Steps to Buying a Shipping Container

Posted on:
Jul 15, 2022

burgundy blue green and orange shipping container

There are many reasons why you would need a storage container or shipping container. Some people use them strictly for shipping or storing goods, while others have more creative uses in mind. These can include anything from tiny homes and retirement housing to schools and office spaces.

If you are in the market for a shipping container, no matter what the use, here are the steps to buying one.

How to Purchase Cargo Containers

Buying a container is a big investment. The process can be time consuming and overwhelming sometimes, but with these tips, you will have a storage container on your property in no time:

Learn About Container Types

There are many different container types you can choose from. The one you settle on will depend greatly on the space you need, what the intended purpose is and your budget. From 20-foot to 40-foot containers to office units, do your research on the best one for you. You can also choose from refrigerated units if you plan to store temperature-sensitive goods in there.

Consider Container Dimension

There are also many container dimensions to choose from as well. The one you go with will depend on the size of the goods you choose to store inside, the intended use and available space on the property.

If you have heavy, awkward shaped goods, you may want to try an open-top cargo container so you can safely and easily load and unload objects. And if you need extra space, try a 40-foot high cube container.

Know Your Container Grade

There are many different container grades that are categorized by age and feature, such as new, like new, used, very used, cargo worthy (CW), or wind or water tight (WWT). New units are the best condition you can buy, while cargo-worthy units may have some visible exterior dents, scratches or rust.

Check Container Stock and Prices

Call a few container providers to get quotes and to view their inventory. Not all companies are created equal. Make sure you are able to see the container you want to buy in person, if possible, so you can inspect it. Go with the company that has the most competitive price, with quality units and attentive customer service.

Ask about the types, dimensions, purchase plans, and rent packages the provider offers. This will help you further flesh out your decision on which one to choose. Get every detail you possibly can so you can make an educated decision.

Check Container Condition

Some container companies want you to buy containers sight-unseen, from a few photos they provide you. This isn’t a good idea. You want to be able to check the unit over for condition, so you know exactly what you’re paying for. At this time, check for leaks.

Any rust holes or leaks will have to be patched up, or your items will be susceptible to the elements like cold, heat, seawater, wind and snow. Check the door hinges for rust and make sure they open and close properly.

Hire a Container Expert

If you are looking at a shipping container company located far away from you, it may be impossible for you to see the unit in person. Did you know you can hire a container expert to go for you and check out the physical condition of the unit? This person can give you an unbiased overview of the condition and any customizations or modifications it may need. Having a third-party expert on your side is a good idea when you can’t be there yourself.

Request Previous Use List

Be sure to request the previous use list, particularly if you notice a strong odor, grease, or stains. This list will tell you what the container was used for in the past. The seller may have to clean it before transferring ownership to you.

Decide on Delivery Location

Once you have decided which type of container you want to buy, it’s time to think about where you want it delivered. There are usually additional costs involved for delivery. Whether you want it placed in your yard or on your work site, make sure it will rest on a flat surface.

Contact DRYBOX

If you are having a tough time deciding on the right unit for you, talk to us. Our team can guide you through the process step by step so you make the most educated decision possible. We would be happy to start you off with a free quote, so call us toll free at 866-549-9823. Check out our many container sizes and types on our website, then make an appointment to come see us in person.




    Corporate Headquarters

    132 Estep Rd
    Chehalis, WA 98532

    Office: 360-262-1841 (Local)

    Branch Manager, Kirk Vigre

    Tacoma Container Yard

    2021 E Marc St
    Tacoma, WA 98421

    Branch Manager, Aaron Norlin

    Portland Container Yard

    10400 N Burgard Way
    Portland, OR 97203

    Office: 503-946-9744

    Branch Manager, Kyla Matthews

    Coeur d’Alene Container Yard

    3175 W Seltice Way
    Post Falls, ID. 83854

    Branch Manager, Ryan Earle

    Salt Lake City Containers

    2820 W 500 S
    Salt Lake City, UT 84104

    Branch Manager, Clarence Wright

    Spokane Container Yard

    8414 W Geiger Blvd
    Spokane, WA 99224

    Office: 509-606-2699

    Branch Manager, Ryan Earle