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Do I need a new or used shipping container?

11.10.2021 - Posted by Updated On 11.10.2021    

The price between a new and used shipping container varies based on the condition of the used container, and depending on the budget of your project deciding what condition of container to purchase could make a difference in how quickly your project develops.  While there's no "set in stone" guide for deciding which condition you should purchase, there are a few common questions that we ask to help you make a better decision when buying a container.

Will the shipping container be in a highly visible area?

New shipping containers are typically a solid color, while used containers painted to match the shipping line's corporate image; this isn't always the case, but it is quite common.  If the container is going to be in a high traffic area and you would prefer that the container blend in with the surroundings, or not stand out as much, you'll want to start out looking for a new shipping container.

used 20' cargo container
Used shipping container
new 20' cargo container
New shipping container

Will the doors be opened/closed on a regular basis?

Used shipping containers are normally equipped with "low locking gear", meaning that the mechanisms to open and close the doors is located near the ground (so the driver or dock worker doesn't need a ladder to access the container when it's on a truck or chassis).  New, or one trip containers are typically equipped with "high locking gear", which means at ground level the person opening the container doesn't need to bend over to open the unit.

Secondly, used shipping containers have normally been in service for 10-15 years, so the doors and hinges may be starting to show some signs of age.  This doesn't mean that they don't work and won't provide a strong seal; it means that they may take a little more effort to open and close.  If the container doors are going to be opened and closed on a regular basis you may want to purchase a new shipping container.  If you plan on adding a door or modifying a shipping container to have your own doors, you could save a few dollars by purchasing a used shipping container.

Will the container be kept in a secure area?

Both new and used containers, no matter the length, are well suited to be repurposed as storage units or other similar deployments; however it's important to note that used shipping containers, typically, don't have a lock box installed on them.  The purpose of the lock box is to prevent any would-be intruder from cutting the shank of the lock and opening the container.  While many used containers aren't equipped with lock boxes, a lock box can be installed either by welding or bolting it to the container.  Bolt on lock boxes can be purchased on

These are just three "starter questions" that you'll want to consider before purchasing a shipping container.  During the decision process you'll also need to decide between a 20' or 40' container, the type of foundation that you'd like it to rest on, and anything else that may be relevant to your project.

Purchasing a shipping container, no matter the size or condition, isn't a difficult process; and the sellers that list containers on are experts in the many potential uses of containers, we well as providing the experience to make sure that you're getting the best container at the best price.

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