Are you shopping for steel shipping containers? There is no limit to the things you can do with those 40 foot shipping containers. You want a workshop or shed? Done. You want a woman cave? Done and done. You want a swimming pool? A guest house? An entire house? Done and done and done. Steel storage containers are meant to withstand the throws of the open ocean, while leaving the contents completely untouched. They can resist fire and hurricane, they can be stacked eight high, with just as much stability. We aren’t kidding, steel shipping containers are among the most versatile and useful things on God’s green Earth.
The trick to creating the structure of your dreams with recycled steel shipping containers is getting your hands on enough steel shipping containers, in the right shape, to get the job done. To help you to this end, we’ve put together a quick guide:
Four Tips for Finding Used Shipping Containers
- Get the word out that you’re in the market for used shipping containers.
The United States imports a lot more than we export. That means that we have a lot more shipping containers coming to us than we have leaving our ports. It often doesn’t make financial sense to transport empty containers back overseas, so instead the shipping containers are sold here. The methods that shipping companies use to sell off their unneeded shipping containers varies, but if you make it known that you’re interested in buying them, they might be willing to let you have your first pick at their unneeded storage containers, before they go to the additional hassle of getting rid of them another way. Not to mention, the most common source of shipping containers is going to be from a third-party who does this for you, and then marks up the price a little bit. So cutting out the middle man and getting your containers straight from the source might save you some money.
Call around to the shipping companies nearby you and get yourself on their calling list when they have surplus shipping containers to unload. Maybe a few of your calls will come up empty, but if you find a good source, you’ll be set for all your projects!
- Avoid shipping containers with modifications.
Depending on their previous use, the shipping containers that are up for sale might have modifications that helped them serve their purpose. Maybe they have refrigeration for shipping produce. Maybe they have large sliding coverings for dropping large objects in with a crane. Unless the modifications perfectly align with the purpose you have for them, we recommend avoiding shipping containers with such modifications to them. Often, you’ll have to make additional modifications to make them usable, which will cost you more time and money.
- Don’t forget to factor transportation into your cost.
Unless you live in a port area, your shipping containers are going to have to be moved to your location, which can cost a pretty penny. Sometimes, you can save a little dough by transporting it yourself, however, you’ll need to have a commercial driver’s license and a truck with the capacity to move such a large object in order to do so, so there’s only a small amount of people who fit this bill. If you see a fantastic deal on shipping containers, you might feel inclined to jump at the chance. Just make sure you understand how much it will cost to move them, and factor that in.
- Understand legal mumbo jumbo associated with buying used shipping containers.
It happens more often than you’d think. You get an amazing deal on a used shipping container and snatch it up before it’s gone. The only problem is the seller of the shipping container isn’t actually the owner of it. This could result in wasted money for you, or even legal woes! Before you buy a shipping container, do a little research on the ownership. Look for an identification number on the unit, and contact the name on the side of it to verify that it is being sold above the table.
You also want to make sure you understand the legality of using a shipping container in your zone. You don’t want to go through this trouble, only to find out you aren’t allowed to have them!
Questions? Share below!