advantages of refurbished containers


In general, shipping containers are designed to last a long time. On average shipping containers are used for overseas shipping for about 10 – 15 years before they are retired. Containers are retired because they are no longer deemed suitable for overseas shipping.

These “retired” containers have endured years of sea travel and being handled with heavy equipment. As a result the containers will have dings, dents and surface rust. However, the integrity of the container remains intact, and suitable for storage or other non-shipping usage.

People shopping for shipping containers have several choices. The most expensive option is the One-Trip Container, which has only been used once for overseas shipping. Another very popular option, because of the cost savings, is a used container, which is essentially a retired shipping container that has not been painted and has dings, dents, surface rust, and the original shipline markings.

A third option is the refurbished container, which is also a retired shipping container with the difference being that it has been repaired, washed and repainted to remove the surface rust and shipline markings. Refurbished shipping containers may be undervalued and just might be the most cost-effective product you can buy when shopping for shipping containers.

On-Site Storage Solutions wants to show you how a refurbished shipping container may be a fantastic cost saving option for you. A container can be refurbished or reconditioned to increase its life expectancy. It also enhances the appearance of a used container from an ordinary watertight unit to one that looks new.

Common Questions about refurbished shipping container

What is a refurbished shipping container?

Simply put, a refurbished shipping container is a retired shipping container that has been repaired and repainted to make it look more presentable. Refurbishing a container entails power cleaning it, grinding down the surface rust, repairing dents, and spot priming and painting the exterior with  Marine-grade industrial enamel paint. If required, minor repairs are made to the container floors. These containers are typically 10 -15 years old or older and are usually painted beige or a neutral color.

What is the difference between used containers and refurbished containers?

Both Used and Refurbished containers are similar in that they are the same age and have been retired from the shipping industry, however there are differences in condition, aesthetics and in price. Because it has been repaired and repainted, the life of the refurbished container has been extended compared to a used container.

When surface rust spots are treated it decreases the chances of holes or leaks in a container thus decreasing the chances of the container becoming an “eyesore” to your neighbors or surrounding community. You will pay more for a Refurbished container compared to a Used one.

The difference in pricing may range anywhere from $500 to $1200 or more depending on the location and availability in your area. We recommend getting pricing in your area. Click here for a quote.

Should I buy a refurbished shipping container or a used one?

Depending on your project and budget, it’s important to decide whether a used or refurbished container is right for you. At On-Site Storage Solutions we typically recommend going with a Refurbished container if the container will be placed in a high traffic location where it will be visible to neighbors or the community.

A used unpainted container may be considered an “eyesore” to your neighbors or surrounding businesses. Everyone wants to keep their neighborhood and businesses looking good and it’s important to be sensitive to your neighbors. Your neighbors may be less likely to complain if your container is in good condition.

If you are concerned with the appearance or color of your container, then we recommend going with a One-Trip or Refurbished container. A used wind and water tight container will have dings, dents and surface rust. The amount of damage ranges from container to container and there is uncertainty in the appearance and color of a used container. Purchasing a Refurbished container gives you the assurance that your container will look good and be a neutral color.

If you plan to load heavy equipment into your container or drive forklifts in and out of it we recommend going with a One-Trip or Refurbished container because the floors will be stronger than that of a used container and can better withstand the heavy use of forklifts.

Depending on your budget, a Refurbished container may not be an option for you. Used containers are guaranteed to be wind and water tight and will have no holes or leaks. Painting the container yourself will run you about $300 – $500. For information on how to paint your container see our blog.

At On-Site Storage Solutions

We have new, used, and refurbished shipping containers in a variety of sizes. However, if “new” is out of your price range and “used” is not an option, let’s explain how refurbished shipping containers might be a great alternative.

Choosing a recycled container is beneficial to your wallet as well as the environment. Some environmentally conscious organizations and businesses are opting to use refurbished units because it fits into their company values and sends a strong message to their like-minded customers that they indeed “practice what they preach.”

Some of the top shipping container businesses of the last decade include, restaurants, pop up shops, gyms, workout studios, coffee houses and offices spaces. For some of these businesses may require a custom paint job and the usual beige color of the refurbished unit may not be suitable for the project. On-Site Storage Solutions offers custom paint as well. Customers can literally choose from thousands of shades to paint their container, whether it be Fire Engine Red, Royal Blue, Pastel Pink, you name your color, we can do it.

If you have any queries or concerns about Refurbished Containers, please contact us at or call us at (888) 405-8772.

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