Friday, 7 March 2014

The Amazing. Ever Changing World of Shipping Containers

It's been a while since my last post, and the world of shipping containers has been gradually turned over on it's head.  Actually, it's still in the process of happening, but we've all seen it coming.

On the positive side of things, spring is just around the corner and container sales in the United States have been very positive so far, especially considering that Polar Storm Mess that had a majority of the east coast on it's heels.

We've got a few new ideas and tips for you that you will (hopefully) find helpful when you start shopping for storage units or shipping containers come spring.

5 Tips to Use When Buying a Used Shipping Container: A lot of this article states the obvious, but it's a lot of things that people don't think about when they're buying equipment.  Some good ideas can be found here, especially for the novice buyer.

If you're buying a shipping container for the first time, you should at least sound like you know what you're talking about, take "container parts 101" by reading, "Shipping container parts and pictures".

Planning on having a shipping container delivered? Learn how to avoid paying too much by reading, "Avoid Expensive Delivery for Shipping Containers".

That's all for now.  I'll try and post a little more frequently now that my hands and fingers are thawing out from the winter cold.  If you've got any questions you can always email me through the blog.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Cheap, or Inexpensive - What's The Difference With Shipping Containes?

There can be a big difference between a cheap product, and one that's inexpensive.  Cars, houses, toys, and even used shipping containers can fall into this fallacy - cheaper doesn't always mean better!  Do your homework, compare the differences, and get the best deal for your money! 
People looking to buy a used shipping container are no different - they want the best possible deal at the best possible price.  However, the one thing we need to define is the difference between "cheap" and "inexpensive".
Read more on this article - Shipping Containers Prices - Cheap vs Inexpensive - and learn the difference between the two.  It could save you a few hundred, if not a few thousand dollars!

cheap, or inexpensive shipping container?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Tips for Buying a Shipping Container on a Cheap / Frugal Budget

So, you're thinking of buying a shipping container are you?  Or, depending on where you're located people might call it a sea can, connex box, cargo container, or some other variation of those terms.  It's not always easy to find one, let alone find a good deal on one.  Information on the internet can be unclear and sometimes advertisements provide outdated information. provided this helpful article a weeks back (June 2013) and we found it to be pretty helpful.
"5 Tips for Buying a Used Shipping Container"
Used shipping containers are not all the same, and you need to know what to look for before you rush out and purchase one.  Just like you would do a little research before you purchase a used car, there are some common things to look for when you get ready to purchase a used shipping container. --- continue reading
The summer is one of the best times to find a deal on shipping containers.  With the containerized freight coming in as stores stock up for summer, the pending school year, and holidays, many containers arrive in the US and are destined to be sold off.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Shipping Containers in the Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles

Some quick facts about the Port of Los Angeles:
  1. Occupies 7,500 acres
  2. Employs 16,000 people
  3. The busiest container port in the United States
  4. 7.8 million TEU's annually
  5. Opened December 9, 1907
  6. Annual revenue of $406.8 million
The Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles

Monday, 10 June 2013

Shipping Containers for Sale - Chicago, Illinois!

If you're looking for a cheap shipping container to convert into a storage unit, modular house, or jobsite office, you're best bet it to look around any place where there is a port or major distribution center.  On the west coast you've got Los Angeles and San Francisco, on the east coast you've got Newark, Norfolk, and Miami, and in the middle of the United States you've got Chicago, Illinois.

Why is Chicago a Great Place to Buy a Shipping Container?

If you're within 100 miles of Chicago you'll be able to get a great deal on a container, and have it delivered to you for a reasonable cost.  Chicago is a major east/west distribution center so lots of products move in/around/through the Windy City.  As they're sorted and repackaged destined for their final location, the goods are often unloaded from containers and repacked into trucks and trailers.  Sure, some of the containers are used in different parts of the supply chain, but there are many that are sold off into the secondary/retail market to be repurposed- that's why you'll find the great deals.

Where to Get the Best Deals on a Shipping Container?

There are many dealers, traders, and related companies in Chicago that can help you.  Each one adds a different type of value - some include delivery in the price, others can make the modifications that you might be interested in.  Many of the dealers list their containers for sale on the internet on websites like

New or Used Shipping Containers - Which is the Best?

Used shipping containers are cheaper than a new container, but depending on your needs it may not mean that it's a better deal.  A used shipping container can be sold in several conditions -
  • "as is where is", which means that it could be in any condition and the seller can't promise that it will be solid, 
  • "wind/water tight", which means that it will have no holes and will keep everything on the inside of the container dry and protected,
  • "cargo worthy", which is a solid container that could still be used for shipping.
A used container may not be pretty too look at, and it may need some cleaning up to make it suitable for sitting on your property.  If you want a container that looks perfect and will require no cleaning or maintenance, then you'll want a new (one trip) container.

