Container Leasing: How to rent shipping containers?

Shipping container leasing process

The trade business is growing, and the need for shipping containers is rising exponentially. Shippers willing to rent shipping containers must plan carefully to earn a better return on investment. Leasing cargo containers is a cost-effective, flexible and scalable option as the container leasing companies offer a range of agreements to suit the lessee’s requirements. The shippers must compare buying and leasing to see which suits their needs and is profitable. Let us learn about how to rent containers.

Applications of shipping containers

Shipping or freight containers are conex boxes generally made of corrugated steel to transport goods nationally and internationally. Various industries, including pharmaceuticals, food, manufacturing, and agriculture, utilise them. Not only this, several stakeholders use shipping containers for other purposes.

  1. Shipping goods– The prime usage of containers is to carry out cross-border trade through intermodal transportation. Shipping containers offer durability and rigidity to the goods during their long-distance transit to keep the quality and integrity intact. Therefore, importers and exporters worldwide lease shipping containers for transporting raw materials and finished products.
  2. Storing goods– Sometimes, when the containers are not used for transportation, shippers or shipping companies often use them to store goods until the container is ready for transit temporarily. As weather-resistant containers, they can easily store goods without any cargo damage.
  3. Repurposing– Shipping containers are customised by shippers or owners and converted into domestic or commercial spaces. In most cases, people prefer customising 53 ft intermodal containers due to their extra volume to transform them into gyms, cabins, offices, and warehouses.
  4. Recycling– After exhausting their use in transportation and storage, shipping containers are recycled to extract usable container parts that can be utilised in the maintenance and repair of other containers or as raw material for new containers.

Buying vs Leasing shipping containers

Shipping companies have spread their roots to almost every corner of the globe to extend their buying and leasing services. Shippers from all across the globe can rent or buy shipping containers from various shipping container companies. Buying and leasing have pros and cons, so let us learn about the benefits of leasing shipping containers.

  1. If you require containers temporarily at a remote location, it’s better to rent shipping containers as they will be more cost-effective than buying them. After use and tenure, the leasing company takes the container back.
  2. The initial cost of investment in leasing shipping containers is less. If you buy shipping containers, it will require a hefty amount of investment, along with maintenance and repair charges.
  3. It is better to rent cargo containers when the use timeline is unknown initially. Based on various container leasing agreements, the lease can be extended whenever the lessee wants.
  4. If your cargo needs keep changing, it is best to lease cargo containers. Leased shipping containers can be switched in types or sizes whenever the cargo requirements change. The same cannot be done after buying containers.

What is a container leasing agreement? 

Shippers willing to temporarily own shipping containers rent them from container rental companies for a duration. An agreement is signed between the rental company, the leasor, the shipper, or the lessee to rent shipping containers. The container leasing agreement is a contract that specifies the lease’s duration, the container’s type and size, the cost, the deposit, and the lessee’s responsibilities. This way, the leasing is carried out lawfully, and both the leaser and lessee can avoid risks of fraud and theft. The delivery schedule and quantity of containers are predetermined, and all activities are done according to the terms listed in the agreement. Based on the duration of leasing, and the ownership of containers, there are different types of container leasing agreements offered by leasing companies.

Importance of container leasing agreements

  1. Ownership legitimacy– It helps establish that the leasing transaction is legal and that the leaser has accorded a single or a fleet of shipping containers to the lessee for the specified duration of time. Depending on the type of lease, the maintenance and repairs are either carried out by the leaser or the lessee.
  2. Flexibility– Upon the completion of the lease, it can either be extended upon agreement from the involved parties, or the containers can be returned to the leaser. In the case of a long-term lease, the lessee can interchange the containers if they do not seem fit to the lessee.
  3. Scalability– There are various container shipping agreements between short-term, long-term, one-way, and master leases. Each has benefits, and the lessee can choose whatever suits their business needs.

How to rent shipping containers?

  1. Carefully analyse the pros and cons of renting and buying to know that your shipping budget and needs best align with leasing and not buying. 
  2. Decide on the type and size of container that fits your shipping business.
  3. Look for reliable and credible companies and collect quotations for different leasing agreements.
  4. Skim through the quotations and terms of different rental companies to find the best match. Negotiate if necessary and possible.
  5. Visit the rental company premises to discuss the date, location, delivery mode and other necessary details. You also get to see and inspect the types of containers they offer.
  6. If an on-site visit is not possible, ask for photos and videos of the container or the container fleet for assurance that the containers reaching you will be in good health.
  7. Ensure that the transactions and agreements are legally documented to prevent risks of fraud and theft.
  8. The logistics professional makes an on-call verification of the rental company to confirm the shipping specifications, such as delivery location, date, and time.
  9. The lessee is notified about the arrival of his container shipment on the day of delivery.
  10. The containers are moved to the storage site after delivery, where the lessee must inspect the container’s health. In case of container damages or unsatisfactory reviews, the lessee must immediately report it to the rental company and the delivery agent.

Why do container rental prices differ?

  1. Container leasing agreement– Depending on the type of container leasing agreement, the rental prices are affected. Different leases are for different durations, which decides the price for renting containers.
  2. Type of the container– Shipping containers are of different types, such as flat rack, dry, reefer, tank, and double door, to name a few. The prices of isolated and reefer containers are higher as they offer extra support to temperature-sensitive goods. 
  3. Size of the container– Cargo containers come in sizes of 10ft, 20ft, 40ft, 45ft, and 53ft. Depending on the dimensions, the prices differ. 
  4. Quantity of container– The size of container fleets affects the rental prices. Although the lessee can negotiate when renting a more significant fleet.
  5. Global demand and supply– A significant factor affecting container rental prices is the influx or decrease in the demand for goods. When the market falls, rental companies are forced to lower their rates. In cases of heavy orders, container rentals exercise their price rise.

Lease new or used shipping containers.

Depending on the condition of the container, the rental prices differ. A lessee can lease a new shipping container as it is top quality and highly durable. It is new and, therefore, aesthetic. Clients concerned with the outlook of shipping containers can rent new shipping containers. But since these containers have not been used much, renting them is costly. On the other hand, used shipping containers are around 10-20 years old and lie on a lesser price margin than new containers. Container leasing companies rent used shipping containers as transport and storage solutions.

Shippers can invest their money more securely and efficiently by following the guidelines on renting shipping containers.

LOTUS Containers is a shipping container company in Germany that offers container leasing services across the globe. We lease all types and sizes of new and used shipping containers based on client needs.

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