10 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NEW AND USED SHIPPING CONTAINERS
When it comes to new and used shipping containers, there are advantages and disadvantages with each. In this post, we’ll discuss 10 differences between new and used cargo containers so you have a better idea which suits your requirements best.
#1 – THE PRICE
Obviously brand new shipping containers are going to cost more than their used counterparts, and when it comes to second-hand containers, because their condition varies, so will the price. If you are using a container and aesthetics and cross-contamination are a consideration, then buying a new one might be the way to go.
#2 – THE CONDITION
Used containers will come in many states, some being in major disrepair, whereas with a new container you know it’ll be in pristine condition. It really depends on your budget and your needs whether you buy a new container or a decent used one will do.
#3 – THE UNKNOWN HISTORY
Depending on what you might be planning on storing, transporting or using a container for, the issue with used shipping containers, is you don’t know their history and what’s been in them. Sometimes this can be a real concern when storing food items for example.
#4 – USED CONTAINERS MIGHT BE BRANDED
If branding is important, then a used shipping container could be painted with a company’s brand on it. In this case, you would need to go to the expense of having the container repainted and rebranded. New containers generally won’t be branded.
#5 – NEW CONTAINERS ARE AIRTIGHT
This is important, especially when transporting cargo on a ship. An airtight container will also keep the dust and critters out. With a used container, the seals might still be airtight or they may need replacing. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
#6 – REMODELLING
Depending on what you want the container for, remodelling a new shipping container might not be worth it because of the expense. Let’s say you want to use it for a backyard workshop. Generally, an older (and cheaper) container is more suited to this application.
#7 – FORK LIFT POCKETS
Some of the older style cargo containers were not built with convenient forklift pockets, whereas nearly all the modern new ones are. This is an important consideration if the container needs to be moved about an industrial yard.
#8 – BUILDING WITH SHIPPING CONTAINERS
Now while it might seem cost-effective to use second-hand containers for building a home or granny flat, the problem is, you don’t know what’s been in them. They could have stored toxic chemicals. Not a great environment to live in. In this case, it’s a much safer bet to choose a building with brand new containers.
#9 – CUSTOMISATION
When you order a new shipping container you can have customisations made to it before taking possession of it. An example might be a particular type of flooring, or your company’s brand painted on the side. Possibly even internal shelving.
#10 – GUARANTEE
Usually, a brand new shipping container will come with a much longer warranty than a used container will. In the long-term, this could be something that saves you money.
10 DIFFERENT TYPES OF SHIPPING CONTAINERS YOU CAN BUY
#1 – STANDARD SHIPPING CONTAINER
This is your regulation, stock standard shipping container and the most common type of shipping container. It’s the most original design and the most versatile type of container for transporting cargo and for storage. With 3 common sizes of 10ft, 20ft and 40ft, it’s also the container that’s most commonly modified for other purposes.
#2 – HIGH CUBE SHIPPING CONTAINER
This is very much the same as the standard container, except it’s a little higher. Internally there is roughly one extra foot of head room. This enables the container to be used for storing or transporting extra tall items.
#3 – REFRIGERATED SHIPPING CONTAINERS
This one is very self-explanatory. Similar to the build of a standard container, these containers have a refrigeration unit attached that keeps the interior of the container cooled to a constant temperature. Not only are they used for transporting perishables, but are also commonly used as refrigerated storage devices.
#4 – REEFER SHIPPING CONTAINERS
This type of container is very similar to the standard refrigerated container, except reefer containers have variable temperature control and the internal temperature can be adjusted precisely to suit the contents being carried or stored within the container.
#5 – CONTAINERS FOR ON-SITE OFFICES
These are very common place and often employed on building and construction sites all over the world. These shipping containers are purpose built as transportable and secure on-site office space for the foreman and others in charge of the project.
#6 – THE OPEN TOP SHIPPING CONTAINER
As the name suggests, these cargo containers have an open top, enabling heavy items to be easily loaded via an overhead crane. Things like heavy machinery and the like are most suited to being transported in an open top container for convenience. Once loaded, a tarp is used to cover the roof and contents of the container.
#7 – THE FLAT RACK SHIPPING CONTAINER
You can think of the flat rack container like a box of flat pack furniture. The whole idea of these containers is they can be disassembled, making for easy transportation of empty containers, as well as being able to store the containers in limited space.
#8 – SIDE OPENING SHIPPING CONTAINERS
Standard shipping containers have doors at the end, which is okay, but not suitable if you need to load extra large items. The side opening container has huge doors opening on the side, making loading super fast and very easy.
#9 – SHIPPING CONTAINERS FOR DANGEROUS GOODS
Dangerous goods items – things like flammable liquids, gases, explosives, chemicals and so on – need to be shipped in containers that have been purpose built. Dangerous goods containers are the solution, keeping everyone safe.
