When buying a shipping container, whether new or used, there is a lot to consider. Containers are designed for different purposes and come in a range of sizes with the option of customisation. Whether you need a container as an office for a construction site, storage, or as a temporary classroom in a school, there are some key elements to consider before making a purchase.
Here’s what you need to think about before buying steel containers:
Size of Container
Containers come in a range of sizes, and the right size for you will depend on the container’s purpose. The standard sizes are 20ft and 40ft, but you can also get smaller site cabins of 8ft or 10ft. At Flintham, our cabins are available in 8ft, 10ft, 20ft, 30ft and 40ft, giving you a full range of size options to choose from.
Think about your container’s eventual purpose and how much space you have to place it. A 40ft container has ample space to store large, bulky items like furniture during a renovation and can be a good choice for long-term storage. 20ft containers can hold around the same amount of stuff as a standard garage, and it can be easily accessed and does not take up as much room. If you are unsure what size you need, your steel container supplier should be able to offer guidance.
If you are buying a used container, you will need to carefully consider its condition. Always carefully inspect your container’s interior and exterior before purchase – or upon delivery to ensure it matches the photos you were shown. Assess the overall condition by looking at the corner castings, the paint job and the seals around the edges. Minor dents may not affect the container much, but ensure there are no noticeable sections of corrosion that indicate the container is in lousy shape or larger dents on the roof that could fill with rainwater and lead to rusting.
Inside, inspect the doors and door fittings and the locks and locking mechanisms to ensure no damage. Doing a smell check inside can help indicate if there is any mould or rust. Check the container is watertight by inspecting the inside during daylight and seeing if any light breaks in through the seals. Also, check how old the container is as an older container will not give you as many years as a newer one and will deteriorate more quickly.
It takes careful planning to deliver a shipping container with specialist haulage vehicles and experienced drivers. Your container supplier will deliver your container to you, so make sure you know exactly how much it will cost and give them the specific details of your site location, any access requirements and a layout of the surrounding space.
Delivery costs will vary depending on your location and whether a crane is needed to lift the container. You can request all this information from your supplier and get a quote alongside the price of the container.
The cost of your container will be a significant factor in your purchase decision. Keep in mind that opting for the lowest price possible is not always the best choice, as the quality of the container may not meet the requirements you need. Shop around and get a few quotes of similar containers so you can get a ballpark figure of a price. Take into consideration other factors like the reputation of the supplier, their delivery options and any guarantees.
Bespoke containers can be customised to make them more ideal for their purpose. They can be painted in custom colours to match your company’s branding, helping your site become more cohesive. Shipping containers can also be fitted with the likes of high-security windows and doors, and you can fit them with electrics and lightings to be used as office spaces or as a break room for workers.
These are alterations you could do yourself, but equally, your container supplier could do it for you so that you can take advantage of their expertise. Think about what kind of customisation options you would like in your container and speak to your supplier about what they have available.
Always buy containers from a reputable company that has years of experience. Containers can be a costly investment, so make sure you go with a company that has proven they know what they are doing and will deliver as promised. Check how long the company has been trading so you can be assured of their experience and expertise.
Do not forget to look at company reviews to see what previous customers thought of their service. Reviewing platforms can help you gauge if a company is legitimate and trustworthy. If there are many bad reviews or reports of the company not delivering what was expected, you should avoid them and look for a company with a better reputation.
We hope this guide goes some way to helping you purchase the right kind of container for your needs. If you have any questions about our shipping containers or our anti-vandal units in London, contact us today. We also offer many other containers, including used site cabins and pop up shipping containers.