Formerly, shipping containers were just that: shipping containers! But changing times and trends have made them versatile, valuable assets anyone can reuse. Modern businesses, non-commercial organizations, and homeowners reuse these containers for various purposes.
Organizations that use shipping containers rarely donate them for free. Instead, they sell these shipping boxes. But how much do shipping containers cost? Averagely, a new shipping container costs between $2,800 and $7,500, while a used one cost between $1,200 and $4,500.
Mostly, a container’s size and condition significantly determine its price. Age isn’t a significant factor because you can find a new box in bad shape and a used one in excellent condition. This post explores shipping container costs and all their determining factors.
25 Innovative Ways to Reuse Shipping Containers
Before looking at container pricing thoroughly, it’s critical to understand why people buy these boxes. Here are some of the top reasons people purchase these containers, plus top innovative ways of repurposing them:
- Art theaters and galleries
- Restaurants and bistros
- Emergency hospitals
- Mobile toilets
- Disaster shelters
- Swimming pools
- Vacation homes
- Student houses
- Camping sites
- Shopping malls
- Nurseries/indoor gardens
- Garages and car parks
- Gyms/sports centers
- Home and school furniture
- Kids playhouses
- Decks and patios
Can you see why containers are eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives to many traditional construction options? You should consider ordering yours today.
Shipping Container Dimensions
Shipping containers come in different dimensions, and this section examines them.
- Shipping container sizes
These containers come in two main sizes, namely, 20ft and 40ft, with a standard width of 8ft 6”. A high cube container is 9ft 6” wide.
- Shipping container weights
Shipping containers have three main weights: tare, gross, and payload weight. These weights are painted on a container’s outside doors when in use or before repainting for another use.
- Tare is its weight without cargo.
- Gross is its weight plus the maximum weight it can hold.
- Payload or net is the weight of the cargo a container holds.
Shipping Container Conditions and Grades
Shipping containers also have different grades and conditions that determine their price and repurposing. These are:
Users consider this shipping container new even when it’s directly delivered to their doorsteps from the factory. It’s 100% new when it drops at the first user’s doorstep to ship goods for one trip. Therefore, they call it “one trip.”
- Cargo-worthy (CWO)
These boxes cost less than their one-trip counterparts. They’re still certified for international cargo delivery; thus, their name is “cargo-worthy.” CWOs are made from weathering steel (COR-TEN) to last longer. These containers cost between $200 and $300 more than WWT boxes.
Irrespective of their intended reuse, CWO containers require door alignment, have no leaking roofs, and have no floor holes.
- Wind and watertight (WWT)
Averagely, these boxes are closer to their CWO counterparts but slightly older. They don’t have holes or leaks because they undergo refurbishing before selling but are cheaper than CWOs. Additionally, you can’t use them for international shipping because it isn’t safe to stack them on cargo ships.
The Cost of New and Used Shipping Containers
Used containers have varying prices. A new shipping container in perfect condition averagely costs between $3,000 and $7,000. Depending on its size and delivery costs, they cost between $2,000 and $3,000 per piece if it’s in a less-than-perfect condition. They’re the most expensive because they shipped goods once.
However, the new one-trip containers’ pricing isn’t fixed. The rate drops if the container was damaged in transit, has misaligned doors, is dented, or has holes. Generally, all types of used containers rates depend on these five main factors:
- Cost of delivery: Find out the final delivery fees before buying because factors like additional driver tasks and longer distances determine final costs.
- Permit fees: Check out if you need to pay for any permits.
So, consider these five factors before committing to buy a used container. This due diligence might save you some money.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Shipping Container
Buying a container is a smart decision if your needs justify it. However, pay attention to several factors before finally deciding to buy and who to buy from. Do this due diligence to get the best deal and fully enjoy its long-term use. This section examines some of these factors to ensure you enjoy real value for your money.
- Sufficient space for the shipping container
You need to consider if you have enough space to hold a container in your home. An average container requires a minimum space of 8×20 ft. If you need a longer one, avail a minimum of 8×40 ft. Ensure the container’s height doesn’t block your view of any important thing. You’ll also need an additional 110 to 120 ft of straight clearance, including the site to truck in the container.
- Container size
Your container size will depend on your specific needs. For instance, a 20-foot container can comfortably contain furnishings for a 3-bedroom house. It’s also easier to move around than a 40-ft one, although the latter gives you more storage space.
- Container quality
Don’t forget container quality before buying it. Quality depends on the type of container you want to buy. You can choose from any of these five types.
- New or one-trip containers
- Cargo-worthy containers
- Wind and watertight containers
- As-Is containers
- Repaired containers
- Delivery mode
Your container’s delivery mode is another factor worth considering. Most container manufacturers handle the transportation from the nearest emptying locations to desired destinations. Buyers who own cranes, backhoes, and forklifts can save on delivery expenses by offloading their containers on their own.
Security should come first and last on your list of factors. An excellent container is made from Corten steel which makes it long-lasting and impenetrable. Its doors have levers that allow you to secure it conveniently with a quality padlock. However, you might need to add a metal lockbox to protect its padlock if you’ll keep it in a far or unmanned location.
Your container’s intended use might require an additional door, vent, or window. You can do it easily if you have technical skills and a welding kit.
- Upkeep and maintenance
Lastly, consider its long-term maintenance and upkeep. While Corten steel can inhibit rust, steel eventually rusts after some time. Therefore, prepare to deal with it by repainting your container to hide rust marks.
Buying or Leasing Shipping Containers: Which One is the Better Option?
The buy-or-rent question is worth answering before deciding to invest in a shipping container. Mostly, you will have two predominant factors to consider before arriving at your final decision. You have to assess how long you need to use the container and where you will utilize it. Let’s examine these factors further.
- Only purchase a shipping container if you need it on a permanent site. For instance, buying is the better option if you need it to construct a farm office or build a house.
- Inversely, renting or leasing would be the better choice if you require a container for short-term use like erecting an event or job site.
- The buying option
Buying a shipping container has several long-term advantages over leasing or renting. For instance, you can easily sell the old box and upgrade to a new one when necessary. You can also recover some of the money you invested in the container by selling it. Lastly, you may enjoy some tax benefits through asset depreciation if you buy the container.
- The leasing option
Leasing requires a legally binding contract that safeguards your usage rights, the container, and any tailored features. Leasing or renting a container saves you huge initial investments. This advantage works well when you don’t have much money to invest upfront in a container.
Renting also saves you the headache of locking your money in an asset you will use for a short time. You won’t need to waste your time trying to dispose of a facility you no longer need. However, consider the cost of leasing because if you will lease it for over two years, most likely, the leasing/renting cost will surpass the buying price.
Closing Remarks on Shipping Container Cost
Shipping container usage has evolved, making these boxes ideal for many reuses. Modern families, organizations, and businesses repurpose them in many innovative ways.
These storage boxes come in different sizes, dimensions, and conditions, which determine their prices. Depending on your intended use, you may also repurpose these containers by buying or leasing them.
So, why do you need to buy a shipping box? You can always talk to us and sample our competitive renting and buying rates regardless of your use. What are you waiting for, step forward and contact us today for the best offers in town to meet your unique container needs!