Below are some common questions that we get often. However, feel tree to call 800-284-1801 and we will be glad to answer any question you have.
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How big are the containers exactly?
Standard containers sizes are as follow: 20′ Container = 8′ wide x 8.5′ tall x 20′ long. 40′ Container = 8′ wide x 8.5′ tall x 40′ long. 40′ High Cube Container = 8′ wide x 9.5′ tall x 40′ long
What do the container terms—ISO, connex, shipping, storage container—mean and what’s the difference between them?
Containers have many names. ISO, cargo and shipping container are terms generally used when shipping containers commercially overseas. Connex or conex is a military term for the same thing. Storage container is just one more term for the same thing. However some people use storage container to include non-shipping containers like PODS. But in general, all of those terms are for the same thing.
What are the container conditions?
Our containers are in “as-is,” “wind- and water-tight,” “cargo-worthy,” and “one-trip” condition. Basically we run the range from used containers that are suitable for dry storage all the way up to beautiful containers that are here fresh from China. For more details on the different conditions and what they mean, check out our Products page. The page has a gallery of different containers marked so you’ll know which is which.
What is a “One-Trip” container?
A one-trip container is a container that was manufactured in China, filled with goods and then shipped to the US with the intent of being sold right away as a “new” container. While they are technically not new (they were used once to get them here), but they are as new as we can get here in the US. One-trip containers generally will be a solid, neutral color. They do not have shipping line markings of them and are free from rust and large dents. Because they have made one trip here on a ship, they may have some minor blemishes. See pictures of one-trip containers on our Products page.
Can I ship my container overseas?
If you want to ship something overseas, you have 2 options: you can use the shipping line’s container or you can get your own. If you want to keep the container once it gets to its destination, buying your own container may be the right choice. If you do that, you will need a container that is cargo-worthy. Used containers that are in cargo-worthy condition are structurally sound enough to make the trip to its destination without any issues. When you ship a container overseas, be sure that your container is cargo-worthy and be sure to get a survey, which is a certificate that shows the container is cargo-worthy. Shipping lines will require the survey before they allow the container on the ship.
Aren’t there too many of these containers? Can’t I go to a port and buy one?
No and no. There aren’t too many of them, despite old internet stories to the contrary. Shipping lines use containers for about 7-10 years before they sell them. That means that even though you see a stack of containers sitting at a port or rail yard, they are not necessarily empty or available. Shipping lines store them to ship their customer’s goods to the next location. Ports and rail yards do not own these containers, the shipping lines do. Shipping lines do not sell to individuals, so you need to purchase one through a container vendor.
What is the difference between a tilt-bed, flat-bed, chassis and trailer?
They are different types of trucks that deliver containers. Tilt-bed trucks set containers on the ground. Flat-bed trucks are used for shipping containers longer distances, but cannot set them on the ground. Chassis are used when the container is being shipped overseas, since that is the type of trailer allowed in ports and rail yards. For more information on the different kinds of delivery, see our Delivery Page.
What do they need from me to drop off the container?
If we are providing ground-level delivery to you, we need enough room on nice firm ground to do that. The driver will back up the truck to the spot where you want the container set down. The back of the truck tips down and there is a winch that lowers the first end of the container onto the ground. Then, the driver pulls the truck forward and uses then winch to finish setting the container on the ground. During this process, the driver cannot turn the truck at all, we need the length of the container plus the length of the truck plus enough room for the truck to turn to get out of the spot. That translates to 110′ for a 20′ container and 130′ for a 40′ container. In addition, when we set containers on the ground, the container pushes down and out on the truck, so we need very firm ground that is relatively flat. Paved surfaces and gravel are best. We cannot delivery on grass/lawns or in fields.