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Storage vs. Shipping Containers

13.03.2016 - Posted by Updated On 13.03.2016    

There's a lot of confusion between what the difference is between a shipping container and a storage container, and to be completely honest it's not unwarranted. A shipping container can be a shipping container, or a storage container; but a storage container is always a storage container, never a shipping container. The container that's best for suited for any project depends on the needs of the project.

Let's start of by establishing the definition of shipping container and a storage container.

What is a Shipping Container?

A shipping container is a transportable steel box, produced in standard sizes to make shipping all types of goods around the world easier and more cost effective. The most common sizes are 20' or 40' long, 8' wide, and either 8'6” or 9'6” tall. The sides and top of shipping containers (also called cargo containers, sea cans, or intermodal containers) are made of CORTEN steel, which is a type of steel that's highly resistant to rust and corrosion. They have a sea-going life span of 15-18 years and a secondary life of another 10-20 years depending on care and environmental conditions. At any point in the life of a shipping container it can be retired from shipping and redeployed for any number of uses, such as a storage container. steel shipping/storage container

What is a Storage Container?

fiberglass storage container A storage container, or portable storage unit, can cover any number of items. For the sake of comparison, we'll limit this to boxes of similar size. Typically, storage containers are designed to be transported from one location to another where they can be used for storage of residential or commercial items. When compared to shipping containers, they are light weight and primarily constructed of aluminum. The doors are very customer friendly and they typically roll up similar to a garage door. Depending on how heavily they are used the estimated lifespan is 5-10 years, and are typically rented as opposed to being made available for sale.

Which Type of Shipping Container is the Best for My Project?

The best container for your project really depends on your need for security, the length of time that you'll need the container, and the available budget.

If your needs are short term (<6 months), and you don't have a forklift or crane on site, and there's not much more for a truck to navigate around, an aluminum storage container is probably the best option for you. They can be delivered and picked up quickly, and the monthly payments will be relatively low.

Using a shipping container for storage is the best option if your storage requirements are long term, you have a need for the higher security of a heavy duty steel structure, and are able to make a single payment. A forklift isn't always needed to unload a shipping container from a truck, but in most cases the truck will require enough space to drive out from underneath the container.

Aluminum storage containers can be rented from companies like PODS and PACKRAT, while new and used shipping containers can be purchased online, from local sellers as well as shipping lines and leasing companies, through ContainerAuction.com. ContainerAuction.com has been a leading marketplace for shipping containers since 2011 and has been expanding its services and deepening relationships with buyers and sellers since then. If you have any questions about buying a shipping container we invite you to contact any of our registered sellers or the ContainerAuction.com staff directly.



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