Sea Containers

Is Buying Used Shipping Containers Online a Good Idea?

In the modern world, online shopping has become a norm for everything from groceries to real estate. This convenience has also extended to the purchase of shipping containers. However, a question that often arises is whether buying used shipping containers online is a good idea. This blog post will delve into this subject, exploring the pros and cons and providing helpful tips for purchasing used shipping containers online.


The Rising Popularity of Used Shipping Containers

Used shipping containers have seen a significant increase in popularity in recent years. They are being repurposed for a multitude of applications, including but not limited to, construction projects, storage solutions, and even unique homes and offices. They offer an affordable, durable, and environmentally friendly solution for various needs.

Advantages of Buying Used Shipping Containers Online

There are several compelling reasons to consider buying used shipping containers online:

  • Wide Range of Options: Online platforms often provide a broader selection of shipping containers than what you might find locally. You can access containers of various sizes, conditions, and prices, all at your fingertips.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Used shipping containers can be significantly cheaper than new ones, and purchasing online often allows you to compare prices across multiple sellers easily, ensuring you get the best deal.
  • Convenience: The online shopping process can be done from the comfort of your own home, at any time that suits you. Many platforms also offer delivery options, taking the hassle out of transportation.
  • Environmentally Friendly: By purchasing used containers, you’re giving a second life to these robust structures that might otherwise be left to rust.

Disadvantages of Buying Used Shipping Containers Online

Despite the advantages, there are potential drawbacks to purchasing used shipping containers online that you should be aware of:

  • Potential for Damage: Used shipping containers can have damage from previous use, such as dents, rust, or wear and tear. It can be harder to assess the condition accurately when buying online as opposed to seeing it in person.
  • Less Room for Negotiation: While online platforms allow you to compare prices, there might be less room to negotiate compared to dealing with a seller face-to-face.
  • Delivery Costs: The convenience of having a shipping container delivered to your location often comes with a significant cost, which needs to be factored into your budget.

Find Shipping Containers Near You Branded

Tips for Buying Used Shipping Containers Online

If you decide to purchase a used shipping container online, here are some tips to guide your process:

  • Buy From a Reputable Seller: Look for sellers with good reviews and a solid reputation. They should be transparent about the condition of the container, willing to provide detailed photos, and responsive to your inquiries.
  • Know Your Needs: Understand what you need in terms of size, condition, and any modifications. This can help you filter your search and avoid paying for unnecessary features.
  • Inspect the Container: Ask for detailed, high-quality photos of the container, including any areas of damage. Some sellers may offer virtual tours or video inspections. If possible, consider hiring a third-party inspector to ensure the container is in the stated condition.
  • Understand the Total Cost: Make sure you’re clear on all costs involved, including delivery fees and any potential repair costs.
  • Check the Return Policy: Understand the seller’s return policy in case the container does not meet your expectations.

Buying used shipping containers online can be a good idea if you do your due diligence. The convenience, cost-efficiency, and range of options available online make it an attractive option. However, be aware of potential drawbacks and ensure you fully understand the product and terms before making your purchase.

Additional Considerations When Buying Used Shipping Containers Online

After deciding to buy a used shipping container online, it’s essential to consider the specific use for the container and the duration of use. These considerations will directly impact the type and condition of the container you should purchase. For example, if you’re planning to use the container as a temporary storage solution, you might be okay with a container that shows signs of wear. However, if you’re planning to convert the container into a living space or office, you’ll probably want a container in better condition with fewer dents and less rust.


Common Types of Shipping Containers

When you’re shopping for a used shipping container, it’s helpful to understand the common types of containers available:

  • Dry Storage Containers: These are the most common type of shipping container and are used for general storage and transport needs. They come in various sizes, with the standard sizes being 20 and 40 feet.
  • Refrigerated Containers: Also known as reefers, these are insulated and temperature controlled, making them perfect for shipping or storing perishable goods.
  • Open Top Containers: These containers have a removable top, making it easier to load and unload goods. They are typically used for materials like coal or grains.
  • Tunnel Containers: These containers have doors at both ends, providing ease of loading and unloading.
  • Flat Rack Containers: These containers have collapsible sides, making them ideal for oversized loads.

Container Grades

Used shipping containers are typically graded to give buyers a better idea of their condition. While the grading system can vary slightly between sellers, the following are commonly used terms:

  • New or ‘One Trip’ Containers: These are containers that have made one trip from the manufacturer with cargo. They are in the best condition but also the most expensive.
  • Cargo Worthy (CW) Containers: These containers are deemed suitable for international shipping. They are wind and watertight, with fully operational doors. They will show signs of wear, but are free from structural damage.
  • Wind and Watertight (WWT) Containers: These containers are not certified for shipping but are suitable for static storage. They are free from leaks, but may have cosmetic damage.
  • ‘As Is’ Containers: These are the cheapest containers and can have significant damage, including leaks or structural issues.

