When you shop for a new or used shipping container you will undoubtably find a variety of prices available. It is easy to buy the first cheap storage container you find, but you must also consider what goes into shipping containers prices in order to determine if that great deal is really as good as it seems. The most common variables that impact the price of a shipping container are:
Size can affect your price, because a more common size like a 20 foot or 40 foot steel container will be a better bargain due to available inventory. It will also be easier to find these sizes second-hand, as they are the most common for shipping overseas. If you need a larger or smaller size container you may have to shop around more to find the best deal.
Your physical location also affects the container price. If you are located near a seaport you have a better chance of being near multiple container retailers. You may even be able to get a good used steel container from your local shipping yard. If you live far away from accessible containers you may have to pay to have it delivered to you. You may also not be able to get the best pick since you cannot view it in person. If you do chose to see units in person, you will have to make viewing arrangements and schedule your trip accordingly.
Condition and age also affect price when a container is used or rented. This should not be a factor for a new or one trip container, as it should be in top condition. When inspecting a container for condition be sure to look for any cracks or holes that will compromise the integrity of the container, making it less than "wind and water tight". You will also want to make sure that all doors are working properly and swing smoothly and easily.
The final determining factor for shipping containers prices is modifications or added features. A basic steel container comes with no extras. It will be just be plain and sturdy, possibly with a door if it is a big container. There are a multitude of container modification options. If you are planning to use it for building purposes you can have extra doors, windows, electricity, sanitation, and insulation put in. If you plan to use the container for a portable vendor cart or storage unit, you may wish to have a roll-up door installed for easy access. Another good choice is a refrigerated container to store bulk food. Other options include special door locks, paint, and business logo application. Most container retailers offer these variations, or you can purchase a standard container and do the installations yourself. Modifications are a great option to multiply the uses of your shipping container.