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Tips for Buying Shipping Containers

28.04.2019 - Posted by Updated On 28.04.2019    

Due to their popularity in the freight industry, shipping containers are inexpensive and convenient. However, their uses aren't limited to shipping and transportation. After making a few minor adjustments you can repurpose a cargo container for use as a temporary office, a mobile storage unit, or even an environmentally friendly house. When considering a container for your next building project there are few things you should keep in mind before you purchase a shipping container.

First, you need to consider what length of container will best meet your project needs. Cargo containers come in a variety of ISO (International Shipping Organization) sizes. Excluding high cube containers, shipping containers are almost always 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall. The key variation is the length, containers are typically 10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet long. During your planning you can estimate your needs and decide which length is the best for you.

A container that is 10 foot long has approximately 80 square feet, so it is best for backyard storage or a small temporary building like a ticket booth. 20 foot long containers provide 160 square feet of space, making them well suited for bigger storage spaces, and jobsite or temporary offices. A 40 foot long container provides the most space - 320 square feet. These containers are great for converting to homes and industrial storage spaces.

Secondly, you should decide whether to buy a used or new shipping container. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. A new cargo container or "one trip" container will be undamaged and clean, but will cost more. Used cargo containers can be purchased for less than new containers, but may have some damage and wear due to their previous use. If the nature of your project requires a damage-free structure and you don't want to make any repairs to bring your container to code, you should consider purchasing a new container. If you are on a budget or intend on making some modifications to your shipping container, a used container is the ideal way to proceed. You can save money this way, and if you are going to customize and repair the container anyway, it makes practical sense to purchase a used container. Keeping this in mind, you may want to inspect your used shipping container for flaws like rust and holes before you use it. Problems like these may seem minor, but if left unchecked they could result in damage to the items stored inside, or cause structural damage later on if you intend on using it for a home or other type of building.

Lastly, you will need to decide what options and extras you need to have in your shipping container. In some cases, containers come with a variety of options due to the nature of freight they are used to store. You can purchase a shipping container that is wired for electricity, or refrigerated using an HVAC system. If you need easy access to your container, you should research buying a container with doors at both ends or on one of the sides. provides great tools to help you with your research and it will be easy to find a container that suits your needs. If possible, ask if you can inspect your cargo container for damage before you make the purchase. This is especially important if you are buying a used shipping container. You should also take into account any delivery charges that you might incur after the purchase. You may get a great deal on the container itself, but shipping fees could increase your total cost. Due to the common use of these containers there are enough on the market to make them very affordable. Just use these simple tips, and you can make an educated purchase of your very own cargo container.

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