Cost for 20′ Shipping Containers

The 20ft container is one of the most common standard containers and is in high demand. Discover 20ft container price here.

On the sea, the average lifespan of a shipping container is about 15 years. After that, they can still be used for land storage with no problem in most cases.

This longevity makes the shipping container a perfect long-term investment for anyone who needs extra on-site storage. They will last forever and if you move, you can have the container shipped with you.

The only real problem is nailing down a price. Prices for 20ft shipping containers vary because there are so many options and the add ons you can get are endless.

You can even get them with plumbing!

While this guide, will not give you an exact price for a shipping container, it will give you a better idea of what you can expect for the most common options available. So read on to find out if shipping containers are within your storage budget.

Standard Shipping Containers

Shipping Containers

The shipping container is a viable, economical solution for a large number of Challenges. They are waterproof, windproof and rust-resistant. These features make them ideal for a myriad of purposes.

Moving cross country? Rent a shipping container, have it delivered to your current home and load your belongings at your own pace. When you are ready, have the container picked up and delivered to your new home.

Need a long-term, on-site storage solution for your business’s equipment? Buy a shipping container and use it to store practically anything.

Want a temporary office for your construction site? No problem! You can get a shipping container with built-in shelving units.

Standard 20ft Shipping Container Price

The biggest factor that affects how much a shipping container is worth is its condition. Even new units can have aesthetic damage that causes the price to decrease. For this reason, it is very important to physically inspect your container before purchasing it.

  • Used:  $1,800 to $3,000
  • New: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Rented: $50 to $500 per month

Open-Top Shipping Containers

Open Top Storage Container

Instead of a typical container roof, open-top shipping containers use a waterproof canvas held in place by mooring rings to protect its contents.

These shipping containers are perfect if you need to store overweight or oversized items that cannot be removed through the doors. Instead, the open-top feature allows for a crane to drop in and easily pick up the equipment.

For clarity, these containers are not meant to store or ship items that are taller than the container itself. Every part of the shipping container structure lends to its structural strength, even the canvas roof.

If you need something that will contain items that do not fit into a standard shipping container, you should consider a flat rack container instead.

Standard 20ft Open-Top Shipping Container Price

It costs about the same amount to buy or rent an open-top shipping container as it does to buy or rent a standard shipping container.

The only difference in pricing comes into play when the container is shipped and arrives at its destination port.

If the container is in-gauge and does not have anything protruding over its roof, the cost to ship is still about the same. On the other hand, if there is anything poking out of the top, the additional charges for shipping can be astronomical.

This is because no other containers can be put on top of your container, so it limits the number of containers that can be shipped at one time.

Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Refrigerated storage containers are some of the most expensive shipping containers because of their cooling systems.

Refrigerated Steel Storage Container

There are two primary types of refrigerated units: Integrated and Porthole Containers.

Integrated Containers Versus Porthole Containers

An integrated container has a self-contained cooling system. A porthole container uses an external system to pump cold air into the unit and pull hot air out.

The most popular of the two is the integrated container as it is easier to transport. Porthole containers are slowly being phased out and may be completely replaced by integrated units in the future.

Standard 20ft Refrigerated Shipping Container Price

Because porthole containers require specialty equipment to move and transport, they are often more expensive due to delivery costs.

  • Used:  $3,500 to $4,500
  • New: $5,500 to $7,000
  • Rented: $1,000 to $2,500 per month

Insulated Shipping Containers

Insulated storage containers are used when the temperature is important, but a refrigerated unit would be overkill.

Common uses for insulated storage units include:

  • Building a shipping container home
  • Storing furniture from a 3 to 4 bedroom home
  • Setting up a temporary office
  • Shipping food or medical supplies over short distances

Cost Calculator

Standard 20ft Insulated Shipping Container Price

To get an insulated storage container, you can either buy one that comes pre-insulated or you can get a standard unit and insulate it yourself. Either way, the cost is usually about the same and it isn’t much different from that of a refrigerated unit.

  • Used:  $3,300 to $4,400
  • New: $5,250 to $6,750
  • Rented: $900 to $2,250 per month

What Else Affects the Cost?

Besides condition, there are a number of other factors that play a role in the price as well. Below is a list of some of the things that can impact the price of your new container.

Added Features

A specific paint job, insulation, track lighting, plumbing, built-in shelving units. The add-ons you can get for a storage container are almost endless.

Shipping and Delivery

Research shows that 97% of the world’s shipping containers come from China. That is a long way to travel and unless you get a one-use shipping container, you could pay dearly for shipping.

For clarity, a one-use shipping container is a container that is used one time prior to purchase. In the best-case scenario, you would purchase a container new and then rent it to the shipping company. The shipping company would then load the container with whatever they need to ship and send it to the closest port to your delivery location.

The delivery costs from China would effectively get exchanged for the use of your container for the trip. This is not always an option, but if you can arrange it, it is a good way to go.


Shipping containers do not automatically come with security features. You have to get them at an extra cost unless the company you buy from includes it, which is rare.

The Number and Type of Doors

Containers with side doors are typically more expensive than a container that opens at one or both ends. You can have standard doors and windows added for an extra fee as well.

Ready for Your Quote?

Now that you have a better idea of what to expect cost-wise, it is time to nail down a more specific price. Conex Boxes makes that easy with our Quote Tool.

Simply answer a few questions about what you need your container for and the features you want. You can then compare options to find the best 20ft shipping container price to suit your needs.

The ability to compare containers and prices in this way makes it possible for you to save up to 30%!