Whether it’s for personal use or for a business, if you plan on purchasing a shipping container then you’re going to have to decide whether to buy a new or used one. The answer might not always be obvious and it really depends on what you intend to use the shipping container for.

Many people think that new and used shipping containers are exactly the same, except for their age and condition, however this isn’t the case. There are actually several differences between new and used shipping containers for sale which you should know about.

Paint and Markings

New shipping containers are normally painted in a solid color, they tend to be tan or white and will not have any markers on. Used shipping containers on the other hand are usually painted a color that matches a shipping line’s corporate identity, they may also have logos and names on the sides. The quality of the paint on used shipping containers can vary depending on how long they have been used, however, this can be overcome with a simple paint job which a good shipping container seller should be able to offer.

Make Sure You Know the Conditions of Used Shipping Containers for Sale

Container Condition

As you would probably expect, a new shipping container will have only been transported one time (from the factory to the depot) and will not likely have any damage to them. They are of the highest quality possible. They can show some small signs of use, but these are most likely due to the rigors of shipping.

For used shipping containers, there are three levels of condition which you get: cargo worthy, wind and water tight, and “as is, where is”. Cargo worthy might not be the most cosmetically pleasing but they can still be used for shipping. Wind and water tight shipping containers are in a fair condition but will no longer pass the tests for international shipping. These containers are great for storage because you can ensure that they will keep everything inside dry and away from the elements. Containers classified under “as is, where is” either have not been inspected or have been inspected and determined to be in bad condition.

A good container depot will have inspected all of the used containers they have for sale so you will know what quality they are.

Security and Transport

Many new shipping containers will have a lock box, this is a housing around the locks which make it very difficult for the lock to be cut. Most used shipping containers will not have this feature.

In addition, most new shipping containers will also have forklift pockets, which can be extremely handy for moving containers around yards or job sites. Some used containers will have them but many will not, instead they will need to be moved using cranes and special lifts.

As you can see, there are many differences between new and used shipping containers. To get the most up-to-date information and the best advice, you should contact a trusted shipping container supplier.


How to Know a Shipping Container is in Good Condition, ShippingandFrieghtResource.com

Types of Container for Shipping, eHow.com