Everything You Need to Know About Buying Shipping Containers

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‍storage container for sale
Are you looking for a reliable and cost-effective solution for your storage needs? Look no further than shipping containers. These versatile metal boxes have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability, affordability, and ease of use. Whether you need extra storage space for your business or are planning a big move, buying a shipping container might be the perfect solution for you.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about buying shipping containers. From the different sizes and types available to the delivery process and frequently asked questions, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of shipping containers!

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What Are Shipping Containers?
  3. Why Buy a Shipping Container?
  4. Types of Shipping Containers
    • 4.1 20 Foot Standard
    • 4.2 40 Foot Standard
    • 4.3 40 Foot High Cube
    • 4.4 45 Foot High Cube
  5. Price Examples
  6. Renting vs. Buying
  7. Financing Options
  8. How to Get Started
    • 8.1 Order Your Container Online
    • 8.2 We Source Your Container
    • 8.3 Ground Level Container Delivery
  9. Things to Know Before You Order
    • 9.1 Space Requirements
    • 9.2 Clearances and Surface Considerations
  10. Frequently Asked Questions
  1. The Western Container Sales & Rentals Difference
  1. Conclusion

1. Introduction

Shipping containers are not just for transporting goods across oceans anymore. They have become a popular storage solution for businesses and individuals alike. Whether you need extra space for inventory, construction materials, or personal belongings, buying a shipping container can offer a cost-effective and convenient solution.

In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when buying a shipping container. We’ll cover the different types and sizes available, pricing examples, financing options, and the process of ordering and delivering your container. So, let’s get started!

2. What Are Shipping Containers?

Shipping containers are large metal boxes used for transporting goods by sea, land, or rail. They are designed to withstand the rigors of international shipping and are made from durable materials such as steel or aluminum. The standardized dimensions of shipping containers make them easy to stack, transport, and handle using cranes or forklifts.

Typically, shipping containers come in standard sizes of 20 feet, 40 feet, and 45 feet in length. They have sturdy doors at one end for easy loading and unloading of cargo. The interiors of shipping containers are spacious, providing ample storage space for a wide range of items.

3. Why Buy a Shipping Container?

There are several reasons why buying a shipping container might be a smart choice for your storage needs:

  1. Affordability: Shipping containers offer a cost-effective storage solution compared to renting a storage unit or constructing a traditional building.
  2. Durability: Made from sturdy materials like steel, shipping containers are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and protect your belongings.
  3. Versatility: Shipping containers can be used for a variety of purposes, including storage, construction projects, mobile offices, retail spaces, and even residential homes.
  4. Mobility: If you need to relocate, shipping containers can be easily transported to your new location, making them a convenient option.
  5. Customizability: Shipping containers can be modified to meet your specific needs. You can add windows, doors, insulation, electrical wiring, and more.

4. Types of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers come in various sizes and types to suit different storage requirements. Let’s explore the most common types of shipping containers available:

4.1 20 Foot Standard

The 20-foot standard shipping container is the smallest size commonly available. It is perfect for small storage needs or when space is limited. Despite its compact size, it can still hold a significant amount of cargo or personal belongings.

4.2 40 Foot Standard

The 40-foot standard shipping container is the most common size and offers a generous amount of space for storage. It is suitable for both commercial and personal use and can accommodate larger items or a higher volume of goods.

4.3 40 Foot High Cube

The 40-foot high cube shipping container provides an additional foot in height compared to the standard version. This extra vertical space makes it ideal for storing tall items or for converting the container into a livable space like a tiny home or office.

4.4 45 Foot High Cube

The 45-foot high cube shipping container is similar to the 40-foot high cube but offers an additional 5 feet in length. This extra length can be valuable when you need the maximum amount of storage space available.

5. Price Examples

The prices of shipping containers vary depending on the location and availability. Here are some price examples for different locations:

Please note that these prices are subject to change and should be confirmed with the supplier. Additionally, rental options are available in certain areas, and used shipping containers can be delivered within 200 miles of depot locations.

6. Renting vs. Buying

When it comes to acquiring a shipping container, you have the option to either rent or buy. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each:


Renting a shipping container can be a suitable choice if you have temporary or short-term storage needs. Here are some advantages of renting:

However, renting also has its drawbacks:


Buying a shipping container can be a wise investment if you have long-term storage needs or plan to repurpose the container. Here are the advantages of buying:

On the flip side, there are some considerations when buying a shipping container:

Ultimately, the decision to rent or buy depends on your unique circumstances, budget, and long-term storage needs.

7. Financing Options

If you’re considering buying a shipping container but are concerned about the upfront cost, financing options are available. Many companies offer financing at checkout for both business and personal container purchases. This allows you to spread the cost over time and make manageable monthly payments.

To take advantage of financing options, simply select the financing option at checkout and follow the instructions provided. This can help you acquire the container you need without straining your budget.

8. How to Get Started

The process of buying a shipping container is simple and straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started:

8.1 Order Your Container Online

One of the advantages of buying a shipping container is that you can conveniently place your order online. No need to talk to a salesperson or visit a physical location. Here’s how to order your container:

  1. Visit the website of a reputable shipping container supplier.
  2. Browse the available container options and select the one that best suits your needs (e.g., size, condition).
  3. Add the container to your cart and proceed to the checkout page.
  4. Fill in the required information, including your location for accurate pricing and delivery options.
  5. Review your order details and select any additional accessories or modifications you may need.
  6. Choose your preferred payment method, including financing options if available.
  7. Complete the purchase process by clicking the “Buy Now” or “Place Order” button.

