Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Demand for Shipping Containers

I was searching eBay looking at what shipping containers were available, and the one thing I noticed is how the pricers have increased.

An average good condition 20 ft shipping container on eBay is selling between $2500 and $3000,

There are some less expensive selections on offer at around $2000 for a 20 foot shipping container, but if  your selection is to re purpose as a shipping container home then selecting a good condition container to start with is essential.
This nice 20 ft shipping container was on eBay

The 40 ft Shipping Containers offer a better value for money coming at around $3000 to $3500, but your transportation cost will also be much higher.

My thoughts on the forty foot container is they are great if you have good access and lots of moveable space, otherwise their size makes them extremely difficult to move around.
Imagine this trailer making its way up your driveway?

One concern to take in to consideration when making a purchase is its location. You might find a really good deal on eBay for a shipping container in Florida, but having it delivered or collecting yourself when you live in Idaho will add a considerable amount to the cost.

At least with a twenty foot container a smaller truck can deliver or you can use a farm tractor or other means to move it.
Purpose built crane on the truck
Also I think with a little creation you could weld some axles and tow bar to turn a 20 Foot shipping container in to a trailer.
Shipping Container trailer concept 

This would be great as a moveable work site office and accommodation.
It would also help eliminate some of the building regulations by making it a non permanent home on your land.
be interested to here if anyone has thoughts or experience on that?

Anyway take a look, I noticed a couple of companies had over 20, 20ft shipping containers for sale!
Take a look at the Shipping containers on eBay


  1. I have been in the container sales business for the past 10 years, I have a few suggestions on how to keep the cost of the containers down.

    Typically the best time of year to buy used shipping containers is from January to the beginning of April and then we start to see the pricing from the leasing and shipping lines start to gradually go up from there for the used shipping containers. Usually the highest prices are from August 1 - December 1 and this is because it is the peak of the shipping season for the holiday goods being imported (they try and get two trips from each container during the peak season). During the peak of the season there are very limited supplies of sale containers. In 2010 the container fleet usage was at 99% and there was no units available for sale from the shipping and leasing lines.

    The other suggestion were you can really save money on the units any time of the year is if you are planing on cutting up some of the units I would recommend buying shipping containers that have been damaged. You should be able to find damaged units for about a 50% discount to the used units. You might be surprised on how little damage there is to the units but some units are scrappers which I do not recommend. If you are cutting sides out of the containers or the doors or ends off the units these may be perfect for your designs.

    Prices do vary by Geography, you will find the best pricing near the Ocean Ports and as you go further inland the prices can go up a few percent to upwards of 50% more for the same type of units.

    The above pricing looks high to me, this is June 2012 and you can still find 20' units in the $1,750-$2,100 in good condition and 40's from $2,400-$2,700 in most of the coastal locations. I would stay away from Ebay because their fees (Ebay & Paypal) add about $150 to the cost of each container. Try searching Google or Bing for shipping containers for sale (with your local port or state in the term), you will get better results and pricing.

    As for getting the truck in your location that might be an issue but if you are building a house you may have an excavator or backhoe there which will be able to move these units into position without a problem.

    Keith Schmidt
    Giant Lock Box

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  4. Shipping container prices may have increased due to cost of scrap metal but the sheer number of containers available will always keep the overall price down IMO

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