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Is a One Trip Shipping Container New?

19.07.2020 - Posted by Updated On 19.07.2020    

A lot of people ask to buy a new shipping container, and are a little confused when they're offered a "one trip" or "one way" shipping container. After all, isn't a "one way" container used? To help unfold this confusion you need to look at the logistics and manufacturing, the age of the container, and when you can sometimes get close to a one way container.

Logistics and Manufacturing of One Way or New Shipping Containers

To purchase a truly "new", never used shipping container it would almost surely need to be manufactured in the country, and more specifically, close to the area where you want the container. If you live in an area with a high cost of living, this will most likely be reflected in the price of the container.

That reason that many shipping containers are currently manufactured in China is because that's where almost everything else is manufactured, so there's minimal cost to move the empty shipping container to the widget factory, load it, and send it to the United States. Once it's sent, it's unloaded and delivered to a schedule container yard and sold. By doing this, the cost to move the container is carried by the company shipping the goods inside of the container. To move an empty shipping container it would require the cost to be carried by the company interested in selling the "never used" container, and then be passed on to the consumer.

The Age of the Shipping Container

The age of a shipping container is the year of manufacture (or YOM), or could be the date that it was picked up from the factory. You'll likely never know the pickup date, but the YOM can be found on the CSC plate attached to the door. In many cases shipping containers are built on speculation, or for a specific booking, and can sit at the factory for any period of time until they're needed. It's not impossible to see a "one trip container" purchased in 2018, but manufactured in 2016. The container was still only used one time, but could have been part of a shipment that was cancelled and the containers waited around for a new booking.

2016 manufactured one trip shipping containers2016 one trip shipping containers

Almost a One Way Container

When a shipping container is manufactured and assigned to a one way contract, the contract states that the container must be returned to a set number of cities and container yards. While many shipping lines are very accurate with this, it occasionally happens that a one way container shows up in an unexpected city and has to be moved to the target location, or back to China to be reloaded and aimed at the correct target. Â This is typically reflected in the price, and it will cost slightly less than a true one way. That being said, this situation is rare and you shouldn't get your heart set on finding one.

The marketplace on is comprised of sellers specializing in finding buyers the best deals on both one trip, and used shipping containers. If there are no containers listed in your area, that may not mean they aren't available, only not currently listed on the site. If you complete the request form a representative will contact you regarding your needs.

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