Buying 40 Foot Shipping Containers: Everything You Need to Know

40' shipping container cost

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40′ shipping container cost

40' shipping container cost

As the global container shortage continues to impact the market, the demand for 40-foot shipping containers remains high. These versatile containers are widely used for various purposes, from storage solutions to building modifications. If you’re considering buying a 40-foot shipping container, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. From understanding the cost factors to knowing the delivery process and container conditions, we’ve got you covered. 40′ shipping container cost

How Much Does a 40′ Shipping Container Cost?

When it comes to buying a 40′ shipping container, the cost can vary depending on several factors. Used containers are typically more affordable, with prices starting as low as $1,750. However, in markets where supply is scarce, the cost can go up to $3,500. On the other hand, one trip containers, which are like new, can range from $4,500 to $7,900. It’s important to note that the current global container shortage has caused prices to increase significantly in many markets. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the current prices in your area.

How to Buy a Shipping Container

an illustration of a box with arrows pointing out dimensions

Buying a shipping container is a straightforward process, and Western Container Sales makes it even easier with their online platform. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to buy a shipping container:

1. Choose Container Specs

Using the Western Container Sales shipping container calculator, you can select the size, condition, and door direction that meet your needs. Take your time to explore the available options and consider your specific requirements. Once you’ve made your selections, add them to the cart and proceed to the secure payment portal.

2. Review Sample Photos

Before making a purchase, it’s essential to have a visual representation of the container you’re buying. Western Container Sales provides sample photos of their containers, allowing you to inspect the condition and overall appearance. This ensures that you have a clear understanding of what to expect.

3. Checkout and Payment

Once you’re satisfied with your container selection, proceed to checkout and make the payment through the secure payment portal. Western Container Sales guarantees that the container will not leak and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee (excluding trucking costs). Additionally, every container comes with a three-year warranty for added peace of mind.

4. Container Sourcing

After your order is placed, Western Container Sales sources your shipping container directly from intermodal cargo circulation. They work with the largest intermodal container suppliers, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and ensuring competitive pricing. Once your order is confirmed, you will receive an email with further details.

5. Pick-up or Delivery

Depending on your preference, you can choose to pick up the container yourself or opt for delivery. If you choose pick-up, Western Container Sales will provide you with the necessary release information, and you can expect your container to be ready for pick-up within 2-3 business days. Alternatively, if you prefer delivery, the logistics will be coordinated with professional local haulers. Delivery typically takes 4-7 business days and is calculated based on your zip code.

Things to Consider Before Ordering a Shipping Container

Before placing your order, there are a few important factors to consider to ensure a smooth process. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Space Requirements for Delivery

chart demonstrating the amount of space needed to deliver various shipping container sizes

It’s crucial to have adequate space for the delivery of your 40-foot shipping container. The delivery truck requires 80 feet of additional space, making a total of 120 feet of space required for a 40-foot container. This accounts for the container length and the space needed for the truck to maneuver. Make sure you have sufficient room to accommodate the delivery.

Surface Condition for Delivery

As the delivery truck carries the weight of the container, it’s important to have a firm surface for the truck to access your site. The trucks used for delivery can weigh over 45,000 pounds. If your site has a soft surface such as dirt or grass, ensure that it can handle the weight of the truck to avoid any potential issues.

Delivery Timeframe

a blue truck dropping off a blue shipping container

When ordering a shipping container, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the delivery timeframe. Western Container Sales coordinates with professional local haulers to ensure prompt delivery. You can expect to be contacted within one business day of placing your order to confirm the delivery date. The driver will also provide a call when they are en route. Delivery typically takes 4-7 business days, allowing you to plan accordingly.

Selecting Used Containers

If you opt for a used shipping container, it’s important to note that the containers are typically “next off stack” at the intermodal depot. This means that the color cannot be selected, and the container’s cosmetic condition may vary. Western Container Sales provides sample photos for you to review before making your purchase, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of the container’s condition.

