7 Key Things to Know Before Buying Shipping Containers

things to know before buying shipping containers

Are you interested in purchasing a shipping container and converting it into a home? Or would you like to get your hands on a shipping container that you can turn into a storage unit?

Regardless of why you want to go through the process of buying shipping containers, it's easy enough to do it these days. There are companies that sell both new and used shipping containers for a lot less than you might think.

But before you begin looking around at the different shipping containers that are on the market, there are some key things you'll need to know. Check out seven of them below.


1. What Are You Going to Use a Shipping Container for?

Prior to purchasing a shipping container, the first thing you'll need to do is figure out what you're going to use it for. These days, people are using shipping containers for all kinds of different reasons.

As we alluded to earlier, some people use them to create homes or storage units. Others use them to build garages, sheds, and even office spaces.

You should have a clear goal for your shipping container in mind before you go through the trouble of buying it. It'll prevent it from sitting on your property and it rusting away.


2. Are There Any Restrictions on Shipping Containers in Your City?

You may be in love with the idea of buying shipping containers and using them to build a home for yourself and your family. This has turned into a trend in many parts of the country with people living inside of beautifully decorated shipping containers that don't even look like shipping containers anymore.

Your city might have something to say about it, though. There are some that won't allow people to use shipping containers to create homes or other structures.

It's a good idea to check in with your city to see if there are any restrictions in place that might prevent you from using a shipping container to create a home, a storage unit, a garage, an office space, or another structure.


3. How Big Do You Need a Shipping Container to Be?

Shipping containers come in many different sizes. You'll find some that are just 20 feet long and others that are well over 50 feet long.

What size do you need your shipping container to be?

If you're only going to be using a shipping container to create a small shed, you may be able to get away with buying one that's 20 feet long. But if you're going to be using several shipping containers to build a house, you're probably going to need shipping containers that are on the longer side.


4. What Do You Want a Shipping Container to Be Made Out of?

There are a bunch of different materials that can be used to make shipping containers. Steel and aluminum are two of the most popular materials among shipping container manufacturers.

There are also other options, too. Something like weathering steel might be an ideal choice for those who want to make sure their shipping containers don't rust too much after they buy them.

The good news is that almost all shipping containers are designed to be durable. They are, after all, created to be able to stand up to corrosive salt air while positioned on ships.

But even with that being said, there are some materials that will stand the test of time better than others. Keep this in mind when you're looking around for storage containers for sale.


5. Would You Like to Buy a New or Used Shipping Container?

More often than not, those who are investing in shipping containers and planning to turn them into homes, garages, sheds, and more look for used containers. They want to give these containers a second life.

But you're welcome to buy either a new or used shipping container depending on what you plan on doing with it. You might not love the idea of living in a used shipping container that may have been used to carry things that you would rather not think about. 


6. What Is Your Budget for Buying a Shipping Container?

When buying shipping containers, you can spend anywhere from around $1,800 to $5,000 on them. The final price will depend on everything from the size of a container to the materials that were used to make it.

You should go in with a budget in mind so that you don't overspend on a shipping container. There are plenty of shipping containers for sale out there, so it shouldn't be too hard to stick to your budget as long as you put one into place ahead of time.


7. How Are You Going to Get a Shipping Container to Your Preferred Destination?

Buying shipping containers is fairly simple. But getting them to wherever it is you need them to be is another story.

In a perfect world, you'll find a shipping container for sale in your general area and be able to have it delivered directly to you. But you may have to do more work than that to take a shipping container home.

You might be able to convince whoever is selling you a shipping container to deliver it for you. But you might also have to either rent a truck and pick up a shipping container yourself or hire someone else to do it.

Whatever the case, it's good to look into how you plan to get a shipping container to your preferred destination before buying it. You don't want to pay someone for a shipping container and then realize you have no way of transporting it to where it needs to go.


See How Simple Buying Shipping Containers Is

Have you been thinking about buying shipping containers? You should be able to track down a bunch of containers for sale in your city.

But you shouldn't agree to buy it before answering all the questions found here. They'll help you determine if a shipping container is really right for you.

They'll also prevent you from having buyer's remorse with regards to a shipping container later. You'll know that you purchased the perfect shipping container for your specific purposes.

Read our blog to find out how to organize a shipping container if you plan on using it for storage. We have a wide variety of articles on storage, shipping, logistics and other business topics.