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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Jahn

What to Look for When Buying a Shipping Container for Storage

Updated: May 15, 2019

Shipping containers are a highly effective means of storage. It’s not hard to find shipping containers for sale today, but it is crucial to find the right ones so your storage needs are met. An old, damaged, or worn-out container may undermine your storage assets and infrastructure, but shipping containers for storage are worth the investment when you plan your purchase and take the time to choose a quality product.

blue shipping container

How to Buy a Shipping Container

Whether you buy a shipping container for on-site storage or transport, the most important factors to consider include:

  • Size: Most shipping containers are around eight feet wide. Lengths, however, vary; the typical options include 10-, 20-, or 40-foot-long containers.1 At High Plains Holding Company, we offer standard 20- and 40-foot storage containers and cubed configurations. The container must always be large enough for your project or storage requirements.

  • Type: Standard containers are easy to find. Being as common as they are, these containers come with good value for what you pay. A high cube container has the same dimensions except it is taller, at 9-feet, 6-inches, rather than the standard 8-feet, 6-inches. The extra height is more appropriate and convenient if you’re storing taller items or stacked goods.

  • New, Used, or Refurbished: Although a new container will almost certainly be in perfect condition, you can buy a used container in decent shape and save. This can work fine if the unit won’t be highly visible. Then again, refurbished units can serve the same purpose with minimal aesthetic issues.

  • Modifications: Depending on what you are storing, you may want to install ventilation and air conditioning, especially if the items inside are heat- or moisture-sensitive. If it would be more convenient to have lighting inside, you’ll want wiring and electrical connections. Many storage container users choose to install doors, sectional components, and waterproofing, just to name a few extras.

  • Condition: Look for dents, rust, leaks, or other types of damage. A container should be windproof and watertight, with no opportunities for unwanted guests (i.e., bugs or vermin) to enter. Do a quick walk around to examine the outside surfaces, but also check the roof (while carefully using a ladder) and the interior. Step inside, close the doors, and see if any light is getting inside; also, check for the smell of mold or toxic chemicals.

  • Transport Costs: The cost of transporting a storage container depends on its size and the distance to your site. In addition to the base price, inquire about unloading fees and cost-per-mile of transportation. If the container must be shipped long distance, one way to reduce costs is to let the hauling company use it for transport while driving to your location.

crane lifting shipping container

Find Quality Storage Containers Below Industry Prices

High-quality affordable containers are available now. When you’re searching for shipping containers for sale or need help choosing the right shipping containers for storage, contact High Plains Holding Company at 888-826-4100 or

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