40' Shipping Container Photo

What to Consider When Buying A Shipping Container

Conex boxes may seem like simple steel shipping containers, but it’s important to consider a few things before purchasing one. All used shipping containers are not the same and you need to know what to look for in order to become an informed buyer. Here are some key tips for buying a used shipping container.

Steel Shipping Containers vs Aluminum Shipping Containers

Shipping containers can be made from steel or aluminum. However, Corten steel is a better choice for two reasons. One – it’s a more durable material that can take a beating without breaking. Two – it’s less likely to leak unlike the aluminum containers that have lots of fasteners where water can potentially enter.

20' storage containers stacked up

What to Look for When Inspecting a Shipping Container

Inspecting a Conex box in person is the best way to know its condition prior to purchasing. What do you need to check? Start with the exterior and see if there are any holes. If you see minor surface rust, that’s ok! But if the rust is so severe that it looks like it may wear through the steel, then you may have a future hole on your hands. Check to see if the exterior of the container is rough as if rust may have been painted over. If so, do not purchase that container as it will be impossible to know how bad the rust is if you can’t see it. Review the container doors and seals. If the seals are torn, water intrusion can occur. If the doors are a little stiff or hard to open don’t worry, this can be easily fixed with a little lubrication or by leveling the container.

shipping container plate

Checking the Inside of a Shipping Container

Once inside a shipping container, it’s important to check for any small holes you may have missed on the outside. Simply close the door once inside and see if there is any light coming in. If you see light penetrating from anywhere besides the vents, you may have found a hole! Next, check the condition of the floors. Make sure there aren’t any damaged, weak, or rotten pieces. If there are patches instead of full flooring replacements, verify that they’ve been done properly.

open doors on shipping container

Here at ATR, we inspect every single one of our shipping containers to verify that they meet quality standards. Come by and see them for yourselves at our Tampa, Lakeland, or Orlando branches! Or get a quote now!