An Auction and Marketplace for Shipping and Cargo Containers

Shipping Container Price Factors

03.04.2017 - Posted by Updated On 03.04.2017    

The price of new and used shipping containers has been fluctuating a lot recently, on the surface it may seem arbitrary, but in reality the price changes have been anything but that. The global supply of shipping containers has decreased over the past few months, and many shipping lines and leasing companies have slowed down sales in an effort to retain their own "bookable" containers and use them for shipping purposes. Along with this, there have been some changes to the pricing of the materials that go into shipping containers.

Shipping Container Materials: Price Impact

  • Corten Steel – 60%: Steel is by far the largest component in a shipping container, and thus has the greatest impact in pricing. Over the past few months the price of steel has leveled off and decreased slightly, but it still hasn't returned to pre-2016 levels.
  • Paint – 10%: Shipping container paint accounts for a fair amount of the price, and recently this percentage increased due to new regulations regarding shipping container paint in China.
  • Flooring Materials – 15%: The marine grade plywood in shipping containers is a high quality, highly durable type of plywood that is designed to withstand a lifetime of heavy abuse. It needs to survive in tropical conditions without succumbing to delamination, chipping or cracking.
  • Labor – 15%: The final factor in shipping container production is labor. As globalization shifted to China, the low cost of factory labor provided an inexpensive means to production. As labor costs rise it's yet to be seen how this will impact the production cost, or resort to greater automation being introduced into the production line.

Market Factors in Shipping Container Pricing

Along with the material and labor cost associated with shipping container pricing; location, age, and condition have an impact on the price of shipping containers. However, it's important to note that this influence is less so on new containers when compared to new containers.

Most shipping lines and leasing companies don't start to sell their fleet until it's around 10-12 years old, some even older, because at that point the repair costs increase significantly and the containers are typically depreciated enough to recognize the full tax benefit.

used shipping containers
Used shipping containers on the coastal areas, and near major hubs and distribution centers, tend to be a little less expensive than their counterparts in the inland locations. While the condition of them is roughly the same, the cost to move them around can impact the final sale price. is an online marketplace for buying new and used shipping containers in the United States, Canada, and around the world. Search your specific area, or the area where you will need the shipping container, or fill out the contact form and have one of our registered sellers contact you directly.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Similar Articles