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Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Cargo Containers

When sourcing your containers, it is important to run a thorough inspection. You want to make sure that your container is in good condition and will be able to function the way you need it to.

Look at the paint, corner castings, and seals. The floor should have no holes, soft spots or unattached plywood.


The location of the container will determine its transport options and delivery costs. You should check with your supplier for transport options when buying cargo containers. You should also ask about the condition of the doors and their lock rods. Since containers spend most of their lives with closed doors, they can develop problems like sticky door hinges or misaligned locks. Also, check the corner castings and seals for any damage. If there are any problems, please pass on the container. Fortunately, most sellers will offer a warranty on their containers.


The warranty offered by a cargo container manufacturer adds value to your purchase and gives you peace of mind. The guarantee ensures that the container is in good condition and can serve its intended purpose. Ideally, ask the seller for the details of their warranty and examine it carefully. Examine the container in person to make sure it matches your given description. You should look at all sides of the container and walk inside it. Check the door gaskets for rust and holes. Also, check the floor for soft spots and gouges. It is important to know that containers spend most of their lives traveling across the ocean, enduring rough weather conditions. Used cargo containers usually have small dents and surface rust. The marks and surface rust are cosmetic problems that do not affect the container’s structural integrity. However, they are unsuitable for storing fragile items like family heirlooms, artwork, musical instruments, and photos.


Due to the world’s current trade deficit, cargo containers are piling up on companies faster than they can get rid of them. As a result, they’re selling them at discounted rates. You can find these discounts by searching local classified ads and websites. However, always research a seller and ensure they’re reputable before handing over any money. Also, remember that a container’s price does not necessarily indicate its condition. Look at the container with a flashlight and check for holes, soft spots, or gouges. A good quality shipping container should not have any of these.

Additionally, look for rust on the lower side wall of the container. It is where water tends to collect, especially on older containers. The water then corrodes the steel, causing it to rust through. Look for a cargo container made of Cor-ten steel to avoid this problem. The rust is better on newer containers.


You’ll want to know how much space you need when shopping for a cargo container. Luckily, containers are held to very specific standards regarding size. It means you can easily “ballpark” how many TEU’s worth of shipping container space you need to store or transport your items. Standard containers typically measure 8 feet wide and either 8 feet 6 inches tall or 9 feet 6 inches tall (called high cube) internally. They range in length from 20 to 53 feet, with most being 20- or 40-foot units.

Often, coastal depots are well stocked with all types of sizes and grades of shipping containers. However, inland locations will have a more limited selection. Additionally, specialty containers may be difficult to find. If you need a container that meets certain temperature requirements or isn’t made to standard ISO container dimensions, it’s best to work with a dealer who specializes in them.



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