Cargo containers or freight containers are an essential part of the trade. These heavy-duty steel-made items first came into the picture with the purpose of quick and easy cargo handling back in 1956. With time the shipping industry and cargo containers evolved greatly and now steps to purchase cargo containers have changed quite a bit. There are lots of market options available to carry different types of goods. It is quite tricky to decide which container one might need. We bring you a very handy blog with steps to purchase cargo containers to make the decision easier for you.

What are cargo containers?

Maritime containers are heavy-duty steel-made sturdy items. They are made of rust-proof steel, corten steel, or aluminum to give them resiliency and strength to bear a load of heavy cargo and constant exposure to different climates. The sidewalls and roofs of the containers are made of corrugated steel at the time of the shipping container manufacturing process to boost their structural integrity and strength.

Why does one need cargo containers?

At the beginning of their discovery, their utility may have been limited to mainly trade only. But from 1985 onwards people started to take abandoned liberty with the utility of freight containers. Gradually people started to use it for storage space, container homes, retirement housing, hospitals, schools, libraries, office spaces, etc. Now people use them in very unique ways ranging from restaurants to drive-in theaters to mobile food trucks to pop-up car showrooms.

Steps to purchase cargo containers

Buying maritime containers need quite a large investment, practical knowledge, and time. Therefore, it is necessary to ponder over the steps to purchase shipping containers before making a purchase. Let’s take look at the list of steps below:

1. Container Types

There are quite a lot of different container types available in the market. The trader should decide on the cargo container types based on the types of goods. Normally there are 12 common types of metal shipping containers available to transport different types of goods ranging from dry van containers to tank containers to pallet wide to double door containers etc.

Dry van containers are used for 90% of the trade. For liquid-like crude oil transportation, a tank container is suitable. If the controlled temperature is a criterion for goods transportation, there are cargo boxes like insulated or reefer containers that provide an option of steady and controlled temperature inside. Refrigerated containers are ideal to transport medicine, vaccines, etc. It is important to gauge the perfect type for your goods before you decide to purchase freight containers.

2. Container Dimension

Just like shipping box types, there are multiple options for container dimensions as well. Freight box dimension is decided based on good’s amount and size of the goods. There are standard shipping container dimensions like 20 ft cargo containers (6.09 meters) and 40 ft cargo containers (12.19 meters)

If your goods are heavy and protruding, it is better to choose open-top cargo containers to safely load and unload goods. Additionally, if goods need extra space, there are 40 ft high cube containers to accommodate the extra space needed.

3. Container Grades

Container grades provide testament to the condition and age. There are different grades like new or new-ish, cargo worthy (CW), wind or water tight (WWT), IICL, As-Is, etc. The status of a new or new-ish cargo unit is pretty much explanatory. They are as good as new and come with CSC Plate certification. Cargo-worthy freight units may come with visible exterior dents, rust, or scratches but they are capable of transporting goods long distances. The grades decide their price, maintenance agenda, terms of future usage, etc. If you are investing in used maritime units, make sure you check the grade properly before buying.

4. Check Container Stock and Prices

Freight box is a high-demand product. Their stocks move pretty fast and the price varies from one place to another. Before buying, compare and analyze the price and stock from quite a few container selling companies. Choose the company that provides you with a competitive price that suits your budget and has available stock to fulfill your demands.

5. Purchase Place

Shipping unit buyers should ponder pretty closely over the question ‘Where to purchase shipping containers?’ The source of purchase pretty much decides the quality and condition of the freight unit. It is imperative to research trustworthy traders before deciding to purchase metal shipping units.

6. Contact the Seller

After you have decided on a specific company, contact the seller for further information related to the purchase. They will give you expert solutions to perfect types, dimensions, purchases plans, rent packages, etc. They will also explain the terms and solutions to their service as well. Basically, consult every detail related to your purchase with the seller for expert solutions.

7. Check the Container Condition

The container seller will give you quite a few options to purchase maritime units. After you have decided on the types and dimensions, it is necessary to check the cargo unit to gauge their condition, especially if you are buying old cargo containers. They often come with dents, rust, leakage, or corrosion. You can easily do a light test to check for leakage. In case there are large leakages or rust, ensure to patch them up. Otherwise, your goods may get exposed to natural elements like seawater, wind, snow, etc. While you are at it, check the shipping container door hinges for proper function or rust. The rust could spread to the whole interior as well. Go for container maintenance in case there are large patches of rust inside.

8.Hire Container Expert

In case, you are trading from a distant place and won’t be able to check the freight box condition. It is better to hire an expert to survey the physical condition. The expert will be able to give an independent overview of the condition or the customization it may need. It is better to hire a third-party expert for unbiased guidance.

9. Request Previous Use List

If a trader decides to purchase second-hand cargo containers, it is necessary to request a previous use list. In case the freight box carries a strong smell, grease, or transferable stains; the new owner can either decide against buying it or give it a thorough cleaning before using. Otherwise, the stains or stench may transfer to any delicate items like clothing.

10. Negotiate a Deal

After, you settle each of the previously mentioned factors and then negotiate a competitive and profitable deal with your decided freight container trader. But, to strike a good deal it is necessary to know the going rates in the market. Now, you will understand why we told you to check metal shipping unit stock and price in quite a few sources earlier.

11. Decide Delivery Destination

Now that you have decided to purchase cargo containers, settle on a delivery location. Your trader may already include associated services like delivery, ask for that. Otherwise, you may need the help of an independent logistic service. However, they will ask for additional costs for delivery to the point of discharge. In case you are storing your freight boxes in an open place, make sure the place has a flat surface. Otherwise, the roof may gather rain or snow and gradually weaken.

How long do shipping units last?

Shipping units are heavy-duty steel-made items. They generally last 25-30 years for trade. But, make sure you give proper and frequent care and maintenance to your to maintain the long life cycle. Otherwise, they may get out of use pretty soon. After freight units are at the end of their life cycle, they can be reused for various different purposes.

If you have pondered over the steps to purchase cargo containers and decided to buy containers, contact BOXXPORT. BOXXPORT is an open digital container marketplace. With us, you get to check container stock and prices anywhere in the world. Decide your purchase from real-time data insight. No hidden cost will pop up at the end of your purchase. You can calculate the actual cost from the very first moment you process a purchase.