Should You Buy a New or Used Shipping Container for Your Company?

Posted on: 28 April 2017

A shipping container is very sturdy, although very plain, and is typically required for overseas or railcar shipments. Such a container may also be the right choice for shipping boxy, bulky, or delicate items, as they provide an added layer of security around those pieces while in transit. If you need a shipping container for your company, note a few factors to consider that will help you choose between a new and used model.

Will you reuse it?

You may assume that a shipping container you purchase will only be used a few times for shipping, but consider if you might want to reuse that container after your items have shipped. Metal shipping containers make for very secure storage, if your warehouse or office needs added space for inventory, prototypes, and even old records and files. A shipping container can even be modified so it can be used as an extra office space; you can have windows cut out of the sides and add a heating and air conditioning system, and it can work as extra office space on a jobsite or elsewhere. If you can reuse the container, or want to reuse it for anything other than shipping, invest in a new container so you know it won't be rusted or have lingering odours inside.

What are you shipping?

If you're shipping something very sturdy and strong, such as tyres or tools, you may not need to worry about a used shipping container. However, if there is any risk that your prototype, foodstuffs, automotive parts, or anything else would be damaged by humidity, heat, and especially saltwater, you want a new container. As said, this will ensure there is no rust that has eaten away at the sides and corners of the container and created gaps and holes that let in saltwater or humidity.

Can it be transported to your location?

You may need to arrange delivery for a used container, and this can add to its cost quite significantly. However, you may find new shipping containers for sale right at a dock or rail station, and which don't need to be delivered. It may be cheaper to have your items shipped to the dock and loaded into a container than having a used container shipped to your location for loading, and then transported back to the dock or rail station. Take some time to crunch the numbers when it comes to delivery for either used or new, and this can help you to make your decision.

For more information, contact a professional distributor, such as those at SCF.