Buying used shipping containers online can be an excellent idea with significant benefits, provided you do your research, know exactly what you need, understand the total costs involved, and deal with reputable sellers. With the abundance of online platforms available, you’re sure to find a used shipping container that meets your needs and budget, all from the comfort of your own home.

America’s Best Resource For Metal Storage Containers Branded Image

The Importance of Used Container Inspection: A Crucial Step in Online Purchasing

After considering the various factors in buying a used shipping container online, we arrive at an extremely crucial part of the process: the inspection of the container. Conducting a thorough inspection is an integral step to ensure that the container is in the condition as described by the seller and is suitable for your intended use.

Why is a Used Container Inspection Necessary?

While most reputable online sellers provide detailed descriptions and high-quality images of the shipping containers they’re selling, these can’t replace a hands-on, thorough inspection. Here’s why:

  • Confirming Container Condition: An inspection is your best chance to verify the seller’s claims about the condition of the container. This includes checking for any damage, rust, or other wear and tear that could affect its usability.
  • Ensuring Safety: For containers being repurposed into living or working spaces, safety is a top priority. An inspection can help identify any structural weaknesses or potential health hazards, such as toxic paint or chemicals.
  • Avoiding Unexpected Costs: If damage or other issues are identified during the inspection, you can factor the cost of repairs into your budget before purchase. This helps avoid unexpected expenses after you’ve bought the container.

How to Get Your Used Shipping Container Inspected

While you can inspect a container yourself if you have the necessary knowledge and experience, it’s often a good idea to hire a professional inspector. Here are some steps you should take:

  • Hire a Professional: A professional inspector has the experience and knowledge to spot potential issues that you might miss. They can provide a detailed report of the container’s condition, including any necessary repairs.
  • Check the Basics: The inspector should check the basics of the container, including the doors, the seals, and the locking mechanisms. They should also inspect the exterior for any signs of rust or damage and the interior for leaks, damage, or unpleasant smells.
  • Check for Structural Integrity: The inspector should check the container’s overall structure, including the corners and the underside. They should ensure that the container is structurally sound and safe for use.
  • Look for Health Hazards: If you’re planning to convert the container into a living or working space, the inspector should look for potential health hazards. This includes toxic paint, chemical residue, or signs of pest infestation.

A used container inspection is a vital part of purchasing a used shipping container online. While online sellers provide a convenient and cost-effective way to buy a used container, a professional inspection can give you peace of mind that the container is in the condition as described and suitable for your intended use. Always make sure to factor in the cost and time for an inspection when planning your container purchase. With careful planning and thorough inspection, buying a used shipping container online can be a smooth and successful process.


New vs Used Shipping Containers: Comparing the Difference

The decision between purchasing a new or used shipping container often boils down to your specific needs, budget, and planned use. Both types of containers have their distinct advantages and potential drawbacks. In this section, we will explore these differences to help you make an informed decision.

New Containers: The Upside of Pristine Condition

New shipping containers, often referred to as ‘One-Trip’ containers in the industry, are the highest-quality containers you can purchase. As the name suggests, these containers have only made one trip, typically from the manufacturer to the seller, carrying cargo.

  • The main advantage of new containers is their excellent condition. They are free from wear and tear and have a longer lifespan compared to used containers. They don’t carry the risk of hidden damage, are free of any potential chemical contamination from previous cargo, and have no signs of rust or structural damage.
  • These containers are perfect for needs that demand a pristine condition, such as constructing a home, office, or other living spaces where aesthetic and structural integrity are paramount. However, this high quality comes at a premium price, making new containers the most expensive option.

Used Shipping Containers: Balancing Cost and Quality

Used storage containers, on the other hand, can be found in different conditions, depending on their age and how they were used. This usage history brings a unique set of considerations into the buying process.

  • The primary benefit of used containers is cost-effectiveness. They are significantly cheaper than new containers, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers or projects where the container’s condition is less critical. Examples could include simple storage needs, temporary structures, or projects where the container will be heavily modified.
  • However, potential buyers should be aware that the lower price point is often accompanied by signs of wear, including dents, rust, or even minor structural damage. As we discussed in the previous sections, a thorough inspection is highly recommended when purchasing a used container, particularly if it’s going to be used for more than simple storage.
  • Another advantage of buying used containers is the environmental aspect. By purchasing a used container, you are essentially recycling a large piece of steel that might otherwise have ended up in a scrapyard.

America’s Best Resource For Metal Storage Containers Branded Image

Balancing Cost, Condition, and Needs

In conclusion, the choice between new and used shipping containers hinges largely on your specific requirements, budget, and project timeline. If you need a container in excellent condition, have a larger budget, and prefer not to deal with potential repair work, a new container may be the best choice.

