The 3-Step Used Shipping Container Quality Assessment Checklist

Being avid travelers, we think it’s only appropriate to want to use a shipping container as building material.

It’s essence gives off the adventure, distant lands, trade, and foreign places vibes–vibes we like to carry with us through life. So, what better way than to repurpose a shipping container for, well–the options are numerous.

From living quarters, to restaurants, to sheds, to emergency shelter, with the sturdy construction of a shipping container built to specs to survive the rigors of the high seas–you can take advantage of this and build a dream something or other.

Whether you’re in the market for a second-hand shipping container for storage purposes, construction material, or anything in between, you want to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.

To ensure you’re purchasing a high-quality used container, take this easy 3-step checklist with you when you talk to the seller.

Apartment housing made from shipping containers

 

1. Where has it been?

When you talk to your chosen seller about their shipping container, you’ll want to ask them where it’s been.

Depending on the temperature it’s exposed to, metal will expand and contract. If your container has been back and forth from Australia to a cold region like northern Europe, the constant swelling and shrinking of the metal may have caused warping and weakness in the steel.

Find out what journeys the container has taken to ensure you don’t get this kind of damage. The less extreme temperatures it’s been exposed to, the better.

Buildings Created Used Shipping Containers Shopping Center

2. How many times has it been used?

The location of your shipping container’s journeys isn’t the only important thing to consider.

You’ll also want to know how many journeys it’s been on.

Aside from damage caused by repeated exposure to extreme temperatures, the constant loading and unloading that a well-used container has to withstand can also cause problems.

You can take a look at the state of the walls inside the container to verify what the seller tells you.

For example, if he or she informs you that the container has been used once, but you can see scratches and dents of various ages, your seller may be lying about the product. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra clarification on any damage you see.

House Design Using Shipping Containers

3. What has it carried?

If your shipping container has taken few journeys to places with moderate temperatures then you may be in luck, but don’t forget that the contents of the previous cargo matter.

For example, if the container was used to ship hazardous chemicals or other dangerous items, it’s possible that some of these could have leaked into the container and permeated the walls.

It’s especially important to avoid this if the container will be used to construct a structure like a house or pool, where the users’ health could be threatened by such substances escaping into the atmosphere.

Amsterdam Apartments Using Shipping Containers


Remember:

Buying used only works out to be a good deal if the item is in good condition and fit for purpose.

If not, you could find yourself spending so much on repairs and replacements that a new container would have been a cheaper purchase.

When your chosen seller cannot answer these questions, find someone who can or purchase at your own risk.