Where To Buy Shipping Containers How to Find and Purchase Shipping Containers: A Comprehensive Guide

Where To Buy Shipping Containers

‍Photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay

## Introduction

Where To Buy Shipping Containers

Where To Buy Shipping Containers Finding and purchasing shipping containers can be a unique challenge, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. The shipping container industry is fragmented, with thousands of sellers and middlemen involved in the process. This makes it difficult to know where to begin and how to navigate the buying process. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know to locate and purchase shipping containers for your project. Where To Buy Shipping Containers

Selecting the Right Containers To Buy

When buying shipping containers, it’s important to know which type and size will best suit your needs. There are numerous options available, and understanding the different choices will help you make an informed decision. Start by familiarizing yourself with the types and dimensions of shipping containers. Our article on shipping container dimensions provides a comprehensive overview of the various options available in the market.

Once you have a clear understanding of the container sizes, it’s essential to learn about the grades and conditions of shipping containers. Our article on the grades and conditions of shipping containers will help you navigate the marketplace and teach you how to perform a container condition inspection. This knowledge will empower you to make an informed decision when purchasing shipping containers.

Where to Buy a Shipping Container

Knowing what you want is one thing, but figuring out how and where to buy it is another challenge. In today’s digital age, online sources provide a wide variety of options for buying shipping containers. However, there are also offline opportunities worth exploring. Let’s explore both options. Where To Buy Shipping Containers

Buying Shipping Containers Online

If you’re located in the United States, we highly recommend visiting BoxHub. BoxHub is an online platform that allows you to search for used container inventory nationwide and get live pricing. They work directly with major shipping lines and container companies, bypassing middlemen and offering competitive pricing. You can even complete your purchase online, and they provide a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your container. Visit BoxHub to explore their inventory and pricing.

If you’re unable to find your desired shipping containers on BoxHub, there are other online options to consider. Conducting a Google search using terms like “shipping container” + your city or town can help you discover local container sellers. Additionally, Craigslist is another platform where you can find containers for sale. Searching in the parent ‘For Sale’ category will yield the largest number of results, and tools like Search Tempest make it easy to search multiple Craigslist cities simultaneously.

For those outside the United States, finding shipping containers online is still possible. Start by identifying the intermodal ports in your country and reach out to them for information on companies that sell excess containers. Websites like Sea Rate and Gumtree can also provide leads on available containers. Additionally, look for online classified ads sites specific to your country or region. These platforms often have listings for used shipping containers.

If you’re in the market for new one-trip containers, Alibaba is a popular platform that connects buyers with Chinese manufacturers. Keep in mind that purchasing new containers from China may involve additional coordination for transportation, inspections, and customs paperwork. Alternatively, local container dealers in your home country may be able to help coordinate the purchase of new containers using their industry relationships.

Buying Shipping Containers Offline

While online sources offer convenience and a wider inventory, there are also opportunities to find shipping containers offline. Many businesses and individuals have containers sitting unused on their premises. Approaching these owners with a proposal to purchase their containers can be mutually beneficial. Keep an eye out for neglected containers as you drive around, as they may be available for sale.

Another way to find containers offline is through personal referrals. Reach out to people working in the shipping, transportation, and logistics industries. They may know of companies or individuals with excess containers for sale.

How to Pay for your Shipping Container

Before purchasing a shipping container, it’s important to consider your payment options. Here are a few choices to consider:

Self-Funded Purchase

If you have the funds available, a self-funded purchase is often the easiest and most hassle-free option. There are several payment methods to consider:

  • Cash: Paying with cash is straightforward, but it may not be a viable option for online purchases. It’s important to exercise caution when carrying large sums of cash and be aware of potential risks.
  • Checks and Bank Transfer: Electronic bank transfers or mailed checks are suitable for online purchases. Ensure that you have recourse options in case of any issues.

Financed Purchase

If you prefer to finance your purchase, there are various options available:

  • Credit Card: Using a credit card is a convenient financing option, especially if you already have a card. Some credit cards offer introductory 0% interest rates, providing a short-term interest-free loan. Read your credit card’s terms and conditions to understand any additional benefits or protections.
  • Seller Financing: Some sellers offer financing options through third-party companies. Ensure you understand the terms, interest charges, and any buyer protection available.
  • Bank Financing: Shipping containers can serve as collateral for bank loans. Local banks may offer more favorable terms compared to national or international chains. Explore different loan options and terms to find the best fit for your needs.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Container Dealer or Seller

When purchasing shipping containers, it’s important to consider the reputation and integrity of the seller. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Integrity & Reputation

Choosing a trustworthy seller is crucial when buying shipping containers. Look for sellers who are members of industry organizations like the Container Dealer’s Association, the Intermodal Association of North America, or the National Portable Storage Association. These memberships demonstrate a level of good faith from the seller. Additionally, check online reviews on platforms like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Google Reviews to gauge the experiences of other customers. Seek recommendations from people who have previously purchased containers.

Warranties and Returns

Consider whether the container comes with a warranty and understand the terms and conditions. Some sellers may offer extended warranties for an additional fee, but it’s important to evaluate if it’s necessary for your specific use case. Familiarize yourself with the warranty claim process and any associated fees for returns.

Volume Discounts

If you require multiple containers, purchasing them from the same seller can potentially lead to volume discounts. Discuss this possibility with the seller and negotiate a favorable price based on the number of containers you plan to purchase. Understand the concept of Average Customer Value (ACV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) to better understand the seller’s perspective and potential for volume discounts.

Value-Added Services

Some sellers offer value-added services such as delivery, offloading, custom painting, lockbox installation, and even large-scale modifications. Consider whether these services are important to you and if the seller can fulfill your requirements. Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of paying for these services compared to hiring contractors or doing the work yourself.

Delivery & Offloading

Inquire about the seller’s delivery and offloading process. Larger dealers may have the necessary equipment in-house, which can lead to cost savings and quicker delivery times. Understand who will be responsible for the custody of the container during transit and offloading to avoid potential complications.


Finding and purchasing shipping containers requires careful consideration and research. By understanding the types, sizes, and conditions of containers, you can make an informed decision. Online platforms like BoxHub offer a wide variety of options, while offline sources like personal referrals and neglected containers can also be fruitful. Consider your payment options, whether self-funding or financing, and choose a reputable seller with integrity. Remember to evaluate warranties, volume discounts, value-added services, and delivery processes. With this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to embark on your shipping container purchase journey.

Found a container for sale in a location not mentioned in the article? Had a good or bad experience with some of the options mentioned? Let us know in the comments below.