Shipping Containers for Sale, A Comprehensive Guide


Looking to buy a shipping container? You’re in the right place. As an experienced buyer and user of these versatile structures, I’m here to guide your journey, ensuring you get the best value for your money. With the increasing popularity of minimalist living and sustainable building design, it’s no surprise that shipping containers for sale have become a hot commodity.

Buying a shipping container isn’t as simple as picking one out from a catalogue though. There are many factors to consider like size, condition, cost, delivery fees, and more. Just like any other significant purchase or investment, you need to do your homework first.

Whether you’re looking into getting your hands on one for storage use or contemplating on creating an innovative space such as a home office or guest room – I’ve got all bases covered. By the end of this comprehensive guide, I guarantee that you’ll be equipped with all essential information about shipping containers for sale necessary to make an informed decision.

Types of Shipping Containers for Sale

When it comes to exploring options for shipping containers for sale, you’ll discover a variety of types, each tailored to specific needs. It’s essential to understand the differences between these categories before making your purchase.

Standard Containers

Starting off with the most common type, we have standard containers. These are often what people picture when they think about shipping containers. They’re typically made from steel or aluminum and come in two main sizes: 20 feet and 40 feet long. The interior dimensions can vary slightly due to differences in construction materials, but generally, they offer around 1,170 cubic feet for 20-foot models and roughly double that for the larger version.

Standard shipping containers are incredibly versatile and durable – characteristics that make them remarkably popular across multiple industries. From constructing pop-up shops or cafes to storing equipment on construction sites, their uses extend beyond just transporting goods across oceans.

High Cube Containers

Next up are high cube containers – essentially taller versions of standard models. They boast an additional foot in height which provides extra storage capacity without needing more ground space. Just like their standard counterparts, high cube containers primarily come in lengths of either 20 or 40 feet.

If you need more vertical space – perhaps you’re thinking about transforming a container into a comfortable living area or stacking bulky items – then high cubes might be your best bet.

Refrigerated Containers

Last but not least on our list are refrigerated containers or “reefers”. These specialized units feature integrated refrigeration systems that maintain consistent internal temperatures regardless of external conditions – perfect for transporting perishable items such as fruits, vegetables or pharmaceutical products over long distances.

Given their specialized nature though; reefers tend to be pricier than other types of shipping containers for sale. Nonetheless, if temperature control is critical for your operations, investing in one could save you from potential losses down the line.

In a nutshell, choosing the right type of shipping container for sale largely depends on your specific needs. Whether it’s for storage, transportation or even a creative project, there’s likely a perfect fit out there just waiting to be discovered!

Factors to Consider Before Buying

Before you dive headfirst into the world of “shipping containers for sale”, let’s take a moment to consider what factors should be on your checklist. With numerous options available, it’s crucial that we make informed decisions.

Size and Capacity

Firstly, I’d like us to examine size and capacity. It’s not about getting the biggest container on the block; instead, it’s about getting one that fits your specific needs like a glove. Shipping containers come in various sizes – usually ranging from 10ft to 40ft long. A popular choice is the 20ft container for its balance between space and manageability.


Now, you might be thinking, “I’ll go big or go home!” But hold on there! Remember that larger containers require more space at your site and may pose challenges during transportation. So before you decide on size, evaluate how much storage space you actually need as well as where it’ll be placed.

Condition and Quality

Next up is condition and quality – an area often overlooked by first-time buyers. If you’re browsing through listings of shipping containers for sale, don’t get too caught up with just the price tag. Sure, snagging a deal feels great but if that comes with a rusty container full of structural issues, I’m afraid it’s not such a bargain after all!

While new (“one-trip”) containers boast pristine condition (and understandably higher prices), used ones can offer value-for-money if they’ve been maintained well. Here’s what I suggest: request detailed photos or inspections where possible – keep an eye out for rust spots, dents or any signs of damage.

Security Features

Finally yet importantly are security features – because storing valuable goods in a tin can isn’t exactly Fort Knox! This doesn’t mean we can’t amp up security though.

Most standard shipping containers come with some form of locking mechanism. However, if you’re storing valuable items or the container is located in a less secure area, consider additional security measures. This could include lock boxes that shield padlocks from tampering, crossbar locks for added strength, and even alarm systems.

Remember folks, when it comes to shipping containers for sale, it’s not just about finding a price that fits your budget. It’s about size and capacity that suit your needs; condition and quality that offer durability; and security features that provide peace of mind.

Where to Buy Shipping Containers

When you’re on the hunt for shipping containers for sale, there’s a variety of places you can turn to. Let’s break down some of your options.

Direct from Manufacturers

One place I’d recommend starting your search is directly with manufacturers. They’re the ones producing these sturdy steel boxes and often offer both new and used options. Some big names in this arena include W&K Container and Singamas. Buying from manufacturers has its perks:

  • You’re likely to find a broad range of sizes.
  • There’s an opportunity for customization if you need something specific.
  • You’ll have direct access to experts who know their product inside out.

However, keep in mind that prices might be higher due to no middleman involved, and availability can vary based on production schedules.

Container Resellers

Next up, we’ve got container resellers. These companies buy shipping containers in bulk from carriers or leasing companies, then sell them off individually. Some well-known resellers are TAL International and Triton International, but there are countless others out there as well. Here’s why it may interest you:

  • They often have large inventories available immediately.
  • Prices can be competitive because they operate on volume sales.
  • Many offer delivery services which can simplify logistics.

But remember, selection may not be as diverse as with a manufacturer because resellers deal in what they’ve managed to acquire rather than what they’ve produced.

Online Marketplaces

Lastly, let’s not forget about online marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist where individuals or small businesses sell their used shipping containers. This route could lead to some great bargains if you’re lucky enough! Online marketplaces might appeal due to:

  • The possibility of finding discounted prices from private sellers looking for quick sales.
  • A chance at spotting unique or rare finds that wouldn’t typically appear in larger inventories.

But tread carefully here, as there’s often less guarantee on the condition of what you’re buying. Always request detailed photos and, if possible, inspect the container in person before making a purchase.


In conclusion, whether it’s manufacturers, resellers or online marketplaces, each option for finding shipping containers for sale comes with its own pros and cons. Weigh them carefully to find the best fit for your specific needs!


I’ve delved deep into the world of shipping containers for sale in this guide, and I hope you’ve found it informative. The market for these versatile steel boxes is vast, but with some patience and careful consideration, finding the right container can be a straightforward process.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned:

  • Shipping containers come in various sizes and types. Understanding which one fits your needs is vital before making a purchase.
  • Inspecting a container prior to buying it is crucial. Look out for rust, dents, or any signs of damage that could affect its functionality.
  • Prices vary based on condition, age, size and location. It’s always beneficial to compare prices from different sellers to get the best deal.

Remember – purchasing shipping containers isn’t just about raw cost. Consider other factors like delivery fees and potential modification costs as well if you’re planning to convert the container into something else.

While buying used might seem daunting at first glance due to possible wear and tear issues, they are often more affordable compared to new ones. If budget constraints are a concern for you, used containers are an excellent alternative.

In my experience shopping around online platforms selling shipping containers can yield some great deals; many of them offer detailed listings complete with photos and descriptions.

That wraps up our comprehensive guide on shipping containers for sale! You’re now equipped with all essential knowledge needed to navigate this unique market confidently. Happy hunting!