Shipping container cost and how to get the best deal

If you’re looking to buy a shipping container what cost can you expect? Let’s take a look at some ballpark numbers on shipping container cost and the grading systems and condition of a shipping container in each price range. Important to note that grading standards are usually a company’s system and not an international standard for purchasing containers. This means, that although 2 companies could both classify their containers in terms of grade A, B, or C, it does not mean that a Grade A will be the same for both. 

Going by quantity, most shipping containers for commercial use are leased. Leasing shipping containers hold a lot of advantages for businesses such as low up front shipping container cost, flexibility of drop off and pick as a project ends and the ability to scale the quantity as needed. Leasing a shipping container can be as low as $50-$75 a month. Some projects and uses tend to be better suited by buying a shipping container. The ability to customize, paint and place the shipping container permanently come to mind. Shipping container homes and storage uses for farms are two examples.

When buying a shipping container and comparing shipping container cost it is important to know what to expect in your price range and the container terminology that goes with each price range.

One example shipping container grading system from the

1. As-is shipping containers and well used shipping container cost – Expect to pay $1500-$2000

If you are looking for a bargain or a handyman container for a use that does not demand cosmetics a bargain shipping container is a great option. These shipping containers can have an extensive amount of damage or rust to the doors, sides, joints and wood flooring. As with all things the more damage the cheaper the shipping container. This kind of as-is shipping containers start around $1500 for a standard 20 foot container and maybe $1750 for a 40 foot container. This will vary by location, inventory and the extent of the wear and tear. A surplus of this level of quality is available starting with a simple web search, ebay or even craigslist.

At this price point be expecting issues with the doors, some possible holes, rust, dents or floors that have been damaged by chemical spills or water damage.

As is shipping container cost.

The cost of a well used shipping container like this may make sense for your project.

2. Average or common condition shipping container – Expect to pay $2000 – $3500

If you are looking for a quality container that can be used for storage, security or most any personal or farm project at a reasonable price, then renting or buying a used container might be the best way to go. Most containers reach the market in good but not great condition as shown below.

Know this: there are plenty of used shipping containers out there that are in good condition. As long as the container has not been severely damaged, it will do what it’s meant to do: protect and store your stuff. Containers are made of COR-TEN steel and are designed to last 10, 20 or even 30 years. Buying used, means you get a durable product at a reasonable price. Used containers for purchase in a range of average condition can cost anywhere between $1,900-$3,500, depending on the size and condition of the container.

One trip containers and grade A container prices – Expect to pay $2500 – $6000

If you are looking for a high end one trip shipping container or one that has never been used and are willing to pay full price, a ‘one-tripper’ is the right container for you. One-tripper containers have been manufactured and shipped directly from China, carrying their first and last load of cargo.

New shipping containers cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on the size, features and market price in the region where you will have it delivered. Moving them around does cost money so it impacts the final cost. Many shipping container suppliers sell new containers for purchase.

New or one-trip shipping containers are popular among industries that plan on using the containers for frequent transport or storage and require the newest, most structurally sound and cosmetically pleasing units available.

Many commercial developers are now building amazing shipping container homes or buildings with storage containers, converting them into livable space or working office spaces. Because they are cheap, transportable and green they make a great raw building material. This type of application requires a person buy a one trip shipping container for the best finished product.

Where can you buy a shipping container? Get the lowest prices now from our local container partners and find out what hey offer.

So how to get the best deal and not overpay?

Don’t overbuy. Shipping containers have a life span of 20-25 years if properly maintained and depending on climate. 95% of all rust you may see on your shipping container is purely cosmetic and easily sanded and removed. For $200-$300 a container can be painted once cosmetic rust is removed. Most damage is surface deep and overpaying for a shiny container could be a big mistake. Buyers may pay $1000 to $3000 more for a container no more structurally sound.

Compare shipping container dealers. Our website exists to compare and save buyers money on shipping container costs. We work with over 50 shipping container suppliers in 46 states. With a single quote request you can compare the shipping container inventory, grading systems and pricing of every dealer in your state and willing to deliver to you.

Additional information and assistance on shipping containers in Spanish on MSN Dinero.