Shipping Containers are a fantastic solution for a variety of needs, including storage, shipping and conversion projects. They are secure, wind and water tight, long-lasting, relatively cheap and retain their value very well. An ISO intermodal shipping container is simply a reinforced steel box, with a never-ending list of uses.
Because containers can be transported relatively cheaply, they are cost effective for both long and short term solutions. To learn about how shipping containers are moved around the world, see this great article on Wikipedia.
In this article, we will discuss how to select, negotiate and ultimately buy a shipping container for the best price along with the best delivery terms.
Let's get started!
Shipping containers come in many sizes from under 8' to over 53' long.
That being said, over 80% of containers are: 20 feet, 40 feet or 40' HC (High-Cube). High-cube containers are 1 foot taller than the standard 8 1/2 feet high.
Container sizes of 45' HC are also available but not as prevalent. And finally, there are other rare sizes such as: 8', 10', 24', 30', 48' and 53'. Save yourself some trouble and money by buying a prevalent container type.
A chart detailing the length, height and width along with weight and maximum loads of 20's, 40's and 45's can be found on Wikipedia.
It's also important to consider what you're going to put inside the container to help decide which size you should purchase. Here is an excellent reference chart to show you how much weight and how many items will fit inside: shipping container capacities - this shows the number of cement bags, cars and bedrooms that will fit in various size containers.
A few final points to keep in mind when choosing a size: