8 Things You Should Consider When Buying a Conex Container
The fact that you’re even considering purchasing a conex container (and reading this blog) means you’re a savvy consumer. You recognize the benefits and advantages that shipping containers provide for a wide variety of applications. You’re doing your research – educating yourself on the pros and cons, checking out the various companies who sell shipping containers, and digging into the outside-the-box questions that must be asked before writing the check and scheduling delivery.
You might be in a pinch and need a conex container ASAP. But while it might be tempting to buy the first thing that looks like it will serve your intended purpose, taking the time to make sure you make the right decision will save you time, money, and hassle later. So, what do you need to consider when buying a conex container? In this blog, you’ll learn eight things you should consider while choosing your next shipping container.
What will you use it for?
Conex shipping containers aren’t just used for shipping. There are dozens of uses for these steel shipping containers, limited only by the imagination. They can be used for both personal and commercial applications.
Some examples include:
- Construction storage
- Personal storage
- Commercial building projects
- Man caves/she-sheds (common use for 10-foot size)
- Residential units, like custom homes or cabins (common use for 40-foot size)
- Commercial units, like small business offices (common use for 40-foot size)
- Self-storage businesses
- Cafes or food stands
- Extra space for school classrooms
- Stages at fairs or festivals
The intended use will help dictate the size, condition, and cost of the conex container you’ll need to buy. As a result, this will be one of the first things you should decide before starting your search. If you think shipping containers are cool and want one but aren’t sure how to use one, check out these innovative uses – maybe they will help you figure out just what to do with your shipping container.
What condition do you need your container to be in?
Just like many other products you’d buy – cars, phones, clothes, lawn equipment, mostly anything - Conex containers come in a variety of conditions.
There are four main shipping container conditions:
- These new shipping containers have only been loaded one time from the manufacturer
- These are the highest condition of shipping containers offered
Wind and Water Tight (WWT)
- These units are no longer certifiable to ship cargo on trains and ships
- They are ideal for consumers that need a shipping container to store personal items or anything else that needs to be protected from the elements
Cargo Worthy (CW)
- These shipping containers are guaranteed to pass a re-certification to be loaded back on a ship or train
- They can be packed with cargo and shipped across the globe
- These are used units and will most likely have holes, floor damage, and other fixable repairs
We’ve heard about situations with other companies where customers thought they were buying a shipping container in a particular condition but received a shipping container in a lesser condition. One of the most important things to remember is that if a company tells you a shipping container is in a particular condition, don’t take their word for it - make sure you confirm the condition and read the terms and conditions to ensure what you're buying.
Do you need accessories?
Depending on how you’ll use your conex container, you may need to purchase accessories to enhance the functionality and help protect the contents from theft, condensation, or bad weather. If you are using your shipping container for a mobile business, small or large homes, office, or cafe, you’ll need accessories to improve functionality.
Not all shipping containers require accessories, but here are some accessories you should consider purchasing if they make sense for your application:
You can find more information on how accessories improve functionality here.
Are you buying from a reputable company?
Not all shipping containers are created equal, and neither are the companies that sell them. When you’re researching shipping containers, you need to take a hard look at the company you’re considering buying from. What’s their reputation in the industry? What do their customers say about them? Do they make promises that seem too good to be true? Beware of sales reps and companies that lean on false advertising and mislead customers about shipping containers. You should always research to learn about the company you’re considering buying from.
As a rule of thumb, you should avoid these kinds of dealers:
- Ones that do NOT have terms and conditions on their website
- Ones with a sales rep that offer false warranty claims that are different than the terms and conditions of the company
- Ones selling you lower grade AS-IS condition shipping containers as WWT (Wind & Water Tight)
- Companies that don’t have a Better Business Bureau page or no reviews
- Dealers who have no Google reviews (there must be a reason for that)
- Dealers who do not have a company website
- Companies that do not show pictures of the shipping containers’ conditions on their website
Even if the company has a few reviews, read through them critically to understand and look for companies with 100+ reviews of different types of customers with detailed descriptions of their experiences.
What size shipping container do you need?
