What to Look For When Buying a Storage Container
If you’re in the market for a shipping container, but aren’t familiar with the product typically available, this guide will show you what to look for when shopping for a conex container.
Transportation is one of the largest expenses for manufacturers in any industry. The last thing you want is to pay to ship your products and have them arrive damaged. Shipping damage isn’t 100% preventable, but using the right shipping container makes it far less common.
The type of shipping container you use also affects your bottom line by impacting your productivity. A container that’s easier to load and unload means less labor and higher profits.
Finding the perfect shipping container is easier said than done, though. To help you shop for your next Conex container, try these tips.
How to Find the Perfect Conex Container
Conex containers are a widely-used solution for shipping and storing your products, along with other purposes. Find the perfect one with these tips:
Decide Whether to Lease or Buy
Some business owners and purchasing agents don’t realize they can lease shipping containers instead of buying them. There are pros and cons to each option.
If you won’t use your container often, renting can be a more affordable solution. This is also the case if you will need a container often for a short period of time, but not after this one period. As an added bonus, you don’t need to pay maintenance or repair costs with a rental container.
Renting also tends to get the container into your hands sooner. If you buy a container you need to inspect it and you may need customized options. Rental containers, on the other hand, are often ready to be delivered in short order.
Buying, on the other hand, is more economical if you plan to get a lot of use out of your container. Even if you don’t, you can rent the shipping container as an investment when you aren’t using it.
Buying your container will also let you customize it to fit your precise needs. You can add shelving and specify a wide number of specializations for more efficient use.
Consider Your Transportation Methods
Will you be transporting your container by land, by sea, or by air? Or will it be stored in a certain type of environment?
This can affect the type of container you choose. For instance, there are sea shipping containers that are designed for this specific purpose. They’re made to protect your products from the elements during sea travel.
Choose a Door Design
This might sound like a cosmetic choice, but it’s the exact opposite. The way your container’s doors open will affect your productivity in a big way.
Consider the environments where the container will be loaded and unloaded. If there isn’t enough space to open a door that’s eight feet wide, a single door isn’t your best option.
There are three common types of doors on a shipping container: single door, double door, and roll-up door. It all depends on the space you’re using and the size of the products or pallets you’re shipping.
You should also consider whether you want an open top on your container. While the top is open to the air, these containers come with a detachable top to protect your products during transport. If you need to maneuver in a small space or move products around after they’re in the container, an open top container could be the right choice.
Consider Temperature Control
Depending on the type of cargo you’re shipping, consider your temperature control options. Insulated containers are widely available, as are refrigerated Conex containers.
This is especially important if you’re using your container as a portable office space or living space. You can customize these containers with heating, air conditioning, and other options.
Measure Your Materials
This seems like a given, but it’s overlooked too often to leave off this list. Shipping containers come in a variety of sizes. A little planning can help you find the perfect size to make the most of your investment.
On top of ensuring that your items fit, you want to make sure they can fit snuggly. For instance, let’s say your products are all eight feet long by seven feet wide. If you buy a 20-foot container, you can only fit two items and you’ll have four useless feet left over. A 40-foot container, on the other hand, lets you pack five items with no unused space.
Find Out Your Security Options
When you buy your shipping container, you can choose which safety features you want it to have. For example, you could opt for high-security doors or advanced locks. Review all these options and find out what works within your budget.
Consider a Used Container
If the storage boxes that fit your needs aren’t fitting your budget, consider a used shipping container. Many business owners don’t realize that this is as easy and cost-effective as it is.
Buying a used container can be a faster option if you don’t choose any customizations. However, many existing containers can be retrofitted with the changes your business needs.
Just be careful to buy your container from a reputable source. Don’t start scouring the free ads online.
Inspect Before You Buy
This is absolutely vital: a shipping container is a large expense, so never buy one without inspecting it first. This goes for both used and new models, as problems can happen in the manufacturing process.
Look over the container carefully for any rust, dents, holes, and other damage. It’s also crucial to operate all the movable parts. This includes any doors, locks, and latches. If you chose an open top unit, make sure the removable top comes off and on with ease.
How to Buy a Shipping and Storage Container
A Conex container is a big purchase for any business. Whether you’re using it as office space, a shipping container, a storage space, or even a living space, don’t take the purchase lightly. The tips above can help you protect your investment and find the best option for your unique needs.
For more questions or if you’re ready to speak to an experienced representative, contact our team about your new shipping container.