Used and New Shipping Containers

New One Trip Shipping Containers


New and Used Shipping Containers – what’s the difference?

Which Shipping Container should I choose? New or Used?

Why is this used shipping container more expensive than the other used container? Why is this cheap container being sold “as is”.

What is a B-Grade Used Shipping container?

These questions are common for a reason, since there are so many different shipping container types available in varying conditions, sizes, and locations.

In this blog post, we explain the differences between these classifications through examples, so you’ll know what you are buying.

Shipping Containers are primarily available in two classified stock conditions. New and Used.

With Used Shipping containers, or 2nd hand shipping containers, the condition and price of the container varies much more, than with New One Trip Containers and there is a number of other factors, which will determine the price and condition of the container.

New Shipping Containers

New Shipping Containers are almost always “One Trip” or “Single Use” shipping containers, meaning that they have been purchased and shipped from the manufacturers premises in Asia before being received at the local Container Depot and stacked as available.

The shipping and freight industry will deliver the new shipping container as a One Trip Container, but during the transit from Point A to Point B the container will be handled and transporter by various ship to shore operators and container handling machinery before being received empty at the container depot. Minor dents and abrasions do not affect in anyway the condition or “Lifespan” of a New Shipping Container, available for purchase as a One Trip Shipping Container.

A New One Trip shipping container is the best choice when visibility and aesthetics is important, and if you need a clean and odourless, long-term solution, or for a conversion ready container with no alteration or restoration work required. A new Shipping container will last for decades and the operating costs of the container remain very low. If the application or requirement will be long-term, the recommended option is to consider purchasing a new One Trip container.

New Shipping Containers can also be supplied in bulk or batches, of the same exterior paint colour, or can be manufactured and supplied in a preferred external paint colour, or corporate colour. New Shipping containers are painted with a paint providing a protective coating to offer protection against extreme exposure and tough environmental conditions, and prevent corrosion and abrasion.

ESG developments in the shipping container design and construction, has led manufacturers to produce Eco-Friendly shipping containers.

Paint manufacturers, now produce and supply environmentally friendly waterborne coatings and solvent free paint, for the container manufacturers. These paints provide a protective coating for the shipping container on its journey through ports and across seas in tough environmental conditions, whilst minimising the environmental impact of manufacturing the shipping containers. Hempel is a sustainable supplier of high performance coatings.

Another development is the use of bamboo to manufacture shipping container floorboards. Bamboo, is a fast-growing, renewable resource, and a bamboo plant can grow to full maturity in three to five years, compared to upwards of 20 years for hardwood trees. This composite bamboo flooring alternative has proven its strength and is environmentally friendly and sustainable.


The case for purchasing a New One Trip Shipping Container: 


Our corporate customer in Johannesburg buys One Trip 12M High Cube New Shipping Containers also known as 40FT containers for their container plant rooms.

Our One Trip 12M High Cube Shipping containers provide the perfect shell to house their highly sophisticated and valuable switchgear and control equipment.

Due to their time deadlines, they purchase New Containers to ensure that there is no delays with the pre-installation fit out and to ensure no disruption to their production process which includes lining out the interior of the container, electrical fit-outs and installing pedestrian access doors.

These 12M High Cube Shipping Containers return to service as purpose modified self-contained sub-stations, with cast resin transformers, HV switchgear and controls.

Used Containers

Used shipping containers are freight containers which have usually spent 10 years or more at sea, travelling the oceans of the world and delivering cargo internationally, before the containers have been released from service, and repurposed for other use. The condition of these containers varies significantly, depending on the age, areas of operation and maintenance and repair procedures.

Used shipping containers may be referred to as a “B-Grade” or “Grade B” container inferring that although it is used, it is still fit for purpose and retains the original attributes of a shipping container being wind and watertight, and structurally sound and in an operational condition fit for service. These containers will be considered CargoWorthy or CW, or AV,CW meaning Available CargoWorthy.

CargoWorthy containers will be suitable for freight and shipping, including dry storage and will offer a better price point or value proposition.

Shipping containers are built for functional use, and the functionality is more important than the appearance or the aesthetics and cosmetic appearance of a used container, which has spent many a day and night at sea travelling the world to deliver cargo.

Used containers being sold “As Is” will require maintenance and repair including paint work, and straightening of panel dents.

“As Is” containers will not be considered CargoWorthy or suitable for continued operations without undergoing an inspection and repair procedure.

“As Is” containers are usually the most affordable containers, which can be purchased for further conversion or modification purposes, or for a DIY project.

The price is always dependent on the condition and the age of the container. The poorer the condition of the container, the lower the price, and the limitations on use.

The case for purchasing a used 6M B-Grade Shipping Container:


Our distribution customer in Johannesburg purchased used 6M B-Grade Shipping Containers for their onsite container warehouse.Their requirement was the purchase of 36 x 6M used B-Grade shipping containers, supplied and delivered by crane truck in a cargoworthy condition, fit for purpose, dry storage.

9 x 6M containers were placed on the ground level, the next 9 x 6M containers were stacked on top of the first row of containers, forming a block of 18 containers with the container doors all facing outwards, aligned and in the same direction. The next block of 18 x 6M containers was repeated adjacent to the first block forming two container side walls. The exterior of the containers will be painted, and the interior of the containers will receive a fit out with shelving. A roof cover in the form of an all weather dome shelter, will span the aperture, providing additional onsite undercover storage.

Used 6M containers provided a cost effective, secure, weatherproof onsite storage solution with the option to expand as their operation scales up. In addition to being cost effective, the delivery time to supply and stack the containers, meant the structure was completed quickly and their timeline could be met, and a quick turnaround to commission the structure was achieved.

Their portable shipping container warehouse can also be expanded, reduced or redeployed to a different location.

The Lifespan of a Container

Shipping containers are made out of corten steel, and they are built to tolerate the environment and the freight industry. All weather conditions, including tough oceanic passages, and rough road and rail conditions, whilst preserving and protecting the cargo that they are carrying.

New shipping containers, or One Trip containers being used for storage purposes, can last more than 30 years, requiring minimal service and attention.

Used shipping containers can usually be used for storage for at least a further ten years after their retirement from the freight industry. They can last considerably longer if maintenance is performed. Service procedures that elongate the lifespan of a container include for example painting, patching, replacing gaskets etc, as well as ensuring that the container is located on a level base providing drainage.

Lighthouse Container Leasing is a supplier of new and used shipping containers in Southern Africa and surrounding territories.

Contact Lighthouse Containers today for an affordable container solution.

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