purchasing shipping containers How to Buy a Shipping Container: A Comprehensive Guide

purchasing shipping containers

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purchasing shipping containers

Are you in need of a shipping container for residential use, storage purposes, or any other specific requirement? Buying a shipping container doesn’t have to be a daunting task. However, it’s crucial to ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable source and getting the best deal possible. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to buy a shipping container that meets your needs, while also considering factors such as grades, materials, sizes, costs, and more.

1. Choose the Right Grade

Before purchasing a shipping container, it’s important to understand the different grades available, as they provide information about the container’s previous use and condition. The grade you choose will depend on your specific requirements. Here are the main grades to consider:

  • New or One-Trip Containers: These containers are typically made in China and shipped directly to the United States. They are the best option if you plan to convert the container into a home, as they are weather-resistant and have minimal damage.
  • Cargo-Worthy Containers: These containers have been used slightly more but are still in good condition. They can still be used for shipping goods overseas and are wind and water-tight.
  • Wind and Water-Tight Containers: These containers are still capable of keeping out the elements but have not been officially inspected to be declared “cargo-worthy.”
  • As Is Containers: These containers may or may not be able to withstand the elements and may have structural damage. They are the most affordable option but require careful inspection.

2. Decide Between Steel or Aluminum

Shipping containers are made of either steel or aluminum. Steel containers, which are used for overseas shipping, are much stronger and more durable than their aluminum counterparts. If you plan to live in the container or need a long-term storage solution, a steel container is the best choice. However, if you only require temporary storage and weather is not a concern, an aluminum container may suffice.

3. Consider Size and Space

When buying a shipping container, you need to consider the size of the container itself as well as the space required for delivery. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Physical Space: Ensure that you have enough space to accommodate the container and allow for the delivery truck to maneuver. The truck itself is about 10 feet wide, requiring a minimum of one foot on each side for a total of 12 feet.
  • Container Sizes: Shipping containers come in various lengths, ranging from 20 feet to 53 feet. They also vary in height, from 8 feet 6 inches to 9 feet 6 inches. Width ranges between 8 feet and 8 feet 6 inches.

4. Consider the Exterior Design

Shipping containers may come in plain colors or have the logo of the company that used them for shipping goods. If you plan to repaint the container, the exterior design is not a significant concern. However, if you intend to keep the original appearance, choose a container with a color and design that you find visually appealing.

5. Consider Previous Use

Take into account what the shipping container was used for in the past. Some containers may have transported goods with strong odors, such as animal hides, which could leave a lingering foul smell. Ensure that the previous use of the container aligns with your intended purpose.

6. Consider Your Location

The cost and availability of used shipping containers can vary depending on your location. If you live near a coast or major urban center, the cost may be more reasonable compared to rural areas. If you live in an area where containers are in high demand but not close to a big city or harbor, purchasing a container locally might be extremely expensive. In such cases, it may be more cost-effective to find a container in a nearby port city and have it shipped to you.

7. Research Local Classified Ads and Companies

To find shipping containers for sale, you can browse through local classified ads in newspapers or online platforms. Additionally, some shipping and leasing companies sell containers directly to private buyers. Searching online for “shipping containers for sale” can help you find companies selling to individual consumers. Make a list of potential sellers, including their contact information and website details, to compare offers and choose the best deal. purchasing shipping containers

8. Contact Sellers and Inspect the Container

Once you have a list of potential sellers, reach out to them via email or phone. Clearly communicate your requirements and inquire about their ability to provide a container that meets your needs. If possible, schedule a visit to the seller’s depot to inspect the container in person. Look for signs of damage, such as rust, dents, or light seeping through when the doors are closed. Ensure the container is wind and water-tight, especially if that is a crucial requirement for your intended use. purchasing shipping containers

9. Negotiate Shipping and Offer

If you need the container to be delivered to your location, negotiate shipping costs with the seller. Factors such as distance, container size, and delivery method will impact the final cost. Consider requesting delivery via a tilt bed roll-off truck, which allows for secure unloading. Negotiate the overall offer, including the price of the container, delivery charges, and any additional services required.

10. Finalize the Purchase

After finalizing the terms with the seller, review the purchase agreement carefully before making any payments. Ensure that all details, including the container grade, size, condition, delivery details, and pricing, are accurately reflected in the agreement. Once you are satisfied with the terms, proceed with the payment and secure the purchase of your shipping container.

Remember, buying a shipping container requires thorough research, careful inspection, and effective negotiation. By following these steps and considering all relevant factors, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect shipping container to meet your needs.

Conclusion Purchasing a shipping container doesn’t have to be a complicated process. By understanding the different grades, materials, sizes, and costs, you can make an informed decision and find the container that best suits your needs. Remember to research reputable sellers, inspect the container thoroughly, and negotiate the terms to ensure the best deal possible. With this comprehensive guide, you are well-equipped to embark on your journey to buy a shipping container.