Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of recurring questions about buying shipping containers, so we put together this list of FAQs to answer all your questions.

1. What is is an amazing and innovative way to connect shipping container buyers to shipping containers from around the world. We function as an e-commerce marketplace with upfront pricing listed on our site and automated checkout. We facilitate and support every transaction from start to finish until you are 100% satisfied. Our website fully automates the process but we also have support staff standing by, for any assistance needed.

2. What is the process? How does it work?

We created a detailed guide for you. Check out How Shipped Works!

3. What are shipping containers made of?

Shipping containers are made of high-grade COR-TEN Steel. They are non-corrosive and rust-resistant. They are made to endure years of heavy use on the high-seas, often in the most brutal conditions. More info is available in our Buyer's Guide.

4. I keep hearing the phrase "Adaptive Reuse". Can you tell me what it means in relation to shipping containers?

Sure. Adaptive Reuse means the reusing of a material, building or site for a purpose other than for which it was originally intended. And this is why shipping container homes are becoming so popular. It's not only because they’re a cheaper construction material. In some cases they can be more expensive. But converting used shipping containers to homes goes along with the trend of "going green" and preserving the raw materials the earth has a limited supply of.

5. Aside from converting used shipping containers into homes, what are some other uses for used shipping containers?

Well, nearly anything you can build from brick and mortar, you can make from a repurposed shipping container. Storage sheds, emergency shelters, even swimming pools or the perfect massive composter; nearly any building project can utilize containers. Check out our Buyer's Guide and our blog for more inspiration and ideas.

6. Are shipping containers subjected to or affected by condensation?

Metal surfaces that are exposed to variations in temperature will develop condensation. Evidence has shown that corrugated metal is less affected by condensation. Also, shipping containers have a slight bow at the top so that moisture will roll down the sides instead of puddling on the roof. And, of course, certain types of paint resist condensation. Condensation generally occurs when a container is positioned on ground that can become cold and damp. This cold, damp air permeates through the metal. Since all air has moisture in it, and that moisture will condense into water droplets, the key is to keep the container as air and water tight as possible. Also, items inside the container that may be damaged by water should be placed on pallets or racks to prevent being damaged incase condensation forms.

7. What's the best surface to place a storage container?

The answer depends greatly on what your intended use is. Generally speaking though, your container should sit on a dry, even, hard surface. The weight of the container needs to be distributed to the corners. Concrete and asphalt are excellent choices. Alternatively, stone pavers, hard blocks of wood, even railroad ties or gravel can be placed in the corners to keep the container level and the weight evenly distributed.

8. How many pallets can fit into a 20' storage container?

If properly configured, about 10 standard (40”x48”x48”) pallets can fit into a 20' shipping container. Also, approximately 22 standard (40”x48”x48”) pallets can fit into a 40' shipping container, and approximately 24 standard (40”x48”x48”) pallets can fit into 40' and 45' hi-cube shipping containers. Our Buyer's Guide contains additional volume and load capacity information.

9. I've heard you can turn shipping containers into homes. Is this possible and how do I get started?

Yes, it is possible and it's being done every day. Our Shipping Container Blog is full of stories of people creating everything from single family luxury homes to multiple-unit low income housing to portable pop-up hotels. We are connected with many companies that specialize in the design and manufacture of shipping container homes and other structures. These companies do everything from simply designing buildings to full-on remodeling and construction! What you can turn a shipping container into is limited only by your imagination. If you'd like a list of companies to assist with your unique project, please contact us, we'd be happy to help for free.

10. What are the different types of containers?

There are many types of used and new containers. Check out our Buyer's Guide for all the different classes, types, sizes and ratings of intermodal conex shipping containers.

11. Do shipping containers require maintenance?

Shipping containers require very little maintenance because the steel work is very high quality. After all, they're designed to carry expensive cargo securely over the high-seas. Containers of this type can expect a life span of over 50 years. The door hinges and locking bars may require a bit of oiling from time to time, but that's about it. Once your container begins to age, you may need to keep up with painting the areas that have been dented or scratched, as they are prone to light rusting over long periods of time.

12. How secure are shipping containers?

Basic security is done by fitting a padlock onto the doors. This stops the "walk-by" or crimes of opportunity. But for a thief intent on getting in, the container can be modified and fit with a steel hasp or locking box across the two doors, at about chest height. This is basically a steel box that fits over the lock, making it difficult to tamper with. At this point, the only way to break in is with a blow-torch or steel grinding/cutting gear, which makes a lot of racket. We've also seen motion detectors for shipping containers and other high tech solutions if you'd like additional security.

13. Do I need city permission for a storage container?

Generally speaking, storage containers are considered temporary structures and don't normally need permissions. But if you are considering using your container as a permanent attachment to your house (i.e. as an addition, etc.), then it's always good to check with your local city planning commission.


