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What are the Price Components of a Shipping Container?

31.01.2022 - Posted by Updated On 31.01.2022    

Shipping containers aren't close to being high tech; in fact, with a few exceptions, containers could be called "no tech". Unlike other assets owned by shipping lines and container lessors, shipping containers grow old and are cycled out of service because of the condition, not because they became obsolete and out dated. With that in mind the factory price of new, 20' shipping containers fluctuates based on a very few variables - steel, paint, flooring material (normally wood), and labor.

Shipping Container Price Component: Steel, 60%

Shipping containers are manufactured out of COR-TEN steel, a rust resistant process that helps to keep the container in good working condition for decades. Given that the majority of the container is steel, it's no wonder that steel accounts for 60% of the price of a new shipping container. Any change in steel price around the world, and you can bet that the factory price of shipping container will change.

Shipping Container Price Component: Paint, 10%

There is a lot of surface area to cover on a shipping container, and high quality paint will keep the shipping container protected from the harsh elements of the nature while in transport either on the high seas, or highways. Top quality paint is produced specifically for shipping containers, and the companies that produce it go to great measures to keep the cost in line while providing the most protection available to the container. Around 10% of the price of a new shipping container is attributed to the cost of paint.

Shipping Container Price Component: Flooring Material, 15%

Shipping container flooring isn't your typical plywood. It needs to be able to withstand heavy abuse while being loaded and unloaded, strong enough to support a full load without bowing or breaking under constant pressure, and able to hold up in humid conditions without delaminating or succumbing to fungal attacks. Okoumé wood from Gabon is currently the most widely used woods for the marine grade plywood used in shipping containers, and it represents 15% of the price of a new container. However, shipping lines are continually experimenting with different woods and flooring types to find the most cost effective solution based on available materials.

Shipping Container Price Component: Labor, 15%

Labor represents 15% of the price of a new shipping container. Given that an overwhelming majority of the dry shipping containers in the world are produced in China, as the cost of labor increases in China so will the cost of shipping containers. However, given the volume of goods produced and exported from China, until the cost of repositioning an empty container becomes competitive with the change in labor costs, container manufacturing is safe in China.

shipping container price components

It's important to remember that all of the assumptions above are based on new shipping container prices at the factory. Shipping containers at your local depot or dealer, both new and used, will also have a transportation element included in them. For example, a shipping container in Denver, Colorado is typically more expensive than a shipping container located in Los Angeles.

If you're planning to buy a new or used shipping container, no matter if it's a 20', 40' or 40' high cube, provides a wide range of services for both buyers and sellers, on a retail and wholesale level. The sellers listed on the container auction represent shipping lines and leasing companies from around the world, and are able to provide you with quality shipping containers at competitive prices. Contact us directly, or any of the sellers, for more information.

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