How to buy a shipping container: The technical details

Choosing to buy a container can be a great investment. Whether you’re looking for a place to store excess stock for your business, a new garden shed or a place from which to build the business of your dreams, there are a few things to keep in mind.nnWe put together a more general guide on looking for shipping containers for sale back in 2018, you can read that here. This guide will instead address the more technical details to keep in mind when you’re buying a shipping container. From understanding ISO standards to double-checking serial numbers, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the best deal when you buy a container.nn n

Do your research

nBefore you buy your shipping container, you need to be sure that you do your research and know exactly what you need. Read info on blogs like ours, check forums and chat with anybody you know who already uses containers to determine what kind of container is best for your needs and so you know the questions you should be asking when you go for a viewing.nnYou should familiarise yourself with ISO standards too. If you’re planning on shipping your container it’ll need to conform to these internationally accepted dimensions, otherwise, you’re likely to run into some problems. At Unit Hire, we guarantee that all of our containers conform to ISO standards. Our team have even written an in-depth article on the topic to help you get to grips with the standards and help you to check that everything is in order when you buy the container.nnOne thing to keep in mind when you’re looking to buy a container is that, in general, it is cheaper in the long run to spend more money on a high-quality container. While a low-cost DIY project may seem appealing, a subpar container can get expensive quickly, especially when small holes and rust patches come back to bite you.nn n

Inspect the container

nWith your research complete, you should know what to expect when you go to buy a container. First and foremost, it’s incredibly important that you view the container before purchasing, buying it blindly could leave you with some nasty surprises.nnAside from checking for the usual signs of wear and tear, there are a few more technical aspects that you should take note of before making your purchase. Firstly, you need to be sure that you check the serial number. Every container will have a serial number stamped in different places that is unique to that container. Make a note of this number and check that it matches every instance of the number elsewhere in the container. If there’s any variation, that could indicate that the container was cobbled together from other containers.nnOne of the most important things to look out for when buying a container, particularly if you’re planning on shipping it overseas, is the CSC plate. The Convention for Safe Containers sets out standards that ensure the safe shipping of intermodal containers, so meeting their standards is absolutely imperative. The CSC plate provides plenty of info, from the date of manufacture to the max weight it is allowed to carry. If you’re buying an older container that you’re planning on shipping, you should also ensure that a CSC survey has taken place. If you have no plans to ship your container, you can be less concerned with the CSC information, but the information offered on the plate is still very useful to have on hand.nn nnFor container sales and rentals you can trust, get in touch with Unit Hire today. Our experienced and friendly team can help you purchase a container that suits you, completely transparently. For advice on the price difference between new and used containers, visit our blog here. 

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