Buying a shipping container, especially for an amateur, might seem like a straightforward process. But much like buying a car, there is whole category of industry jargon to know and problem signs to watch out for in order to make sure you get what you are looking for, for an honest price. Since shipping containers go through a lot of wear and tear, it’s important to know what sort of damage to look out for, and to know what kind of damage may be acceptable depending on how you plan to use the storage container.
There are several types of shipping containers available on the market, and these variants can satisfy a wide variety of needs. Ocean cargo containers are made from a higher quality, COR-TEN steel that can withstand harsher treatment and weather and is meant to last longer. These types of shipping containers come in two standard lengths, 20 and 40 feet, with an 8 foot width. Domestic shipping containers are made of either steel or aluminum, and are meant for use only within the domestic United States. These containers are larger and wider, offering more storage space at a cheaper price. But they are also less durable, and more likely to suffer from wear and tear.
Industry jargon used to describe the condition of the containers can also be confusing. A new container is, as described, a container not yet used for storage or shipping, sold to you as soon as possible after being delivered to a depot. Cargo-worthy containers have been inspected by a shipping surveyor and have been approved for us in commercial shipping. Wind and water tight containers are the type you should be most careful in inspecting. These might not be in as good condition as advertised, since a surveyor may not have ensured its condition. Finally, a shipping container may be advertised “as is”. These containers may be good for less important, non-secure use, but will possibly have leaks or other damage.
Overall, the most important factor in purchasing a shipping container is how you plan to use it. Obviously, size, quality of material and condition will all effect the price of a shipping container and it’s important to know what you will need before you start looking. Knowing what’s available and understanding what it is you are purchasing will help you get what you need for the best price possible.