Buy A Shipping Container

buy a shipping container

Buy A Shipping Container, In recent years, shipping containers have surged in popularity, finding their way into various sectors beyond their traditional use in transport. From innovative housing projects and offices to storage solutions and beyond, the adaptability of shipping containers has made them a sought-after commodity. Whether you’re an entrepreneur embarking on a new business venture, a homeowner looking for a unique living space, or simply in need of durable storage, buying a shipping container can be an exciting yet daunting task. This comprehensive guide aims to navigate you through the process, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Understanding Shipping Containers

Before diving into the purchasing process, it’s essential to understand what shipping containers are and their potential uses. Constructed to withstand the harsh conditions of sea transport, these steel boxes are durable, secure, and weather-resistant, making them suitable for a myriad of applications. They typically come in two standard sizes: 20-foot and 40-foot lengths, although other sizes like 10-foot and 45-foot can also be found.

Potential Uses for Shipping Containers

  • Housing and Office Spaces: With the rise of minimalist living and the need for affordable housing, shipping containers have been ingeniously converted into comfortable, stylish homes and functional office spaces.
  • Storage: For businesses or individuals requiring secure, on-site storage, shipping containers offer an excellent solution.
  • Pop-up Shops and Cafes: The portability and unique aesthetic of shipping containers have made them popular choices for innovative retail and dining establishments.
  • Workshops and Studios: Artists, craftsmen, and DIY enthusiasts find the space and durability of shipping containers ideal for their creative and work needs.

Factors to Consider Before Buying

Purchasing a shipping container is an investment, and like any investment, it requires careful consideration. Here are some crucial factors to keep in mind:

New vs. Used

  • New Containers: Also known as “one-trip” containers, these have been used only once for shipping and are in excellent condition, though more expensive.
  • Used Containers: These are more affordable but can vary in condition. It’s essential to inspect for rust, dents, and functionality of doors.

Size and Type

Consider the space you have available and what you intend to use the container for. The most common types are:

  • General Purpose (GP): Standard containers used for various applications.
  • High Cube (HC): Taller than GP containers, these offer additional space and are ideal for modifications.

Delivery and Placement

Understand the logistics of getting the container to your desired location and the costs involved. Ensure your site is accessible and prepared for delivery.

Where to Buy a Shipping Container

There are several avenues through which you can purchase a shipping container:

Local Dealers and Resellers

Buying from a local dealer allows for physical inspection and potentially lower delivery costs. It’s a good option if you want to assess the container’s condition firsthand.

Online Marketplaces

Websites like eBay or Craigslist can offer competitive prices, but be cautious of scams. Always verify the seller’s credibility and, if possible, inspect the container before purchase.

Specialty Companies

Companies specializing in shipping container sales often offer a wide selection of new and used containers, along with modification services. They can provide expert advice tailored to your specific needs.

Inspection and Purchase

When inspecting a shipping container, pay close attention to the following:

  • Structural Integrity: Check for significant rust, holes, or damaged areas that could compromise the container’s strength.
  • Doors and Seals: Ensure the doors open and close smoothly, and the seals are intact to prevent water ingress.
  • Interior Condition: Look for signs of leaks, mold, or unpleasant odors inside the container.

Once you’ve found the right container, negotiate the price, discuss delivery options, and finalize the purchase. Remember to ask about return policies or guarantees, especially if buying a used container.

Post-Purchase Considerations

After acquiring a shipping container, there are several steps you might need to take, depending on its intended use:

  • Permits and Regulations: Check local zoning laws and building codes to ensure compliance, particularly if you’re planning modifications.
  • Foundation and Placement: Consider the need for a foundation or level surface to place your container, especially for long-term use.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as checking for rust and ensuring seals remain intact, will prolong the life of your container.


Buying a shipping container can be a rewarding investment, offering a blend of durability, versatility, and innovation for a wide range of uses. By carefully considering your needs, conducting thorough research, and inspecting potential purchases, you can find a shipping container that meets your requirements and budget. With the right preparation and knowledge, your shipping container can serve as a foundational element for your next big project, be it a home, office, workshop, or innovative retail space.

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