How It Works

Buying shipping
containers explained.

blue 40 foot container

Where do
shipping
containers
come from?

Most shipping containers, commonly called Conex or intermodal cargo containers, are manufactured in China and usually spend 12-15 years circumnavigating the globe on container ships. When international shipping lines and intermodal equipment providers are ready to take a container out of circulation we help you buy it at a wholesale price and deliver it to your facility.

Shipping
Containers
are Ugly

Used shipping containers are ugly. They've spent 12-15 years circumnavigating the globe and come with cosmetic blemishes, surface rust, and dings/dents from all their journeys. When your used shipping container is delivered it’s going to look like a used steel box.

The intermodal equipment companies that we source our used shipping containers from care only that a container's roof doesn't leak, the floors can support 40,000lbs of cargo, the structure is strong enough to stack them 7 units high, and the doors seal properly.

Despite how they look, used shipping containers are strong, wind and water tight, and perfect for long-term storage (and a fresh coat of paint goes a long way to making them look more presentable). For customers who need storage with no rust, we recommend One Trip containers.

brown 40 foot shipping container
green 40 foot shipping container
orange 40 foot shipping container
beige 20 foot shipping container
beige 10 foot shipping container
beige 40 foot high shipping container
man looking into open shipping container
Success Story:
Budweiser Clydesdales

Used shipping
containers
come in a few
varieties

One Trip Containers

beige 20 foot shipping container
beige 10 foot shipping container
beige 40 foot high shipping container
Commonly called Like New, these are in the best condition and are your best bet if you're worried about the cosmetic condition.
Expand for more info on Like New containers

These Like New containers are generally within a year or two of their manufacture date and are in excellent condition inside and out with fresh grey or beige paint, though they will have a few dings or dents because containers are often bumped into one another during stacking.

Most One Trip containers have only taken one journey across an ocean on a container ship, but that's not strictly true. The term "one tripper" is more of a reference to a container in like-new condition. A brand new container in North America would need to be custom built and would cost about three times as much as a One Trip container from Asia.

One Trip container pricing is more closely related to the manufacturing cost than used container pricing, which is more about supply. Customers will see a much smaller price gap between 20' and 40' used containers than they will for 20' and 40' One Trip containers.

The rental fleet looks more like the One Trip, painted beige or grey, and comes with the option for doors on both ends (Tunnel). Rentals are only available in certain markets.

Watch the Success Story

Budweiser Clydesdales Training Facility in Missouri used a One Trip container to add to their storage.

Success Story:
Budweiser Clydesdales

Rental Containers

The rental fleet looks more like the One Trip, painted beige or grey, and comes with the option for doors on both ends (Tunnel). Rentals are only available in certain markets.

red 40 foot high shipping container
green 40 foot shipping container
red 40 foot shipping container
green 40 foot shipping container
Success Story:
BWI Airport Marriot

CWO & WWT Containers

red 40 foot shipping container
green 40 foot shipping container
red 40 foot shipping container
The used shipping containers that give you the most value for your money are Cargo Worthy (CWO) & Wind and Water Tight (WWT) containers.
Expand for more info on CWO & WWT containers

Used shipping containers have circumnavigated the globe for 12-15 years and have the dents and rust to prove it, but they make stellar storage containers on dry land.

The only real difference between a CWO and WWT container is whether it can pass a CSC Survey and be safely placed at the bottom of a stack of seven (7) loaded containers for shipment on a cargo ship. Both CWO and WWT are going to look similar: surface rust, dings and dents, etc.

Whether the used shipping container you purchase is WWT or CWO, it is going to look like a used metal shipping container. With either option, we guarantee that your shipping container won't leak, will have doors that seal, and floors free of holes. If you're worried about how it looks, pressure washing and painting used containers goes a long way.

CWO - Cargo Worthy Containers

CWO containers are used shipping containers that could still be CSC certified (International Convention for Safe Containers) for overseas shipment, and stacked up to 7-high on container ships. Cargo-worthy containers are generally in similar cosmetic condition to WWT containers (though, CWO units tend to be a couple years newer, on average).

WWT - Wind & Water Tight Containers

Wind and Water Tight used shipping containers are no longer able to pass a CSC survey and cannot be exported. All WWT condition containers can be repaired to CWO condition, and often the repair is as simple as patching a dent deemed too large or fixing a bent cross-member under the floor.

Some WWT condition containers were graded CWO but their CSC Survey expired, and the unit's shipping company decided to take it out of service. The unit may still be in "cargo worthy" condition and simply need a new CSC Survey. Some are even used for domestic shipping.

Wind and Water Tight containers make great storage units. While WWT containers are on average the oldest units we sell, they are covered by our 3-Year Warranty.