#10 – CUSTOM MODIFIED SHIPPING CONTAINERS
As well as the standard types mentioned above, shipping containers can be custom modified to suit your exact requirements.
10 REASONS TO HIRE A SHIPPING CONTAINER
#1 – ONE-OFF TRANSPORTATION
If you are shipping a container load of cargo locally or to or from overseas as a one-off shipment, then it makes no sense to go to the expense of buying a shipping container when hiring one will be a lot cheaper. In this instance, purchasing a container would only make sense if you were transporting items regularly.
#2 – TEMPORARY STORAGE
It’s the same with temporary storage. If you only need to store the items securely for a few months, then shipping container hire is definitely the way to go. It’s a cost effective and super secure solution.
#3 – MOVING HOUSE
It’s becoming more popular to employ shipping containers when moving house, and this is a great option if you are shipping furniture and possessions overseas. You get time to pack the container at your leisure, and it’s the same once the container arrives at its destination address.
#4 – SEASONAL REQUIREMENTS
This could relate to any number of scenarios. An example might be a supermarket or local store hiring a refrigerated container around Christmas time to store extra perishable food items. Once the holiday season is over and demand has decreased, the container goes back to the supplier.
#5 – HIRE ON AN AS-NEEDED BASIS
Even if your enterprise requires the use of shipping containers on a semi regular basis, hiring can still be the most cost effective solution if the use of a cargo container is only sporadic, where you might go months before needing one again.
#6 – YOU GET OPTIONS
When you hire a cargo container as compared to buying one, you have options and a variety of styles to choose from to suit your needs. One time a standard container might get the job done, whereas on another occasion, you may find you require a side loading or top loading container, or even a reefer shipping container.
#7 – ONE-OFF BUILDING PROJECT
Containers used as on-site offices is one of their most common applications. But what if you only need that mobile office for the one building project? You don’t really want to buy a container in that case, and that’s where hiring one is the most logical solution.
#8 – IT’S TAX DEDUCTIBLE FOR BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
Whether you’re transporting goods related to your business or need temporary storage space, the money you spend on hiring a shipping container is a tax deductible expense.
#9 – HIRE WITHIN YOUR BUDGET
No matter what kind of budget you have to work with, you can find a lease period that suits your requirements and your bottom line. Short, medium or long-term hire is available.
#10 – NO MAINTENANCE COSTS
When you buy a container you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep, but when you hire a shipping container, the company that hired it to you is responsible for these costs and upkeep.
10 REASONS TO BUY A SHIPPING CONTAINER
#1 – PERMANENT STORAGE SPACE
Storage is one of the most common uses of a shipping container. Cargo containers are a ready made, spacious room that is super tough, durable and highly secure. If you need to store equipment, business documents, furniture, machinery, or just about anything else, then a shipping container is the ultimate storage solution.
#2 – YOU REGULARLY TRANSPORT CARGO
For one-off transportation purposes it makes more sense to simply hire a cargo container, but if you’re regularly transporting items over land or overseas, then investing in your own shipping container will ultimately save you money in the long-term.
#3 – IT CAN BE A SOUND INVESTMENT
We mentioned above that buying your own container will save money long-term if you do a lot of transporting of goods and cargo. When you buy a container it can also be an investment. When you rent the money is gone, you own nothing, but when you buy a shipping container, down the track you can then sell it if you no longer need it.
#4 – YOU NEED AN ON-SITE OFFICE
The huge advantage of using a purpose built shipping container for an on-site office is they are easily transportable when one project is completed and another commences. And because of their steel construction, shipping containers are very tough and super secure.
#5 – STORING PERISHABLE ITEMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Rather than constructing an expensive cold room for a store or other business that needs to store perishable items, it can make more logical and financial sense to simply purchase a refrigerated shipping container. It’s a ready-built cold room that just needs to be plugged into a power source and you’re up and running.
#6 – STORING DANGEROUS GOODS
If you are merely transporting dangerous goods once or twice, then hiring a dangerous goods container is all you need, but if you store flammable liquids, gases, chemicals and so on at your place of business, then for safety reasons it makes sense to invest in a dangerous goods container.
#7 – SHIPPING CONTAINERS ARE VERSATILE
When you own a shipping container you can transform it for any purpose you please, and because a container already has walls, a floor and a ceiling, modifying cargo containers is a relatively straightforward process for many applications.
#8 – A READY MADE SHOP
If you have a business catering at events, then shipping containers converted into stores or kitchens are an easy and secure solution that are readily transportable.
#9 – AWESOME HOME EXTENSIONS
This is becoming more common because most of the construction is already done. Build an extra room out of a converted shipping container, or even a stand alone granny flat out back.
