If you have decided that you need a shipping container for storage, building or whatever else you may have in mind, there are some simple guidelines that you should follow. This will help you to get a good quality shipping container that you can use for whatever purpose you decide.
First, What Size Shipping Container Do You Want?
Shipping containers are available in many sizes from 8 feet long to over 50 feet long. Approximately 80% of containers are in commonly used sizes, those being 20 feet and 40 feet. Larger container sizes are available but not as easy to find. The rarest sized containers are 8, 10, 24, 30, 48 and 53 feet. Since these sizes are rare, they will also be more costly.
Another important consideration is what you will put inside of the container. This should help you to decide on the right size. It is a good idea to look at a reference chart so you can understand how much a shipping container can hold. When it comes to size, 20’containers can be moved with a standard forklift that lifts up to 2300 kg whereas 40’containers can only be moved with a special crane or container stacker.
What Grade of Container do you Want?
Shipping containers have four grades and those are:
New – used for just one overseas shipment from a manufacturer to a port of destination.
Certified – are still in very good condition and can be used for shipping.
Wind and water tight – used containers that are still in good condition.
As-is – the container is rusty with doors that do not seal or there are pinholes in the metal.
Many people look for either a used container or a new one and try to avoid the as-is.
Where Should I Buy a Shipping Container?
It can be difficult to choose the right shipping container and it can be a process. It is important to find a local seller that regularly deals with shipping containers. Tiger Containers is a locally owned company that deals with many different shipping companies and offers containers at a reasonable price.
If you are able to negotiate delivery fees into your purchase price, then you are further ahead than most. You can negotiate with trucking companies for delivery. You will need to decide on one of many options of delivery truck types:
Flatbed Trailer: If you have access to a forklift or a crane you can save some money with this option. Delivery using this method means that the driver will arrive with your shipping container and unload it for you.
Flatbed tilt trailer: A common method of delivery where your container sits on a tilting truck bed. The shipping container is slid off at the desired drop location by the trailer tilting.
Truck with Crane: A truck/trailer/crane combo that makes it easy to transport a container and then put it where it needs to be. This choice is among the most expensive of the three options.
Trucking companies add in the cost of fuel to delivery so when diesel prices are low, shipping rates follow. The longer the distance that the container is delivered, the lower the fuel cost but super long distances can be too expensive to be a great deal, so it is important to find a container source that is local to you within a few hundred miles.
A trucking company in your local area that will ship a container is what you need to find next. There are many options here including app for your local area that can recommend local companies. Freight brokers can save you time and money or you can choose a company that deals with shipping containers and can help you with delivery and placement. Since shipping containers are becoming a common item that many people are buying for a wide range of reasons, many shipping companies are offering deals on their shipment. You could even save money on shipment if you agreed to let a company load up your container with freight when they ship the container.
Get Ready for Container Drop-off by Preparing your Site
Getting your site ready for a container to be dropped off is a very important step. Remember, a container is very heavy, and you cannot just move it from place to place. Consider the property where the container will be delivered to. Is there room for the container in a certain area? Can the truck get into that area, unload the container and then move around the container to drive away?
It is important to communicate with the company that will be doing the delivery ahead of time to ensure that know how you want the container set up. A container is often loaded onto a truck with the doors facing the front of the truck. The trucking company needs to know how the container needs to be placed before it is delivered.
If you are going to store our container outdoors, you will want to maintain airflow under the container. This airflow will keep the structure under the container free from rust. It will also help to keep the floor of the container dry. It is easy to keep your container elevated by placing items under the corners of the container – wood, tires, cement blocks, a concrete foundation, a paved area or a gravel area.
Once your container has been delivered, you can do what you want with it, it is ready to be used. The container is now in place in the location where it will sit for years to come. If you decide later that you want to sell the container, these containers generally retain their resale value. It is never really a problem to resell a container after using it because every shipping container is used in some way, lightly or heavily and resale is a common way to recoup your expense. Shipping containers are widely available, extremely useful and easy to have delivered when you are ready to receive one.
Images from Tiger Containers