Skip to main content

The Saner Container

How to Choose the Right Shipping Container

Whether you’re hoping to invest in a shipping container for your business or for your personal use, it’s not a decision that you make lightly. With loads of experience (See what we did there?) in the shipping container industry, our team at Super Cubes can help you learn everything there is to know regarding how to choose the right shipping container for your situation. We’ll guide you and give you the tools you need to figure out whether a shipping container is in your best interest, learn the best criteria to make a decision, and direct you to where you can buy what you need.

Do You Need a Shipping Container?

bright red stacked shipping containers

Painting a container can completely transform it

Before learning how to choose the correct shipping container for your needs, you must first decide whether you need a shipping container. There are a few different questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you need a weather-proof space to store products, goods, personal items or inventory at your location?
  2. Do products or equipment need a safe place during transit?
  3. Is a shipping container within your budget*?
    * We can help you figure out how much they cost both for the container and getting them to you.
  4. Will you need this container for longer than a year? Is this an ongoing need? 

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, a shipping container might be for you. These essential questions will ensure that your decision to invest in a shipping container is well thought out and is the best response for your company. If you think it will be a year or less, you may want to consider renting a container, but if your need isn’t going away, buying the container will definitely save you money in the long run. We’d also like to point out that storage needs usually run longer than you’d think. 

Related Blog: 7 Questions to Answer Before Buying a Shipping Container

Shipping Container Criteria

Now that you know a shipping container is the best decision for you or your organization, it’s important to choose the best storage to fit your needs. By looking at customization options, whether you want a new or used container, sizing, need-to-haves, and the purpose for your purchase, you can find the most suitable choice that serves your purposes.

1. Purpose

What's the main purpose of your shipping container? Is your goal to tidy up inventory or your designated spot to store things (garage, shed, warehouse space), make transportation easier, and protect your goods…? Determining your end goal can help you determine what you need in a shipping container and what you don't. Furthermore, knowing the purpose of the container can help determine if you want to get a specialized container or modify it to fit your needs.

customized shipping container with windows and doors

Custom modifications can dramatically change the functionality of a container. This one was insulated and finished off with opening specifically engineered by our client to fit their equipment so it can be sent to their client.

2. Sizing

The size you get depends highly on your needs and budget. The most common shipping container lengths are 20’ containers, and 40’ containers and 8’ wide. The standard height for containers are 8’6” high, but there are 40’ high cube containers that are 9’6” high. In addition to those standard sizes, there are some specialty sizes - including 10’/duo-con containers, 20’ high cube containers and 45’ containers, which will cost more.  Measure out what you’ll be storing in the shipping container to decide which size to go with. If you’re not sure, size up. It’s easier to fill too much space than it is to not have enough room.

3. Used vs. New

The condition is one of the most important criteria to keep in mind when deciding how to choose the right shipping container. On one hand, you could have a fancy, new container that looks great and works great. On one hand, you could have a fancy, new container that looks great and works great. On the other hand, you can have a cheaper, older container that works well but doesn't look so spiffy. Sometimes the price difference is big, and sometimes it isn't! So it is always worth it to ask. By keeping your budget in mind as a deciding factor, you might end up choosing the used container. The great thing about shipping containers is that have a long lifespan, even if they don't look pretty on the outside. And a coat of paint can go a long way.

4. Customization

Customization is a huge factor when making the decision to buy a shipping container. Some customization options to consider include:

  • Size - standard sizing is 20’ and 40’ long
  • Specialty containers - the standard setup of a container is two doors on one short end, but you can check out our specialty containers to see other configurations to fit your needs.
  • Modifications - Modifying your container with doors, windows, HVAC, lights, etc can change your convert a regular container into a specialized container that works perfectly for you. We can modify them or we have do-it-yourself kits if you are handy. 
  • Color - Used containers come in rainbow of colors and one-trip/”new” containers come in neutral colors, but painting them can transform a container as well. 
  • Accessories - ramps, lockboxes and other accessories can help make your container that much more user-friendly.

customized shipping containerRomeo, O Romeo! This set of balconies is exactly that! It is the balconies of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater made from containers by one of our customers. Containers can do amazing things!

By using your purpose to guide you, determining which customization options you want is easy. Think about how you want your shipping container to look, imagine how you will use it, and determine what extra accessories you'll need. By visualizing your shipping container needs, you'll be able to figure out how to choose a suitable shipping container and what modifications will work best. We can help you find the right container - be it a specialty container or modifications - to make sure your container has all the right functionality.

5. Need-to-Haves

When figuring out the different options you’d like in your shipping container, it’s important to write out a list of your need-to-haves and nice-to-haves. By knowing what you want and don’t want, it helps narrow down precisely what you’re looking for. Do you need a certain size shipping container? Are you flexible regarding the color? Will your container need vents for products that retain moisture? Determine what’s most important to you for this investment.

5 Steps To Verify Your Shipping Container Vendor's Legitimacy

Where to Purchase Shipping Containers

You can find shipping containers in loads of places, but we’d be remiss to mention that Super Cubes is a great source for where to purchase shipping containers. Our shipping containers are family-owned and come in the standard 20’ container and 40’ container sizes as well as 40’ high cubes. If you have a unique request, like a custom container modification project to fit your company's specific needs or wanting to create a shipping container home, or if you have a DIY project in mind, we’ll help you make your dreams a reality. Contact us today to discuss your ideas and get a quote.

Super Cubes is a family-owned business located in Minneapolis, MN, that provides containers anywhere in the continental US. We offer personalized service for individuals and businesses, providing high-quality containers at competitive prices. With nationwide facilities, we can modify and deliver containers close to you. Contact our experienced team for your next container project.

Post by Super Cubes
May 20, 2024