What to Consider When Buying a Shipping Container
Due to their popularity in the freight industry, shipping containers are cheap and plentiful. But they are not only useful for shipping cargo. By making a few minor adjustments, you can repurpose a cargo container for use as a storage space, a temporary office, or even a house. And since cargo containers can be purchased very cheaply, it is very tempting to use one for your next building project. However, there are few things you should consider before you purchase a shipping container.
First, you will need to consider what size container will best meet your project needs. Cargo containers come in a variety of ISO (International Shipping Organization) sizes. Shipping containers are almost always 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, but they come in varying lengths, such as 10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet. You can figure out the size you need by first considering the purpose of your building project.
A 10 foot long container is about 80 square feet, so it is best for backyard storage or a small temporary building like a ticket booth. Twenty foot long containers provide 160 square feet of space, so they are good for bigger storage spaces for small businesses, and temporary offices. A 40 foot long container provides the most space of all – 320 square feet. These containers are best for building homes and industrial storage spaces. You can even customize and attach shipping containers together for even larger building projects.
Secondly, you should decide whether to buy a used or new shipping container. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. A new cargo container will probably be problem-free and clean, but may cost a little extra money. Used cargo containers can be purchased for about thirty to fifty percent less than new containers, but may have some damage and wear due to their previous use. If the nature of your project requires a pristine and damage-free structure, and you don’t want to make any repairs to bring your container up to code, you should definitely purchase a new container.
The peace of mind that comes with a brand-new container will make up for the markup in price. However, if you are on a tight budget, or intend on making some modifications to your shipping container, a used container might be the way to go. You can save quite a bit of money this way, and if you are going to customize and repair the container anyway, you might as well purchase a used container. However, you will need to diligently inspect your used shipping container for flaws like rust spots, cracks, and holes before you use it. Problems like these may seem minor, but if left unchecked they could result in damage to the items stored inside, or cause structural damage later on if you intend on using it for a home or other type of building.
Lastly, you will need to determine what options and extras you need to have in your shipping container. Many shipping containers come with a variety of options due to the nature of freight they are used to store. You can purchase a shipping container that is wired for electricity, or refrigerated using an HVAC system. If you need easy access to your container, you should consider getting a container with doors at both ends or on one of the sides. For containers intended for storage, look for a container with shelving or partitions pre-installed. Also, make sure that your cargo container has sturdy cam locks on the outside of all doors to keep the items stored inside safe and secure.
There are many reputable online retailers that sell both used and new shipping containers. With a little research, it will be easy to find a container that suits your needs. If possible, ask if you can inspect your cargo container for damage before you make the purchase. This is especially important if you are buying a used shipping container. You should also take into account any delivery charges that you might incur after the purchase. You may get a great deal on the container itself, but shipping fees could substantially increase your total cost. Due to the common use of these containers, there are enough on the market to make them very affordable. Just use these simple tips, and you can make an educated purchase of your very own cargo container.
Hank Steele writes for Shipping Containers Sale [http://www.shippingcontainerssale.com], a website specializing in information about the sale, purchase, and creative uses of shipping containers.