almost impossible for anyone to break into your shipping container.
What are the different types of locks for shipping containers?
The most popular types of locks that are used on most shipping containers are:
Padlocks are classic U-shaped steel locks that are designed to attach into the loop of a shipping container’s lockbox. They are very easy to use and offer moderate-level security. Note that if your container does not have a lockbox, you may want to look into bolt-on or weld-on lockboxes as they can greatly improve security.
These locks consist of extendable bars that are made of durable material such as steel. They extend and attach to your container’s door typically on its handles or the locking rods.
Truck seals look very similar to commonly found zip-ties. Please note that these locks only offer low-level security and should not be the only lock you use on your shipping container. They are typically attached to shipping containers to prevent them from accidentally opening.
Hidden Shackle Padlocks
A hidden shackle padlock is a clever hybrid of a typical padlock and a single-latch or deadbolt lock. The shackle of the lock is typically enclosed within the lock’s body. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone to break into it using typical tools such as bolt-cutters.
Roll Door Lockboxes
If you have a roll-door on your shipping container, you can choose to invest in a roll door lockbox to greatly increase its security. They come in various different designs. Some can be installed on the bottom of your shipping container’s door while others come in the shape of more traditional hasp-style locks. These hasp-style locks enable you to use a padlock but are often more protected from tampering as compared to regular padlocks.
What are some factors to consider when buying locks for shipping containers?
Here are some factors to consider when buying locks for shipping containers:
Container Shape and Features
Firstly, it’s important to look at the container you have and note what type of features it has. Does it have a roll-door? Does it have clasps? Handles? Locking rods? You don’t want to invest in an expensive lock only to find out that your container doesn’t have the shape to support it.
A great factor that can determine how much security you invest in is the regions that your shipping container is going to be passing through. If it’s going to be traveling through fairly low-risk areas, then you could probably get away with just having a traditional padlock on it.
If it’s going to be traveling through high-risk regions then we recommend that you invest in more than one type of lock for your shipping container. Investing in weld-on lockboxes is also a good idea and even installing an alarm system inside it can come quite in handy.
How do I use my lock for my shipping container?
This can vary greatly depending on the type of lock you have on your shipping container.
Crossbar locks work by going through your container’s handles or locking rods. On the other hand, padlocks work just as any other traditional padlock would.
Here's what you need to do for a fairly common combination of a padlock with a lockbox on your container. Fit your padlock inside the lockbox and push the sheet-bolt up through the loop that is fitted inside the lockbox. Once this is done, you can remove your key from the padlock and it should be securely locked.
How do I reset the combination for the lock on my shipping container?
Most locks come with a small button or small hole in which you can stick a needle through in order to reset them. All you have to do is first return the digits to your old combination. After that, stick a needle through the hole or press your button (depending on what the mechanism is). Then, you can reset the combination to whatever you would like it to be. Once this is done, you’re all set.
Best Lock for Shipping Container - FAQs
Is it preferable to buy a lock for the shipping container or should I get one custom-made?
This depends on how much security you want for your shipping container. If you want moderate-level security then most commercial locks available for shipping containers do the job just fine. However, if you’re worried about your shipping container being broken into then you can get one custom-made. The great thing about custom-made locks is that you can have them built as secure as you want.
How can I judge what type of lock would be best for my shipping container?
The three aspects that you should always keep in mind are conspicuousness, security and ease of use. It’s important for you to strike a balance between these three aspects. Firstly, you don’t want the lock to be conspicuous as that would make it easier to study and break into. Secondly, you want it to be as secure as it is needed for you. Thirdly, you want it to be easy to use as you don’t want to waste time every time you lock and unlock your shipping container.
Are hidden shackle padlocks more secure than other types of locks?
Yes. Hidden shackle padlocks are generally a lot more secure than more typical forms of locks that are used on shipping containers. This is because of the fact that the main latch is hidden within the lock’s body. This makes it near impossible for thieves to cut it using commonly found tools such as bolt cutters.
Are roll door lock boxes more convenient and easy to use than other types of locks?
This depends on the type of roll door lock box you have. Some lock the shipping container automatically once you step out while others need to be manually locked. Even the manually locking ones aren’t that difficult to get the hang of.
How secure are removable shackle type locks?
Removable shackle type locks provide moderate-level security. They don’t take up a lot of space and are very easy to use. However, given enough time and resources, a thief can definitely break into it using commonly found tools.
How easy are shuttle padlocks to break into?
Padlocks have a keyway that makes them extremely vulnerable to lock-picking. They can also be broken into using leverage attacks or cutting attacks.
What are the most trusted brands when it comes to locks for shipping containers?
- FJM Security
Is it necessary for locks for shipping containers to be weather-proof?
Yes. It wouldn’t be wise to have a lock that corrodes or rusts in response to weather over time. Your shipping containers will see all types of weather and thus, it’s very important that it is able to withstand it.
Almost every aspect of a shipping container can be difficult to manage and the locks for them are no exception.
After much discourse, we have to go with the Equipment Lock HDCDL Steel Heavy Duty Cargo Door Lock as the winner. It’s incredibly durable, weatherproof and is very simple to use.
This concludes our post for the best lock for shipping containers.
Give us feedback and let us know which lock or locks you’ve been using for your shipping container(s).