6 Things to Know Before Buying a Storage Container

6 Things to Know Before Buying a Storage Container

If you are planning to buy a shipping container or storage container, there are some things to keep in mind throughout the purchase process.

1.    Duration

Ask yourself how long you need the storage container for. You may need it for several weeks, months or years. If you need it for less than a year, renting may be a better option for you. But if you need it for the long term, buying outright is the best route, which saves you money.

2.    Size

Next, what size will you need? There are several options available to you:

Two standard lengths for storage containers exist: 20-footers and 40-footers. While height and width vary, most are 8 feet wide x 8 feet 6 inches high. No matter what, make sure it has been approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO), which ensures safety, quality and consistency. With standard size of storage containers, they can all fit together or be stacked, usually up to seven units high.

You also have the option of buying non-standard, customized sizes, which you’ll pay more for because they must be welded together or cut down to size. In general, a custom container costs between 20 and 30 percent more than a standard container.

Non-standard sizes typically include:

  • 45’ length x 8’ width x 8’6” height
  • 30’ length x 8’ width x 8’6” height
  • 15’ length x 8’ width x 8’6” height

On top of those, you can choose an extra wide container, which is 10 feet across. Many in the construction and retail industry choose this option so they can store bulky items and equipment, such as seasonal inventory or heavy machinery.

3.    Features

Think about the features you want and what you need for your business. Common features and add-ons include:

  • Single/double door entry
  • Windows
  • Flooring
  • Office/storage space combo
  • Internal locking system
  • HVAC
  • Shelving

4.    Security

You will understandably want to keep the contents of your storage container safe from theft or damage. Your two main options include exterior bolt locks and interior locking mechanisms. Do your research on both, making sure they are of the highest quality. Many exterior locks on the market today can be easily cut with a bolt cutter by determined thieves. You may just need an exterior bolt lock on your container if it is placed in a heavily-monitored and secure area.

If you are concerned about security or your container is located in a sketchy area with no monitoring, you may want to install an interior locking mechanism. They cost more but they will keep your stuff safe and give you added peace of mind.

5.    Permission

In some cases, you have to get a temporary permit from your town or city to place a shipping container on your property, especially in highly trafficked areas or residential locations. While most construction and retail sites must pull a temporary permit due to the visibility, a secluded agricultural property or anywhere else that doesn’t get much traffic may not need to. Always contact the city to learn about requirements before purchasing a container.

6.    Site Preparation

You may not need much in the way of site prep if the area is level and dry. If you own a construction site and only need a temporary unit, you will likely be able to find the flattest spot for your container no problem. However, if you need a long term solution, can’t find level ground, or want the unit to stack on top of others, you will need more extensive site prep.

Check with your storage container supplier on how much clearance is needed around the site, how to prepare the ground for delivery, and what to expect on delivery day. Many will come out and take a look at the property beforehand to go over site prep suggestions with you. Just remember that rocky land, sloping landscapes and easily flooded areas are not the best places to store containers.

Now that you know what to consider before buying a storage container, you will be better able to make an informed decision.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

If you are interested in buying a shipping container for business or personal use, the first step is to get a free quote on units. For that, contact us at 910-483-7828 today. We would be happy to answer your questions about storage containers and what to consider before purchasing.


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