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New and Used Steel Shipping Containers on Sale - Buy One On Sale

Buyer’s guide for New and Used Steel Shipping Containers - factors to consider before you buy one on sale

assorted-color filed intermodal containers

No matter the purpose of purchasing a shipping container, like everything else getting a good deal requires you to know as much as you can about it. When trying to buy a shipping container here, it is important you get just the right one for your need. Also, you also need to get one well within your means. 

However, this will require you to be familiar with the different types and sizes of containers that there is. Their price and the other specs and features will also be considered in order to make the right choice. Here is a breakdown of the main factors to consider before you buy new and used shipping containers on sale. 

Types of Containers according to size
The most popular size options for shipping containers are the 20 footers and 40 footers. However, your options are not limited to these two. In fact, even with these two size ranges, there are also standard sizes as well as high cube containers. 

The major difference between the standard and high cube varieties is that you get one extra foot of height within the container. There may also be variations in the dimension even within the same size group from one manufacturer to the other. 

Read to learn more about buying shipping containers 

Making the choice between new and used containers

You might have probably heard the argument about whether buying a new or used container is a better choice. A new (or one-trip container as it is otherwise called) is a newly constructed container or one that has only been used to carry a cargo load to the destination at which it is to be sold. A used container, on the other hand, is one that has been used several times in the past but is still in good working condition. Some might be damaged to an extent and might simply require slight touch-ups to get it working again.
At the end of the day, the decision to purchase either a used or new container depends on how much you are planning or willing to spend. Since price varies based on how much use a container has seen, you should expect a new container to sell at a higher price compared to an old one as long as it is still in better shape. However, you might want to look into the history of an old container before you purchase especially if you are considering using it for storage or any other sensitive purpose. For example, a container which has been exposed to chemical contamination from hazardous pesticides or paints might not be palatable for certain purposes. Thus, even if it comes at a cheaper price, purchasing it is still a terrible choice. New or one-use containers, on the other hand, are less likely to be contaminated although they will cost more to purchase.

How to inspect used containers before purchase

brown and red shipping containers

This bit might not be important to you if you are going for a new container. However, for someone who is settling for an old already used one, you might need to look closely before making your purchase. Here are some major pointers to consider before you pay for that used container: 

Check for leaks: ensure that you are buying a watertight container. Look around the container and check for holes. While it is normal for a used container to have signs of wear and tears you should go for one with very minimal damage. Look around and check if you see any sign of sunlight seeping through holes in the roof or anywhere else in the container. 

Check the door: confirm if the doors open and close freely. Also, check the locking mechanisms to see if it works too.  

Check for signs of excessive corrosion: a little rust is normal on a used container. However, excessive corrosion will weaken the metal. If you detect too much corrosion on the container, it is advisable that you don’t purchase.     

Check for chemical contamination: as mentioned, chemical contamination is bad news especially if you are considering using the container for sensitive purposes. Musty, pungent or even any odd odor or any kind is an indicator that the container has been used for something of that nature in the past. This isn’t always a problem unless the chemical contaminant has left irreparable damage to the container. 

Identifying the container: one final check before you go ahead and purchase a container on sale is to identify it. To identify a container, you need to find the identification code on the body. This is an 11-digit number that consists of an owner code, product group code, a serial number, and the check digits all of which serve differing purposes. 

The first three letters of the identification code tell you who owns the container. The next capital letter is one of letters U, J or Z which represent the product group of the container. A container with letter U has the product code is a shipping container. Letter J means you can attach a piece of equipment such as a power unit for example to the container. While the letter means it is a trailer used to carry a container.     

The product code is usually followed by a six-digit serial number usually assigned by the previous owner of the container. Finally, there is a check digit which is important for cross verifying whether the identification code is correct or not.

One final question every prospective buyer asks is where to find good quality containers on sale. A simple search online will turn up quite a number of options for you. Alternatively, you can check our merchant sites like Alibaba or eBay. You should be able to find manufacturers online and you can check the various available options in order to find the best deals. Click here for more on how to where to find containers on sale online.
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