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Where Have the 40' Shipping Containers Gone?

11.05.2020 - Posted by Updated On 11.05.2020    

Go down the highway outside of nearly any major city and chances are you see stacks and stacks of shipping containers. Many people drive by them every day and never notice them, but once you do they're likely to spark a little bit of curiosity – where have they been? What was carried in them? Who owns them? Does the owner even know where they are?

Surplus Shipping Containers

Technically, some steamship lines can have a "surplus" of shipping containers, but they typically won't be sold at fire sale prices. Unlike perishable food or the latest fashions, a shipping container can sit for several years and, maybe with a few repairs, still be put back into service. The storage fees are typically low enough that when the container is needed it can be booked out into service again. Any sale would be opportunistic at a price based on depreciation and book value.

Abandoned Shipping Containers

Similar to surplus shipping containers, abandoned shipping containers are a difficult thing to pin down. Many people think, "I've seen those containers sitting there in the container yard for years. I'll go buy one for a cheap price and see what's in it!" Unfortunately, that's wrong on a couple of levels. First, nearly all of the containers that are seen in container yards are empty. Anything loaded, or "stuffed", would be parked in the port or a bonded container yard and probably be on a chassis and ready to go to its next destination. And while the containers may have been sitting there for a long time, the depot knows exactly who owns them, because they have to bill the owner monthly to keep the containers there. alt

The only time we've come across abandoned container is when a private individual purchases a parcel of land and finds a shipping container on it. And when the call comes in it's been, "can I sell these things, and would you like to buy them if I can?"

The sellers on the marketplace sell new and used shipping containers, normally 20', 40' and 40' high cube sizes, throughout the United States and other parts of the world. These shipping containers are either owned by steamship lines or container leasing companies, and have nothing inside of them. If you are interested in purchasing a specific container you can contact the seller directly through that listing page. If you have general questions about how to buy a shipping container you are welcome to contact the staff directly.

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