An Auction and Marketplace for Shipping and Cargo Containers

Shipper Owned Containers

28.07.2019 - Posted by Updated On 28.07.2019    

Shipping a full container load of goods, or FCL, typically requires renting a shipping container the shipping line, or in some cases it makes more financial sense to purchase a shipping container directly from a container lessor or trading company, in the latter the common term is "shipper owned container", or S.O.C. However, there are a few additional components involved when using a shipper owned container.

When Does a Shipper Owned Container Make Sense?

First off, let's address what circumstances it would make sense to use a shipper owned container. The two most common are specialty destinations and loading time. In some locations there may also be fewer containers available, but that's not normally the case.

The reason to use a shipper owned container in a specialty area relates to the return time, rental rates, and the cost to get the container back to the agreed upon return location. If the container is going to a remote location to be unloaded, it must be returned to an agreed upon container depot or port and the shipper must pay the cost of returning it. On top of this, if unloading the container takes a longer amount of time there may be rental charges on top of the trucking. In the final cost analysis, it could save money to use a shipper owned container. There may also be a discount from the shipping line to use a S.O.C. If a container is supplied by the shipping line and the final destination is an area lacking in exports, the container may sit there for a while and accrue storage charges until it can be put back into use.

Loading time is the second variable. A "live load", when the container is taken to the loading site and the driver waits for it to be loaded, means that there will likely be two hours or less to load everything into the container. If coordinated properly, a SOC can be delivered weeks in advance and loaded at the leisure of those responsible for packing it.

cargo worthy shipping container

Using a Shipper Owned Container

If you've gotten this far and decided that a shipper owned container makes the most sense for your shipment, there are a couple of common snags that need to be addressed before things are set into motion.

  • Container Inspection: Is the CSC plate on the container still active, or will the container need to be inspected and certified as cargo worthy?
  • Unit Numbers: Each container has unique unit numbers, and a set prefix that identifies the original owner. Some owners require that the prefix be changed if the container is going to be used for shipping.
  • Neutralization: Do the sales documents require the container to be neutralized? They probably do. Neutralizing a container involves removing any markings or corporate branding on the container. The easiest thing to do is paint over any markings.
  • Letter of Indemnity: LOI's are typically provided to outline what happens if things go wrong, such as the vessel being arrested or detained for any reason.
  • Cargo Manifest: The shipping line will need to know everything that is loaded in the container, and if there is anything dangerous that needs to be addressed or isolated.
  • Unloading the Container: When the container gets to the final destination it will arrive on a chassis and need to be unloaded. Does the final location have a forklift or crane strong enough to pick up the container and all loaded freight?
CSC Plate

Where to Buy Shipper Owned Containers

Shipper owned containers can sometimes be bought directly from the shipping line or a container leasing company, and they can always be found listed for sale by the sellers on The new and used shipping containers listed are typically designed as "cargo worthy" or "wind and water tight". For shipping, the container will need to be cargo worthy or better, and this will need to be ensured before the container is purchased. works with shipping lines and container lessors around the world to provide the internet's leading marketplace and software platform for buying and selling all types of shipping containers in countless locations around the world. To learn more about any shipping container listed on the site the seller can be contacted directly through the listing page.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Similar Articles