Used shipping containers usually have years of life left in them, as shipping containers are often made from heavy-duty steel that is meant to last for decades without corrosion or wear. You can often find a used container that works very well for your needs when it comes to shipping items for your business, but note a few tips on how to find these and buy them safely for your company.
1. Check the ownership
A shipping container will usually have a container number painted on the side or elsewhere, and you can easily check online for ownership of the container using this number. If there is a company logo painted on the side or any other information about the company that owned the container, call them and ask if they still own it, if they're not the company selling it. This can ensure you're not getting a stolen container.
2. Hire an inspector for the container
If you want to use the container for shipping overseas, it will usually need to pass certain inspections. You can often hire an inspector to check the container from top to bottom and note if it would be in good condition for shipping. They can also tell you any repairs or other work that might need to be done to get the container up to international shipping requirements, and may note details you would otherwise overlook yourself, such as the condition of the hinges and locks or hidden areas of rust and corrosion.
3. Delivery is rarely included
Many container sellers don't include delivery in their cost; if they do, it can be very expensive. You might check beforehand about flatbed trucks you can rent to get your container yourself, or the cost of a delivery company to pick it up from a shipyard or warehouse and deliver it to your location. This is important to do before you shop so you know to roll the price of this delivery into the overall cost of purchasing.
4. They don't come with windows and other such accessories
If you've seen shipping containers used for small homes, second offices, and other such uses, note that these may have had a lot of work done to customize them. Rather than wasting time trying to find containers that have all those add-ons that you want, note that you may need to add these features yourself after purchasing the container so you can use them for something other than just shipping.