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What to Look for Before Purchasing Used Shipping Containers

Find a supplier with a decent inventory when looking for a container. Look at the containers in person and focus on structural integrity first. Ensure the container’s shape is square and has no dents or slanting. Look for any surface rust, especially on the bottom of the steel beam, where water can collect and corrode.

red and blue cargo containers

Structural Integrity

Shipping containers are built to last, but regular wear and tear can cause structural integrity issues. Inspecting a container for rust, corrosion and leaks is important before purchasing. While surface rust on the outside of a container is acceptable, extensive rust on the inside may indicate the container’s structural integrity has been compromised. It’s true if the container transports chemicals, pesticides, or other hazardous materials.

In addition to inspecting the container’s exterior, it is important to check the doors and seals. Make sure they close and lock easily and that there are no gaps. It’s also important to check the corner castings for damage, as removing these could compromise the container’s structural integrity. Generally, a less-used Nevada shipping container with minimal dents and scratches will have better structural integrity than older ones.


Shipping containers are available in a wide variety of sizes and specifications. The size of a container can significantly impact its use, making it important to find one that fits your specific needs.

It’s also a good idea to inspect the condition of a container before you purchase it. Make sure it is free of deep cavities, rot or mold. Look for small dents, corner castings and general wear and tear.

Additionally, you should check how much it costs to transport a container from the supplier to your site. It can be expensive, especially if the container travels long distances. Look for suppliers that offer a flat rate for delivery within a certain-mile radius. It will save you money in the long run.


When inspecting a shipping container, it is important to check the doors for signs of damage. Look for small dents and scratches, but beware of significant rust or corrosion that may impact the integrity of the door seals, gaskets, or locking mechanisms. Also, look for uneven container placement that may cause its frame to wiggle or misalign with the doors and lock rods. It can make opening and closing the doors difficult or even impossible. Depending on your intended use of the container, add a personal entry for easier access in and out of the structure. These are becoming very popular for shipping container homes, offices, and other modifications requiring a more user-friendly entrance. As a security feature, they can also be installed with burglar bars and deadbolt locks.


Selecting a vendor who offers a complete guarantee on their goods will help you to avoid these hazards. Shipping containers spend most of their lives locked up, so you want to ensure they’re secure. Look for extra venting, high-lock handles and a factory lock box to ensure the containers you’re buying are safe. If you’ve been through all your options and you’re not totally satisfied with the securing methods available, consider the fact you can invest in manual twistlocks for shipping containers and have these installed by an expert near you. These can enhance the security of your containers without compromising on other aspects that are important to you as a business.


If you want to purchase a shipping container for a home or shop, find a reputable company that sells containers. Buying shipping containers from individuals on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist is possible. However, this can be risky because these sellers are often commission-only salespeople with a high churn rate. Find a container company that allows you to inspect the containers and ask for pictures of them before making your purchase. Check for rust, dents, and holes in the container’s floor. A little rust or dings may be acceptable, but extensive corrosion can compromise the integrity of the cargo container. You should also test the rubber door seals to ensure they are still in good condition. Also, if you plan to use the container as a home, ensure the interior has been modified with windows, doors, and insulation.