Can I View Your Containers Before I Buy?

Hundreds of Trucks coming and going at a container port

Container ports are a hive of activity.

One of the most popular questions we receive from buyers is “Can I see your containers before I buy them?”

First of all, we understand your concerns. Buying a shipping container is a significant purchase, so you want to know what you’re buying. We would love to give all of our customers access to the containers depots where our units are stored. It would provide strong purchasing confidence and quickly alleviate all buyer concerns. This article explains the reasons why access to container depots is difficult and unfortunately becoming more restricted everyday by governments worldwide.

Container sellers either sell retail or they sell wholesale. Selling wholesale means containers are not only significantly cheaper, they’re also stored and sold direct from ports and depots. Retailers on the other hand, have their own land to finance or pay for, onsite workers, the expense of trucking to the yard, industrial container forklifts to buy/maintain, local government taxes and fees to include and all the additional retail costs that adds to the final price consumers pay. Instead, sells direct. Our containers are stored in container depots and secure ports around the country. Storage fees are as low as possible because our inventory sells in days, not weeks, months or years later like a retailer. Clearly, buying from a wholesaler is superior in all ways except for one thing, viewing before buying.

You need a TWIC card to get access to a shipping container port

The question still remains, “Why can’t I view your containers before I buy?” Prior to 9/11 access to the container ports was a lot easier. Today, access to the ports and depots is only available to those who carry a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card.  A TWIC card is a government security clearance that is issued by the Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). The TWIC card system was designed to “enhance security by ensuring that unauthorized individuals are denied unescorted access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime transportation system”. However the TWIC system is often criticised as being expensive and ineffective at doing anything but inconveniencing everyone involved.

Armed guards patrol a shipping container depot

Yes, those are armed guards in military fatigues patrolling the depot!

Shipping container stacked 8 high side-by-side

Viewing actual units is usually not possible

As you can see in the photo at the very top of this article, a typical container depot is a hive of activity. Containers handlers and heavy trucks move hundreds (sometimes thousands) of containers in and out of these storage facilities on a daily basis, so for safety reasons pedestrian access is restricted. Besides safety, the other issue to consider is that even if you were able to gain access to the port/depot (or if you were to look from outside the fence) it’s very unlikely you would be able to see the actual container you’re buying. Containers in depots are often stacked 6-8 high in rows along with hundreds of others blocking your view. See the image to the right for an example.


At we only deal in and sell high-quality graded containers. Each and every container you purchase from us has been inspected by third-party professionals using specific industry standards to ensure our consistent quality. Those industry standards are developed by the Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL). The grading/standards manual is hundreds of pages and encompasses every test to be performed before certification is reached. We certify all units we sell to be wind and water tight (WWT), ensuring that your container is structurally sound and will not leak. It also means that if you step inside the container and have someone close the doors behind you, you won’t see any light coming in. Retail container companies often buy damaged (AS-IS) containers, and repair/repaint them and then sell them as ‘refurbished’. does not sell ungraded, damaged, refurbished or ASIS containers.

See what our customers say about us. Our satisfied customers include everything from government agencies, multi-national manufacturers, mining companies, hotel chains, gas stations, religious organisations and private citizens. Click here to see reviews.


Are you interested in buying a new or used shipping container at the lowest possible price along with the best delivery terms available? saves you real time and money, enabling you to see instant pricing, including delivery and checkout safely all online!  See Container Deals Now…

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2 Responses

  1. Rhonda Bradley says:

    I’m looking at your shipping containers to use for a swimming pool and I need it as soon as possible. And I would accept getting a used one if it would save me quite a bit of money please let me know what you think?

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