Should You Hire or Buy a Shipping Container?

In most situations, hiring or renting is a sure-fire way to lose money. You’re always paying for something that you never actually own. When it comes to shipping containers, it’s not so cut and dry. There’s an argument for both buying or hiring a shipping container. Deciding between these options is about understanding how you’ll use your shipping container. We’ve put together a guide to help you finally answer the question, ‘Should I buy or hire a shipping container?’.

a lot of shipping containers

When to hire a shipping container

So, you’re thinking about hiring a shipping container. You’ve come to the right place. Containerco are the shipping container experts with years of industry knowledge to share. Here are four of the most common reasons we recommend people hire their shipping container:

1. You want something cheap

Probably the biggest benefit to hiring a shipping container is the price. For as little as $5 per day, you can have access to a 20ft shipping container. If you’re using the container for business reasons, it may even be a tax-deductible expense. When you only have a small amount to spend, hiring is a cost-effective option.

2. You only need it short-term

Buying a shipping container will set you back a few thousand dollars. Unless you’re looking at decades of use, it’s going to be more cost-effective to stick with hiring. Most people wouldn’t bother purchasing it if they have short-term needs; such as non-permanent storage or shipping goods one way.

3. You need different sizes or premium features

Some months you might need a 20ft container, others call for a 40ft. Swapping sizes often means it’s harder to commit to purchasing just one container. In this case, hiring your shipping container is a better idea. The other consideration is the features of your container. Things like refrigeration and side-opening doors don’t come cheap. If you only need the premium features for a once-off project, it’s not worth investing in a container to own.

4. You’ll keep it in original condition

When you hire a shipping container, it’s expected you’ll return it in near original condition. That means zero modifications – even if they’re small like a brand logo or new paint job. When you know that no modifications are necessary to perform your work, you know that hiring is a viable option for your shipping container needs.

reasons to hire a shipping container

When to buy a shipping container

Even though hiring has its merits, there are still situations when buying a shipping container is preferred. Perhaps you plan to keep it for permanent storage purposes or are thinking about turning it into a site office. Below are the four most common reasons we recommend that people buy their shipping container:

1. You have long-term plan

By far the biggest reason to buy a shipping container is because you need it for long-term usage. This could be a permanent storage solution, constant shipping of goods between destinations or creative uses like building an office space or pop-up café. If you know that you’ll be using it for 10, 20 or more years – you may as well take the plunge and buy the container.

2. You want to modify your container

As mentioned earlier, hiring a shipping container doesn’t allow for modifications. If you do plan to use it for any kind of architectural reasons or you want to update the container design (with new paints, logos, branding etc) then you need to purchase it outright.

3. You always use the same size

If you frequently return to hire the same container size and plan to continue doing so, it may work out better to purchase your container. For this one, we’d recommend laying out the cost of a year’s worth of hiring and compare that to either the total cost of a container or your expected loan repayments. In some cases, it does come out cheaper to dive in and buy. If money is a primary consideration, you can always look at second-hand shipping containers for great quality at competitive prices.

4. You want fewer ongoing expenses

Some people find it easier to budget for a large expense upfront than to deal with ongoing expenses. In this case, it can be easier to buy your shipping container. However, this is mostly worthwhile if you have long-term usage plans.

reasons to buy a shipping container

What size shipping containers can you buy or hire?

By now, you should be clear on whether it’s better to buy or hire a shipping container for your needs. The next question is; what sizes are available?

At Containerco, we stock the most popular 20ft and 40ft shipping containers in both standard or high cube variations. These are the sizes that meet international standards for shipping goods, which means they are the most versatile for use. They hold their resale value – if you do decide to buy – and offer plenty of space for modified living uses. We also have a range of smaller 8ft and 10ft containers if required.

Need to know more? Check out the specs for our 40ft shipping containers for sale or browse and buy a 20ft shipping container. If you have any questions, our team are here to help. Simply call us on 1300 570 891.

What factors determine shipping container pricing?

Let’s be honest; price is a big factor when you’re deciding how to invest in shipping containers. We’re committed to transparency at Containerco and feel it’s important that you understand how shipping container prices fluctuate. There are many factors that can increase or decrease the pricing, and we’ll work with you to find the best option within your budget. Key factors which can change pricing include:

Supply and Demand: when there’s an oversupply, prices can drop. Similarly, an undersupply may mean prices are increased.

Container size: larger containers tend to be more expensive. This is a key reason that many people choose to hire the biggest sizes.

Features: premium features like side opening or refrigeration come with premium pricing.

Location: the delivery costs are usually separate to the container cost. If you’re in an easy to reach area, like a main city, this is likely to be a small cost. If you’re far away from a port or delivery location, the delivery costs increase.

what affects container pricing

How much does it cost to hire a shipping container?

Hiring a shipping container is generally considered a very cost-effective choice. Prices start from as little as $2 per day for the smallest container sizes. For the most popular sizes – 20ft and 40ft – you can expect to pay around $5-10 per day. For premium features, like side-opening or refrigeration, it’s going to be in the upper end of that range. At Containerco, we’re committed to giving you the best pricing to fulfil your needs. We provide obligation-free quotes for hiring a shipping container when you submit our quote form. Or, you can call us on 1300 570 891 to talk it through.

How much does it cost to buy a shipping container?

Buying a new shipping container will set you back a few thousand dollars but, depending on size and condition, it may not be as much as you think. The main consideration will be the container size. Pricing starts at around $4-5,000 for an 8ft container which is the smallest size available. It goes all the way up to $10,000+ for a 40ft high cube container. Those prices are for brand new stock. If you’re looking second-hand, then you can expect around $1-2,000 shaved off that price. These ranges are just an estimate and many factors can influence overall pricing. Your best option is to submit a sales form with our team who will be able to give you an accurate, obligation-free quote. You can also call us on 1300 570 891.

Ask the experts at Containerco

We hope this guide has helped you put your queries to rest. You should now understand the differences between buying or hiring a shipping container, the sizes available and the cost estimates. If you still had questions, or were ready to commit, we suggest asking our experts. They’re only a phone call away and happy to answer any questions. Get in touch with us on 1300 570 891 today.