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What Does a Shipping Container Cost?

04.04.2015 - Posted by Updated On 04.04.2015    

What does a shipping container cost is probably one of the common questions that we're asked every day, and unfortunately there's no direct answer, simply due to the fact that there are multiple factors that go into the price. The most important factors in the cost of a shipping containers are location, condition, and size.

Shipping Container Cost Variable: Location

It's easy to assume that a 40' shipping container in Los Angeles or Newark would cost the same as a 40' container in Denver; after the price difference between most products in Walmart or Target doesn't vary much from state to state. However, the cost of moving (technically called repositioning) a shipping container carries a much greater cost. While some of that cost can be offset by moving containers loaded with cargo, it's not always possible.

Shipping Container Cost Variable: Condition

20' shipping containers for sale

The condition factor is a little more obvious. New shipping containers need little/no repair work done because they're in new, or one trip, condition. If a new shipping container does need some repair work it's typically only because it was bumped into by a forklift or crane. There should be no deep rust or structural damage.

Used shipping containers vary in price based on the condition, of which age can also be a factor. Most shipping lines and leasing companies don't sell their used containers until they are 10-12 years old, and by that time they've circumnavigated the world several times over. With all this traveling in mind used containers are going to be showing signs of aging: surface rust, dents, dings, and scratches, and stiff doors can be expected. Used shipping containers are typically labeled as "as is, where is" condition, wind and water tight, or cargo worthy. Unless you plan on using the container for overseas shipping a wind and water tight container will serve many years as a reliable, secure storage unit.

Shipping Container Cost Variable: Size

Again, this is an obvious variable when considering the price of a new or used shipping container. The larger the container, the more expensive it will be. Although, it's not a 1:1 ratio with regards to size because is a 20' container costs X, a 40' container doesn't cost 2*X. That additional 20' in length actually costs a little less. Why? The sizes of the container aren't as heavy duty as the doors, so a larger portion of the container cost is in the doors and that means extending the length or height doesn't run in direct proportion. 40' shipping containers for sale

Get to the Point: What's a Shipping Container Cost?

There's no set in stone formula to determine container cost. The only thing that an interested buyer can really do is search on the internet, or pick up the phone and call around to find local dealers to compare their prices. Of course, you can always do a quick search on and try to find some containers listed in your area, or close by. is an online marketplace and software platform for buying and selling shipping containers of all types and sizes. If you're in the market to buy or sell a shipping container, or have general container questions and you're not sure where to start, give either our office or any of the listed sellers a call or email and we'll help to point you in the right direction.

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