Practical Steps to Follow When Buying a Used Container

Shipping and storage containers have been at the center of global commerce because of their usefulness in conveying goods from one point to another. Mostly transported by either land or ocean, shipping containers are usually built for durability and can withstand salinity, moisture, and immense weight.


Used containers have in the recent past been repurposed by architects and builders into offices, homes, and stores. Whatever the reason you want to buy a used container, it is important you learn the methodology and the various options there are before making a purchase.

Evaluate You Needs

Used containers as pointed out earlier can be used for storage, transport, or even in making homes. The first point is to decide the use into which you are going to put the container. This will help you determine whether buying or renting is the best option and the size that is appropriate for your needs.

Most storage containers for sale come in either 20 feet or 40 feet long. There are also extra wide containers which can go up to 48 feet in length.

The Container Storage Space

Apart from your needs, you should also look at the storage capacity you have for the containers because longer containers require ample storage space. If you are on rented premises, ensure you have express permission to bring in shipping containers of the chosen size.

Some counties and cities have local ordinances that restrict the use of shipping containers to a few areas. As a rule of thumb, you need delivery space that is double the length of the container plus another 10 feet if the storage is to be considered adequate.

Analyze the Various Options and Conditions Available

When containers are described as used, you need to establish the extent of their use. This is because some of them maybe relatively new while others are worn out. Among the things to look at when assessing the extent of use are:

  • Go for one trip containers – These are containers that have a nearly new look and have been used only once for shipping cargo before being put on the market.

  • If you want to use the container near the ocean, look for those made of corten steel. These are rust resistant.

  • If you prefer freshly painted containers, go for factory paint label because refurbished containers tend to have paint that peels off due to rust.

Do an Online Search

There are lots of containers for sale online and they can give you a basis and a point from which to start your bargain with your local dealer. Also, you can decide to order these containers directly online and have them delivered at your premises. Ensure that you accompany the online search with calls or emails so that you can establish the authenticity of the dealers and the condition of the containers. You can even have a spreadsheet where you compare the base cost, the container condition, and the transportation cost.

In addition to the above, you need to have the container inspected. You can do the inspection yourself if you have some knowledge on how it is done or you can hire a professional to do it for you. Always avoid containers that have rust near the seals as this can be a sign of deterioration.

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