Factors that Impact the Price of Shipping Containers for Sale

Although unused units command a higher price, second-hand shipping containers for sale are cheaper and are priced according to their condition or grade. When US trucker Malcolm McLean came up with the revolutionary idea of preloading marine cargo into transportable steel boxes in the ‘50s, he probably gave little thought to the many other uses that have since been found for his time- and cost-saving invention. Although millions of these containers are at sea at any given time, most are on shore awaiting loading, unloading, or some alternative use.


Many of these units are used only a few times before they are no longer needed, resulting in a growing market for second-hand containers. Unlike many other used items whose price tags tend to vary widely, the prices of pre-owned containers are often determined more formally. Each used unit is assigned a grade based on its physical condition, subject to established standards. In most cases, although not all dealers choose to comply, the price of a used container will be directly related to its designated grade.


Range of Used Shipping Containers for Sale


Understanding the Grades of Used Containers for Sale


While the precise grading criteria may differ slightly between suppliers, the Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) recommends the following standards to determine the quality and, by extension, the sale price of used shipping containers for sale:


  • Premium (IICL-5): Though still cheaper than a new unit, containers of this grade are in near-new condition or have undergone professional repairs that have left them indistinguishable from new. Typically, they will be between two and eight years old.


  • WWT: The three-letter acronym implies that containers for sale in this category are more than eight years old but are guaranteed to be wind and watertight. They have no holes, cracks, or significant structural weaknesses and are subdivided into grades A, B, and C. The former will have little or no damage or rust, while B-grade units have noticeable damage or rust and may be unsuitable for shipping without suitable repairs. Grade C containers are often sold “as is” and can vary widely in condition but will most often require extensive repair or refurbishment.


  • Cargo Worthy: This descriptive label implies that containers in this group have undergone professional inspection and complied with the quality assurance standards required for shipboard travel.


  • Storage Grade: The label is used for units no longer suitable for shipping but still considered structurally adequate for storage use on land.


Containers for Sale in South Africa


We at Absolute Containers are a company widely known for quality and integrity. Why not contact us for more details about new and expertly graded used shipping containers for sale?


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