metal shipping container Everything You Need to Know About Metal Shipping Containers

metal shipping container

‍Photo by Mylene2401 on Pixabay

metal shipping container

Metal shipping containers are versatile and efficient solutions for various shipping and storage needs. Whether you’re moving goods across the country or looking for extra space to store your belongings, metal shipping containers offer durability and security. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of metal shipping containers, their prices, conditions, and the benefits they provide.

Types of Metal Shipping Containers

Metal shipping containers come in various types, each designed for specific purposes. Let’s explore the most common types:

Standard Containers

Standard containers, such as 20ft and 40ft, are the go-to choice for shipping various goods. These containers are versatile and can accommodate a wide range of cargo, including pallets, boxes, and appliances. The 20ft container is perfect for smaller shipments, while the 40ft container offers more space for larger loads.

High Cube Containers

High cube containers have the same dimensions as standard containers but with increased height. This extra height makes them ideal for transporting bulky or lightweight goods that require more vertical space. High cube containers are available in 20ft, 40ft, and 45ft sizes.

Open-Top Containers

Open-top containers are designed for cargo that exceeds the height of standard containers. These containers feature a removable top, allowing for easy loading and unloading of oversized items. Open-top containers are commonly used for heavy machinery, construction materials, and other large cargo.

Reefer Containers

Reefer containers, also known as refrigerated containers, are equipped with temperature control systems. These containers maintain a specific temperature range, making them ideal for transporting perishable goods, such as food, pharmaceuticals, and flowers.

Flat Rack Containers

Flat rack containers are suitable for carrying oversized or irregularly shaped cargo. These containers have collapsible sides, allowing for easy loading and unloading of goods that cannot fit inside a standard container. Flat rack containers are commonly used for transporting heavy machinery, pipes, and other bulky items.

Other Container Types

There are also specialized container types such as double-door containers, pallet wide containers, side door containers, hard top containers, tank containers, and insulated containers. Each of these containers serves specific purposes and caters to unique shipping and storage needs.

Metal Shipping Container Prices

Metal shipping container prices vary depending on the type, size, condition, and location. Here is an overview of the average prices for standard containers:

  • 20ft Standard Container: $2,569
  • 40ft Standard Container: $3,297

For high cube containers, the prices are as follows:

  • 20ft High Cube Container: $3,203
  • 40ft High Cube Container: $5,455
  • 45ft High Cube Container: $5,023

It’s important to note that these prices are subject to change and may vary based on factors such as market demand and location.

Container Conditions and Grading

When purchasing a metal shipping container, it’s crucial to consider its condition. Containers are graded based on their condition and suitability for specific purposes. Here are the common container conditions:

  1. Cargo Worthy (CW): These containers are in good condition and suitable for international shipping. They may show some signs of wear and tear, but they are still wind and watertight.
  2. Wind and Water Tight (WWT): WWT containers are typically used for storage purposes. They may be older and show more signs of wear, but they are still capable of keeping the contents safe from the elements.
  3. AS-IS: AS-IS containers are heavily damaged and no longer considered wind and water tight. They are not suitable for shipping or storage and are often sold for scrap or recycling.
  4. One-Trip Containers: One-trip containers are new or used once for shipping cargo. They are in excellent condition and can be a cost-effective option for those looking for a nearly new container.
  5. Grade A Containers: Grade A containers are of the highest quality and are often used for specialized purposes, such as modified containers or custom builds.

When purchasing a container, consider your specific needs and budget to determine the most suitable condition for your requirements.

Benefits of Metal Shipping Containers

Metal shipping containers offer several benefits that make them a popular choice for shipping and storage needs:

  1. Durability: Metal shipping containers are built to withstand harsh weather conditions, making them highly durable and long-lasting.
  2. Security: These containers are equipped with sturdy locks and tamper-proof features, ensuring the security of your goods during transit or storage.
  3. Versatility: With various sizes and types available, metal shipping containers can accommodate a wide range of cargo, from small packages to oversized items.
  4. Cost-Effective: Metal shipping containers offer a cost-effective solution for shipping and storage needs, especially for long-distance transportation or long-term storage.
  5. Mobility: Containers are designed for easy transportation, as they can be loaded onto trucks, trains, or ships, allowing for seamless movement of goods.
  6. Modifiability: Metal shipping containers can be modified and customized to meet specific requirements. They can be transformed into offices, living spaces, or even pop-up shops.

Where to Buy Metal Shipping Containers

There are several options for purchasing metal shipping containers. Here are a few common sources:

  1. Shipping Container Suppliers: Many companies specialize in selling new or used metal shipping containers. These suppliers offer a wide range of container types, sizes, and conditions to choose from.
  2. Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba also offer metal shipping containers for sale. These platforms provide a convenient way to browse and compare different options.
  3. Local Classifieds: Checking local classified ads or contacting shipping companies in your area can also lead to finding available containers for sale.

When purchasing a container, consider factors such as price, condition, location, and the reputation of the seller to ensure a smooth and satisfactory transaction.


Metal shipping containers are versatile, durable, and cost-effective solutions for various shipping and storage needs. With different types, sizes, and conditions available, you can find the perfect container to meet your specific requirements. Consider the benefits, prices, and conditions of metal shipping containers to make an informed decision. Whether you’re shipping goods internationally or need extra storage space, metal shipping containers provide a reliable solution for your needs.