One trip shipping containers are the newest, best long term value shipping containers available in the UK. But what can you expect from a one trip shipping container? What happens on its initial trip? And what is acceptable damage-wise? Hopefully this article will shed some light on why these shipping containers are called ‘one trip’ as well as ‘new.’
When buying shipping containers in the UK a ‘one trip’ and ‘new’ container is the same thing. If you buy an intermodal shipping container in the UK it’s almost guaranteed to be a one trip unit. Even if it is sold to you as brand new. Well over 90% of the worlds shipping containers are manufactured in China and the far east, and almost all of the container traders in the UK use these containers. This means to get them over to the UK, in the most cost effective way possible, a one trip shipping container (as its name suggests) will be shipped over with goods inside.
When shipping goods there is a good chance that the container will get the odd dent or scratch appear either when its being loaded in China, lifted onto the lorry, transported to the port, lifted off the lorry on to the boat, shipped over, unloaded in the UK or when being transported to our depot. So considering this is only ‘one trip’ it really is a journey where your container being handled multiple times along the way.
What to expect
One trip shipping containers will typically come in blue or green although other colours like grey and white are available from certain locations. They will include a high security lock box as standard and have a marine ply floor.
Some of the most common ‘aesthetic defects’ with one trip shipping containers are scratched corner castings and end frames (where the grabbers and port cranes have lifted the container), scratches, dents and dinks (where the goods inside may have moved slightly during lifting, transport over sea etc) and finally tyre marks on the floor (where a forklift has whizzed in to lift and unload goods)
Minor scratches on the end frames should pretty much be expected. Some of the more modern port equipment being installed no longer rubs against these end frames nearly as much, but you will be quite lucky to get a container without any scratches on.
On a typical one trip container we commonly advise that you may expect 1 or 2 minor dinks, dents or other marks where the container may have rubbed up against something on its trip or similar. These more noticeable issues are rarer, and its very much luck of the draw if you get a small dink on your container or not. The container will always be in otherwise immaculate condition and free from any structural damage that would affect its strength or capacity to do its job.
We do understand if spending circa £2000 of your own money on something you might want to know exactly what your getting for your spend. If you wanted to view your container in person at our depot or have some photos of your individual container sent through in advance for approval prior to delivery, this can usually be arranged but it may add a day or two to any lead time on the container and its delivery.
The below pictures are examples of units we have had in that we have deemed reasonable. We don’t expect every container to have these, and we don’t expect every container to have all of these problems.
What is not acceptable
Anything more than ‘acceptable wear and tear’ will be treated as unsatisfactory and will not be dispatched to a customer unless they are fully aware what they are getting. Although these circumstances are pretty rare, the most common defects are dirty interiors, heavy odours, structural damage (i.e. on corner castings or cross members), severely damaged side walls (any holes or daylight showing through) and severely damaged floors (impact damage normally caused by the goods not being strapped down correctly during the initial trip or goods being overloaded into the containers)
We would please highlight that sending out containers with defects is extremely rare (considerably less than 1% of all containers delivered) but as with any process involving people, mistakes do occasionally happen. The below 4 pictures came from one batch of containers that regrettably did leave a depot when they weren’t properly checked over. We believe this depot had some staffing issues at the time which may partly explain why these weren’t checked before leaving the depot. We replaced these dented containers with fresh ones immediately and repaired / cleaned the other containers on site at no additional cost to our customer. Our guarantee and returns policy assures you that should the worst happen, we will ensure you get the container we specified even if we have to come and replace it (at significant loss to ourselves)
Generally any floor damage less than 6mm deep is deemed as acceptable because the floor still operates as you would expect it to and does not show signs of dipping or cracking when exposed to weight. Anything more than 6mm will be either repaired or replaced accordingly.
Dents and scratches, as described in the above section, strictly speaking do not impede the container in any way or prevent it doing its job. However, if the dents are excessive we will often sell it as a ‘damaged new’ shipping container and prices usually reflect this. The two images in the below right show a one trip container that has taken a bash on the roof edge – this is classed as structural damage and the container was uplifted from site and replaced.
All of our shipping containers are given a professional check over and if needs be are repaired to a good standard before they leave our depot so, for example if we have a one trip unit arrive with a 9mm deep scuff in the floor we’ll more than likely cut out that section and replace it with another piece of ply flooring. This means you are always assured of a structurally sound container with a good floor, good doors, door seals and as always totally wind and water tight.
Customers who are exporting, and intend on using their shipping container at destination, can also benefit from a one trip shipping container because besides looking much tidier than a used unit, they’re all seaworthy and come with a circa 5 year CSC plate from point of purchase.
Why they’re still a good deal!
Even with all these little potential ‘defects’ in mind, a new, one trip shipping container is still a fantastic investment. Nothing that happens to the container during transit will impede it doing the job you want and if it does, as mentioned above if you buy it from Budget Shipping Containers, it will either be rectified before you get the container or not supplied to you in the first place! If you don’t mind a unit that has taken a knock you may even get a right bargain if you take a ‘nearly new’ or ‘damaged’ one trip container off us.
Lasting 2-3x the life of a used container, a new shipping container will not only look a lot smarter but it will also hold a better resale value should you want to sell it on in some years’ time. We typically suggest you loose half of the price of the new container the day its delivered, but from here it will maintain a very similar value for the next 10-15 years. Please contact us if you have any used, refurbished or new, one trip shipping container questions or queries.