1. How Do I Get Started

First, read our shipping container Buyer's Guide and decide on the type of container you want. Then take a look at the shipping containers we have for sale or for rent. All our prices are listed and there is no need to wait for quotes! Our advanced shopping cart also provides an instant and accurate delivery cost to your home or business. Within seconds you can check out using any of our 7 different payment options and then we'll work on getting your container shipped to your door!

For more info on this process, check out How Shipped Auctions Works!

2. I'm buying many containers or I'm a repeat buyer. Do you have a discount or loyalty bonus available?

Yes, in a way your discount is already built in. Shipped is a marketplace made up of hundreds of shipping lines, off-lease shipping companies and shipping container sellers that all fight for your business. The price you will pay is lower than anywhere else and in addition, we have the service and guarantees to ensure your total satisfaction.

3. When I purchase a container, does the price include shipping/taxes/fees/etc?

Yes, by default our shopping cart calculates the exact cost for delivery. The price you see is the all inclusive price. We make purchasing a shipping container as easy and seamless as possible. All taxes, fees, customs duties, insurance, taxes, delivery fees, etc., are all included in your final price you pay. Basically, the price you pay on will be the total price you pay to have your container(s) safely delivered to your doorstep.

Also, if you would prefer to pickup your container at your local depot you can remove the shipping in the cart.

4. What are the payment options for

We accept all major forms of payment including:

Checks (both business & personal)
Cash Bank Deposits
Domestic (USA) Wire Transfers
International Wire Transfers
Credit Cards
Electronic Currencies (Bitcoin)

5. I'm concerned about who owned the container before me. Is there any way to get previous ownership information?

Yes, through a BIC-Code search engine. Just enter the BIC-Code and you'll see the prior ownership information, much like does for automobile VIN numbers.

6. How will my container be delivered? What about space restrictions?

That depends on the type of delivery vehicle. The container is normally delivered by one of two methods, depending on the size and number of container you are buying.

The most frequently utilized delivery method is via a tilt-bed truck. These back in to your delivery space, lower the back-end, and slowly slide the container down the bed of the truck and then back away. Generally speaking, you'll need double the length of the container to deliver via this method.

The second is via a flat-bed truck and crane. The crane can be attached to the delivery vehicle, or it can be on its own vehicle. In this case, a good rule of thumb is the have twice the width of the container to allow the crane ample space in which to operate, plus an additional 10' or so in length. Also, there should be no overhead restrictions like tree branches or cables or branches and the road leading to the delivery spot should be navigable.

7. Receiving Your Container

Once the delivery driver arrives and unloads your container to the correct spot, you'll need to perform a quick but thorough inspection. If you've done it before, then you know what to look for. If not, re-familiarize yourself with the type of container you purchased, including grade and condition. The first thing to check for is pin holes in the container. Step inside the container and have the driver close the door behind you. Look around for small beams of light that indicate holes caused by rusting or corrosion. In most cases the imperfections can be corrected on the spot by applying a small amount of epoxy.

The second thing to check during your delivery inspection is the doors. Make sure they are in good working order and that there isn't any major problem opening or closing them. Sometimes, the position of the container can cause a pinching of the door hinges. This will make them grind or rub when opening/closing. This can be corrected by repositioning the container if needed.

Once you're satisfied with the container, you can move on to the next step, which is Accepting Delivery.

8. Accepting Delivery Of Your Container

When the container is delivered and everything is in order, you can accept delivery by signing the Delivery Order.


1. Getting Started

Brokers can signup for the marketplace here. Each container request you submit can be a separate order with separate buyer name, address, phone number, currency, etc. You can coordinate delivery or let the client handle it. The choices are yours to make as a Broker.

2. As a broker, why should I use

For the same reasons buyers use us, you should use the Marketplace. The end price your buyer will pay is lower with better delivery terms than any other conventional buying method on the internet or from dealers.


 Have Another Question For Us?

If you need assistance before, during or after your purchase, we're here for you. offers 24/7 support options to assist you with anything you need. We're totally committed to supporting our customers, so don't hesitate to contact us anytime.

Container Sizes & Specifications

Shipping containers are available in many different sizes and configurations:

Under 20' (5', 8' 10' etc)
NEW only

20' Standard (8'6" High)

20' Double Doors (8'6" High)
Less Common
NEW only

20' High Cube (9'6" High)
Less Common
NEW only

20' High Cube Double Doors (9'6" High)
NEW only

20' Open Side (8'6" High)
NEW only

40' Standard (8'6" High)

40' Double Doors (8'6" High)
Less Common
NEW only

40' High Cube (9'6" High)

40' High Cube Double Doors (9'6" High)
Less Common
NEW only

40' Open Side (8'6" High)
NEW only

45' High Cube (9'6" High)
Less Common

48' High Cube (9'6" High)

53' High Cube (9'6" High)