Used Shipping Container Conditions

an infographic describing the used shipping container conditions

Used shipping containers come in various conditions, each suited for different purposes. The most common conditions include:

One Trip

One trip containers are essentially like new. They have only made a single trip from the factory to the shipping location. These containers are in excellent condition and are a popular choice for customers looking for containers with minimal wear and tear.

Cargo Worthy (CWO)

Cargo worthy containers are certified to be in suitable condition for international shipping. They meet specific standards set by the shipping industry and are considered structurally sound. While they may exhibit some signs of wear, they are still fit for transporting goods across long distances.

Wind & Water Tight (WWT)

Wind and water tight containers are sealed tightly to prevent any water or wind from entering. While they may have some cosmetic imperfections, they are still secure and provide reliable storage solutions. These containers are suitable for various applications, from on-site storage to modifications.

As Is Containers

As is containers are not typically sold by Western Container Sales. These containers are usually damaged and cannot be guaranteed for their quality. It’s advisable to avoid purchasing containers in “as is” condition to ensure the structural integrity and longevity of your investment.

Shipping Container Dimensions & Specifications

an infographic displaying shipping container dimensions and specifications

When buying a shipping container, it’s important to have a clear understanding of its dimensions and specifications. The standardized dimensions allow for seamless handling at any port in the world. Here are the key dimensions and specifications for a 40-foot shipping container:

External Dimensions

  • Length: 40 feet
  • Width: 8 feet
  • Height: 8 feet 6 inches
  • Cubic Capacity: 2,390 cubic feet

Internal Dimensions

  • Length: 39 feet 5 inches
  • Width: 7 feet 8 inches
  • Height: 7 feet 10 inches

Door Opening Dimensions

  • Width: 7 feet 8 inches
  • Height: 7 feet 6 inches

Maximum Payload

  • 59,200 pounds

These dimensions and specifications ensure compatibility with standard equipment and enable efficient transportation and storage.

What Makes Western Container Sales Stand Out?

an illustration of a forklift next to stacks of blue shipping containers

Western Container Sales differentiates itself in the market through various factors that make them a trusted choice for buying shipping containers. Here’s what sets them apart:

Extensive Buying Power

As one of the largest buyers of used shipping containers in North America, Western Container Sales leverages its buying power to offer competitive prices to customers. They work directly with major intermodal shipping container companies, ensuring fair pricing and high-quality containers.

Up-front Pricing

Unlike many competitors, Western Container Sales provides up-front and transparent pricing. They believe in offering fair prices to their customers and avoid the hassle of calling for a quote or being bombarded with salespeople. The prices are clearly listed on their website, making it easy for customers to make informed decisions.

Quality Assurance

Western Container Sales guarantees the quality of their containers. Every container they sell is guaranteed not to leak, ensuring that your goods remain safe and protected. Additionally, they offer a three-year warranty on every container, giving you added confidence in your purchase.

Steel Storage Containers vs. PODS

a comparison chart between steel storage containers and PODS

While there are various portable storage options available, it’s important to understand the differences between steel storage containers and PODS (Portable On Demand Storage). Here’s a comparison:

Steel Storage Containers

  • All-steel construction
  • Repurposed used shipping containers
  • Larger and heavier units
  • Ideal for long-term storage and modifications
  • Suitable for various industries and applications
  • Competitive pricing


  • Combination of steel, fiberglass, aluminum, and plastic
  • Smaller and lighter units
  • Designed for easy transport while loaded
  • Suited for short-term storage and moving purposes
  • Nationwide availability
  • Offers a 10% discount through Western Container Sales partnership

Both options have their advantages and are suitable for different needs. Consider your specific requirements and choose the option that best aligns with your goals.

Final Thoughts

Buying a 40-foot shipping container can provide you with a versatile storage solution or serve as a foundation for innovative building projects. By understanding the cost factors, delivery process, container conditions, and specifications, you can make an informed decision and ensure a smooth buying experience. Western Container Sales offers a convenient online platform, competitive pricing, and quality assurance, making them a trusted choice for purchasing shipping containers. Whether you need a container for personal or business purposes, the information provided in this guide will help you navigate the process with confidence.