How to Buy a Shipping Container: Complete Guide
Shipping containers serve endless purposes. From cargo transport to storage, and from remodeling into living spaces to recycling into furniture – shipping containers are in demand for lots of tasks.
Buying a shipping container doesn’t seem to be difficult. Yet, the cost might vary between $2,000 to $4,500 depending on its age, condition, size, location, and most importantly, the seller.
Since there are so many factors to take into account, people are often puzzled whether they are paying the right price. Therefore, one must gather enough information about these aspects to ensure that the purchase is worth it. Keep on reading, and you’ll find out how to buy shipping containers at the right price.
Age and Condition
To be honest, brand-new containers cost a bomb and, barring certain exceptions, people typically don’t need one. So if you consider buying a container, take a look at one-trip containers that definitely stand out from the crowd.
These containers carry cargo only once, from the place where they are manufactured to their delivery destination. Since they spend very limited time while traveling, the physical damage is close to none. Some of them are even as good as new. However, their prices are always on the higher side.
The used containers, on the other hand, show a varying degree of damage – depending on the way they were handled. While some of them remain in great condition despite the harsh traveling by sea, others show visible signs of wear and tear, and may even be unusable.
Consequently, choose a container that is in fairly good condition and, with a little repair, can be easily used. If you are going to buy a shipping container online and aren’t able to check its condition personally, without any doubt, turn to a reputable shipping container dealer.
Size matters a lot in deciding the price of a shipping container. Larger containers are naturally more expensive than smaller ones. Hence, evaluate your needs before buying.
A 6’ or 10’ container should be sufficient if you require household storage. However, for industrial storage or modifications into living spaces, the most popular sizes are 20’ and 40-foot containers.
Also, there are two types of containers based on their height – standard and high-cube. The high-cube container, which is usually more pricey, has an extra foot of headroom and is preferable for conversions, as well as for the storage of taller items.
Delivery Charges and Other Fees
Delivery charges play the most significant role in creating your shipping container price; especially when they are located in a remote location. Sometimes, they may even exceed the actual price of the container.
That is why it makes a lot of sense to buy your container from a nearby place. Always discuss the delivery fee and other charges, such as special permits, etc., with the dealer before any payment.
Shipping Container Sellers
When considering where to purchase shipping containers, you have two major options on your plate. You can buy a shipping container online or go to a local shipping container seller in your area. Online platforms range from worldwide popular marketplaces like eBay and different shipping container companies to smaller re-seller websites.
The best thing about purchasing online is that you can do it from the comfort of your home. Besides, many online sellers include the cost of delivery in the final price and often offer free deliveries to certain areas.
The biggest benefit of buying shipping containers from local vendors is that you can see what you are getting, and examine the container in person instead of relying upon online pictures. Moreover, with a container dealer close to you, the delivery fees won’t be so high.
Note that the price of shipping containers will greatly vary from dealer to dealer. When there is a re-seller or broker involved, it may cost you an arm and a leg, because they keep their margin.
For this reason, it is always a better idea to go with a genuine and reputable seller. If you are in doubt, ask for service prices from different sellers and compare.
A thoughtful evaluation and taking into account the reputation of the sellers will allow you to find out how to purchase a shipping container at the right price.
Types of Shipping Containers
Once you already know how to buy a container, you should decide on the type that suits your requirements.
Available in a range of dimensions, materials, and designs, containers fall into the following types:
- Dry storage units: It’s a container type you’ll come across most often. These are regular 10’, 20’, and 40’ units used for transportation or storage of any dry materials and items that need no specific conditions;
- Refrigerator units: Fitted with refrigerator machines, these containers are meant for shipping perishable items that require low temperatures;
- Flat rack units: These are models with foldable side walls that can lie flat to form a convenient transportation platform.
How to Buy a Shipping Container in the United States
If you’ve resolved the renting vs. buying a shipping container dilemma, and decided to purchase a shipping container in the US, you should follow pretty much the same algorithm that we described above. Once you’ve made up your mind about the type and size of the container you need, search for the right seller.
If you live close to the coast or in a big urban center, there are good chances that you’ll be able to find a reliable local distributor. In the US, there are many small shipping and transportation companies that eagerly sell used cargo containers. Look for the ads in the local newspapers or on the web.
By the way, there’s an essential detail to remember when you consider how to get a shipping container. In the US, many cities and counties limit the use of containers on their territories or call for some type of permission for that. So, it’s advisable that you check for local regulations before buying the unit.
Consider Pelican Containers to Buy Shipping Containers at the Right Price
Pelican Containers has been in the used shipping container trading for years now and is a reputed name in the USA market. We supply almost all varieties and offer personalized service. We’ll help you select the unit you need and buy it at a comfortable price.
If you still have any questions on how to buy a container or the shipping container delivery process, feel free to contact us – we’ll get back to you in a jiffy.
Is it safe to buy a shipping container online?
The biggest issue with online purchases is that you can’t see what you buy with your own eyes, not to mention delivery lags and damages, and lack of customer support. To purchase safely online and avoid any sort of scam, you should know your supplier and be aware of suspiciously low prices or unreasonable high discounts provided. With Pelican Containers, you can rest assured you’ll get to a safe online trading spot and obtain professional assistance.
How do I find a reliable shipping container seller?
To pinpoint a trustworthy seller, check the company background and search for customers’ feedback. Avoid small firms with no offline representation and opt for bigger reputed companies that operate nationwide, have dedicated websites and offline depots across the country, like Pelican Containers.
Where can I purchase shipping containers at a low price?
To spot the most affordable cost of shipping containers, you can navigate through online marketplaces and local or online auctions. Besides, used or damaged containers are always lower in price than brand-new ones. So, ask for pricing policy from used container traders such as Pelican Containers to find the best price.