When choosing a used shipping container, it's not possible to pick the color of your container, you get the next one off the stack at the storage depot. If color or appearance is important, you can paint your containers or buy a One Trip that will come on beige or grey.

Watch the Success Story

BWI Airport Marriot painted their 40 foot WWT containers to fit with the style of the hotel.

Success Story:
BWI Airport Marriot

Dimensions & Specifications

Shipping containers must fit perfectly together, so dimensions are held to very specific standards.

The International Standard for Organization (ISO) requires that all containers are built to within a few millimeters of one another so they can be stacked on container ships without issue.

Containers are quantified in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU's) and are most commonly built in 20' and 40' lengths.

red 40 foot shipping container
40 Foot
Standard
red 40 foot shipping container

40 Foot
Standard

  • External
    Length
    40ft 0in
    Width
    8ft 0in
    Height
    8ft 6in
  • Internal
    Length
    39ft 5.70in
    Width
    7ft 8.59in
    Height
    7ft 9.89in
  • Door Opening
    Width
    7ft 8.125in
    Height
    7ft 5.75in
  • Capacity & Weight
    Volume
    2,385cuFT
    Empty Weight
    8,380lbs
    Load Capacity
    57,759lbs
blue 40 foot high shipping container
40 Foot
High Cube
blue 40 foot high shipping container

40 Foot
High Cube

  • External
    Length
    40ft 0in
    Width
    8ft 0in
    Height
    9ft 6in
  • Internal
    Length
    39ft4in
    Width
    7ft 7in
    Height
    8ft 9in
  • Door Opening
    Width
    7ft 6in
    Height
    8ft 5in
  • Capacity & Weight
    Volume
    2,660cuFT
    Empty Weight
    8,598lbs
    Load Capacity
    58,598lbs
green 45 foot high shipping container
45 Foot
High Cube
green 45 foot high shipping container

45 Foot
High Cube

  • External
    Length
    45ft 0in
    Width
    8ft 0in
    Height
    9ft 6in
  • Internal
    Length
    44ft 4in
    Width
    7ft 7in
    Height
    8ft 9in
  • Door Opening
    Width
    7ft 6in
    Height
    8ft 5in
  • Capacity & Weight
    Volume
    3,040cuFT
    Empty Weight
    10,580lbs
    Load Capacity
    55,559lbs
orange 20 foot shipping container
20 Foot
Standard
orange 40 foot high shipping container

20 Foot
Standard

  • External
    Length
    19ft 10.5in
    Width
    8ft 0in
    Height
    8ft 6in
  • Internal
    Length
    18ft 8.81in
    Width
    7ft 8.59in
    Height
    7ft 9.89in
  • Door Opening
    Width
    7ft 8.125in
    Height
    7ft 5.75in
  • Capacity & Weight
    Volume
    1,169cuFT
    Empty Weight
    4,850lbs
    Load Capacity
    61,289lbs
a delivery flatbed truck dropping off a 40 foot green shipping container, used shipping container delivery, delivery of conex containers, buy used shipping containers and have them delivered
Container Delivery

Things to Know Before You Order a Shipping Container

We deliver containers on a roll-off trailer, so you won't need a forklift or a crane to unload at delivery, but you'll need to make sure you've got enough space for delivery and that your site is ready for the truck.

The trucks are Big,
and we need space to deliver.

One of the biggest considerations when determining what size container you should buy is where it will be delivered. You need a lot of extra space.

up to 120 feet

40 & 45 Foot Containers

40 & 45ft container use a roll-off truck and need a total of 120 linear feet of space for the container to be dropped off.

10 & 20 Foot Containers

10 & 20ft containers are delivered on a tilt-bed and need an additional 55 feet of space for the truck to deliver. That is 75 linear feet of total space necessary.

Both truck types need clearance from obstacles of 12 feet wide & 13.5 feet high (up to 16ft high when tipped at delivery).

The trucks are heavy,
and need a firm surface.

The truck that delivers your container could weigh over 45,000 pounds. If we're delivering on a soft surface (such as dirt or grass) please make sure your site can handle a heavy truck.

image of container ship on the water

CSC survey required for container export

Only Cargo Worthy (CWO) and One Trip containers can be surveyed.

pods container full of homegoods
Need off-site storage or a container for moving?
Western Container Sales does not offer moving or off-site storage services.

Luckily for you, we've negotiated special pricing with PODS for you.

Whether you need to relocate an employee across the country, or move your home across town, PODS can help with containers you can pack at your schedule.

LEARN MORE & GET DISCOUNT
left side view of 40 foot high cube shipping container in blue, 40ft shipping containers for sale, used 45ft cargo worth shipping containers, 40ft high cube shipping container

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