Buy New & Used Shipping Containers

Are you trying to find a new or used shipping container for storage or to transport products? Budget Container Sales is the number one place to buy high quality ISO Containers, whether you are looking for one-trip containers or used.

Here at Budget Container Sales we can help you find the best price on standard shipping containers, reefer containers, and custom modified containers. You'll find high quality containers made from 14-gauge corrugated steel making them a great way to safely and securely store things outside or transport them. Most containers have wood floors that are made of 1-1/8" thick marine plywood.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know to get a great deal when buying a new or used storage container. We will go over the types and conditions of containers, container sizes, renting vs purchasing, popular uses, modifications, delivery information, and more.

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Types of Shipping Containers for Sale

There are many different options when looking to purchase a conex container for sale. There are many different classifications when it comes to determining what condition a cargo container is in. Here are a few of the most popular options when it comes to buying a new or used container:

"New" One Trip Shipping Containers

A one trip container is a brand new container that has been used to transport cargo to the destination country. When the loaded container has reached its destination, it was unloaded, cleaned and usually repainted before being available for resale. These are the most expensive option when it comes to buying containers. You should expect to pay around $3,500 to $5,000 for one trip conex containers.

one trip shipping containers

Cargo Worthy Containers

Cargo worthy, or CW containers are used containers that are still certified for transporting cargo. These are containers that were inspected and deemed safe for international shipping. Just because a container is cargo worthy still doesn't mean you should buy it. Make sure to inspect the container yourself for any damage. These containers are still in excellent condition, and structurally they are nearly identical to one trip containers. They will have some minor dents and typically have a little bit of rust or chipped paint, but in general they are in good cosmetic shape. You should expect to pay between $2,700 and $3,500 for a cargo worthy container.

cargo worthy containers

Wind and Water Tight, WWT Containers for Sale

WWT containers have been used to transport cargo several times, but they are no longer shipping worthy. They will almost always have some rust, dents and scratches, but they can be used as an affordable way to store things conveniently on site. The structural integrity is nearly identical to CW or one trip boxes, and often times they could get certified for cargo worthiness if slightly refurbished. You should expect to pay around $1,800 to $3,000 for an as is storage container depending on their condition.

wind and water tight storage containers

As Is Storage Container

These containers are not guaranteed to be structurally sound or wind and water tight. They typically need to be refurbished before you can safely store things in them. You may need to have holes welded or patched, dents flattened out, and you will most likely need to apply new paint to the exterior. In some cases you may need to replace the container floor with new wood or bamboo panels as well.

How Long Do Containers Last?

The life of a shipping container is about 20 years. Containers are made out of very durable, long lasting 12 gauge corten steel. They are then painted with marine grade paint which makes them able to withstand transport over oceans and corrosive salt water. Some containers are used for 25 years or more, but most are used for only ten to twenty years. Most containers arrive at their destination in good condition, and they need little or no maintenance beyond repainting the outsides. Only after several years, do problems begin to show up.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Shipping Container?

The average cost to buy a shipping container is $4,500 for a 40 ft one trip container, and around $3,000 for a 40 foot wind and water tight storage container. Container costs vary depending on where you are located. You will find cheaper containers closer to major port cities like Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, New York City, and Miami.

More common, standard 40 and 20 ft containers will also be more affordable than difficult to find lengths like 53 ft, 30 ft, or 15 ft. An extra wide or a high cube container will cost more than the standardized International Shipping Organization (ISO) dimensions, which are 8 feet wide and 8 feet 6 inches high.

Average Shipping Container Prices

Container Size One Trip Cargo Worthy Wind and Water Tight (WWT)
10 Foot $3,750 $3,200 $2,400
20 Foot $4,200 $3,700 $2,700
20 Foot High Cube $4,500 $4,100 $3,200
40 Foot $4,900 $4,500 $3,600
40 Foot High Cube $5,300 $4,800 $4,000

chart of average prices of shipping containers by condition

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Shipping Container Sizes

You've got a lot of options when choosing the right size shipping container for your needs. Here's a list of the most common sizes available:

  • 10 Ft Shipping Container - 10'L x 8'W x 8.5'H
  • 20 Ft Storage Container - 20'L x 8'W x 8.5'H
  • 30 Ft Shipping Container - 30'L x 8'W x 8.5'H
  • 40 Ft Shipping Container - 40'L x 8'W x 8.5'H
  • 40 Ft High Cube Shipping Container (HC) - 40'L x 8'W x 9.5'H

40 ft and 20 ft shipping containers are the most common sizes available and they are easy to find. ISO standard container dimensions are 8 ft wide, 8 ft 6 in tall and 40 ft or 20 ft long, and they are the most common sizes by far. High cube containers are more difficult to find but they are also very popular as they increase storage space and allow you to store things that wouldn't fit into a standard ISO container.

