Choosing a new, used or refurbished shipping container for storage use

This guide is intended to give the reader some general pointers when deciding whether a new, used or refurbished shipping container would be best for them. This guide is intended for people looking for a shipping container to store their goods in, If your planning a conversion project or if you want to export your container please check out our other beginners guides or of course contact us at any time.

New Shipping Containers

New shipping containers offer the best very long term value. Depending on size and the commodity prices at the time a new container can be anywhere from 35-100% more expensive than a standard used container. However a shipping container only really gains damage and wear and tear when its moved and handled – either when rocking around on a boat being battered by waves, bounced around on a truck or train chassis or being moved through a port or terminal.

Each trip gains the odd knock, dent or scrape that will wear the container over its 10-15 year typical lifespan in the shipping industry.40-ft-dd-blue-ral-shipping-container-gallery-009 So if sat static on your site you can reasonably expect a new shipping container to have a lifespan into decades with perhaps minor maintenance every few years. They also look a lot smarter having minimal, if any, ‘dinks’ from its first trip into the UK and coming in mainly plain green or blue finish without large liveries and they will also retain a much better resale value.

Again if sat static on your site, in 10-15 years’ time it’s likely the only wear on the container will be any rubber seal wear (dependent on you use, but seals can be replaced and we commonly see them lasting a lot longer) and some faded paint. At this point your container will likely be in better condition than the average used container coming into the market.

As an example, with transport costs aside and based on current (Jan 2015) prices, and even accounting for our own profit needed on a buyback offer, a new 20ft will still be worth approx. half what you paid. (No guarantees of buyback offers are given here – this is meant for guidance only)

Used Shipping Containers

Used Shipping containers on offer come into the marketplace when disposed of by major shipping lines and leasing companies at what is considered the end or nearing the end of their working life as a cargo carrying container. We estimate that somewhere near a million shipping containers reach the end of their lives every year globally and whilst the commodity does command a price well above scrap value – they represent tremendous value for anyone who may have a reasonable use for one of these units.

40ft used container glasgow Whilst at the end of their life shipping cargo around the world, they are still good solid units and whilst we offer a guarantee for 12 months, we suggest with reasonable use and care you should expect 10+ years of good use from a used shipping container that’s sat outside and exposed to the elements. We have seen many examples lasting a lot longer.

Life can be extended by repainting the container and ensuring water can’t pool on the roof, thus keeping the metal sheltered from the elements.

As these are the ‘basic’ option they come as they are sold. In their original shipping line liveries or colours, they will have dents and some surface rust. You’re almost guaranteed that some repairs will have been undertaken on the container during its lifetime. All units are still structurally sound and won’t be sold with any large bows or anything that puts it out of shape for a container (‘out of cube’) but sold as ‘cosmetics not guaranteed’.

Refurbished shipping containers

Our refurbished containers are essentially used shipping containers which are given a check over and if it needs be, are repaired to a good standard before we add a high security lock box and give it a repaint in your choice of colour of heavy duty marine grade paint

This gives you a part-way option between new and used. It will look smarter than a used container – ideal if you want best possible price but if you need something a little smarter than a basic used container. It will still have some dinks and dents to the structure but a much cleaner finish – so if you’re potential storage container is going to be on show to customers and other visitors to site this gives a much tidier appearance10ft refurbished container You can see pictured an example of our refurbished containers.

Typically we make these to order and you can have them repainted in your choice of colour, although we typically recommend darker shades as these will show up any dents less well than lighter shades.

It’s important to note that whilst we can buy in a specific shade of paint, we are painting over the original paintwork within our standard refurbished price so we do not guarantee exact shade matching. We can shade match if needs be but the additional costs for base coats and multiple layers of paint will push the price up. offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale, which also includes our ranges of flat pack sheds, container canopies and more. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 7pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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