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The Saner Container

Pros and Cons of Buying Used Shipping Containers

Shipping containers can be used for a wide range of purposes, from storing items in one place to moving goods and materials from place to place (or continent to continent) and can be modified into a wide variety of structures. So, if you've been thinking about buying a shipping container for an upcoming project or some storage needs you've likely considered:  do you go for the used one? In this blog, we will tackle that question and look at the pros and cons of buying used shipping containers so you can better understand what option works best for you when choosing a shipping container.

tall stacks of used shipping containers

Where Used Shipping Containers Come From

Used shipping containers are generally sourced from shipping lines that transport goods and materials. Shipping lines historically used containers for 8-14 years before selling them. At this time (June 2024), we're seeing some lines extend that a little longer because of pinch points in the shipping world. It is easier to hang onto the containers they have than to keep replacing them. The result is that some of our used containers are coming back a bit more used than they have been traditionally. Additionally, we are seeing some markets have more limited availability of used containers than usual because of the shipping lines hanging onto their containers.

Buying Used Shipping Containers

Used containers have some real upsides that can make them an attractive option for certain situations, but they are not a perfect fit for everyone. Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used container.

Gray 40HC shipping container

Pros of Used Containers:

Pricing: When it comes to purchasing shipping containers, opting for used ones typically involves significant cost savings compared to buying new ones. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals and businesses wanting to buy a container for storage or another project while minimizing expenses.

Sustainability: Buying a used shipping container and reusing it after shipping lines have utilized it is the 'greener' option in comparison to purchasing a one trip or new container.

Customization: You can always paint a used container to make it look better. Occasionally, the price difference between used and new is small enough that it doesn't cover the cost of painting it.


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


IMG_0108Cons of Used Containers:

Appearance: A used container will have some rust and dents, and therefore, it is not as aesthetically pleasing as a shiny brand-new container would be. These containers are older and have been used, so you should expect some wear and tear. 

Reliability: Used containers have been around the block, or in this case, over the sea, quite a few times. As a result, they will have not only the rust and dents to show for it, but reduced structural integrity as well. Because of this, they can be considered less structurally sound than a new container. 

Customization Roadblocks: If you plan on doing anything where you need the sides to be dent-free - like adding shelving, etc.- you will need to do some work to get the walls true again. Used containers can be great for general storage, but sometimes, when making more extensive modifications, you may be better off with a new shipping container.

Weighing the Options

There are clear benefits and disadvantages to purchasing a used shipping container. Asking yourself what's most important and determining if a new or used container would best suit your end goal is an essential step in purchasing a container. If you need help deciding what type and condition of shipping container would work best for you, Super Cubes can help.

Find out More: 8 Shipping Container Vendor Signs To Watch Out For

Where to Purchase Used Shipping Containers

As an experienced and family-owned business, Super Cubes will work to ensure you get the shipping container that is right for you and your unique needs. We offer standard 20' and 40' containers and 40' high cubes and can source specialty sizes as well. We help our customers with custom container modifications, so if you have a DIY project in mind, we can help make your ideas a reality. Contact us today to discuss your ideas and needs.

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
June 17, 2024