Should I Rent or Buy a Container?

If you're looking for a short term, temporary storage solution for only a few months, it would be be better to lease or rent a portable storage container. You won't have the headache of finding a place to store a container if you don't need it. Also, renting is great because it's cheaper than buying or leasing. If you think there is a chance that the steel container will need to be stored on site long term (12 months or longer), you're better off buying one.

Due to the trade war with China and the Coronavirus Pandemic, there is a global shortage in shipping containers for sale. Supply chains have been severely disrupted and it is much harder to find companies that are selling containers. If you can't find containers for sale then long term rentals or leases are a good alternative.

Advantages of Owning a Shipping Container

There are a bunch of reasons why it's great to own a shipping container, here are just a few:

  • Fully customizable - add storage and organization racks, paint, ventilation systems, door configurations and more. When renting, you can't modify the unit to your needs.
  • Portable storage containers are great for both on site storage and transporting or moving products and inventory. If you have space on your property you only have to pay a one time fee to safely store items for 20+ years.
  • No monthly fees or contracts.
  • It's more cost effective to purchase if you need the container for about a year or longer.
  • They hold their value well. If you ever need to sell it, you can recoup a lot of your initial investment.

When is it Better to Rent?

Renting is a good idea for lots of different customers. Here are a couple reasons why renting might be a better option for you instead of buying:

  • You only need short term, temporary storage.
  • You aren't sure how long you will need it.
  • You are having trouble finding containers in your area for sale. (there is currently a global shortage)
  • You aren't sure what size you need.

Common Applications for Steel Shipping Containers

One of the biggest advantages is that cargo containers are very versatile and can be used for a variety of different applications. Here are just a few of these uses:

  • On Site Storage
  • Records Storage
  • Inventory Storage
  • Transporting and Shipping Goods
  • Container Homes
  • Container Restaurants
  • Ticket Offices
  • Container Office / Security Office / Mobile Office Container

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Container Delivery: Everything You Need to Know

Shipping container delivery fees will usually add about $100-$150 to your purchase. Most providers will deliver containers around 100 to 150 miles from their container depot. It almost always makes sense to choose a container supplier that is nearby, as you will get better rates on delivery, and you will get the container delivered more quickly. If you do not have a container supplier near you, then you may have to pay an additional fee to have a container delivered from a more distant supplier.

Containers are delivered on a flat bed truck. To prepare for delivery you should clear the area and make sure that the truck has space to maneuver. The trucks are very long, and you need about 100 feet of runway to drop a container to the ground. You need about 20 feet of overhead clearance as well. Containers must be placed on firm ground such as pavement, grass, dirt, or gravel.

Buy Custom or Modify a Storage Container

If you are looking to use a cargo container for something other than on site storage or transportation of goods, then you might be interested in a modified container. You can modify a steel shipping container with accessories in many different ways, perfectly suiting them to a wide variety of applications. Here's a few of the most common customizations that people do to transform a standard container:

  • Cargo Doors - standard units have a swinging doors on one end of the conex box. You can add doors to the other end and have two doors, convert the swinging door to a roll up door, or add doors to the side.
  • Ventilation Systems - roof vents and fans.
  • Windows
  • Electricity / Power - great to add lights and possibly even air conditioning units.
  • Custom Paint
  • Ramps
  • Custom Lock Boxes
  • Insulation
  • Refrigeration (Reefer containers)

Compare Prices on Shipping Containers & Save!

Here at Budget Container Sales you have the benefit of choosing from an extensive inventory of intermodal shipping containers for sale. We make it easy to compare prices and get free cost quotes from the best local companies in your area. Whether you want a new shipping container, used cargo worthy (CW) containers, used wind and watertight containers (WWT), Budget Container Sales can help you find the right container at the right price. Complete the quick quote request form now to see how much a container costs.