The Life of a Storage Container

Almost all of the storage containers that American Trailer Rentals uses in its fleet are one-trip shipping containers.

Shipping containers are built to last decades. If they’re properly maintained, they can survive hundreds of trips on the sea and cross country on the roads & railroads. Normally, a sea-faring shipping container will have a service life of at least 10-12 years. They’ll last longer if used as a storage container and on dry land, like the containers we offer here at American Trailer Rentals.

The lifespan of a shipping container depends on its environment, products carried or stored inside and if they’ve been damaged during loading and unloading.

Each of the containers at American Trailer Rentals has its own individual story. They’ve one-tripped from different locations across the globe, or they’ve carried different materials. While each of containers is unique, the general life cycle and processing of the containers is similar. 

Manufacturing Shipping Containers

Most of the world’s shipping containers are made throughout China in various factories. They’re the experts on everything shipping container related. Its very uncommon to find American Made shipping containers because the cost of labor in the U.S. is so high.

After manufacture, each container is given a seven-digit number that helps track the container’s journey and identify what it’s storing, where it’s going, if it’s importing or exporting, and what port it’s from. It also helps with tracking purchasing, sort of like a VIN number on a vehicle. 

New shipping containers are typically shipped to the US to be used in transporting domestic goods and materials. These are called “one-trippers” and are what American Trailer Rentals uses for its rental fleet of storage containers.

Port to Port

Once the containers are fabricated and inspected, they are loaded on trucks or trains to be transported to a shipping yard.

At the time of arrival, they’ll usually sit a few weeks until they’re ready to be loaded with goods. Prior to shipping, each container is weighed to find it’s tare (empty) weight. Afterwards, they’ll be assigned a maximum weight. This is to prevent overloading and to maintain the structural integrity of each container. You definitely don’t want to over fill a container as it can weaken its floors or damage the interior, plus it’s not safe to stack overloaded containers 12-high on a ship. 

After Shipping

It’s unusual for a shipping container to remain with its original owner. Most are sold numerous times for a variety of purposes over their life. Once its days of shipping and carrying cargo are over, many containers can be used for many unique business or personal purposes. 


American Trailer Rentals rents shipping containers for storage to various consumers and businesses. Our storage containers are built to withstand harsh conditions like hurricanes and heavy rain, they’re cost-effective and sturdy! We also equip our storage containers with their very own lock box to prevent theft.

Some folks have gotten very creative in the ways they use shipping containers. Uses are limited only by the imagination and include anything from housing, restaurants, self-storage businesses, swimming pools, vacation homes, hotels, and much more. 

Containers from American Trailer Rentals

Now that you’ve learned a little about how our containers have come to be. The containers here at American Trailer Rentals have a long and beautiful life. We always maintain our one-trippers and keep them in tip top shape! Please check out our products page to see what containers may suit your project! As of Spring of 2022 we’ve begun selling containers again!  Please reach out to us today to see what containers we have in our inventory for sale!