Buying Used Shipping Containers: A Comprehensive Guide

used shipping container

‍Image Source: Unsplash

Shipping Containers

used shipping container

Buying a used shipping container can be a cost-effective solution for individuals and businesses in need of additional storage space. Whether you’re a construction site looking for a secure storage solution or a homeowner in need of extra space for your belongings, a used shipping container can provide a convenient and affordable solution. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits of buying used shipping containers, provide tips on finding the right container, and discuss important considerations before making a purchase.

Table of Contents

  1. Benefits of Buying Used Shipping Containers
    • Cost-Effective Storage Solution
    • Versatility and Mobility
    • Durable and Weatherproof
    • Sustainability and Environmental Impact
  2. Finding the Right Container
    • Container Size and Condition
    • Sourcing Options
    • Delivery and Placement
  3. Important Considerations
    • Structural Soundness and Watertightness
    • Flooring Options
    • Additional Accessories and Modifications
    • Legal and Zoning Requirements
  4. How to Buy a Used Shipping Container
    • Research and Compare Prices
    • Inspect the Container
    • Negotiate the Price
    • Arrange Delivery and Placement
  5. Testimonials from Satisfied Customers
  6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Benefits of Buying Used Shipping Containers

Cost-Effective Storage Solution

One of the primary advantages of buying a used shipping container is its cost-effectiveness. Used containers are significantly cheaper than new ones, making them an attractive option for those on a budget. By purchasing a used container, you can save a substantial amount of money while still enjoying the same level of storage space.

Versatility and Mobility

Used shipping containers offer versatility and mobility, allowing you to easily transport and relocate them as needed. Their standardized sizes, such as the popular 10-foot and 20-foot containers, make them compatible with various transportation methods, including trucks, ships, and trains. Additionally, forklift pockets and lightweight construction enable easy maneuverability and installation in tight spaces.

Durable and Weatherproof

Despite being pre-owned, used shipping containers are built to withstand harsh conditions. Constructed with Corten Steel, these containers are highly durable and resistant to rust and corrosion. Their weatherproof design ensures that your stored items remain safe and protected from the elements, including rain, wind, and humidity.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Purchasing a used shipping container promotes sustainability by giving these containers a second life. Instead of contributing to the demand for new containers, buying used ones reduces the environmental impact of container production. Furthermore, the repurposing of shipping containers helps reduce waste and supports eco-friendly practices.

2. Finding the Right Container

Container Size and Condition

When looking for a used shipping container, it’s essential to determine the appropriate size for your needs. Common sizes include 10-foot and 20-foot containers, with variations available to accommodate specific requirements. Consider the volume of items you plan to store and the available space on your property.

The condition of the container is another crucial factor to consider. While used containers may have some signs of wear and tear, it’s important to ensure they are structurally sound and watertight. Look for containers that have been inspected and certified to be in good condition.

Sourcing Options

There are several options for sourcing used shipping containers. One option is to contact shipping lines directly to inquire about available containers. Alternatively, you can work with container suppliers or online marketplaces that specialize in the sale of used containers. These sources often have a wide selection of containers in various sizes and conditions.

Delivery and Placement

Before purchasing a used shipping container, consider the logistics of delivery and placement. Check if the supplier offers delivery services and inquire about the timeline and associated costs. It’s important to ensure that the delivery can be accommodated at your location, taking into account any access restrictions or permits required.

3. Important Considerations

Structural Soundness and Watertightness

When buying a used shipping container, it’s crucial to ensure its structural soundness and watertightness. Inspect the container for any signs of damage, such as rust, dents, or holes. Pay close attention to the condition of the doors, locking bars, and latches. A structurally sound container will provide a secure and reliable storage solution.

Flooring Options

Used shipping containers typically come with a standard wooden floor. However, depending on your specific needs, you may want to consider alternative flooring options such as plywood or steel. These options provide added durability and protection against heavy loads or potential moisture issues.

Additional Accessories and Modifications

Depending on your storage requirements, you may need to consider additional accessories and modifications for your used shipping container. Accessories such as shelves, lighting, and access doors can enhance the functionality and convenience of the container. Additionally, thermal insulation can help regulate temperature and protect sensitive items.

Legal and Zoning Requirements

Before purchasing a used shipping container, familiarize yourself with any legal and zoning requirements in your area. Some municipalities may have restrictions on the placement of containers or require permits for their use. Ensure that you comply with all local regulations to avoid any potential issues or penalties.

4. How to Buy a Used Shipping Container

Research and Compare Prices

Start by researching different suppliers and comparing prices for used shipping containers. Take into account factors such as container size, condition, and additional services offered. Obtain quotes from multiple suppliers to ensure you are getting a competitive price.

Inspect the Container

Before finalizing your purchase, it’s crucial to inspect the container in person whenever possible. Look for any signs of damage or structural issues. Test the doors, locking mechanisms, and ventilation options. If you are unable to inspect the container yourself, ask the supplier for detailed photos and a thorough description of its condition.

Negotiate the Price

Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price of the used shipping container. If you find a container that meets your requirements but the price is slightly above your budget, try negotiating with the supplier. They may be willing to offer a discount or include additional services to accommodate your needs.

Arrange Delivery and Placement

Once you have chosen a used shipping container and negotiated the price, arrange for its delivery and placement. Work with the supplier to determine a suitable delivery timeline and ensure that they can accommodate any specific requirements you may have. Coordinate with the delivery team to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

5. Testimonials from Satisfied Customers

“Boxhub made the process of buying a used shipping container a breeze. Their team was knowledgeable, responsive, and helped me find the perfect container for my storage needs.” – John D.

“I was impressed with the condition of the used shipping container I purchased from Boxhub. It was exactly as described, and the delivery was prompt and professional. Highly recommended!” – Sarah M.

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I use a used shipping container for purposes other than storage? A: Absolutely! Used shipping containers have found various alternative uses, including office spaces, pop-up shops, and even residential buildings. With some modifications and creative thinking, the possibilities are endless.

Q: Are used shipping containers customizable? A: Yes, used shipping containers can be customized to fit your specific needs. From adding windows and doors to insulation and electrical wiring, many modifications can be made to transform a container into a functional space.

Q: How long can I expect a used shipping container to last? A: With proper maintenance and regular inspections, a used shipping container can last for many years. The durability and weather-resistant properties of these containers make them a long-lasting storage solution.

Q: Can I finance the purchase of a used shipping container? A: Some suppliers offer financing options for the purchase of used shipping containers. Contact the supplier or consult their website to inquire about financing availability and terms.


Buying a used shipping container can provide an affordable and reliable storage solution for a wide range of needs. By considering the benefits, finding the right container, and understanding important considerations, you can make an informed decision and enjoy the convenience and versatility of a used shipping container. Start your search today and discover the endless possibilities that await you with a used shipping container.