An Auction and Marketplace for Shipping and Cargo Containers

How to Buy a Shipping Container

23.06.2013 - Posted by Updated On 23.06.2013    

While a shipping container is a pretty large object, buying one may not be as big of an ordeal as you might think.  Sure, there are things that you need to plan for like the delivery and where you’re going to put it, but with some planning and foresight you shouldn’t have any issues at all.  When you buy a new or used shipping container through, here are the normal steps and what you can expect:

1. Searching for a Container: Start by searching for shipping containers in your area.  As you search you can focus on the specific type of shipping containers that you’re most interested in.

2. Contacting the Seller: When you find a shipping container that you’re interested in, click on the “Contact” button and ask the seller any questions that you might have, or simply express interest in the container and ask if there is anything about the particular listing that you should be aware of before buying.  If no containers are available in your area you can complete the container request form and ask if it’s possible for us to locate or reposition a container to your area.

    Inspection: A common request is to inspect the shipping container prior to purchasing it.  With most sellers on the site this is a normal request and an inspection can be arranged.  However, it normally takes 24-48 hours to schedule the inspection because the containers may need to be pulled out of a stack so they’re easier to view.  If you’re not close to the depot, or can’t make it to inspect the container for any reason you can ask if the container has been surveyed, and if the seller can provide you with the notes from the surveyors report.  If it’s a new shipping container there will most likely be no report available.

    Delivery: If you need to have the container delivered, now is the time to ask the seller if there are additional charges for delivery, or if you must arrange it yourself.

3. Payment:  Depending on the seller, most times payment must be made before the shipping container is delivered.  Payment is normally made by a wire transfer or bank deposit.  Why can’t payment be made on site or at the time of delivery?  Many times the seller is a shipping line or trading company that doesn’t physically operate out of the depot, and both the depot and driver are completely separate companies that aren’t approved to process the payment for the shipping company.

4. Release and Scheduling Delivery:  Once the payment is made, the seller issues a release code that is provided to the truck driver.  This release code is required by the depot to get the container out of the depot, without it the depot will not allow the container to be removed from the yard, and most trucking companies won’t schedule a delivery without the release code in hand.  When scheduling the delivery the driver will need to know if you want the container doors facing forward or backward on the truck.  This will make the delivery easier because the truck will pull out from under the containers and the doors will be facing in the correct direction.

5. Container Delivery:  When the delivery date of your container arrives, it’s advised that you’re onsite to make sure the container is unloaded in the right place.  Delivery usually takes less than 1 hour.

That’s the entire process.  Once the container is dropped on the site you can begin to load it with your storage items, modify it into something new, or do whatever else you might have in mind with it.

If you have any questions about buying a shipping container, no matter if you’re purchasing it through one of our sellers or a different company, we’ll be happy to help out in any way that we can.

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