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Did you know that there are currently millions of used shipping containers scattered across the globe, waiting to find new purposes beyond their original journeys across the seas? In a world where sustainability and repurposing have become essential, these steel giants offer a unique opportunity for individuals and businesses alike.

Millions of shipping containers are estimated to be idle around the world, presenting a surplus of potential resources for those seeking versatile and durable storage solutions. The challenge lies in navigating through the myriad of choices – determining the right size, type, and staying within budget. This is where our blog steps in as your guiding compass.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to walk you through the intricate process of purchasing the ideal shipping container that aligns seamlessly with your unique needs. Whether you’re in the market for extra storage space, embarking on a creative conversion project, or have a specific purpose in mind, our goal is to simplify the decision-making process and empower you to make an informed choice.

Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the diverse world of used shipping containers, it’s crucial to gain a clear understanding of your specific requirements. Consider the following key factors:

1. Purpose

Define the primary purpose of acquiring a used shipping container. Are you looking for additional storage space, contemplating a unique living space, in need of a mobile office, or planning a creative workshop? Knowing the intended use will significantly narrow down your options and guide you toward a container that aligns seamlessly with your goals.

2. Space Requirements

Evaluate the volume of your belongings or the desired interior layout for your project. Understanding how much space you need will help you determine the appropriate size of the container. Whether it’s accommodating furniture, construction materials, household items, equipment, or creating functional living quarters, having a clear idea of your space requirements is instrumental in making the right choice.

3. Budget Considerations

Used shipping containers come in a wide range of prices, influenced by factors such as size, type, and condition. Establish a realistic budget to guide your decision-making process. Consider not only the initial cost but also potential modifications or renovations you may want to undertake. Balancing your needs with your budget ensures that you find a container that not only meets your requirements but does so within financial feasibility.

Used Containers Sizing Options

When it comes to used shipping containers, choosing the right size is more than just a matter of space – it’s about tailoring the container to your specific needs. Let’s dive into the various size options available and their ideal applications:

Standard Sizes

1. 20-foot Containers:

  • Ideal for limited space
  • Perfect for those with minimal space requirements or smaller projects

2. 40-foot Containers:

  • Large capacity
  • Offers ample space for substantial storage needs or multifunctional room layouts

3. High Cube Containers:

  • Extra height for taller contents or two-story projects
  • Provides increased height compared to standard options, allowing for more headroom

Less Common Sizes

1. 10-foot Containers:

  • Compact and portable
  • Ideal for those seeking a portable solution for small storage needs or mobile ventures

2. 53-foot Containers:

  • Vast space for large-scale projects
  • Offers expansive dimensions, typically used for rail transport and large-scale projects

Container Types Of Shipping Containers

The type of container you select plays a pivotal role in determining its suitability for your specific needs. Let’s explore the diverse container types and their unique features:

1. General Dry Cargo Containers:

  • Ideal for storing a wide range of non-perishable goods and dry materials
  • Versatile and widely used, making them a go-to choice for various storage needs

2. Open Top Containers:

  • Designed with an open top for easy loading and unloading of oversized cargo or objects from above
  • Perfect for projects requiring crane access or transportation of taller items

3. Flat Rack Containers:

  • Wall-less and roof-less design, making them perfect for transporting machinery, vehicles, or bulky items
  • Adjustable and customizable, offering flexibility for unconventional cargo

4. Refrigerated Containers:

  • Equipped with temperature control mechanisms for storing perishable goods
  • Ideal for food storage, transportation of sensitive materials, or even setting up mobile kitchens

Understanding the specific features and functionalities of each container type allows you to tailor your choice to the demands of your project. Whether you’re looking for a standard option to store goods or require specialized conditions for perishables, exploring beyond size opens up a world of container possibilities. Consider the nature of your cargo and the unique requirements of your project to make an informed decision that aligns seamlessly with your goals.

Storage Solution Considerations

As you look into the purchase of a shipping container, understanding their condition is paramount in ensuring they align with your expectations and project requirements. Let’s explore the key condition considerations:

1. Wind & Water Tight (WWT):

  • These containers are in good condition, providing a secure and weather-resistant environment
  • Perfect for projects where structural integrity is crucial, offering reliability for a variety of applications

2. Cargo Worthy (CW):

  • Containers labeled as Cargo Worthy meet the stringent standards required for international shipping
  • Recommended for projects involving long-distance transport, ensuring your cargo remains secure during transit

3. As-Is:

  • May have dents, leaks, holes, surface rust, or cosmetic imperfections
  • Ideal for budget-conscious projects with less emphasis on aesthetics
  • Suited for projects where aesthetics are secondary, and budget-conscious decisions take precedence

Considering the condition of the used shipping container is essential in aligning it with the demands of your project. Whether you prioritize structural integrity, international shipping standards, or are working within budget constraints, choosing the right condition ensures that your container not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Carefully weigh your priorities to make an informed decision that suits both your project needs and your budget.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Shipping Container

As you embark on the journey to find the perfect used shipping container, consider these practical tips to streamline your search and ensure you make an informed decision:

1. Online Marketplaces, such as DSL Logistics:

  • Browse our options for sizing and types of storage solutions
  • Explore a variety of options, compare prices, and read reviews from previous buyers to gauge reliability

2. Local Container Yards:

  • Physically inspect and compare options
  • Visit local container yards or depots to physically inspect the available containers
  • Get a firsthand look at the condition, size, and type of containers to make a more informed decision

3. Inspections and Certification:

  • Verify the container’s condition
  • Request relevant certifications to validate the container’s condition, especially if it is labeled as Wind & Water Tight (WWT) or Cargo Worthy (CW)

4. Delivery and Transportation:

  • Consider the logistics of transporting the container to your desired location
  • Factor in additional costs for delivery and transportation when calculating the overall budget for your project


In the quest to find the perfect used shipping container, we’ve explored the intricacies of size, type, condition, and budget considerations. Each element plays a crucial role in determining the container that aligns seamlessly with your unique needs and project goals. Let’s recap the key points that can guide you towards making an informed decision:

Emphasizing Size and Type

  • Understand the purpose of your container – whether it’s for storage, living space, an office, or a workshop
  • Explore a range of sizes, from the compact 10-foot containers to the expansive 53-foot options
  • Delve into different types, considering general dry cargo containers, open tops, flat racks, and refrigerated containers based on your cargo and project requirements

Considering Condition

  • Assess the condition of the container, distinguishing between Wind & Water Tight (WWT), Cargo Worthy (CW), and As-Is options
  • Align the condition with your project priorities, be it structural integrity, international shipping standards, or budget-conscious choices

Practical Tips for Finding the Perfect Container

  • Utilize online marketplaces for a wide array of options and user reviews
  • Visit local container yards to physically inspect and compare available containers
  • Ensure professional inspections and request relevant certifications
  • Factor in additional costs for delivery and transportation when planning your budget

In the search for the ideal used shipping container, we encourage you to research further, reach out to vendors, and dive into the specifics of each option. Your project is unique, and by making informed decisions based on careful consideration of size, type, condition, and budget, you’re sure to find a container that not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

Contact us today to get a quote for your shipping container needs!