Whether it’s for personal use or for a business, if you plan on purchasing a shipping container for sale, you must decide on whether to buy new or used.

Used makes sense if you plan only needing a container for a short period of time or if where you plan on keeping it might not feasible over the long term. It’s also a way to save money.

A new container is a smart buy if you plan on building something permanent or need one to ship your goods on a regular basis. It will cost more than a used shipping container, but you can rest easy that it will in mint condition when you purchase it and will likely last more than long enough to pay for itself.

If you decide to buy used, be prepared to negotiate with the seller as shipping containers are piling up all over North America, so companies need to move them. They need the space and will likely be willing bargain.

Hiring an inspector from the Institute of International Container Lessors is also a good idea. An IICL inspector will ensure you are getting a solid product that will last over the long term.

When looking for a new container, don’t be afraid to consider a one-trip container, which is used to ship a single cargo load and once it has arrived at its destination it is sold.

Ultimately, whether you buy new or used will come down to your budget, but there some things to consider.

New shipping containers will be in better condition than used ones, so they are easier to build with and will also have longer lifespans. And new containers won’t come with the same risk of chemical contamination as used ones, which are often treated with hazardous chemicals.