An Auction and Marketplace for Shipping and Cargo Containers

How to Prepare to Purchase a Shipping Container

23.03.2020 - Posted by Updated On 23.03.2020    

Unlike many other purchases, ranging from automobiles to televisions and smaller household items, buying a new or used shipping container takes a little more time and planning; and with a little bit of planning it could save a reasonable amount of money for you.

Buying a shipping container comes down to three main things: Timing of delivery, use, and how long it will be needed.

  1. Before booking everything in, call ahead: Call the depot or ask the dealer/broker how quickly the container can be picked up or delivered: In some depots the shipping containers are stacked seven high and seven deep. If you have specific requirements it may take time for the depot to get to the container that you need. Consider that as the depot breaks down the stacks, they need to put those containers somewhere, and many times there isn’t an available space to move them to.
  2. Pick Up or Delivery? Can you arrange to have the container picked up, or will you need it to be delivered? If the latter, it may take 7-10 days, once the paperwork is completed, to get the container to your location. In some markets drivers are very busy and impacted by weather conditions.
  3. Application: Will the container be used for shipping or storage? If the container will be used for overseas shipping will it need to be surveyed before picking it up? The answer is probably yes. If you plan to use it for domestic shipping is there a way to load the container back onto a trailer once it is loaded/stuffed? If the container is being used for storage that makes things much easier, the main goal in the final scenario is a wind and water tight shipping container.
shipping container stack
  1. Solid Foundation: If the container will be used for a stationary storage unit, where will it be placed? In some climate zones it can simply be placed on level ground. In many others it will need rail road ties at the very least. Also, the area where the container is sitting needs to be level.
  2. Color Issues: New shipping containers typically come in tan, white, or occasionally blue. Used shipping containers can come in any rainbow of colors from red, blue, mint green, and orange. In many cases you can find out the color of the container before you purchase it by finding out the prefix, however there are some companies that make no promise of which color will arrive. If color is a deciding factor, ask in advance.

Of course, this is just a few points to consider before purchasing a shipping container, a few of the items not accounted for, how much space for the delivery, duration that the container will be needed, door seal and hinge conditions, and other factors that are unique cases but could change your plans. is an online marketplace that lists new and used shipping containers from around the United States, and around the world. To find a shipping container in your area just search on the map and find one near you, or complete the container request form and a seller will be in touch regarding the type of container that will best suit your needs.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Similar Articles