Shipping Container Buyers Guide

Your Guide to Buying a Shipping Container

What is a shipping container?

A shipping container is constructed of steel and strong enough to withstand shipment, storage, and handling. The containers vary from the large reusable boxes used for intermodal shipments to the ubiquitous boxes which are corrugated.

Shipping container specifications

Shipping containers exist in different sizes, and the most common are the 40` and 20` containers which are manufactured from either aluminum or steel. Regardless of the size and the material used in the manufacturing process, all these containers are suitable for the storage of cargo.

Buying shipping containers

The specifications of the shipping containers vary depending on the size as shown below.

Specifications of the 20` container

  • Tare Weight
  • Payload Capacity
  • Cubic Capacity
  • Internal Length
  1. 23,000 kg
  2. 25,000 Kg
  3. 33.2 m3
  4. 5.9 m
  5. 5071.5 lbs
  6. 55126.9 lbs
  7. 1172 cu ft
  8. 19.4 ft
  • Internal Width
  • Internal Weight
  • Door Opening Width
  • Door Opening Height
  1. 2.35 m
  2. 2.39 m
  3. 2.34 m
  4. 2.28
  5. 7.7 ft
  6. 7.9 ft
  7. 7.7 m
  8. 7.5 ft

Specifications of the 40 inch container

  • Tare Weight
  • Payload Capacity
  • Cubic Capacity
  • Internal Length
  1. 3750 kg
  2. 27600 kg
  3. 67.7 m3
  4. 12.03 m
  5. 8268.8 lbs
  6. 61200 lbs
  7. 2389 cu ft
  8. 39.5 ft
  • Internal Weight
  • Internal Height
  • Door Opening Width
  • Door Opening Height
  1. 2.35 m
  2. 2.39 m
  3. 2.34 m
  4. 2.28 m
  5. 7.7 ft
  6. 7.9 ft
  7. 7.7 ft
  8. 7.5 ft

Top ten common uses for shipping containers

Did you know that containers can be used for various commercial and domestic uses apart from shipping cargo? We asked a local container hire company in Brisbane Nationwide Container Sales  to help us with this list. Below are the top ten common uses of the containers.

  1. Restaurants

The restaurant industry is becoming more innovative in our modern contemporary society, by embracing the use of containers as restaurants. Most of the restaurants made of containers have that classy and conducive environment in the inside. Try visiting one and am certain you will have a mind-blowing experience.

  1. Residential Homes

In the recent past, the use of containers in the building of residential homes has increased at a spiraling rate. Putting up the container alternative homes is however, a little more expensive because it is a new idea in the residential market. In addition to the idea being new in the residential market, the cost of the building materials and labor also makes these types of homes expensive. Despite the building cost being a little bit higher, these residential structures are the best if you want to construct a home, but you have limited space as they do not require a large space.

  1. Bars

Most bars in urban areas are now being constructed using storage containers. This is due to the availability of limited space for building in addition to the higher cost of building in the urban areas. As a result of the limited space and cost of building, containers have become a trendy alternative to a conventional building. The container structure bars, have a pretty cool outlook, and better yet eco-friendly.

  1. Bunkhouse

Industries such as the oil, gas and the government facilities ought to often provide their workers or rather staff with some place to live. Due to this mandate by industries and government facilities, containers are therefore being embraced to provide homes for the staff.

The advantage of constructing homes using containers is the short period used in the construction. Furthermore, the containers can be portioned to have offices and kitchens in them making life for the staff easy. This also saves on space.

  1. Medical facilities

Recently, medical facilities have resorted to using containers as their primary construction material. Hospitals and Doctors can save monetary resources when setting up medical facilities because constructing medical facilities using containers is cheaper. Another advantage of construction using containers is that it saves a lot more time.

  1. Schools

Construction of schools using containers has become a noteworthy trend. This is as a result of the construction of schools using containers being cheap. Regardless of the schools being built from containers, the quality of education provided is what is important.

  1. Swimming Pools

Containers can be used to make breathtaking swimming pools courtesy of their originally constructed length and depth. The swimming pools made from the containers are honestly superb, and you need to visit one.

  1. Wine Cellar

It is true that building a cellar at times can be very expensive especially when a lot of space is needed, while in some places it is never feasible to build underground due to the rocky landscape. Due to these challenges, containers are therefore the ultimate alternative as they can provide the space and the separation required to store the wine. Also, the containers can also be equipped with air temperature controls which ensure the safety of your wine.

  1. Hunting Cabin

The number of containers being converted to hunting cabins and lodges in our society is growing in leaps and bounds. And one may ask why? This is simply because the transportation of containers is easy and the construction is also cheap. Hunting cabins can be constructed beautifully depending on how one is willing to get deep into their pocket.

  1. Retail Outlets

The popularity of using containers as shopping malls and an outdoor retail store is also increasing. This is because the construction time is faster thus allowing the retailers and shopping mall owners start selling their products within a short period. These structures make a great alternative for the traditional build as they are stackable and ready to work with.

Tips for buying the best containers

The decision of purchasing a shipping container comes with a fair share of challenges. This is because some us do not know what to consider when buying the containers. But you can now put your worries aside as the following tips will help you settle for the best container.


When buying a container, age should be one of the factors that is to be put into consideration. As a buyer, you have to decide the age of the container you want to buy. It is always advisable to buy new containers as they are much more durable compared to the old ones. So take your time to get the new containers in the market regardless of their high price.


Quality is also a very vital aspect that needs to be considered when buying a container. Containers exist in different and diverse qualities for one to choose from. The qualities are therefore mentioned below.

  1. New or one-trip containers

These type of containers are manufactured from Asia, and they are shipped to markets across the world.

  1. Cargo Worthy Containers

Cargo Worthy Containers are considered to be the best quality containers and hence certified as fit for shipping even though they may contain dents and rust.

  1. The Wind and Watertight Containers

These are better and solid containers, but their cargo worthy certification may have expired. They also might be having defects but which do not affect the storage.

  1. As-is containers

These containers have defects that are known such as bad floors, damaged roof, and holes. These containers do not come with warranties.

Shipping containers

How the container will be delivered

Most container manufacturers and vendors facilitate the transportation of the containers until the customer’s place. If you also have any equipment that can be used to lift off the containers such as a crane or a forklift, then you can save on some of the transportation costs involved.


Containers are impenetrable thanks to the impact of fabrication from corten steel. Their doors can also be easily locked due to the existence of levers. If you need to secure your container even more then, you need to find one that has a lockbox.


Depending on what you will be using the container for, you can easily add additional modifications according to the use. You can also buy one that has been modified.

Upkeep and maintenance

Even though Corten prevents containers from rust, steel is susceptible to rust. Luckily paint can be used to conceal rust in containers.

These facts are from;

The Cost of Buying Containers in Australia

The prices of containers vary depending on whether it has been used or not. The prices also depend on the size of the container and the modifications that have been made. The following are therefore the prices of containers depending on whether it has been used or not.

Price of a used container 

The price of a used 40` container ranges from $ 3500 – $7700

Price of a 20` container ranges from $ 2090 – $ 2145

Price of a new container

The price of a new 40` container is $ 15000

The price of a new 20` is $ 7590

The price of a 20` container with a refrigerator is $ 7700


As you can see there are a few things to look out for when buying a shipping container. Make sure you do your research and shop around for at least 3 different companies to compare prices. If you found this article helpful please share on social media.