Used Shipping Containers for Sale: Financial Factors to Consider

You know your company is looking for a shipping container for sale, and the low cost of used shipping containers may prompt you to go for an “as is” container and call it a day. While the promise of such immediate savings can make the choice of a used container seem like a no-brainer, there are several other factors that can come into financial play.

Frequency of Use

If you need a container for infrequent deliveries or temporary storage, buying any type of container might not make financial sense. You may end up better in the long run if you instead opt for shipping or storage container rental which provides you with a high-quality, top-of-the-line container for one-time or infrequent use.

Renting instead of outright purchasing a container can particularly make sense if you need modified, refrigerated or insulated shipping containers that are typically priced much higher than a standard conex container.

Price of Aesthetics

You can’t get around the fact that most used shipping containers for sale will have scratches, dents or dings. Due to the heavy workload they endured throughout their lives at various ports and drop-off locations, they may show surface rust or other unsightly blemishes. Some may also come plastered with a wide array of different shipping labels from the legion of companies that used the container in the past.

Aesthetics may not mean much if you’re looking to buy shipping containers for your company’s own private use. It may not much matter if a container arrives with dents, dings and scratched paint if you are shipping parts, supplies or cargo from one company location to another. Likewise, no one may care if the private storage container kept in the far reaches of your company’s industrial yard sports a dozen of different paints or labels.

If aesthetics are not a factor, used containers may very well serve your needs at a fraction of the cost as new ones would.

Possible Refurbishing Costs

If aesthetics are a factor, you may spend more time, money and other resources sprucing up a used container than it would have cost to simply invest in a new one. This can especially come into play if you plan on using the container for long-term storage or as architecture, such as transforming a high cube container into a mobile shop, display stand at industry events or setting up a mobile shop that travels with and sells your goods across the nation.

Sales from a scratched-up or rusted container may not be as profitable as those from a brand new container that presents a pristine display.

If setting up shop is a temporary, one-time deal you may benefit once again by considering a high-end shipping or storage containers for rent may end up costing you less than purchasing a used container you’ll need to spend time revamping. Rental would also certainly cost less than purchasing a new one.

Potential Cost of Modifications

If you are going for something as highly visible as a traveling store, industry event display or outbuildings or offices for your company, you may be thinking about modifying your container to suit your specific needs. Modifications can include everything from adding an electrical system to changing the type of door, from installing a heating and cooling system to repainting the container with the company’s colors and logo.

Since modifications can be costly, you will probably want to start with the highest quality container from the get-go to ensure the container will provide a firm foundation for your alterations. While a used container may still seem attractive for its low initial investment, you may be better off in the long run by starting with a clean slate, so to speak, and a brand new container.

About Container Alliance:shipping container sizes,types and new or used container options, it has long been a leading force for companies looking to buy or rent shipping containers across the globe. Visit the company website at or call (888) 896-5084.