how much are shipping containers online How Much Do Shipping Containers Cost: A Comprehensive Guide

how much are shipping containers online

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how much are shipping containers online

## Introduction If you’re considering purchasing a shipping container for logistics or building a container home, understanding the cost involved is crucial. Many people end up overpaying for shipping containers because they lack the correct information. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of shipping containers, discuss the pricing variations based on size and condition, and delve into the costs associated with moving and building with shipping containers. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of how much shipping containers cost and be equipped to make informed decisions. how much are shipping containers online

Types of Shipping Containers

Before we dive into the cost breakdown, let’s explore the different types of shipping containers available in the market:

1. Dry Container

Dry containers are the standard option for shipping non-temperature-sensitive items. These containers are typically made of steel to resist rain and saltwater, making them suitable for long-term storage and overseas cargo transportation. The most common sizes for dry containers are 20 and 40 feet.

2. Flat Rack Container

Flat rack containers are designed for transporting cargo with unique dimensions. They have open sides and roofs, with most walls at the front and back. Flat rack containers are mainly used for industrial purposes and are less commonly purchased for personal or project use.

3. Open-top Container

Open-top containers are used for transporting oversized or bulky items that require more security than flat rack containers. These containers are suitable for carrying livestock, industrial machinery, trees, and other large items. Due to their specialized design, open-top shipping containers generally have higher prices than dry containers.

4. Reefer Container

Reefer containers are refrigerated containers that include refrigeration and power supply connections. These containers allow temperature control during shipping, making them ideal for storing perishable items such as fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables. However, reefer containers are not commonly recommended for container homes due to their high cost and commercial-grade cooling systems.

How Much Do Shipping Containers Cost?

Now that we understand the different types of shipping containers, let’s explore the cost breakdown for both new and used containers:

Used Shipping Container Cost

The cost of a used shipping container varies depending on its size and condition. Used containers are classified into different grades, ranging from Premium to Refurbished or Class A. Here is an average price range for used shipping containers:

  • Premium: $5,000 to $9,500 (2 to 8 years old and in excellent condition)
  • Grade A: $3,400 to $6,500 (over eight years old)
  • Grade B: At least $3,200 (over eight years old and not certified for shipping cargo)
  • Refurbished: At least $3,000 (repaired used container)
  • As-is: At least $2,800 (container without inspections or certifications)

It’s important to consider transportation costs when purchasing a used shipping container. If you don’t have the means to transport it, you’ll need to rent a truck and potentially a crane for larger containers, which can incur additional expenses.

New Shipping Container Cost

The cost of new shipping containers varies based on their size, brand, and location. When purchasing new containers, it’s essential to request a quote that includes transportation and installation. Here are the average prices for new shipping containers:

  • 10ft Container: $1,500 to $5,000 (depending on type)
  • 20ft Container: $2,360 to $18,036 (depending on type)
  • 40ft Container: $4,320 to $14,330 (depending on type)
  • 40ft High Cube Container: $4,393 to $16,879 (depending on type)
  • 53ft Container: Prices vary significantly, and they are commonly used for purposes other than container homes

It’s worth noting that larger shipping container homes can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $175,000, while simpler container homes range from $10,000 to $35,000.

Cost of Moving a Shipping Container

If you need to move a shipping container, whether locally or internationally, there are additional costs to consider:

Local Transportation

The cost of shipping a container locally typically ranges from $500 to $1,000. This cost can vary depending on the distance, size of the container, and any additional services required.

International Transportation

Shipping a container to an international destination can be significantly more expensive. For example, shipping a container to Hawaii can range from $4,500 to $16,000, depending on factors such as location, weight, size, and contents. Importing from Asia can cost over $7,000. It’s important to factor in insurance costs in addition to the shipping charges, especially if you are transporting valuable goods.

Other Cargo-Related Expenses

In addition to transportation costs, there are various other expenses associated with shipping containers:

  • Trucking: $300
  • Brockage (Demurrage): $475
  • Packing Supplies: $850
  • Loading: $1,200
  • Offloading: $1,200
  • Packing: $2,500
  • Unpacking: $2,500
  • Traverse: $4,100

These expenses can vary depending on the specific requirements of your shipment and the services you choose.

Buying Shipping Container Homes

If you’re interested in purchasing a shipping container home, the cost will depend on various factors:

Price Range

Shipping container homes can range from over $20,000 to around $22,995. The price is similar to conventional containers, but there are opportunities to save by refurbishing and remodeling used containers for personal use. Larger shipping container homes can cost between $100,000 and $175,000, while simpler container homes range from $10,000 to $35,000.

Additional Costs

When building a shipping container home, there are several additional costs to consider:

  • Bathroom: $5,000 – $35,000
  • Door: $500 – $1,600
  • Kitchen: $100 – $300 per square foot
  • HVAC and ventilation: $5,000 – $12,500
  • Insulation: $4 – $16 per square foot
  • New flooring: $3 – $22 per square foot
  • Wiring for electricity: $600 – $2,300

It’s important to note that these costs are for the add-ons required to make the container livable. Other expenses include land acquisition, foundation construction, and insulation. The overall price of a shipping container home will depend on your design and concept. how much are shipping containers online

Storage Container Costs

If you’re looking for storage solutions, there are three primary industries to consider:

1. Self-Storage

Self-storage units offer affordable rental options for storing items. The cost of self-storage can vary depending on the location and facilities provided. Prices typically range from $100 to $130 per month for a 10-by-10 unit.

2. Shipping Storage

Shipping storage refers to containers rented during the time your items are at the dock or port. Prices for shipping storage can vary depending on the location and duration of storage. Some ports offer a certain number of free days, with additional fees for exceeding the allotted time.

3. Pod Storage

Pod storage provides a flexible alternative to self-storage. Pods can be delivered to your location and offer additional convenience. Prices for pod storage typically range from $155 to $175 per month, including delivery and pickup fees.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To address common queries related to shipping containers, here are some frequently asked questions:

1. How much can a 40-ft container hold?

A 40-foot container can hold up to 59,200 pounds of cargo. However, the actual capacity may vary depending on the weight distribution and size of the items being loaded.

2. How thick is a shipping container floor?

The floor of a shipping container is typically 1.1 inches thick or approximately 27 mm. This sturdy flooring is designed to withstand the weight of heavy cargo.

3. Can a car fit in a 40-foot container?

Yes, a 40-foot container can accommodate three to four cars, making it a popular choice for vehicle transportation or storage.


Understanding the cost of shipping containers is essential when considering logistics or building container homes. By exploring the different types of shipping containers, the pricing variations for new and used containers, and the costs associated with moving and building, you can make informed decisions. Whether you’re looking for storage solutions or embarking on a container home project, this comprehensive guide provides the necessary information to navigate the world of shipping container costs.