How To Find Cheap Shipping Containers

International shipping trade is currently at an all-time high, and so is the demand for high-quality cheap shipping containers.

The demand for containers is on the rise because people are starting to build homes, sheds, and garages with them.

In this post, I will give you a few suggestions that will help you find cheap shipping containers…

You want to define your shipping container needs first

You never want to go shopping for a container without a plan. So if you are looking for a budget-friendly sea container, you need to specify your needs first…

You want to determine in advance what size container you need and decide if you want a one-trip or a cargo-worthy container. Doing a little planning is the first step to finding cheap cargo containers.

Most people end up buying too small of a container only to have to obtain a larger one later. Shipping containers can be costly to ship, so you want to make sure you purchase the right container the first time.

Avoid Buying The Wrong Sized Container For Your Project
Avoid buying the wrong sized container for your project

The standard sizes for containers are 20ft and 40ft. You can also purchase different specialty sized containers, but they usually cost way too much.

Do you need a high cube or a standard sized shipping container for your project?

A high cube container is useful if you require additional headroom. The height of a high cube is 9 ft 6 inches, and a standard container is 8 ft 6 inches.

High cube containers are usually suitable for container homes…

After you frame, insulate, drywall, and install electrical fixtures, you will lose approximately a foot of ceiling space. That’s why high cube containers with their extra foot of headroom are suitable for container homes.

If you don’t require the extra vertical space, you should purchase a standard sized container. Standard sized containers are perfect for most container uses.

Do you need a one-trip or a cargo-worthy container?

You may want to go with a one-trip container if you’re going to use it as a home. These containers are usually rust free, and they typically have very little surface damage.

A one-trip container usually comes with a 5-year warranty if purchased through a container supplier. The warranty in most cases covers paint defects and leaks.

A container warranty may become void if you modify your container. So it’s always best to speak with the supplier before proceeding with any modifications.

Containers transport a wide variety of material, some of which may be harmful to humans. When you purchase a one-trip container, you can have peace of mind knowing that your container has not had repeated exposure to toxic material.

One-trip containers transport cargo only one time, so you can find out what cargo was in the container. You need to request a copy of the container manifest to determine what the cargo was.

Purchasing an expensive one-trip container may not always be the best option. Therefore, if you plan to use your container for storage or a garage you can easily use an older cargo-worthy container.

This will save you a lot of money because the older containers are usually half the price of the one-trip containers.

The cargo-worthy containers will have more dents, scrapes, and rust. But you can quickly fix these problems with a good paint job. A new paint job is the fastest way to make a container more visually appealing.

Avoid purchasing the first container that you find

You want to look at multiple containers before you decide on any particular one. Containers are usually plentiful in all major cities. So you can take your time and be a little picky. You can find containers in lots of places…

Find containers at a port

If you live close to the ocean, you will probably have a port close to you. This is good because ports usually have a surplus of containers for you to choose from.

Shipping containers are costly to ship, so you only want to purchase containers that are close to you.

Locate containers on local classified ad websites

If you don’t live close to a port, you can check out your local classified ad websites for excellent deals on containers.

Many homeowners that purchase containers never use them so you may find some individual sellers on a local classified site.

Most classified ad websites have a filter that allows you to narrow your search to a certain radius. You should start with a small search radius and slowly expand the range if you are not getting any results.

To avoid scams, you never want to send money online to individuals. All transactions should occur in person.

Find cheap shipping containers in commercial districts

You can also find containers in the commercial districts of your city. Containers are usually easy to spot from your vehicle as you drive through these areas.

If you see a container that you like you can approach the business owner and ask them if they would be willing to sell you their container.

Get cheap shipping containers directly from a supplier

In most cases, it’s usually cheaper to buy containers directly from a supplier. Avoiding a middleman will save you a lot of money.

Find Cheap Shipping Containers At Your Local Container Supplier
Find cheap shipping containers at your local container supplier

Most container suppliers have their own delivery trucks, so can you usually get a terrific deal on the delivery charges. In some cases, they may even offer free delivery with the purchase of a container.

You always want to ask for a better price…

The supplier that you are considering buying from may have an excess amount of containers in stock. This usually occurs during a low shipping season.

By asking for a better price, you may end up saving hundreds of dollars on your shipping container purchase.

A proper inspection can save you big money…

You want to inspect both one-trip and older cargo-worthy containers for apparent holes. You want to make sure the container you buy is still waterproof. Fixing holes in a container can get expensive.

You also want to inspect the seals around the doors for visible damage. The door seals prevent rodents and water from entering the container. The seals should be firm and free of cracks.

You should try to avoid cheap shipping containers that are over 10 years old

As containers age, they require more maintenance and repair…

You may be able to get an old container for cheap, but the ongoing repair costs will end up costing you more in the long run. In some cases, you may be better off buying a one-trip container.

In conclusion

You always want to determine your shipping container needs first. So you need to decide if you need a high-cube or a standard sized container.

Depending on the intended use of your container you may want to purchase a one-trip or a cargo-worthy container…

One-trip containers are perfect for container homes. On the other hand, older cargo-worthy containers are ideal for storage. A one-trip sea container is considerably more expensive than a cargo-worthy container.

It’s usually better to purchase containers from a reputable container supplier. A supplier container often comes with a warranty. Also, container suppliers typically have excellent delivery rates.

Buying a container from a supplier is always best. But you can also find containers on classified ad websites.

I hope you can now find a reasonably priced container for your project.

P.S. What type of container will you be buying? Do you think you will go with a more expensive one-trip? Please let me know in the comments below…

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