New or Used, Rent or Buy: How to Decide on Shipping Containers

New or Used, Rent or Buy: How to Decide on Shipping Containers

In the market for a shipping container? As you may already know, there are many options out there. Rent vs. buy? New vs. used? How can you decide? We have put together this handy guide to help you make the most educated decision possible.

New vs. Used

Buying new or used goes well beyond how much money you are willing to shell out. Here are the benefits and drawbacks to each.

Why buy new?

Buying a new shipping container has many advantages. It will cost you more but you will get a better quality product that will give you a long shelf life.

  • 20’and 40’ shipping containers have only been shipped with cargo once, meaning they have only been subjected to the ocean environment one time.
  • You can be assured you’re getting the best condition possible, with 20 or more years of serviceability.
  • You get a wider selection of container when you buy new, as well as configurations.
    • Lengths of 10′, 16′, 20′, 24′, 40′ and 45′ lengths
    • Standard height (8.5′ high) and high-cubes (9.5′ high)
    • Choose from double doors on one end or both
  • Manufactured with Corten steel panels and doors
  • They feature a protective layer to prevent rust
  • Can accommodate 30 tons gross weight.
  • Can support loading and unloading by a forklift.
  • Full certified.
  • Made under strict guidelines.
  • May be customized with colors or logos.

If appearance is important to you and you want a container in excellent condition with a long life, go with a new one-trip container in seaworthy condition. You won’t have to worry about expensive or time-consuming repairs for a long time.

Why buy used?

Don’t have a very forgiving budget? Don’t care about excellent condition? Used may be the better way to go. With used containers, you get:

  • More affordable pricing, still offering many years of service
  • A variety of conditions, sizes, configurations and colors
  • Swing doors and wooden floors
  • As-is condition or with custom modifications
  • Minimal ground preparation requirements
  • Many sizes to choose from: 20 ft, 40 ft, high cube, etc.
  • Refrigerated containers available

Used storage containers are those that have been retired from cargo service, still able to give you long-term, secure storage even though they are used. They’re still in good condition but may be marked with some blemishes like dents or surface rust.

Rent vs. Buy

Now the next consideration is if you should rent or buy your container. Here are some tips to decide.

Why you should rent

Renting gives you a good idea of what you’re getting into. Perhaps you may buy one at a later date but aren’t sure which one will work for your needs. Renting first will allow you to determine your needs without getting tied down to a purchase right now, especially if you don’t have the capital. You can always downsize or upsize later.

The ability to rent-to-own is another benefit of rentals. In most cases, you are given the opportunity to buy your rented container any time during the rental term. It can be viewed as a trial period.

Why you should buy

Purchasing a container has its benefits too. When the container is yours outright, you can modify it any way you wish. From mobile offices and kiosks to pop up cafes and concession stands, there are many ways you can use modifications and extra accessories to achieve the function and look you want. Put another way, with a purchase, you are in control of what you do with the container.

Additionally, you can move it where you see fit. This mobility factor is a big feature, without the need to have to keep it at the original location. If you need a container for the long term, you’ll save money buying rather than renting. On the flip side, if you only need a container for a few months, renting is a more cost effective option. Also, when you buy a container, you can amortize its cost over several years.

In the end, the length of time you need the container as well as its purpose will dictate whether you get new or used. If you only need a container for a month for an exhibition or trade show, renting is a good option. If you need a mobile office on your property for the next few years and you want to make modifications, buying is better.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

If you still can’t decide on new vs. used or rent vs. buy, perhaps we can help. Call us at (910) 483-7828 for more guidance, terms and pricing.




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