One-Trip Shipping Containers: Definition, Benefits and Uses

Exploring One-Trip Shipping Containers: Definition, Benefits, and Uses in Logistics

One-trip shipping containers are shipping containers that are almost in new condition but have completed one trip for international transportation. These single-use containers are considered cost-effective and ideal for various applications, including storage, housing, or other uses that do not require a new container. Although used once, these containers are structurally sound and have typically undergone rigorous quality control standards to meet international shipping requirements. One-way containers help maximise the use of shipping containers and contribute towards sustainable shipping. Let us learn more about one-trip shipping containers. 

What is a one-trip shipping container? 

One-trip shipping containers are corten boxes used for international shipping purposes throughout the trade industry. These are similar to any standard shipping container and are available in different types or sizes. One-trip containers are also known as one-way or cabotage containers and are used by shippers for hassle-free worldwide shipping. These types of shipping containers are fresh freight containers right out from the manufacturing factories, which are then loaded up with shipments to be transported. There is no need for container repositioning of empty containers once they are unloaded at the destination port or transportation hub. The single-use shipping containers are used only once for their transportation. After their trip, they are usually sold or leased to individuals or organisations in the trade business. These empty containers have tiny dents, wear or tears as they are used only once. Therefore, they can be refurbished for domestic or commercial uses easily. 

Characteristics of one-trip shipping containers 

It is easy to understand if the shipping container has been through a single trip. 

  1. Signs of minor dents or scratches on the walls of the shipping container. 
  2. Dents on the roof of the container from container lashing and stacking. 
  3. Structurally sound and in good condition. 
  4. Air and water-tight to prevent cargo damage

Benefits of one-trip shipping containers 

One-trip containers are beneficial for shippers and companies for various reasons. Let us learn more about the advantages of one-trip shipping containers. 

  1. Suitable condition containers – One-way containers are newly manufactured shipping containers that are in perfect condition when used for shipping purposes. They are weather-resistant and free from any rust, dents or tears. These good-condition shipping containers are feasible and suitable for transportation purposes. Even after completing one trip, cabotage containers can be sold or leased with little or no need for maintenance and repairs. They can be utilised for other commercial purposes efficiently. 
  2. Quality control – Although initially manufactured for one-time transportation, one-way containers are strictly built according to ISO standards. The quality standards are adhered to, and shippers buying one-way shipping containers can have confidence in the quality and durability of the containers. 
  3. Cost-effectiveness – Shippers or companies willing to purchase shipping containers may find buying a new container costly. Buying used shipping containers can be more cost-effective, but they are worn out from excessive use and are not the same quality as new containers. In such situations, one-way containers are the perfect solution. Customers can buy or lease one-trip shipping containers at lower costs than new containers but with quality close to new ones. 
  4. Versatility – One-trip shipping containers are initially used for transportation, but after exhausting their use, they are sold or leased in the marketplace. These freight containers can be customised for domestic use or refurbished for commercial use. Shippers often store goods or convert one-way containers for commercial purposes. 
  5. Boosts sustainability – The lifespan of shipping containers is more than 10 years, and a single trip does not suffice. By reusing single-trip containers, individuals and companies help boost environment-friendly trade businesses. If not for reuse or repurposing, these single-use containers would be wasted.  

Uses of one-trip shipping containers 

One-trip shipping containers have already been used for transportation purposes once before they reach their destination. These containers are used and then reused for various purposes. Let us learn more about the purpose of one-way shipping containers. 

  1. Transportation – Various industries use one-trip shipping containers in the global trade market to transport raw materials and manufactured goods in solid, liquid or gaseous states. Built on ISO standards, the single-use containers are ideal for shipping goods as they are in perfect condition. Even after one-time use, if the owner of the containers resells or leases the container in the trade market, the buyer or lessee can use it for transporting goods across the globe. It is only after a few uses that shipping containers require maintenance and repairs. 
  2. Storage – One-trip containers can be repurposed as storage units for goods, both raw materials and domestic products. Since shipping containers are weatherproof and secure, they can store various goods, such as equipment and dry food products. It is also used on-site at industrial sites to store materials for use by workers. 
  3. Commercial uses – Individuals or companies often purchase one-way containers and refurbish them to reuse them as commercial spaces. Gyms, cabins, coffee shops, garages, and warehouses are a few ways different types of shipping containers can be reused. The buyers use 53ft intermodal containers as prime commercial spaces due to their high volume and additional height. 
  4. Domestic use – Apart from using shipping containers for commercial use, some individuals also purchase shipping containers to convert them into housing to build living spaces for guests or themselves. These containers are modified to introduce electrical and plumbing fittings for a comfortable living. 

After exhausting the use, shipping containers are dismantled. Raw materials are skimmed out of it, and the rest of the container is disposed of suitably. 

One-trip shipping containers vs new shipping containers 

People may mistake one-trip containers for new containers, but they are different. Let us learn more about the difference between a one-trip and a new shipping container. 

  1. Usage – One-trip shipping containers have been used in a single international shipment, after which they are made available to other buyers or leasers. New shipping containers have no shipping history and have been freshly manufactured. 
  2. Condition – Since one-trip containers have undergone one trip, they can have minor tears, wear, and dents that can be repaired for subsequent use. On the other hand, new shipping containers are pristine and free from any marks. 
  3. Cost – One-trip shipping containers have been used once and, therefore, have a market value lower than that of untouched new shipping containers. New containers are expensive because of their preserved quality and aesthetic. 

The benefits of one-trip shipping containers make them ideal solutions for shippers, companies, and individuals who want to use them for commercial or domestic purposes. 

LOTUS Containers is a shipping container service provider that sells and leases shipping containers to cater to clients’ varying needs. We sell different types of shipping containers, such as dry van, tank, open-top, and reefer containers. Contact us to find new, one-trip, or used shipping containers.

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