Grades of shipping containers are not some universal units but by using them the condition of shipping containers is determined. From the first usage after manufacturing to the final usage of containers, it is quality checked from time to time to see that the shipping unit is in working condition and can work efficiently. There are some parameters that are checked and seen to make sure the used cargo containers stay at their optimum state during usage. 

If the shipping box is not able to fulfill any of the criteria, then it is rendered useless. The units tend to be a little withered after long usage but still work in an efficient condition. The usage of it is stopped when it has some huge damage like a big hole, tear, or damaged well, or so on. Many people are looking for the answer to their problem of how to choose the right shipping container. We hope that this blog provides some clarity. 

The different cargo containers grades make it easy for anyone who wants to buy or sell shipping containers to make their purchase/sale according to their shipping requirements. Shippers should make sure that they know all about shipping container maintenance and they can make their cargo units more durable.  Let’s see what the grades are that make the shipping boxes keep fulfilling their purposes.

The grading criteria of shipping containers

New Containers/ New-ish Containers

New containers are the ones that are brand new, just out of the manufacturing units, ready to make their first sail. The new-ish containers are also termed as new ones only as they are “as good as new”.

They are the epitome of craftsmanship and everything looks premium and every part is in top-notch condition. But when the shipper or supplier gets it, because of sailing in the sea there might be some small paint tears in the exterior part but from inside it is totally in standard bright condition. And to reach the shipper and make sail, it is fitted with CSC Combined Data Plate. 

One-trip Containers

Most of the time, the new and one-trip containers are used for one another as they are thought of as the same. After they are manufactured and before reaching the shipper or container suppliers they are mostly laden with cargo so that the boxes don’t travel empty. Moreover transporting empty units seems a bit off when there is a large amount of cargo that needs to be transported from one place to another. And when one-trippers are coming with a discount at hand, it’s a bonus for the container supplying companies.


IICL-5 has its basis in the Institute of International Container Lessors and the containers that meet the defined standard of IICL belong to this category. The shipping unit that has spent 2-8 years in the voyage and is in good shape comes under IICL. They might have gone through some repair but when it comes to working or looking they seem as efficient as new ones. As they belong to the used category they are more affordable than new ones. 

Used Containers

Used shipping containers get their name after being used from one time to too many times. Used ones may look a little withered from outside but are perfect to use in the starting years. They are the most sought ones as the shippers or consumers get them at a discounted rate in comparison to new or One-trip containers. But the boxes that are being used for a longer time (15 years and above) and are in a damaged state need to be repaired or even be replaced. As using damaged shipping units is good for none and in spite of saving money, it can incur more repairing charges.


Cargo-worthy are the ones that are still capable of carrying heavy loads despite being old as efficiently as new ones and are defined under CSC certification. Though they are slightly torn from the outside when it comes to working, they can still work the best. If you want to get a used container, getting hands-on cargo-worthy ones gives you reap maximum benefits.

Wind and Watertight 

There are not much bigger differences between the wind and watertight (WWT) and cargo-worthy quality. As they cannot be differentiated by regular eyes. But according to the certificate, the WWT may have a little more damage, dent, or the box may be older, but works as efficiently. Though this is the last stage till when the shipping unit is deemed fit after it starts being counted in refurbishing or the “as-is” category.

The shipper who wants the shipping units at an economical price needs to consider them as a good purchase as purchasing them saves them good fortune. By removing the rust, painting, and priming the box looks aesthetically pleasing and works efficiently so the shipper gets a good deal when he takes them.

As-Is State

As-Is state defines shipping containers that are not mostly cargo worthy and they have some bigger damages that are visible to even regular people. They are purchased by some shippers as one can get them at a very cost-effective price. After some repair and restoration, they are again used after being secured with cargo-worthy or wind and watertight qualities.  But some of them have more structural damage and such boxes are sent to the scrapyard.


By seeing the grades of shipping containers, one can get to know what they want to get, where they should put their money, to get the maximum benefits. Grades of shipping containers are the proof in what condition they are so that consumers get to have a clear idea about them.

At BOXXPORT, we have been helping people buy and sell containers of different grades like- New, IICL, CW, WWT, ASIS, Scrap, One-trip, and used containers. Just like different grades, there are many different dimensions of containers as well.  We provide shipping containers throughout the world and help shippers with optimum container trading solutions. Let us know your needs and our team will be right there at your service.