Deciding Between New & Used Containers

There are many reasons why more and more people are taking to using converted shipping containers for more than just storing and transporting cargo. Whether you are looking for a pop-up café, exhibition stand, site office, or even looking to design a modular home, shipping containers are an excellent option.

If you are looking to buy a shipping container to be converted, you will normally be given the choice of buying a new or a used one. What is the difference? And which one should you choose? Your decision should be based on a number of different criteria, and here are some guidelines that will help you to make the right decision…

What is the Difference Between a New and a Used Shipping Container?

Shipping containers are primarily used and designed for carrying cargo around the world, and sometimes storing people’s belongings. They are designed to be able to withstand harsh and extreme weather conditions, protecting their contents, whilst being neatly stacked on boats. In a world like the one we live in today, moving cargo between countries in a cost-effective manner is imperative and this is why shipping containers are so important.

A new or single trip shipping container is one that has been used just once, usually from where it was made (usually China), packed with its cargo, and then shipped to the UK. This makes them cost-effective and economic, whilst giving you a shipping container that is (almost) as good as new.

A used or second-hand shipping container would consist of a container that has come to the end of its life as a shipping container. It will be older, but still windproof and watertight. They would ordinarily be thrown away, so choosing to use a second-hand shipping container for your conversion means that less waste is created and it is a great way to upcycle. A used shipping container, in addition to being strong and robust, also has character and a history to go with it.

Why Choose a New Shipping Container?

A ‘new’ shipping container is normally less than a year old and generally neater looking. There is a lower risk of any damage, but it does cost more than a used container. However, there shouldn’t be much difference in the quality of your shipping container, as they should have all been checked over to ensure that they are safe and effective.

Why Choose a Used Shipping Container?

A ‘used’ shipping container will normally be older and used more than a ‘new’ one. It might have paint that is faded or some superficial damage but should still be structurally sound and suitable for use. It is important that you check your second-hand container before you buy it by looking for rust and damage like large dents that could affect how well it protects its contents.

A second-hand shipping container will be less expensive than a new one, and they also come with a heritage. Second-hand shipping containers are available in 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft in size and you have a choice of colours.

Using a second-hand shipping container is also better for the environment, as they will truly have lived two separate lives.

There are many reasons why converting a shipping container is a great option if you are looking to create a modular building. They can be stacked, joined together, are robust and protective, can be securely locked, and have a host of accessories that can be used to customise it and create the perfect space for you.