4 Factors that Impact Used Shipping Containers Cost

Before beginning to understand how to calculate used shipping containers cost, you should really know whether you need a used shipping container or a new one. When you are not sure about buying a used container or going ahead with a new one you would land up investing in the wrong resource.
So, if you are looking to buy a storage container that is used or refurbished you are considering the two most major factors –

4 Factors that Impact Used Shipping Containers Cost

1.Obviously, the price

– When you are running short of budget, you would of course want to cut down the extra cost that comes with buying a shipping container that is brand new.

2.The usage

– Depending on what you need the shipping container for, you should be able to pick the right one for you. For instance – If you are wanting to customize the container as per your requirement or use it less frequently or not wanting to add branding then a used storage container is the one you need.

Now, when you know that you want to buy a used shipping container let’s know what factors affect the price of a used storage container. Hugely, the pricing of a used container is affected by factors like the size of the container, its condition or age, location, the delivery cost, and the global market conditions.


This is one of the important factors that affect shipping container price. When you are opting to buy a used container, you will find two standard size options – 20ft and 40ft. The standard 20ft and 40ft containers are 8ft wide and approximately 8.6ft tall. If you are looking for a little extra head space or have a different size need you can either opt for high cube containers or get it customized. A customized used shipping container will cost you the base price of that container plus extra dollars for each added modification. And, a high cube container adds an extra foot to the existing height of a container, if the container is 8.6ft tall a high cube container would make it 9.6ft. Either way, the supplier will charge you extra for that extra headroom. Ideally, an upgrade of your standard size container to a high cube container is likely to cost you anything between $200 to $300.

2.Condition and Age

The condition of a used container decides its grade and impacts the shipping container cost. There are 4 standard grades of an operational container.
I – ‘One-trip’ or nearly new containers (IICL) are only one time used shipping containers.
II – Cargo worthy (CWO) are the containers with no defects and are worthy to be used for international shipping.
III – Wind and watertight (WWT) containers only guarantee no passage of wind or water. These containers are generally used for storage as they aren’t safe enough for transportation.
IV – As-is type of container that comes with almost no guarantee and can be functional only if you can repair it yourself.
The price of a used container is directly proportional to its quality or the grade, the higher the quality the more you are going to pay. When determining the used container’s age the best is to know how many times the container has been used for shipping. You know the container will naturally cost you more if it has been used lesser times and is in better condition.

3.Delivery fee

Often many businesses forget to take this factor into consideration but it equally impacts the shipping container price. If you find a supplier that is providing you with comparatively cheaper rates than others but isn’t locally available or near to the location of your choice or port, you would end paying a huge container delivery charge that may sum up more than the actual cost of your container. It is important to know before you buy a shipping container that how your supplier charges the delivery fee, whether it quotes you a flat fee for a limited distance or the shipping container cost is inclusive of the delivery fee. The latter is less likely to happen and hence it’s always better to clarify your container supplier charges anything extra for waiting (at the location when you are preparing the site for delivery), limited space at the delivery location, or running up all the way through rough roads.

4.Global market conditions

This is the most uncertain of all. The global marketplace can’t always be predicted as the trends and market conditions are dynamic. Such unpredictable conditions also impact the shipping container price. To cite a very recent example we know that how the COVID-19 situation has hit the global market. Industries and businesses were forced to remain ultimately resulting in less production or manufacturing and stagnant cash flow in the market. Fluctuation in supply and demand of containers, political conditions affecting trade, and rise in the price of steel are all capable of impacting the storage container cost and should be considered before you buy a shipping container.

Estimating shipping container or storage container price is relatively easier when you consider these factors. The bottom line is to have a trusted supplier that ensures you the quality of the container and offers you attractive pricing just as Pelican Containers!

Get A Quote Scroll to Top
Open chat
Hi! How can we help you?
Chat with Pelican Containers