13 Things You Need to Know BEFORE You Buy a Shipping Container

Shipping Container

Choosing the right shipping container is very important if you want to ensure that you get the most use out of it. There are 13 things you need to know before you buy a shipping container to ensure that it is the right container.

There are plenty of options when it comes to shipping containers but they are not all the right containers for your needs. Understanding all that you need to know about choosing a shipping container can help you get the most return on your investment.

Here is What You Need to Know

We put together a list of 13 things that you need to know to help you make the right choices.

1. The price of shipping containers can vary greatly. You do want to shop around because shopping around can mean a great deal of savings. In many cases you do not have to give up quality to save on shipping containers.

You can get greater value by checking the prices of a few companies and even If the containers do not vary the “added value” may. You may find savings in the form of the services that are offered like lower delivery charges.

2. Ask about discounts for used containers. If your budget is tight there are ways to save like asking about discounts on used containers or discounts on multiple containers.

Many dealers will work with you for multiple container orders or offer you some money off on used containers.

In many cases used is just as good as new they may be a little scuffed up and not look as good as new but the savings may be substantial and make it well worth the effort of going with used.

Of course if you choose use you should know that the lifespan will be reduced and you may have to deal with a few issues. If you are going to choose used be sure that you are able to view the containers before you make the agreement.

Check that doors are all working properly and that there are no visible holes or corrosion present that compromises the stability of the container. Roof bows should all be in place and work well.

Containers with hard roofs should be free of leaks or holes. It can be more work when you choose use but if your budget is very tight it can be the right choice for your group.

3. Material really does count. Not all containers are made with the best quality materials which is very important. Do not let your budget get in the way of choosing containers that are built to last.

You should look for steel containers that are treated to hold up to the rigors of being in a salt water environment if you are shipping cargo using freight boats.

If your containers are going to be used solely to transport on land than you have a little more leeway in your choices because land containers are not exposed to the constant assault of the salt water environment.

4. Know the regulations for your country. Containers are pretty generic by nature but the regulations for both the receiving and sending country are usually not generic.

Before you purchase shipping containers you want to be sure that the containers you are considering will satisfy the regulations of both entities involved in the shipping of goods.

If you use the right firm to purchase from they will be a good source of knowledge about the regulations for your country. It is important to know what is expected of your company to be compliant.

5. You may need specialty containers. If you are shipping/storing goods that are potential toxins or that have other special handling requirements than you may have to have a specialty container.

You should know that not all containers are approved for the transport or storage of goods that contain potentially toxic materials. Again, familiarize yourself with the regulations that govern special handling instructions.

6. Don’t buy from classified ads. Buying used from a certified legitimate vendor is a good option, buying used from a person that is selling them through a classified ad is not such a good option.

When you buy shipping containers through a classified ad you are likely going to be stuck with subpar containers that are not warranted at all.

They will not last more than a very short period of time and you will be opening yourself up to simply throwing money away.

7. Negotiate! Depending on who you are dealing with for your shipping containers there may be some room for negotiation. You can take advantage of the trade deficit in some countries which make containers far more available then they are in other countries.

No supplier wants containers just sitting around, they want to be able to move them out and make room for new inventory.

Ask about free delivery and discounts that they may be offering. Negotiate as you would with any supplier to get the lowest price possible, there is always some wiggle room in pricing.

8. Consider the size that you really need. One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is buying their containers for the here and now but containers can last a long time.

Consider this if you buy containers based on what you are shipping now when you expand (and that is the goal) you may quickly outgrow the containers and have to either buy more or go larger.

If you go a little larger than you need right now you are allowing your group room to grow into the container. It may be a cost savings move.

Think carefully about sizing and get some expert advice. A good rule of thumb is to choose a size that leaves 2 meters of space all the way around the inside after it is loaded.

9. The features. There are many different features that are available. Of course the more features the higher the price. Things like ventilation, ramps, racks and other options are available that can make moving goods easier and more secure. This is why it is important to shop around a bit.

While you may not see a huge price difference you may find the added value in some feature differences. The features that are offered as part of the container can be the deciding factor on which one you pick.

10. Be aware of the price fluctuations. The prices will fluctuate, sometimes greatly, based on the current price of steel. When the cost of the raw materials goes up, the cost of the shipping container goes up.

The affect can be quite dramatic at times so when you find a good price it is a good idea to scoop up as many as you can comfortably afford because you never really know what the cost will be from month to month.

11. Security features should be a priority. You can get by without racks and ramps and other features but you cannot get by without proper security features.

You want to be sure that you are keeping out unauthorized access to your goods. Doors, locks and other security features are imperative and should not be compromised on.

12. For hire options. You do not have to buy a shipping container out right, there are some for hire options that allow you to rent a container. This is a good choice for a one shot deal.

For example, you normally do not ship to a certain location but are for a one time run and you will not have any further need for the container once it is done.

It may be an option that suits your situation and may be worth considering based on your budget constraints and needs.

13. Use a trusted vendor. Of all the things you need to know about shipping containers this is the most important thing. Using a trusted vendor will provide you with the quality that you need and the support that can help you to make informed decisions about your needs.

A trusted vendor will provide you with a diverse arrangement of options and features that you can count on. They will be able to provide you with answers and advice that is in your best interest.

Using a company with a strong reputation for providing customer support will ensure that you get the containers that you need at a price that is fair.

Shipping containers are a valuable tool to any organization when they are the right containers to meet their needs. Giving these transport/storage options a closer look and knowing what to look for can help your group to grow.

The movement of goods and products have long been dependent on the proper methods to move them successfully. For security, safety and protection shipping containers offer the best option to move goods internationally.  They are a reliable solution for all of your movement needs!