How Should You Go About Buying a Used Shipping Container?



A shipping container can be used for many functions including storage, goods transfer or even as a living accommodation. While buying a new shipping container guarantees quality, some people may consider buying used shipping containers in order to cut costs. However, is this a good idea?

Used shipping containers have emerged as an affordable and abundantly available alternative. Thus, if you’re looking to put shipping containers to other uses such as a building project, converting them into small offices or just a garage to store old items in your home, the used ones will come in handy.

The price tag of a used container varies based on its condition and the size of the container. Some of the important aspects to consider while buying used shipping containers for sale include:

Physical appearance and condition

A standard 40ft shipping container or 20ft shipping container stays in active service for around 12 years. Once the shipping containers are discarded from the shipping service, the companies that sell used containers buy them. Now, the physical appearance and condition of a shipping container determines the price of a used shipping container. For instance, if the container doesn’t have any major problems or damages, it carries a higher price tag whereas the one that has undergone damages and need considerable repairing carries a lower price tag.

Retailer vs. Individual Seller

There are several merchants who buy shipping containers and resell them after repairing them. Now, if you’re purchasing a container from an individual seller then you’re certainly going to end up paying a higher price. On the other hand, retailers who buy the shipping containers in bulk are able to offer them at far lower prices. Additionally, these retailers are experts in the field of shipping and can help you choose the containers that are a good fit to your needs.

Inspection of shipping containers

It’s better to inspect the shipping containers before buying old or new shipping containers for sale. Inspecting a 20ft or 40ft shipping container is not an easy task as you’ll have to keep specific things in mind while inspecting these containers. Here are the things to look for:

  • Find out whether there’s rust on the exterior of the container, especially in the floor below the door
  • Door gaskets should be checked for flaws; if it looks too old, it’s better to get it replaced
  • The flooring inside the container should be checked for damages
  • Penetrations or pin holes in the steel panels should also be checked

Rust on the exterior of the container is quite common, unless it has been repainted. However, that doesn’t mean that the container is damaged; these containers get exposed to sea water and the formation of rust is inevitable on almost every container. Rusty shipping containers for sale have a lower price tag, but that would mean you have to make extra effort to get rid of the rust yourself.

Keep the above tips in mind and you’ll certainly end up getting a good container for your project or any other purpose.

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