An Auction and Marketplace for Shipping and Cargo Containers

The Best Used Shipping Container isn't always the Cheapest (or Most Expensive)

05.05.2019 - Posted by Updated On 05.05.2019    

There are a lot of good ways to save money when buying a used shipping container, and if you know what to look for and the right questions to ask, there are some great deals to be found. The most basic question that needs to be asked is, “what will the container be used for?” From there decisions can be made on condition (including color), price, and the location.

Shipping Container Condition

The condition of used shipping containers can vary greatly by location and age. Generally, shipping lines don't sell containers until they reach 12-15 years old. This means that the vast majority of used containers will be around this vintage, but still structurally sound. The containers are typically sold because the repair costs are becoming too high to keep them up to the strict requirements for “sea worthy” condition and it makes more sense to sell the container and replace it with new equipment.

If the shipping container will be used for back yard storage and will not be visible from the street or house, then there are a lot more options available than if you need a solid, neutral color, with doors that open and close easily. Colors can vary from orange to green, and many used containers are red or brown. You can get the best price if you keep all of your options open and try not to get locked into a specific color.

Note that white or tan shipping containers are almost always going to be new, or one trip shipping containers.

The Price of the Shipping Container

It's also important to keep in mind that prices of shipping containers vary from market to market, and lately the prices have been changing on a regular basis. Obviously, any containers along the coasts will be less expensive than containers at an inland depot. Denver, for example, tends to be a little more expensive than Long Beach.

Color can also impact the price of the shipping container. Some shipping lines use containers that are branded to match their corporate image, and look great on a vessel, but are harder to sell in the end market because they're less desirable due to the lack of cub appeal.

The Location of the Shipping Container

We've already touched on price differences in shipping containers due to different locations in the United States, but if you're online with a website like Craigslist and find a cheap shipping container that's being sold by an individual, you may run into additional costs related to having it moved. Some trucks aren't equipped to pick up a shipping container on its own, so a forklift or crane may be needed to put the container onto the trailer; leading to an additional expense. Be sure to ask the seller where the container is and if they can help to coordinate the delivery to your location, and most importantly what it will cost! is an online marketplace for new and used shipping containers around the United States and world. Our sellers range from some of the largest shipping lines in the world, to regional traders and brokers. To find a shipping container near you, either search though the map, or type your city into the search bar. If you see a shipping container for sale that meets your needs feel free to contact the seller directly through the listing page. If you can't find any in your area you can complete the request form and a seller that services your area will contact you.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Similar Articles