However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option and are open to potentially dealing with some wear and tear, a used storage container could be a perfect solution. Regardless of your choice, thorough research, and, in the case of used containers, a comprehensive inspection are key to ensuring you make the best decision.

How Much Do Used Shipping Containers Cost? A Guide to Pricing

One of the most critical questions when considering buying a used shipping container online is how much you can expect to pay. The price of a used shipping container can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including the container’s size, age, condition, and the seller’s location. Below, we’ll outline the typical costs you can expect when purchasing a used shipping container online in 2023.

Size and Condition Matter

Generally, the two most substantial factors affecting the price of a used shipping container are its size and condition.

  • Size: Used shipping containers typically come in two standard sizes: 20-foot and 40-foot. On average, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 for a used 20-foot container, and between $3,500 and $5,000 for a used 40-foot container. Keep in mind these are general estimates, and prices can vary.
  • Condition: A container’s condition can significantly impact its price. A used container that is still in ‘Cargo Worthy’ condition may cost a few hundred dollars more than a ‘Wind and Watertight’ container, while an ‘As Is’ container (which may require significant repair work) can be cheaper still.

Pricing Variations and Additional Costs

Beyond size and condition, several other factors can also influence a used shipping container’s price:

  • Delivery Costs: Don’t forget to factor in delivery costs when purchasing a container online. These costs can vary based on the distance from the seller to your location and the logistics involved in delivering a large, heavy container. You might expect to pay anywhere from $100 to over $500 for delivery.
  • Inspection and Repair Costs: If you’re hiring a professional to inspect the container before purchase, you’ll need to consider this cost. Additionally, if any repairs are needed, you’ll need to factor this into your total budget.
  • Modifications: If you plan to modify the container (for example, adding windows, doors, insulation, etc.), these modifications will add to the total cost.

While used shipping containers offer a cost-effective solution for a range of needs, it’s crucial to be aware of all the potential costs involved. Remember, the listed price of the container is just the starting point – delivery fees, inspection and repair costs, and any modifications can all add to the final total. As always, doing your research and asking the right questions is key to ensuring you get the best deal and the right container for your needs.


Understanding Container Conditions and Sizes: A Key to Making the Right Choice

Before purchasing a used shipping container online, it’s crucial to understand the different container conditions and sizes available on the market. This knowledge will help you determine which type of container best fits your needs and budget.

Exploring Different Container Sizes

Used shipping containers typically come in two standard sizes – 20-foot and 40-foot. Both sizes offer ample space for a variety of uses.

  • 20-Foot Containers: A 20-foot container provides around 160 square feet of space. This size is a great option for smaller storage needs, compact office spaces, or as a small workshop.
  • 40-Foot Containers: Offering approximately 320 square feet, a 40-foot container is ideal for larger storage needs, spacious office spaces, construction site facilities, or even a sizable living space.

Evaluating Container Conditions

Used shipping containers can be found in various conditions, which are typically classified as ‘New’ or ‘One Trip,’ ‘Cargo Worthy,’ ‘Wind and Watertight,’ or ‘As Is.’ Each grade reflects the container’s physical state and suitability for different uses.

  • New or ‘One Trip’ Containers: These containers have made one trip from the manufacturer with cargo, and are in excellent, almost new condition.
  • Cargo Worthy (CW) Containers: These containers are still fit for international shipping, being wind and watertight, and with fully operational doors. They will show signs of wear, but are free from structural damage.
  • Wind and Watertight (WWT) Containers: These containers are not certified for shipping but are suitable for static storage. They are free from leaks but may have cosmetic damage.
  • ‘As Is’ Containers: These are the cheapest containers and may have significant damage, including leaks or structural issues.

Find Shipping Containers Near You Branded

Cargo Containers: A Versatile Option for Various Needs

Cargo containers, made from corten steel, are known for their durability and weather-resistant qualities, making them a great option for a variety of uses. From creating additional office space on commercial properties or construction sites to serving as extra storage in residential areas, the possibilities are virtually endless.

Furthermore, their uniform sizes and durable construction make them ideal for modification. With some creativity and planning, a high-quality container can be transformed into a comfortable and stylish living space, a state-of-the-art office, a pop-up shop, or even a pool.

Understanding the different container conditions and sizes is an essential step toward making an informed decision when purchasing a used shipping container. Whether you’re seeking a compact solution for your storage needs, looking to create additional space at your business premises, or planning a unique residential project, cargo containers present a cost-effective and versatile choice.

The Top 10 Best Online Used Shipping Container Suppliers of 2023

Choosing a reputable online supplier is an essential step when buying a used shipping container. To assist you in this task, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best online used shipping container suppliers as of 2023. These sellers have been evaluated based on their product selection, customer service, and transparency in pricing.