The size of the shipping container you need will depend on the intended use and will help determine the price you’ll pay. When buying a shipping container, sometimes you can customize certain things, but they're pretty standard when it comes to size. We recommend that customers measure the items they will be storing to ensure that the shipping container will accommodate their needs. Learn more about the specifications and dimensions of shipping containers here.
Conex shipping containers primarily come in four different sizes:
- Standard units are 8' 6" in height and 8' wide
40-foot shipping containers (most common)
- Standard shipping containers are also 8' 6" in height and 8' wide
- High Cube units are 9' 6" in height and 8' wide (most common unit bought by customers)
Container One is the only supplier of the 10-foot collapsible conex shipping containers
- Customer pickup is required - the units are FOB Ramp/Port – Call 330-286-0538 for delivery.
- Each order comes with 15 collapsed shipping containers – the units are shipped in a 40-foot High Cube shipping container
Container One is the nation's leading 53-foot shipping container supplier
- Customer pickup is required
- High Cube units are 9' 6" in height and 8' 6" wide - most common unit bought by customers
How much will a conex container cost me?
Whether it’s your cell phone bill, concert tickets, or auto service invoice, we all often pay more than we thought we would for products and services. Look closely at your billing statements, and you’ll see all kinds of “hidden fees.” There are shipping and handling fees, access fees, origination fees, transaction fees, disposal fees, environmental fees, and more
We don’t believe it's best practice to show a price for a shipping container and then add on the additional cost for delivery toward the end of the transaction. We’re the only company in the industry that includes delivery in the price you see for 20 ft. and 40 ft. shipping containers with no hidden fees. We generate these prices using our proprietary calculator that gets you the best price based on your zip code.
Because cost is a significant factor in deciding where to buy a shipping container, we believe it is important to ensure your quoted price includes the delivery of the shipping container. Container One always generates a delivered price, so the quoted price for 20 ft. and 40 ft. shipping containers includes everything - including delivery.
How will I get it delivered?
You’ve found the right shipping container for the purpose you need it for and are confident you’re buying it from the right company. Now, how are you going to get it delivered to where you need it? There are a few different delivery options you’ll need to think through to see which one makes the most sense for you based on where you’ll need the container to be:
- Tilt Bed/Roll Off - The shipping container will arrive on a trailer that will tilt back and place the shipping container's edge on the ground. The trailer will pull away and allow the shipping container to slide or roll off onto the ground. Below is a video of this type of delivery from one of our customers.
- Customer Assist - This requires the customer to have an anchor point on the delivery site. A chain can be attached to the shipping container and attached to the anchor point. The trailer will then pull away, and the shipping container will slide onto the ground.
- Flat Bed - The shipping container will arrive on a flatbed trailer attached to a semi-truck. The customer will need to provide a means to lift the shipping container off the trailer, which could be a crane, forklift, or any other heavy equipment.
- Customer Pickup - Customers can arrange a date and time to go to the depot and pick up their shipping container. It is advised to ensure you have the proper equipment needed before attempting to do so. If you’re buying a 53-foot conex shipping container, you must pick it up at the depot; delivery is only possible if you can lift the shipping container off the trailer with a forklift or a crane.
Learn more about container delivery here.
What kind of warranty do I get?
Shipping containers are made of Corten steel, a particular type of steel made to withstand harsh environmental elements. A Conex shipping container can be used to transport cargo thousands of times across the sea or serve whatever purpose you’re buying it for if properly maintained.
We recommend that you seek out a company that offers a warranty that covers both the structural integrity of the shipping container as well as the doors, floors, and roof of your conex shipping container. Most companies do not offer warranties with their shipping containers.
Container One offers various warranties ranging from an industry-leading five-year structural guarantee, in addition to a one-year no-leak guarantee on applicable shipping containers. You can search your zip code here to see a list of shipping containers and the warranties provided.
If you want to get it right, buying a conex container isn’t a quick or simple process. It takes some due diligence on your part. But if you consider all these things before you buy, you’ll end up with the right shipping container to serve your needs for a lifetime. Begin browsing shipping containers in your area here.