New and used shipping containers are both wind and watertight units which are sound for dry and secure storage.
However, the units appearance, ease of handling and life expectancy could have a big impact on which is the right
unit for you.
Used shipping containers are usually between 12 and 18 years old which is the industry standard. These containers
will have travelled the world on board containerships carrying various types of cargo between countries. They are
known as ex-shipping containers as they are sold directly from the shipping line into the UK’s container trade
market. Because of this, used shipping containers are supplied in various colours with different branding and
shipping line logos. We cannot guarantee the colour that used containers are supplied in as they are pulled “next in
stack”, of which a stack could be six deep and three high.
Used ex-shipping containers are supplied in wind and watertight condition. Due to the nature of the equipment,
their years at sea and the way they are handled by heavy plant in container depots, used shipping containers will
have dents, rust, scrapes and faded paintwork. The double cargo doors will be fully functional however will likely be
stiff and feel heavy to open and close. We recommend using WD40 or similar on the door hinges to help with this.
We recommend the addition of a fitted steel lockbox to secure the container along with a heavy duty padlock. These
are not fitted as standard on used equipment and can be added in depot or on site. The life expectancy of a used
shipping container is between 10 – 20 years depending on the upkeep of the unit. Our mobile container team offer
services to increase the containers lifespan with products such as Grafo-Therm anti condensation treatment,
container painting with marine standard paint and we also carry out on site container repairs.
In comparison, new containers are usually between 6 – 18 months old with a life expectancy of 25+ years. All new
containers are manufactured in China and filled with cargo. The units are then loaded onto a containership and
transported around the globe to the destination where their cargo will be unloaded and distributed, and the
container will be sold into trade. This is why new containers are commonly referred to as one-way shippers, once
shipped containers or one trip containers.
As the containers have been used on one occasion, handled at the ports and in the container depots, they can
sometimes have some marks on the corner posts and a small dent here and there. They are otherwise in great
condition, fully wind and watertight and easy to secure. New containers have factory fitted slim line lockboxes as
standard making securing the container easy. The double cargo doors are available as four bar or three bar for easy
opening. A higher number of container vents are fitted to new containers and range between four and ten vents per
20ft container to help with air flow.
One trip containers are available in set colours of blue, green and grey in the UK. RAL colours do vary depending on
the Chinese manufacturer meaning the shade of the colours can be lighter or darker. Our usual RAL colours include
(blue) RAL5013 and RAL5010 and (green) RAL6007 and RAL6028.
Here is a quick summary of the main differences between new and used 20ft containers;
|20ft||New Containers||Used Containers|
|Wind and Watertight||Yes||Yes|
|Corten Steel Shell||Yes||Yes|
|Marine Plywood Floor||Yes||Yes|
|Double Cargo Doors||Yes||Yes|
|Fork Lift Pockets||Yes||Yes|
|Four Locking Bars||Yes||Yes|
|Three Locking Bars||Yes||No|
|Fitted Lockbox||Yes||No – Optional Extra|
|Guaranteed Colour||Yes||No – Painting Available|
|Life Expectancy||Yes||10-20 Years|
To keep your new shipping container in the best possible condition, we recommend the addition of Grafo-Therm anti
condensation treatment to combat the effects of condensation within the container. Grafo-Therm will help to
protect your container from the build-up of condensation and damp, which if left untreated could cause corrosion.
This is also an ideal option to include if you’re using your containers for self storage as it will ensure your clients
items are kept dry and free from damp. We recommend using new/one trip containers for self storage due to the
longer lifespan of the units, their clean and uniform appearance and ease of opening and securing the doors.
Contact us today on 0330 321 3380 or email email@example.com for further details.