"Where is the best place to buy shipping containers" is a question that isn't as straightforward as many people hope it would be. If you're in the market to buy a shipping container; new, used, or any condition in between, there are several factors to consider before you decide on where to buy one. In general, the two easiest places to find containers for sale are shipping depots and container dealers, but it's important to also consider the delivery cost in all circumstances.
The absolute broadest answer to the question presented is, "at a shipping container depot or port". However, this answer is often times incorrect as the port itself isn't in the business of selling shipping containers, and a depot may or may not have an inventory available for sale. The purpose of a container depot is to store containers while they're in transit, or waiting to be repositioned, used container sales is often a secondary business for the depot.
Many people are under the assumption that they can simply call the shipping line and inquire about their available inventory. Again, this answer isn't entirely correct for several reasons. The main problem with this idea is that many shipping lines aren't staffed to manage retail, or "one off" container sales. Larger container lines may sell hundreds, or even thousands of containers per month and single unit transactions would bring their operations to a grinding halt. Shipping lines often outsource their container sales to trading companies that purchase their containers in bulk orders and reposition them around the country to sell them at their final destination.
In the end, getting a great deal on a used shipping container requires some research. Reaching out to container depots and traders in your local area is a good start. After you find some pricing to benchmark your costs, you can then broaden your search to include any major port areas in a set radius of your location. As you widen your search area you must remember to include the cost of shipping. It may come as a surprise, but in some cases it is less expensive to have a container delivered from farther away if the price of the container is low enough. For example, having a container delivered to Oklahoma from Dallas, Texas may be less expensive than having one delivered from Oklahoma City. Dallas tends to have a higher inventory of containers than Oklahoma City, and the prices of the containers can be substantially less. It all hinges on the delivery cost.
ContainerAuction.com provides anyone interested in buying used shipping containers with the search tools needed to find the best deals on shipping containers. Visit the site, search for containers in your area, and then expand your search by distance to find the best prices available. If you have any questions or need assistance, we invite you to contact the staff with any questions and they'll be happy to assist you.