How to Buy Used Storage and Shipping Containers

How to Buy Used Storage and Shipping Containers

Cargo container modifications

At any given moment, there are about 20 million containers traveling around the world. The shipping industry accounts for about 90% of global trade. Between 2014 and 2017, the container market is expected to grow by about 5.3%. If you are looking into buying used 40 ft shipping containers, there are some tips you should follow to get the best deal.

How to Buy Used Shipping Containers:

  1. The cheapest price may not be the cheapest price. If you look only at the price of the 40 ft shipping containers, you may end up buying something that is not worth what you spent on it. It is more important that your steel shipping containers are structurally sound and watertight. You may not know much about what happened with the shipping containers before they got to you but you need them to be of a reasonable quality. You cannot always guarantee that when you just look at the price and nothing else. Price should be a factor but should not be the only factor you consider. If you spend a little more on better quality containers, you may end up saving in the long run.
  2. Consider renting 40 ft shipping containers. If you are only going to need to store your items for a short amount of time, say a few months, you may want to consider renting rather than buying your containers. This can save you money and make more sense depending on your needs.
  3. Talk to the facility where you plan to keep it. Some facilities have restrictions on the kinds of structures they will allow to be stored on their property, If you are going to purchase some 40 ft shipping containers, you should make sure you can store them where you want. Keep in mind all of the space you will need. This should include the delivery space and the storage space.
  4. Research your options. If you can, buy used 40 ft shipping containers that have only been used a little. If you can get containers that have only been used once or twice. You should also make a point of looking for containers that have “factory paint.” This means they have only been painted one time, when they were manufactured at the factory. Also, any containers that are “cargo worthy” have been inspected to be shipped on a cargo vessel so they should be water tight.
  5. Talk to local shipping companies. Call shipping companies in your city or town and ask them about used steel storage containers for sale. They may be able to direct you to good places to get the 40 ft shipping containers that you need. They can also tell you about the different storage container modifications that you should avoid and ones that are ok. Experts suggest calling between three and ten different companies in your area for price quotes and other information. Many people find puttng all of theur research into a spreadsheet is a very valuable tool when making this kind of purchase.
  6. Consider hiring a professional to inspect your containers. These people know what to look for in used shipping containers. You can do an inspection yourself as well but when you hire someone who does this for a living, you know you will be happy with the results. You can have some peace of mind knowing you got used shipping containers that are a decent quality. This is one fee that is worth paying.
  7. Pay for your used shipping containers. Most companies who sell used shipping containers will require you to pay with a credit card or cashier’s check. Just keep that in mind when you are evaluating your different options.

Whenever you buy anything used, there are pitfalls and challenges that you do not encounter when you buy it new. That does not mean you should not buy used storage containers or make comparisons between them and new storage containers for sale. At the very least, it is good to know what your options are when you are looking to buy anything. If you do your research, you should be able to buy quality, used storage and shipping containers that meet all of your needs.


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