There are many benefits to opting for used storage containers for sale, such as cost-efficiency and durability. Before committing to a purchase, however, it’s still important that to check the unit to ensure that you’re getting a unit that really fits your intended purpose.

Here are some tips that could prove helpful when you’re on the hunt for used shipping containers for your building project.

Determine Type of Container

So it’s pretty much decided that you will be getting a used container. The next question that you should address is what kind of container it is going to be. There are various types of containers, from the regular 20ft storage to 40ft high cube containers. The obvious advantage of going for high cube containers is that you’ll have enough room for insulation even without sacrificing the head room.

Skimping on insulation is, of course, not an option, so if you were to buy the regular, “low” ceiling units, you’re most likely going to end up with about 7 feet of ceiling height after insulation. Tall occupants may find this a tad too tight or claustrophobic.

Tips When Searching for High Quality Used Storage Containers for Sale

Rust and Corrosion

Because this is a used container, assume that it’s already been exposed to the elements such as the sun and water, and so may already have some wear and tear. Among the most common would be rust and corrosion. Even if the unit has been covered in anti-corrosion paints, this protection can only last for so long.

Check especially along and within the hinges and doorframes because these are the areas most commonly overlooked during shipping container inspections. Don’t forget the roof as well there may be dents on top that are not necessarily noticeable from the inside.

These dents can collect water into pools, which over time can lead to rust and corrosion as well. The damage won’t be immediate, of course, but over time, it will come, and it’s going to cause much more expensive problems if not addressed promptly.


If you’re getting an old container, check to make sure that the paint used for the body does not contain harmful chemicals. You can replace it with a color that’s more to your preference, of course, but even then it wouldn’t be advisable to simply cover the existing paint up. Instead, it’s advisable to strip off the paint so you can put on a fresh layer over it.

Also, the kind of paint used, especially on old units, can affect the durability of the material. Make sure that the paint you use is going to help protect the unit from corrosion.


Unless you can grab hold of the container’s shipping history, there’s really no telling what items were stored or shipped in them. It could be anything from dry goods to fresh meat, electronic components or toxic chemicals.

Sometimes, even if it’s been vacant for a while, the unit will still have some odor left from its previous cargo. It’s going to be hard working with and in a material such as that, so you’ll need to pay close attention to this factor when looking for a unit to buy.

The good news is that bad odor can still be remedied given the proper methods, such as by airing it out and washing it clean. A good hack would be for you to put ground coffee all over the floor of the stinky unit, and then keep it locked for a couple of days. Coffee grounds is very well known for being a natural deodorizer, so you can expect your unit to smell of good ol’ coffee.

Suppliers like Equipment Management Services can help you find good quality shipping containers. Don’t hesitate to ask for a thorough inspection that will help you find the container that will serve your needs best.

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