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Second hand Container Buying Tips

Second hand sea container

Last Updated on October 4, 2023

Second hand shipping containers – buying tips

What to look out for when buying a second hand shipping container for storage.

We at Billie Box know that there are a number of dealers out there that want to offer you a “cheap” container. Well, we believe the saying “You get what you pay for”.

Buying “cheap” shipping containers is not always the best policy

The second hand containers we sell are generally 12+ years old, they are watertight and structurally sound, and we ensure our depots check over all containers prior to release. Remember, they will have been used to ship goods all around the world via sea and road. During their life, they will have been lifted on and off ships and trucks, full and empty and been loaded with many different products. Odours can appear, depending on what the cargo was and how often the doors were opened and shut. So they will have seen a good shipping life! After about 12+ years or so (time varies depending on the shipping companies’ sale policies), these containers will be perfect for static storage.

Our buying tips:

Your shipping container should fulfil the following criteria.

  1. Watertight and structurally sound (you should not see any daylight from inside, when the doors are closed)
  2. A lock box (cowl) would need to be fitted – for security
  3. The door hinges are working freely
  4. The door locking bar handles are working freely
  5. The wooden floors are fairly intact (the floorboards are held in place with steel cross members on the underside 6in apart)
  6. Cosmetically, you will have surface rust, scratches, scuffs, non transferable markings and dents which should still be in cube.

The above criteria will ensure (with a little maintenance) that your static storage container will last you another 10-15 years.

There are suppliers that are offering containers that are over 20 years old. These containers will not last as long as the 12+ year old ones. You may also have troubles with many elements whilst being used for static storage. The longer a container is used for shipping the more it will deteriorate.

We strongly recommend you get more information before you buy. Use our buying tips above.

Remember: You get what you pay for!

See below a sample of a 12+ year old second hand 20ft shipping container
Used 20ft sea container

Used 20ft sea container floor

Used 20ft shipping container

Remember we offer:

Second hand 20ft shipping containers which are suitable for either shipping or site storage

Second hand 40ft shipping containers which are suitable for either shipping or site storage

For more information, please call Jane @ Billie Box for more information on 0800 121 7388 or contact us.

We quote, you order, we deliver, you use – Simple!

About Jane Billing
Jane Billing has over 36 years’ experience in shipping container supply. During that time Jane has gained a very broad knowledge of the whole shipping container industry. From construction to shipping, to adaption and conversions, if you have a question about any aspect of the shipping container industry Jane will likely have the answer for you. After many years working for some of the biggest names in the shipping container industry Jane set up her own company, Billie Box Ltd, in 2012. Since launching, Billie Box Ltd has sold well over 3000 new and used containers.