Buying A Storage Container


A Storage Container Buyer's Guide

Buyer’s Guide: Top 5 Things To Know Before Buying A Storage Container

If you are reading this, then it is fair to assume you’re close to making a big purchasing decision. It can be tough to maneuver the storage container industry and what exactly buying a storage container entails. Don’t worry, we’ve created a streamlined Buyer’s Guide to help you better understand the product, process, and most importantly what you need to know before buying a storage container.

Check out the top 5 things you should know before buying a storage container.

1. Types Vs Needs

Let us take a look at the different types of storage containers and the needs they fill. Take this time to think about your own needs.

Step 1: Determine the container storage use

This may sound like a trivial step, but it is a crucial step. It can help determine whether you should rent or buy the container. For example, if you are looking to get a storage container due to construction being done at an elementary school, then renting would be the more suitable solution. However, if your school is experiencing overcrowded classrooms then a permanent solution like buying a storage container is the choice for you. Take a look at the different types of storage container uses and determine where your need fits.

Here are some of the uses and applications of shipping containers:

  • Retail: Keep inventory stocked at all times.
  • Offices: Above-ground, portable solution for any business in need of an office.
  • Agricultural: Long-term weatherproof storage solution for farming supplies.
  • Warehouses: Sturdy permanent on-site office for meetings. 
  • Construction: Reliable meeting room, break room, and bathroom that is portable.:
  • Restaurants: Store materials and food, or house your business using a cost-effective storage container. 
  • Healthcare facilities: Store medications, vaccines, and personal protective equipment.
  • Schools: Alleviate overcrowded classrooms or add onto the school in a budget-friendly method.

Step 2: Find the Right Fit

Depending on the location and plan you have to build your storage container, you will need to make sure it fits. Storage container suppliers offer a variety of sizing choices, and some conduct on-site visits to help make the process easier (make sure to ask about this option). 

Although storage containers can be customized and come in various sizes, there are two common sizes you should know about:

20-Foot Shipping Containers

Often referred to as the standard shipping container, a 20-foot storage container is perfect for various residential and commercial needs.

Common Uses:

  • Retail storage
  • Construction sites
  • School Classrooms
  • Office Space
  • Residential Outdoor Storage

Take a look at the chart below to determine if a 20-foot shipping container is right for you. 

Exterior DimensionsStandard:20′ x 8′ x 8.5′High-Cube:20′ x 8′ x 9.5′
Interior DimensionsStandard:19’3″ x 7’8″ x 7’10”High-Cube:19’3″ x 7’8″ x 8’10”
Door OpeningStandard:7’9″ x 7’6″High-Cube:7’9″ x 8’6″
Weight (Max Gross)Standard:67,200 lbs.High-Cube:67,200 lbs.

40-Foot Shipping Containers

40-foot shipping containers are the perfect solutions for those needing additional volume to store materials. Need a bit more space for that office desk? In need of a layout that comfortably fits a bathroom? If so, a 40-foot shipping container may better fit your needs. 

Common Uses:

  • Construction sites
  • Warehouse storage
  • Agricultural shelter or storage
  • Portable bathrooms
  • School classrooms 
  • Retail storage
  • Medical Offices

Take a look at the chart below to determine if a 40-foot shipping container is right for you. 

Exterior DimensionsStandard:40′ x 8′ x 8.5′High-Cube:40′ x 8′ x 9.5′
Interior DimensionsStandard:39’5″ x 7’8″ x 7’10”High-Cube:39’5″ x 7’8″ x 8’10”
Door OpeningStandard:7’9″ x 7’6″High-Cube:7’9″ x 8’6″
Weight (Max Gross)Standard:67,200 lbs.High-Cube:67,200 lbs.

IMPORTANT: Although twice the size of the 20-foot shipping container, when looking at the weight in the charts above you can see that both the 40-foot and 20-foot storage container hold the same amount of weight. 

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Read more about the different types of shipping containers.

Step 3: Talk with your Supplier

Often looked over, step three is the most important for knowing what you need. Who better to ask about what you need than the experts themselves. Ensure communication is clear and your wants are laid out to receive the optimum storage container.

2. Cost

Now that you have an idea of the different types of storage container uses and sizes. And which fulfill your needs. Take a look at the average costs to know if it is within budget. In general, the cost of a storage container will vary depending on the size, condition of the container, and customization. 

Average Costs:

20-foot storage container: $3,460

40-foot storage container: $6,212

Along with the storage container cost, make sure to factor in shipping and add-on feature costs. In addition, depending on your shipping container dealer, there may be additional insulation and insurance fees. It is vital to consider these additional costs when comparing price quotes. 


Due to the worldwide shipping container shortage, the price of shipping containers has risen 63 percent. Get up-to-date pricing of standard and customized storage containers from a supplier. 

Rent To Own

Buying a storage container in full is not your only option. Rent-to-own storage containers are a popular option among both commercial and residential customers. It’s a cost-effective solution that allows customers to make monthly payments on their storage container.

3. Add-On Features

You know the types of storage units and the average prices. It is time to know the types of add-on features available. Depending on the supplier, add-on features will vary, but the standard customizable features include:

  • Ventilation/Insulation
  • Interior Finishes
  • Shelving
  • Ramps
  • Flooring
  • Locking Mechanism 

Add-on features allow you to make the storage container YOURS. It is customized to fit YOUR preferences and YOUR needs. Make sure to think about the long run when determining add-on features and discuss further with your supplier. 

4. Possible Storage Container Suppliers

Finding the right supplier can be difficult. While there seem to be limitless options of different dealers, finding the one you need can be tricky. However, it is vital you know all your options. We have done part of the work for you by compiling a list of suppliers

How Does Delivery Work?

Suppliers can deliver storage containers to most residential or commercial sites as needed. However, delivery is an additional charge and will depend on the container size and the type of truck used for the delivery. 

Learn more about the delivery process and how you can prepare for your storage container delivery. 

5. Our Recommendation Based On YOUR Needs

At 360Connect, we connect you with up to 5 suppliers based on your location and storage container needs. You read the buyer's guide, now it is time to make your potential project a reality. 

1: Tell us about yourself by filling out a FREE quote form

2: We will contact you to verify your needs. 

3: We will have up to 5 suppliers contact you with FREE price quotes.

YOU get to choose the supplier that fits your needs with NO OBLIGATION to buy.

Have additional questions? 360Connect is here to help! 

Ready to buy a Storage Container?

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