Shipping containers are all the rage at the moment – and not just by the transport industry wanting to use them to ship goods safely around the world. There are thousands of account in sites like www.pinterest.com dedicated to modifying cargo containers, hundreds of blogs with step by step guides to DIY Conex box barns, and an apparently endless supply of reality TV shows dedicated to living a better life in a tiny home. This is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon – and it’s great!
Although steel prices continue to rise, the energy used to recycle metal freight containers may outstrip the environmental benefits of melting them down. So, repurposing these can provide an excellent solution for both the environment and the shipping industry. By on-selling ISO containers while they are still suitable to carry cargo, the cargo company can recoup some of the cost of replacing the shipping container with a brand new one, and you can get a great container at a fraction of the price compared with buying brand new.
Of course, on the other hand, if you do buy your shipping container new rather than used, you are getting something that is (mostly) free from dings, surface rust, chips or scratches, which may save you time and effort in the long run. If your shipping container is going to be on display, this is something that you might want to consider.
Are you excited? Have you pinned all the ideas you have? Are you wondering where you can find new and used shipping containers for sale? It’s surprising how many people think they need to be living near a port and have a cousin working on the docks in order to invest in a steel shipping container. But in the modern age, people have seen that there was a gap in the market and endeavored to fill that gap. Then you have companies that have moved the bar again and created a shopping experience that includes being able to view inventory real time, order online with taxes and delivery fees automatically calculated, and then track your container until it reaches you safely.
As with most things, larger firms are able to buy in bulk or through established contracts, which means that they can receive a discount that you as a single item purchaser normally don’t have access too. However, some of the great companies do pass on these savings – that increased popularity works well in the consumers favor. There may be a high demand but increasing competition in the market also means that the end consumer, you, are able to receive better service now than you could a few years back.
If you hunt through Craig’s List and search Google, you’ll find some great bargains. I even saw one post saying they’d picked up a container for $300. Run! If you are a qualified welder who turns scrap metal into beautiful pieces of art, then that $300 container is going to be great. If you are looking for a container that is at the very least wind & water tight to store your fabulous shoe collection without it going moldy in a month, you will need to be careful of the “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” adage. Even if the cargo container is in great condition, at a ‘bargain basement’ price like that, you may find at this price the increase comes when you go to pay for it to be delivered.
The other thing to be a little hesitant over is giving a random website your credit card details. Again, look for a company that specializes in selling new and used shipping containers, a company that’s reputation is made on having quality products. A company like this generally has good security to be able to look after your payment information (they also shouldn’t be storing your credit card information!). If you are concerned in anyway, pick up the phone and give them a call (if you’re a phone hating millennial, hop on their web chat).
Actually, before you order, it’s a good idea to make sure that you can get in contact with the company – just in case. It’s quite surprising how many companies only have an email contact form and no way of getting hold of a real live human being. This isn’t a problem, until you have a problem!
OK, so let’s have a quick overview of your options for purchasing a shipping container:
The two standard sizes are 20ft long or 40ft long. However, if you are willing to pay a little (or a lot more) you can get other options, or even get a custom size. Unless you get a custom container built, you’re looking at a standard width of 8ft, but you can usually get containers at a height of either 8ft 6in or 9ft 6in
Once you’ve spent a bit of time looking for cargo containers, you’ll discover that they generally fall into one of four states of repair:
- New (One Trip) Containers
- CWO (Certified/IICL/CSC Plated/Cargo Worthy) Containers
- “WWT” (Wind and Water Tight) Containers
- “Damaged” AS-IS Containers
The majority of shipping containers are designed for shipping dry goods, but you can also get refrigerated units (like this) tank containers that are used for transporting liquid (these turn up on Pinterest as swimming pools) or insulated containers.
Generally, you’re going to be purchasing a cargo container that has double doors at one end – as this is the most common option. However, there is also the possibility of single door openings, doors in the side of the container, and rarely open top options.
So, what will you do with your newly delivered shipping container? Clean out that garage? Line it with shelving for all your stock? Turn it into a swimming pool? There are so many creative things to turn new or used shipping containers into that really the only limits are some obscure laws of physics and your imagination.