1. is a nationwide supplier of new and used shipping containers. Their easy-to-use website and wide range of container options make them a top choice for many buyers.

2. Conexwest

Conexwest offers a wide variety of containers for both rent and purchase, providing customers with flexibility based on their needs. They also offer container modifications, allowing you to customize your container to your specifications.

3. Boxhub

Boxhub offers a seamless online shopping experience, providing both used and new containers of varying sizes and conditions. They pride themselves on their transparent pricing and excellent customer service.

4. operates as an auction site where buyers can bid on used containers directly from the source. This can potentially lead to significant savings, though it does require a bit more involvement from the buyer.

5. Western Container Sales

Western Container Sales offers used shipping containers across the United States. They provide a straightforward purchasing process, a wide range of container options, and transparent pricing.

6. TRS Containers

TRS Containers offers a broad inventory of new and used containers, as well as modification services. They’re well-regarded for their customer service and commitment to quality.

7. Sea Containers Inc.

Sea Containers Inc. has a long history in the container industry, offering both new and used containers. They provide various sizes and conditions, along with modification services.

8. operates as a marketplace, connecting buyers and sellers of used containers. They offer a wide range of options and facilitate delivery and payment for a seamless purchasing experience.

9. Interport

Interport offers a wide variety of new and used shipping containers, as well as customization services. They are well-regarded for their customer service and the quality of their containers.

10. Falcon Structures

While Falcon Structures focuses on container modifications, they also sell used containers. They are a great option if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for buying and customizing a container.


These ten suppliers represent some of the best options available for buying used shipping containers online in 2023. Keep in mind that, while buying online is convenient, it’s crucial to do your due diligence by researching the seller, reading customer reviews, and asking for detailed information about the container’s condition and history. With thorough research and preparation, you can successfully navigate the process of buying a used shipping container online.

Making the Most Out of Your Storage Needs: Understanding Cargo-Worthy Containers

If you’re considering purchasing a used shipping container as a storage unit, understanding the condition of the container is essential. One term you’ll frequently encounter is “cargo-worthy container.” So, what exactly does this mean, and how does it relate to your storage needs?

Decoding the Term: Cargo-Worthy Container

A cargo-worthy (CW) container is a used container that is deemed fit for transporting goods internationally. It meets all the requirements set by shipping authorities and can withstand the rigors of sea, rail, and road transport.

Cargo-worthy containers are wind and watertight and are structurally in good shape to carry cargo. They are free from significant damage, and their doors are fully operational. However, keep in mind that since they are used containers, there might be some cosmetic flaws like dents, surface rust, and patches of different paint colors.

Cargo-Worthy Containers as Storage Units

A cargo-worthy container makes an excellent storage unit due to its sturdy construction and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. These containers are made from corten steel, known for its durability and corrosion resistance. The robust design of these containers makes them a reliable choice for keeping your goods safe and secure.

Standard shipping containers, which are typically cargo-worthy, come in different sizes, the most common being the 20 ft container and the 40 ft container. A 20 ft container offers approximately 160 square feet of storage space, while a 40 ft container provides about 320 square feet. The size you choose depends on your storage needs. For smaller storage requirements, a 20 ft container might be adequate, while larger needs might necessitate a 40 ft container.

Choosing the Right Dealer

When it comes to purchasing a cargo-worthy container, choosing the right dealer is paramount. Ideally, you should select a reputable local dealer who can provide you with a detailed history of the container, including any repairs made. It’s also beneficial if the dealer can arrange for you to inspect the container before purchase.

America’s Best Resource For Metal Storage Containers Branded Image

Cargo-worthy containers serve as excellent storage units, offering durability, security, and ample space for your storage needs. They are built to last and can stand up to harsh conditions, ensuring your goods remain safe and secure. By selecting a reputable local dealer and thoroughly inspecting the container before purchase, you can ensure that your cargo-worthy container will serve your needs for many years to come.

Embrace the Versatility of Used Shipping Containers

As we’ve explored throughout this guide, buying a used shipping container online can be an excellent decision, providing an affordable, durable, and versatile solution for an array of needs. Whether you’re seeking additional storage space, an expandable office, or diving into a unique residential project, used shipping containers offer an enticing blend of practicality and potential for personalization.

Understanding the various conditions, sizes, and costs associated with used shipping containers is crucial to making an informed purchase. Inspection before buying is key to ensuring you get a container in good shape and fit for your intended use. Knowing the typical costs of these containers and being aware of the potentially hidden costs, such as delivery or necessary repairs, will also help ensure you stay within your budget.

Additionally, the choice of your online supplier can dramatically impact your buying experience. Reputable suppliers provide transparent pricing, detailed container history, and excellent customer service, helping you navigate through the process with confidence.


Leave a Reply