Once your order is placed, you will receive an order confirmation and further instructions for the next steps.

8.2 We Source Your Container

After you’ve placed your order, the shipping container supplier will leverage their buying power to source a high-quality container from the nearest intermodal depot. Here’s what happens during this stage:

  1. The supplier will locate a suitable container at the intermodal depot that meets your order criteria.
  2. The container will be selected from the stack based on availability and condition.
  3. While the specific color cannot be guaranteed, rest assured that all containers come with a 3-year warranty for structural integrity.

This process ensures that you receive a reliable and functional container that meets your needs.

8.3 Ground Level Container Delivery

Once your container is sourced and ready for delivery, the supplier will be in touch within one business day to confirm your order and coordinate the logistics. Here’s what you can expect during the container delivery process:

  1. The supplier works with professional local hauling companies equipped with specialized equipment to deliver your container safely.
  2. The delivery driver will contact you when they are en route to your location.
  3. For purchases, you can expect the container to be delivered within 4 to 7 business days, depending on your location.
  4. Rental containers are typically delivered within 3 to 5 business days.

It’s important to ensure that you have enough space for the delivery truck and that your site is prepared for the container’s arrival. The specific space requirements and clearances will be discussed in the next section.

9. Things to Know Before You Order

Before you place your shipping container order, there are a few important factors to consider. These include space requirements, clearances, and surface considerations. Let’s explore these in detail:

9.1 Space Requirements

The size of the shipping container you choose will determine the amount of space you need for delivery and placement. Here are the space requirements for different container sizes:

Keep in mind that the trucks used for delivery require clearance from obstacles, including a width of at least 12 feet and a height of 13.5 feet (up to 16 feet high when tipped at delivery).

9.2 Clearances and Surface Considerations

When preparing for container delivery, it’s essential to ensure that your site meets the necessary clearances and surface requirements. Here’s what you need to know:

By taking these factors into consideration, you can ensure a smooth and successful container delivery.

10. Frequently Asked Questions

As you embark on your journey of buying a shipping container, you may have some questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

10.1 Can I Pick My Container Color?

When buying a used shipping container, the specific color cannot be requested. The containers are sourced directly from intermodal depots, where most of the containers are being used for cargo. However, some suppliers may offer beige and grey color options for One Trip containers. If you’re ordering multiple units, they can usually guarantee matching units upon request, based on availability.

10.2 Exporting a Container

Exporting a container requires coordination with a freight forwarder. It is recommended to work with a freight forwarder to arrange the necessary logistics, including trucking and loading onto a chassis for transportation. Certain containers can be surveyed for export purposes, and a cargo-worthy (CWO) container can be provided upon request.

10.3 Moving Loaded Containers

The supplier does not move loaded containers under any circumstances. If you require moving services, companies like PODS can assist in transporting loaded containers. storage container for sale

10.4 Can I Look at the Container Before Buying?

Due to the busy nature of intermodal depots, it is not possible to obtain specific photos or select a particular container. Containers are sourced directly from the depot, and the next available container that meets your order criteria is selected. However, the supplier guarantees the quality and structural integrity of the container and offers a 3-year warranty. storage container for sale

10.5 Self-Pickup Option

If you have the proper equipment to safely transport a shipping container, you can arrange to pick up the container yourself at the intermodal depot. After purchase, you will receive a release number and pick-up information. However, it is important to comply with all DOT and OSHA rules while at the depot, and the supplier cannot be liable for any issues during transport. storage container for sale

11. The Western Container Sales & Rentals Difference

When buying or renting a shipping container, choosing the right supplier is crucial. Western Container Sales & Rentals stands out from the competition in several ways. Here’s what sets them apart: storage container for sale

11.1 Our No-Commission Approach

At Western Container Sales & Rentals, the employees do not earn a commission on your order. Their primary goal is to help you find the right container for your project, ensuring a no-pressure and customer-centric experience. storage container for sale

11.2 Transparent Pricing and Online Checkout

The company believes in upfront and transparent pricing. All container prices are posted directly on their website, eliminating the need for negotiations or hidden fees. You can complete the purchase process online without the need to talk to a salesperson. storage container for sale

11.3 Our Guarantee

Western Container Sales & Rentals offers a 30-day money-back guarantee (less shipping cost) for your peace of mind. Additionally, all containers come with a 3-year warranty, ensuring that the doors seal tight and the floors are reliable. storage container for sale

12. Conclusion

Buying a shipping container can be a practical and cost-effective solution for your storage needs. With their durability, versatility, and affordability, shipping containers have become a popular choice for businesses and individuals alike.

In this guide, we covered everything you need to know about buying shipping containers. We explored the different types and sizes available, pricing examples, rental vs. buying considerations, financing options, and the step-by-step process of ordering and delivering your container. We also addressed common questions and highlighted the unique features of Western Container Sales & Rentals.

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of buying shipping containers, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect container for your needs. So, take the next step and explore the world of shipping containers today! storage container for sale