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How To Buy Used Shipping Containers For Business Storage: Buyer’s Guide

FEBRUARY 13, 2018 BY ROBBY PEDRAZA

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Shipping Containers for Business Storage

Where do you get a business storage option that’s flexible, has high-security and is portable? With thousands of used shipping containers available as commercial storage space and offices, businesses are snatching them up to create flexible yet low-priced onsite storage.

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Before you decide to buy portable storage containers right away, read this buyer’s guide on used shipping containers. We’ve listed some important questions you should ask before buying a used shipping container for sale.

What container size do I need?

Take into consideration the volume of products or items you need store at one time before purchasing a shipping container for storage. Twenty foot containers and 40 foot containers are the most common shipping container lengths. Both container sizes are usually eight feet wide.

All used shipping containers for sale must meet standards set by the International Standards Organization (ISO), so they are consistent in size and quality, meaning most containers are easily stackable and transported. Custom containers are also available, but they cost more.

Rent or purchase a shipping container?

If your business only requires storage for a short duration, then consider renting a shipping container. The average breakeven number for renting versus buying is between two and three years, depending on the price of the container and rental fees. When renting a shipping container, you pay the cost of the container plus a delivery fee. Get a quote from a shipping container rental and discuss your needs with a representative to find the right size for you.

If you need storage for many years, then consider purchasing a shipping container for storage and make it a permanent part of your inventory. Used steel cargo containers for sale are also a mobile storage option, so you can literally take them anywhere your business needs them.

How do I determine the condition of a container?

Shipping containers are some of the most durable storage containers out there. They are built to last, even in extreme conditions as transported across the ocean (often called sea containers). There are three grades of steel storage containers:

1. One trip / single haul: Almost new, because they’ve only made one voyage.

2. As is: These containers are usually in good condition, even though they’ve got some wear and tear. You get what you pay for, so inspect carefully before you buy.

3. Dangerous goods: It’s better to use these containers for the same purpose they were used in the past, because they could have been used for transporting hazardous chemicals or waste materials.

Ask these important questions before you make a final decision on buying a shipping container for sale:

What did the used cargo container haul?

You might be getting a deal on a used shipping container for sale, but do some research on what kind of materials it used to carry. Was it trash, chemicals, or retail goods? You don’t want a shipping container with chemical remnants.

Where did the used cargo container travel?

Extreme weather conditions in cold zones can cause damage to the steel resulting in warping or rust. It’s important to assess the amount of rust on a used shipping container before you buy one.

What is the container’s repair history?

Accidental drops and dents can compromise the strength of the container, so it’s important to ask about the container's history, and visually check for dents.

What features do I need in a shipping container?

Shipping containers for sale can include many different features or accessories including:

  • -Windows
  • -Flooring
  • -HVAC
  • -Shelves
  • -Single/Double Door Entry
  • -Locking Systems

Do I need containers with extra security?

Protect the goods in your used steel shipping containers with security features. You can choose from a variety of options:

  • -Exterior Bolt Locks
  • -Heavy Duty Padlocks
  • -Container Lock Boxes
  • -Crossbar Locks

For extra security, you can install an alarm system perimeter fencing.

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What kind of permissions do I need for a container on my property?

In most cases, it is advisable to contact your local city, county, or neighborhood association if you’d like to have a shipping container on your property.

Do I need to prepare the site?

Site preparation for shipping containers depends on the kind of land where the container will sit. If the land at the site is flat and dry, there isn’t really any need for special kind of preparation.

If you’d like to stack containers, however, then you might need a little more groundwork to make sure the ground is completely level. If you have any doubts, it’s always a good idea to speak to the container supplier who can send experts to inspect the site.

Where can I find a shipping container?

It makes business sense to find a shipping container supplier close to your area. Mobile Modular Portable Storage has offices in many states across the country, so there’s generally a shipping container near you. We also have our own fleet of trucks and trailers, so you can be rest assured that the container will get to you without any hang-ups or unnecessary delays.

We have great deals on used steel cargo containers for sale. If you’re interested in renting a container, we have a 30-day rental plan which can save you an extra two days’ rent. Buy used shipping containers with confidence at Mobile Modular Portable Storage and request a quote today.

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