#10 – SHIPPING CONTAINER FOR HIRE
As an added investment idea, once you own your shipping container, you can make money from it over and over again by hiring it out for extra income.
10 POSSIBLE USES FOR USED SHIPPING CONTAINERS
#1 – TRANSPORTATION OF CARGO
This is what shipping containers were originally built for and most commonly used for. Whether transporting goods locally or across the seas, transporting goods and cargo safely and securely is still the primary purpose of the cargo container.
#2 – SECURE STORAGE
Being used as a super strong and secure storage facility is likely still the second most common use for shipping containers. You can store anything in them, including perishables if you have a refrigerated container.
#3 – ON-SITE OFFICE SPACE
Being tough, secure and mobile, a used shipping container is the perfect solution as an on-site office on construction and building sites. This is one of the most common uses of a repurposed shipping container.
#4 – TEMPORARY CAFES FOR EVENTS
These are trendy and becoming more common because they are very easy to set up, pack up and move. They also make for a very secure environment when the store is closed and extremely hard to break into.
#5 – ROADSIDE KITCHENS
Roadside kitchens fashioned from old shipping containers are a really cool idea. Once again, these are very easy to transport and make for the perfect portable kitchen to be used at events, conventions, or even as a more permanent roadside fixture.
#6 – TEMPORARY DWELLINGS
Whether you want to construct an entire house, add on an extra room, or build a cool granny flat out the back, shipping containers are a great choice because the walls and ceilings are already in place. A few select modifications and additions and you have some new and very unique living space.
#7 – BACKYARD WORKSHOP
Even a small 10ft shipping container makes for the ultimate backyard workshop for the home or business. Not a lot of modification really needs to be done to transform an old container into a new work space. Maybe just some shelving and a few windows is all that’s required.
#8 – MOVING HOUSE
The advantage of using a shipping container to move your furniture and possessions is you can generally fill it at your leisure over the space of a week, then have everything easily transported to the new location and unload it at the other end, again at your leisure.
#9 – A MAN CAVE
Containers are great for constructing the ultimate man cave, where you and your friends can watch your favourite sports over a few beers, share a laugh, or even store your memorabilia. Most of the construction is already in place. It’s simply a case of having the container modified to your specific requirements.
#10 – ABLUTION UNITS
In other words, convert shipping containers into portable toilet blocks to be used at concerts, sporting events, or anywhere that portable facilities are required. There will be a few mods required, but their portability is their greatest asset.
10 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A SHIPPING CONTAINER
#1 – WHAT WILL THE CONTAINER BE USED FOR?
Until you have a firm idea of what purpose your shipping container will serve regularly, you won’t be able to make a clear decision on any of the other important factors.
#2 – SHIPPING CONTAINER SIZE
One of the very first things you’ll need to decide on is the size of the cargo container to suit your needs. The two most common sizes are the 20ft container (the most versatile and most popular), and the mammoth 40ft container. There is also a budget 10ft container if you don’t require much space.
#3 – NEW OR USED SHIPPING CONTAINER
A new container will obviously be more expensive, whereas there are loads of high quality used shipping containers on the market for a cheaper price. If cross-contamination is an issue, then new might be the way to go. Used containers are usually graded A, B and C, with A being the best quality.
#4 – DO YOU NEED A HIGH CUBE SHIPPING CONTAINER?
High cube containers are slightly taller than regular containers, with roughly an extra foot of head room internally. They’re great for transporting or storing extra tall cargo.
#5 – REFRIGERATED OR NON-REFRIGERATED?
The choice here is pretty obvious. If you are storing or transporting perishable goods, or temperature sensitive goods, then you’ll need a refrigerated or reefer container.
#6 – WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
Prices can vary a lot depending on the condition and size of the container. Before you can really decide on the container you need, you first have to work out how much you can afford to spend. No point aiming for a new refrigerated container if the budget only allows cash for a C Grade used container.
#7 – DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF SHIPPING CONTAINER
Not only do cargo containers come in various lengths, but there are also different types, such as open top containers, side opening containers, flat rack and dangerous goods containers.
#8 – HAS THE CONTAINER BEEN MODIFIED?
Some containers have been modified for specific purposes that may not suit your requirements. An example would be a pop-up roadside restaurant, which is becoming more common.
#9 – INSPECT THE SHIPPING CONTAINER FIRST
This is particularly important when buying a used container. Either inspect it yourself or hire an expert to inspect it for you. After all, you want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth and that the container is up to par for your needs.
#10 – CHOOSE A REPUTABLE SHIPPING CONTAINER SUPPLIER
Find a supplier who has been in the game for a long time and has developed a checkable reputation for quality, price and service. This is an important step to ensure you get the very best shipping container for your money.