Key Points to Consider When Buying Shipping Containers for Sale

Following their launch in the US in the mid-50s, one can now find shipping containers for sale worldwide. However, prospective buyers might need some advice. The concept was the brainchild of an American trucker who thought it would save time and money if he could load his truck onto a ship, complete with its cargo, rather than offloading and loading items individually.


His solution was to design a rectangular steel box that could be transported on a flatbed truck or railcar to and from a port and transferred with a crane in a single operation. While estimates vary widely, there could be as many as 17 million shipping containers in circulation today. Surprisingly, not all of them are being used to transport cargo by sea.


People purchase containers for various purposes. For example, they are the most effective way to transport furniture overseas when emigrating or to provide temporary storage for it when undertaking a major home renovation. The past few decades have seen a growing tendency to convert them into temporary or mobile buildings like site offices, classrooms, dormitories, and even multi-storey apartment blocks.


Things to Consider Before Buying Shipping Containers for Sale


Their intended purpose is just one of the factors to consider when purchasing shipping containers for sale. Let’s examine some of the other essential criteria.


  • Buy or Rent: As a general rule, if you need a container for three years or more, it will be more economical to buy it. Of course, if you plan to modify the container in any way, your only option will be to purchase it.


  • New or Used: If you are strapped for cash, there are always plenty of second-hand shipping containers for sale. However, you will need to inspect them for signs of damage. The odd dent is acceptable for one-off use, but cracks or holes are not. Check the door and locking mechanism, then step inside and close the door to look for areas where light may be penetrating. However, for long-term use, always buy new.

  • Large or Small: While containers are now available in many sizes, the most widely used are approximately six or twelve metres long. Their widths and heights are identical at 2,44 and 2,59 metres, respectively. Select the volume that will best meet your storage or accommodation requirements.


  • Container Type: You must choose the correct type of container if exporting or distributing goods is your business. There are several to pick from, including dry-storage, open-top, refrigerated (reefers), and double-doored.

Finding Quality Shipping Containers for Sale


At Absolute Containers, we specialise in supplying new and professionally refurbished units for sale or hire in South Africa. We invite you to contact us for more details.