Used shipping containers vary greatly in size. Some may be 20 feet long, while others can be as long as 53 feet. They also vary in condition, making it important to know what to look for in advance.

Just like with used cars, you need time to assess different attributes to end up happy with your purchase. You can facilitate the buying process when you take into account a few factors.

Some Things to Think about Before Obtaining Used Shipping Containers

Types of Flooring

A container’s flooring deserves intense focus, especially if you’re using the container as some sort of mobile office or building from which to work. Steel floors are great, but it may be better to choose a container with wood flooring. Not only does wood look nice, but it is fairly simple to keep clean. All that’s required is a weekly sweep with a broom or mop. Wood is also quieter than metal flooring.

Shipping Container Types

Even though they share similar structures and aesthetics, shipping containers can vary a great deal from each other. Some of the most common include dry storage containers, open-top containers, open side-storage containers, and even temperature-controlled units. Which unit you choose depends greatly your intended purpose for the container.

You may need to keep sensitive documents or perishables in steadfast condition, for example. In this case, a temperature-controlled storage unit works perfectly. If you’re using these containers strictly for shipping goods, an open side-storage container works because the wide berth its doors provide for easy loading of big items.

Overall Condition

You can avoid lengthy and expensive restorations if you choose a unit that is in good condition. If you live near a shipping yard, inspect these units in person. Check their overall structure while looking for any signs of damage in the hinges, walls, or ceiling. Also look out for dents and rust; these flaws can cause more stress than their worth if a renovation is required.

Dilemmas arise when you don’t live near a shipping yard of containers. How do you know you’re getting a quality container if you can’t see it in person? The answer is hiring a licensed inspector, who can assess different units on your behalf. Inspectors provide an in-depth report and let you know which units are affordable and usable based on your intended purpose.

Buying used shipping containers doesn’t have to be a long, stressful process if you know what to look for and take your time. Assess multiple units until you find one in good condition with the right dimensions.

16 Types of Container Units and Designs for Shipping Cargo,