A Guide to Buying Shipping Containers

Do you consider all the important things before buying shipping containers? How do you know that the container you’re buying would maintain a long-lasting relationship with you? Most of the time, people who are not much familiar with the container industry, end up making a deal that does not help them get the right shipping boxes. Whether you want them for storing goods, sailing your cargoes to different countries, or building homes out of it, it's significant to know certain things before buying shipping containers. Through this guide, we intend to help you in buying the right shipping box. Stay tuned till the last and you will be able to keep a detailed insight into choosing the right container. 

Given below are the questions you must interrogate yourself-

Why do you want shipping containers?

Shipping containers can be used for numerous purposes. It could be for shipping, storage, or building homes. To buy the right shipping container you need to have a clear purpose. This is because not every box is suitable for all types of tasks. A storage unit cannot be commuted over seven seas, nor it can live its whole life journeying. An 8ft box cannot be used to make a big size swimming pool. There has to be a specific purpose for what you need them. 

Listed below are some of the common usage of shipping containers-

  • Shipment of all types of cargoes
  • Temporary storage facility
  • Storage of temperature-sensitive goods
  • Transporting heavy and big pieces of machinery to construction sites
  • For building purposes to construct anything like house, store, office, hostel, swimming pools, etc.
  • For household shifting. 

For how long you want them?

Once you’ve decided the purpose of acquiring the equipment, the next thing you should jump on is deciding that for how long you want them. Some have temporary usage while some wish to acquire them permanently. A very important thing that comes your way to answer this question is leasing. If you don’t really need a container for long-term, then leasing a shipping container could be the best option. Leasing is one of the most common methods used for acquiring containers on rent. In that, you pay a certain amount to your lessor keeping the container with you for a defined period of time. 

For long term or continuous shipment needs, owning a box could offer more flexibility and control. If you are looking to buy shipping containers in Miami and other parts of the USA, the process could be quite daunting. So, it's important to ponder upon the time for which you need them.

Which type of container do you want?

The world of shipping containers is vast. Many people don’t realize it, but shipping containers actually come in quite a few varieties. To suit the storage and shipment of different varieties of cargoes, more than several different types of shipping containers have been designed. Dry van for dry freight, tankers for liquid and gaseous cargoes, reefers & insulated containers for temperature-sensitive products, and so on. Depending upon your cargo type, or purpose, you must have a defined container type in your mind. Once you have a clear picture of it, you can easily tell your supplier. 

What dimensions will fit your need?

After determining the container types, the next thing which comes on way is deciding the dimension. Determining dimension plays a crucial role. This is something you really need to consider depending on the purpose you have. Ask questions like-

  • How much storage space would your goods acquire?
  • Is the business likely to grow in the near future?
  • Would you need a larger box to accommodate the next year's manufactured goods?
  • Or would you buy another one next time when you have an increased quantity of cargo?

 In the container industry, you would come across different dimensions of shipping containers like- 8ft, 10ft, 20ft, 40ft, 40ft high cube, 45ft high cube, or 56ft. 8ft or 10ft can be a great choice for smaller quantities of goods. These are also cheaper and easy to carry from place to place. The 20ft also known as TEUs is the most standard dimension. It is both versatile and popular for its accommodability property as it can accommodate a good amount of goods and carry over any mode of transportation (intermodal transportation). Then comes the larger size boxes 40ft, 45ft, and high cube. These are huge and suited best for heavy tasks. Moreover, transporting a 40ft container costs cheaper than transporting two individual 20ft containers. 

New vs Used

Both new and used shipping containers are equally servable. 

New Containers

The biggest advantage with new boxes is that there is no risk of cross-contamination of previously shipped cargo. It is either a completely brand-new box or one tripped. Most of the boxes are manufactured in China and they are sailed as one tripped container with goods loaded in them and then they are set for selling. If you want a container that could serve for long-term needs, then going for a new one would be more advisable. Even if you’re looking for a modification to build houses then a new one will always serve best. Used ones sometimes fail due to their wear and tear and contamination issues.

Used Containers

If aesthetics is not so important then used containers can be equally strong and serving. Containers are made to last long for more than a decade. Though some used boxes have really endured a tough time at sea facing harsh weather for years, not all are such bad. Buying used containers doesn’t mean that you can use it only once or twice. Used boxes are sent for inspection by a maritime surveyor and tagged as IICL, Cargo Worthy, and Wind and Water-Tight. Under this, a used box is deemed suitable to be used for the shipment of goods. 

Besides all the above-discussed points, there are more such things that you need to look inside and outside a container box before entering into a final deal of buying. For that, we have written a separate article to help you get detailed insights. I hope the above information was helpful to you. Do not forget to use them for wise buying decisions whenever you make a plan to buy shipping containers in the future.