7 Tips to Buy a Used Shipping Container in Good Condition

So, you want to buy a used shipping container that can be used to deliver goods by road or ocean transport. Before we go into the tips that will help you buy a used container, let me tell you that these stackable metal containers are highly durable, and they are built in a way to withstand damages caused by moisture, salt, weight and other factors. Whether you are looking for a used container to convey goods by train, truck or ship, or you wish to use the cargo containers to turn it into a home or office space, here are some tips that will help you in the process.

  1. How long will you be using these containers? If you wish to use them just for some months then you may consider renting one. This will save you from having to dispose the container once your job is done, or worry about selling it.
  2. The cargo containers come in various sizes (20 feet, 40 feet and so on) so it is important to evaluate the right length that will suit your needs. The height of the containers is also an important factor to consider and they are usually 8 feet, 8.5 feet or 9.5 feet. Before you buy a container, always call the space where you wish to use it and make sure that you are allowed to use that size of shipping container as some cities may have restrictions.
  3. If you are looking online for shipping containers, do not go by anything that says ‘used’ because this could mean that the container has been used once or it is very worn out. To filter out the containers in good condition look for the ones that say ‘one-trip’ containers. The containers that have made just one trip will be listed as ‘new’ or ‘like new’ and they will have least damages.
  4. If you wish to use the cargo containers in stormy weather or close to ocean then look out for the ones that are listed as ‘corten steel’, which is a new kind of material used for construction of containers, and it has the capability to withstand extreme weather conditions without getting any rust on it.
  5. If you wish to purchase a shipping container that has been recently painted then look for the term ‘factory paint’ label in the description. This means that the container has been painted just once when it was made. Refurbished paints have rusting problems so it is advisable to avoid them.
  6. When you see a ‘no shipping label’ mentioned in the description of a used cargo container then it implies that there are no large company logos present on the body of the container. You can expect to have it painted in one uniform color, and there will not be any other markings.
  7. If you are purchasing a used container to deliver high value goods via ocean or road transport then look for the ‘cargo worthy’ label which implies that the product has been tested and inspected by a cargo surveyor, and it has been considered OK for ocean cargo transport.

You can expect to find a used, not-so-new shipping container at around $1,500 and the modified or like-new ones starting at $5,000. Many companies choose to sell through auctions, or you may also look for dedicated sites that sell used shipping containers to get a good price.