Shipping containers today are being used for so much more than just shipping. Some people have customised their shipping container to make a home, others an office, whilst other people have used them to create restaurants, garden sheds or to house plants and machinery.

Some people, however, want to use a shipping container for the purpose that it was designed for – namely, shipping.

Shipping containers have been designed for storing cargo safely and securely and even if you don’t want to ship your belongings – or products, they can be a great option for storage.

Whether you are just storing your possessions or planning on shipping them around the world you have a number of options with regards to shipping containers.

Shipping Container Sizes

One of the features of shipping containers – and one of the reasons why they can be so effective – is because they are in a standard size and shape. This enables space-efficient stacking and storage on cargo ships, trains and lorries as well as ease of transferring between them.

There are three main sizes of shipping container – 10ft containers, 20 ft containers and 40ft containers. Each of these can also be found with extra height for more volume. You can also buy shipping containers that are refrigerated if you are looking to transport products like certain types of food or medicine.

The Costs of Shipping

There are a number of factors that determine how much it costs to ship your cargo to your chosen destination. These include:

  • How far you are wanting to ship
  • How much cargo you have
  • The size of your shipping container
  • The popularity of the destination of your cargo – how often ships are going
  • The transport that you require – will you need a ship, train or truck? Or a combination of the three?
  • The time of year – it is usually more expensive to ship your cargo in the summer
  • Whether you are sharing your shipping container
  • Any additional services which you need – insurance, loading and unloading, additional storage time
  • The type of cargo that you are transporting

Comparatively, shipping by sea is a very cost-effective way to transport your cargo, with trucks being the most expensive. Shipping by sea does, however, take a long time, whereas trains and trucks will usually be faster.

Another factor that can determine the cost of your shipping is where you start the process.

  • Door to Door Shipping – This involves your cargo being picked up at your door and delivered to your destination address. The storage container will usually be delivered to your address where they will pack it, take it to the port, take it to the destination address and unpack it for you. This is the most expensive option but very common, especially amongst people who are moving to a new house.
  • Drop and Fill Shipping – This is where the shipping container is delivered empty to your address where you will fill it. It will then go to the destination address where you will then unload it. There is no reason, however, why you can’t hire someone separately to help you to load or unload your cargo at each end.
  • Port to Port Shipping – This is the basic shipping option, where you will load and unload your shipping container at the port itself. This is the service that most prices are based on.

If you are thinking about shipping cargo using storage containers there are some other things which you should think about:

  • You will probably need insurance – check whether that is included in the price
  • Some countries make charges at customs so do your research before you wave your belongings goodbye
  • If you are thinking about moving abroad and are wanting to ship all of your belongings to another country, you can also think about keeping your possessions in storage until you are sure and have permanent residence.

There are many reasons why people want to buy or hire a shipping container. Shipping cargo around the world in storage containers is a cost-effective and easy way to do it, but it can be difficult to predict the prices. By contacting a shipping company, you can explain exactly what you are after and then get a better idea of how much it will cost.