Overall, there are lots of great options for containers in a city like Chicago.  Storage, housing conversions, job site offices, are all possible with the inventory that's available.  Storage container retailers throughout North America, and Illinois, list their inventory for sale on  If you need any help, you can find a good resource to contact on the auction.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Storage and Used Shipping Container Security

Shipping containers are very secure, it's the nature of their design.  Let's think about it, at the very core a shipping container is a steel box with only 1 entrance and exit point that's equipped with heavy locking steel doors, and an exterior body made of CORTEN steel. 

With all this in mind, it’s very important to remember that the cargo container does spend most of it’s shipping life stacked on a ship, in a depot, or sitting on a chassis or flatbed truck; in all of these places it’s under the eye of a shipping line employee, truck driver, or security guard.

The Weakest Part of a Storage Container  – Easily Corrected

The weakest point on a used shipping container isn't even really part of the container itself, it's the lock.  Container locks are purchased by the end user and can have any level of strength.  Cheaper pad locks tend to be weak, while expensive locks can be more secure, but also much more expensive.  No matter the type of lock, on most used shipping containers it’s exposed, as is the one in this picture.

shipping container without lock box

There are several ways to protect your lock, and thus protect everything that’s inside of your shipping/storage container.  However the two most recommended involved a lock box, either welded on or bolted onto the container.
  1. Weld on lock box – a weld on lock box provides a “house” for your lock to live in.  This means that anyone trying to break into the unit and would normally just cut the lock shank, now has to try and get access to the lock shank, which isn’t easy when it’s in a small enclosed area.  The downside of weld on lock box is that you’ll need welding equipment.
  2. Bolt on container lock box – a bolt on lock box provides all of the benefits of a weld on lock box, but instead of welding it into place you only need to bolt it to your container.  Once bolted on, it behaves the same as a welded on unit and your lock is nearly impossibly to cut (don’t lose the key!).

A weld on lock box costs around $100 installed, and a bolt on lock box starts at around $50, without installation.  Weld on units are available at your local depot or container reseller, and bolt on lock boxes can be purchased on

Installing a bolt on lock box can be done in around 15 minutes if you’ve got the tools and have an idea of how to use a drill and wrench or socket set.  If your lock box isn't painted, you may also want to have a rattle can of paint to finish off the color. has posted several videos on how to install a lock box, and you can download instructional material that you can print and take with you while you work.

If you have any questions about how to install a lock box on a shipping container please contact the folks at, or  They’ve been helping to secure used shipping containers for years and will gladly provide you with the assistance that you need to make sure your possessions are safe and secure.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Chicago Shipping Containers - new, one trip, used, CHEAP!

East to west, Chicago is a major hub in North American transportation and logistics.  No matter if the containers arrive by train, truck, or boat coming in off Lake Michigan; they're either shifted to a different carrier or the contents are repacked and reloaded.  The volume of through traffic is amazing, and the number of containers that remain in Chicago means that you can find a great deal at the auction!

Chicago Shipping Containers for Sale

Chicago has a lot of shipping containers for sale, and if you know where to look and the questions to ask you can find them at a great price.  Many of the worlds major shipping lines, container lessors, and trucking companies have depots located in and around Chicago.  They tend to sell their containers in bulk purchases to container retailers throughout the area.  Then container retailers then move them to their location, clean them up and paint them, and sell them as a retail transaction to the end user.  This system is very effecient, although sometimes the container retailers aren't in your area, or don't have the specific container that you need.

Chicago Container Auctions

Occasionally, new and used shipping containers are put up for auction in Chicago.  Sometimes the containers are loaded with cargo or unclaimed freight, but many times they are empty.  These auctions are either held at the depot location, or online at at a website like  If you go to a live container auction you'll need to show up with cash, or if you purchase one on you'll need to be ready to make a wire transfer or other quick payment to make sure that the transaction doesn't expire.

Cheap Containers in Chicago

One thing the wholesalers, shipping lines, and retail container outlets have in common is selling on  Container Auction is a marketplace for new and used containers, and they sell single units, bulk purchases, sale listings and auctions.  Some listings include delivery within a set radius, and others are priced dirt cheap provided that you can arrange your own transportation.  If you're shopping for a cargo, shipping or storage container in Chicago, check out the Auction first!