Things to Consider when Buying 40 ft Containers

Intermodal Containers also known as shipping containers, cargo containers,  freight containers and conex boxes are one of the most significant inventions that helped to propel the cargo industry. Since its inception in the 1950’s people have found a variety of alternative and innovative uses for these giant steel boxes. The factors to consider while shopping for a container are  the type of container (e.g dry van, refrigerated, flat rack, open top, etc.) that is best for your needs, the size you need, the condition of the container (i.e., whether you should buy new or used), and of course the price and payment options. 

Containers are offered in a variety of sizes ranging from 10 feetto 53  feet in length.  The used 40 ft long shipping container is the best value since most goods are shipped in 40 ft shipping containers which means there is a larger supply of used 40’ shipping containers for sale.  The used 40 ft high cube which is 9 ft 6 in high is the most popular used 40’ shipping container since it offers an extra 1 foot of interior space versus the 40 ft standard height shipping container which has an exterior height of 8 ft 6 in. In this article, we will look at the basic things to consider when deciding to buy or rent a 40ft container. 

Factors that affect a 40 ft Shipping Container Cost:

The cost of a shipping container, regardless of size, will be based on a variety of factors. Below are some of the factors that contribute to the total cost of a steel shipping container

1. Buying Vs. Renting: ​

Deciding whether to buy or rent would be the first and foremost thing to consider when planning to obtain a container. This decision will depend highly on how long you need the container for. Renting, for obvious reasons, requires less initial out of pocket expense. This is suitable if you only need the storage container for a relatively short period of time such as 6 to 12 months. Purchasing would be more cost-effective, in the long run, if you plan to use the container for more than a year. You should also consider delivery costs since most companies charge a separate rate for delivery on both rentals and purchases. Keep in mind that for purchases you will only have to pay delivery costs while rentals would require a pick up cost as well. So, depending on the distance from the depot this could contribute significantly to the overall cost. There are also lease to purchase options that allow you to buy the container with affordable monthly payments.

2. New Vs. Used Containers:

The condition of the shipping container (i.e., whether it is new or used) also contributes to the price of the container. A new shipping container will be cleaner, less worn and would definitely give you the highest quality possible but, of course, will cost you more. Though used containers are about 12 years or older and will have some dings, dents, surface rust and some repairs they will be inspected to insure they are structurally sound and have no holes or leaks. You can have them repainted which can also help in prolonging the life of the container and of course, make it look more presentable. If you’re not concerned about the appearance of the container and all you need is a reliable and sturdy storage unit then purchasing a used shipping container will save you money. .

3. Location Matters:

The location of the used shipping container is another factor that affects the cost of used shipping containers. Prices vary by location mostly due to supply and demand. As a general rule you’ll find that coastal port cities like Los Angeles, Houston, Savannah, Charleston and Newark have cheaper containers because they have more used shipping containers for sale compared to inland cities like Denver, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Nashville and Minneapolis. Since most companies charge  for delivery, your distance from the depot also plays a factor in the overall cost of the container.  Most drivers charge per mile so the further away you are from the depot the more you will pay for delivery. When shopping for shipping containers it is important to consider the overall cost, which includes delivery, rather than solely the cost of the container. Keep in mind you can arrange your own pick up and delivery as well.

4. Modifications and Accessories:

Optional modifications and accessories will add to the cost of purchasing a storage container and should be priced before closing the deal. It is important to note that modifications are not usually available when renting a shipping container.

Most locations offer shipping container modifications and accessories which include painting, roll-up doors, ramps, specialty locks, shelving, windows and venting. Prices for modifications vary by location due to different labor rates so it is best to obtain a quote in advance.

5. Specialty Containers:

Specialty storage containers such as refrigerated shipping containers, open-top containers and flat rack shipping containers,, are designed to meet a specific function. These highly specialized shipping containers have limited availability and may require additional time to make available in your area. These shipping containers vary in price depending on type, condition and availability so please contact us for pricing and availability. 

6. Quality of Containers:

Purchasing a shipping container should be viewed as an investment that should last you many years. Quality over price is key when it comes to considering a purchase. Hence you should purchase from a highly reputable supplier with years of experience supplying new and used shipping containers at the best pricing.

The Difference Between Wind and Water Tight (WWT) Containers and Cargo Worthy Containers: ​

Wind and Water Tight (WWT) classified shipping containers means that a container has been inspected and is guaranteed to have no holes or leaks. These containers are perfect for storage purposes as they assure that the cargo inside is protected from the elements of nature and rodents. 

Cargo Worthy classified containers are similar to WWT containers in that they too are guaranteed to have no holes or leaks but they have a higher classification because, with the proper documentation, they can be certified for overseas shipping and should meet the CSC (International Convention for Safe Containers) requirements. These containers need to meet certain structural requirements and standards and are commonly used for storage of cargo being moved around the world. The floors on these containers have been inspected to ensure they are sturdy enough for heavy loads and can withstand the weight of a forklift.

The Difference Between 40ft Standard Shipping Containers and 40ft High Cube Shipping Containers: ​

The main difference between the 40ft Standard Container and the 40ft High Cube Container is in the height. The High Cube 40 ft container and the 40 foot shipping container are both 8 feet wide however the 40 high cube shipping container is 9 ½ feet tall on the exterior versus 8 ½ feet tall for the 40 standard shipping container. This one foot difference means a 40 ft high cube shipping container will have over 300 additional cubic feet of storage space versus a standard 40 ft standard shipping container.   It is important to note that the maximum shipping weight for either type of shipping container remains the same at 67,200 lbs.   People who intend to customize the container into an office or work space will usually opt the 40 ft high cube shipping container because the extra 1 foot of interior headroom makes the 8 foot 10 in interior height of the high cube container feel more like room than a trailer.  

Identifying the specific purpose and understanding the dimensions of 40 foot shipping containers will help in determining the correct size and type of container to choose from.  

Listed below is the difference in dimensions of the two types of 40ft shipping containers:  

40ft Standard Height Container: 

Exterior Dimensions (in feet): 40′ long x 8′ wide x 8′ 6” high. 

Interior Dimensions (in feet): 39′ 6” long x 7′ 9” wide x 7′ 10” high 

40ft High Cube Shipping Container: 

Exterior Dimensions (in feet): 40′ long x 8′ wide x 8′ 6” high. 

Interior Dimensions (in feet): 39′ 6” long x 7′ 9” wide x 8’ 10” high 

Where to find 40ft shipping container for sale near me:​

As previously mentioned, location plays a big part in the overall cost of a shipping.  On-Site Storage Solutions, Inc. has over 60 locations throughout North America which enables us to offer the shipping containers you need from locations near you at the best prices possible.   It is also important to work with a highly reputable company like On-Site Storage Solutions, Inc. that has over 20 years of experience supplying containers at the lowest prices.   We stand behind the shipping containers we sell and our reputation for superior service is evident in our outstanding reviews.

If you need a new or used shipping container, call us today.   Our expert staff is here to help you find the right storage container at the best price.  They will spend the time necessary to walk you through the requirements and guide you throughout the process.  Call On-site Storage Solutions, Inc. at (888) 405-8772 or submit a Get a Quote form

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