20′ container 40′ container 40′ high-cube container 45′ high-cube container
imperial metric imperial metric imperial metric imperial metric
length 19′ 10 12 6.058 m 40′ 0″ 12.192 m 40′ 0″ 12.192 m 45′ 0″ 13.716 m
width 8′ 0″ 2.438 m 8′ 0″ 2.438 m 8′ 0″ 2.438 m 8′ 0″ 2.438 m
height 8′ 6″ 2.591 m 8′ 6″ 2.591 m 9′ 6″ 2.896 m 9′ 6″ 2.896 m
length 18′ 8 1316 5.710 m 39′ 5 4564 12.032 m 39′ 4″ 12.000 m 44′ 4″ 13.556 m
width 7′ 8 1932 2.352 m 7′ 8 1932 2.352 m 7′ 7″ 2.311 m 7′ 8 1932 2.352 m
height 7′ 9 5764 2.385 m 7′ 9 5764 2.385 m 8′ 9″ 2.650 m 8′ 9 1516 2.698 m
door aperture width 7′ 8 ⅛″ 2.343 m 7′ 8 ⅛″ 2.343 m 7′ 6" 2.280 m 7′ 8 ⅛″ 2.343 m
height 7′ 5 ¾″ 2.280 m 7′ 5 ¾″ 2.280 m 8′ 5″ 2.560 m 8′ 5 4964 2.585 m
internal volume 1,169 ft³ 33.1 m³ 2,385 ft³ 67.5 m³ 2,660 ft³ 75.3 m³ 3,040 ft³ 86.1 m³
gross weight
67,196 lb 30,480 kg 71,650 lb 32,500 kg 71,650 lb 32,500 kg 66,139 lb 71,650 kg
empty weight 4,894 lb 2,200 kg 8,024 lb 3,640 kg 8,465 lb 3,840 kg 11,130 lb 5,050 kg
net load 62,302 lb 28,260 kg 63,625 lb 28,860 kg 63,184 lb 28,660 kg 60,520 lb 27,450 kg

  More Size & Capacity info in our Buyer's Guide here »


Container Grades / Ratings

 New (One Trip) Containers

Our new containers are manufactured in Asia and delivered by ship to ports worldwide. To defray shipping costs, they will have had 3rd party cargo loaded in them for the one-trip over from Asia. Most one-trip containers are near perfect but you may notice minor scuffs, container handler marks, superficial dents or forklift tire tracks on the flooring. Nevertheless, these are brand new, clean and they come complete with the durable manufactures original paint and warranty. provides a 10 year warranty on all new containers we sell. One-trip containers come with new CSC plates and can be used to transport cargo on the high seas without an inspection for 5 years! Whenever reliability, longevity or aesthetics are important, this is your #1 choice. Click here to see more NEW shipping container photos »

 CWO (Certified/IICL/CSC Plated/Cargo Worthy) Containers

CWO containers are currently being used to transport cargo domestically or overseas. All used containers are sold based on their structural integrity, not cosmetics and they will have many cosmetic imperfections, surface rust, dents, dings, patch work, patch repairs, welded sections, roof pits and the roof bows will not be perfect. CWO containers can be graded primarily on their structural integrity for carrying a load of goods for transport. All the cargo worthy containers we sell can be certified by a licensed surveyor and used to continue transporting cargo. Inspection criteria is based on the condition of the doors, floor, walls, ceiling and the overall structural integrity. You can expect a ~15% price premium vs a "WWT" container. Regardless if you plan to ship your container or not, a CWO container will guarantee that you will receive a unit that is structurally sound but not necessarily more beautiful.

 "WWT" (Wind and Water Tight) Containers

"Wind and Water Tight" containers have been retired from moving cargo on the high seas. All used containers are sold based on their structural integrity, not cosmetics and they will have many cosmetic imperfections, surface rust, dents, dings, patch work, patch repairs, welded sections, roof pits and the roof bows will not be perfect. The doors may be difficult to operate but spray-on penetrating oil often helps. The floor will be worn but in good condition. Overall some maintenance will be required but these containers are in good shape and they have a lot of inherent value and will likely retain their price when resold later. WWT boxes are a great choice when you want a guaranteed wind and water tight container at the lowest possible price!

 "Damaged" AS-IS Containers

AS-IS / Damaged units have major damage. These containers have missing sections of steel, advanced rust causing structural integrity problems, missing doors, rotten floors or other serious problems. They are typically sold for recycling the steel or specific projects. does NOT offer damaged containers for sale.


Shipped Support Channels

If you need assistance before, during or after your transaction, we're here for you. offers 24/7 support to assist you with anything you need. We're totally committed to supporting our customers, so don't hesitate to contact us anytime.

Please also see our About Us page for additional contact information.



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Phone: +1 (503) SHIPPED (503-744-7733)

Sales Department

Karl Brimmer

Karl Brimmer

Paul Clarfield

Paul Clarfield

Linda Parwata

Jae Tiu

Zach Ernstein

Zach Ernstein

Operations Department

Luke Ward

Luke Ward

Caroline Montford

Caroline M.

Linda Parwata

Linda P.

Lucy Le

Lucy Le

Greg Millay

Greg Millay

Steve Morvay

Steve Morvay

Phone: +1 (503) SHIPPED (503-744-7733)

Please also see our About Us page for additional contact information.

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