Guide to Buying a Used Shipping Container in Houston

Each year, about 25 million containers arrive in the U.S. by sea, truck, and rail, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Unfortunately, many of these containers are often used just once to transport goods cross-border. This usually leaves the country with tons of accumulated empty containers at ports and commercial lots. These containers take up a whole lot of space, but also pose a major environmental hazard, as they can release hazardous materials into the environment.

So, what can Americans do with the empty, used containers?

Used shipping containers can be put into several different uses. For instance, they can be converted into storage units, re-purposed for residential use or turned into office space. But not all shipping containers are created equal, so choosing the best container can be rather confusing.

Check out this guide to buying used shipping containers for sale in Houston.

1. Determine the Proper Size Container

Shipping containers come in different sizes to meet the requirements of different shipping applications. Generally, however, you’ll need to choose between standard and high cube containers.The best way to establish the correct size container is to figure out how much space you’ll need for your application. An ideal container should have extra room to accommodate your future needs.

Once you have the right size, head over to the seller’s website and check if they have a container that matches the size you need.

2. Establish How Long You Need to Use the Container

How long do you need to use your container? If you’re looking to convert a used shipping container into a house or office space, then pass on this question. This is because you’re probably looking to use your container over the long-term.

But if you’re looking to use the container as a temporary storage unit, say for less than a year, then you might prefer to rent rather than buy. You can rent the container you need for only a small fraction of the amount you’d have to pay to own the unit. The rental option is best for short-term users of used shipping containers.

3. Inspect Your Container to Check for Quality

Buying a used container doesn’t mean you should settle for less. Insist on seeing what you’re buying before finalizing any purchase. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your container to check for dents, holes, rust, or other visible signs of damage.

If the damage is too significant, it will affect the quality and structural integrity of your container. It is perfectly normal for used containers to have a few scratches and dents here and there, but these shouldn’t be so significant as to compromise the structural soundness of the containers.

4. Choose the Locking Mechanism You Need to Ensure Security

You need to ensure that whatever you’ll store inside your container will be protected against theft or loss. This, of course, will depend on the type of lock your container will come with.

There are many different ways to lock used shipping containers. These include heavy duty padlocks, crossbar locks, inner bolts, enclosed lock boxes, and many more. You need to evaluate each option carefully before making a final decision on which type of locking mechanism is best for your container.

For applications where extra security is needed, it is best to consider investing in security solutions like CCTV security systems and security alarm systems. The extra cost might be worth the investment.

5. Determine What Special Features You Need

The features you need will depend on the intended use of the container, and are vital for ensuring you enjoy maximum use of the container you buy. Some of these features include the shelving, door type, HVAC system, and many more.

These features may not come as standard, but when you narrow down your options to specific features, you’ll increase your chances of finding a container that matches your exact needs. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can customize your container.

6. Decide on the Mode of Delivery

Do you want your container delivered or prefer to you’ll pick it up yourself? This is an important consideration to make before making a purchase decision.

Depending on your location, purchasing a container can be as quick and easy as a trip to your local port or a frustrating logistical problem. If your location is close to the port, then you can decide to pick up. However, if not, then it is wise to have the container shipped to you.

Settle on a seller who offers both options. If you settle on the delivery option, then your seller should be in a position to ensure you receive your container on time.

7. Think About Your Container Placement

Generally, you should place your container on a dry, flat surface. This is adequate preparation for a container that you intend to use for less than a year. However, if the container is likely to remain in the same place for years, then additional preparation may be necessary. Fortunately, containers are easy and cheap to set up.

Most sellers can advise you on what’s needed before delivery. Some suppliers even offer to visit the site before delivery. Keep in mind that hilly ground, rocky land or areas that easily get flooded aren’t ideal for container placement.

Do You Need a Permit Before Buying Used Shipping Containers for Sale in Houston?

Well, the answer is: it depends. In some cases, you may need to obtain a permit from your local council before placing a container on your property. This is mostly true in cases where the container will be placed in areas with high traffic.

However, in areas that experience less traffic, a permit may not be required. It is best to check with your local council if you’re unsure about regulations on container use and placement.

Contact us to get the best deal on buying used shipping containers for sale in Houston.

8 Things to Consider When Buying a Conex Container

The port of Houston is a thriving 25 miles of private and public docks that are used to transport 236 million tons of cargo. Thanks to this large volume, there are plenty of shipping containers available. If you are looking to buy, shopping for a Conex box for sale in Houston is a great idea! This rings true if your needs are for a brand new or used container.

There are a few things you need to look at though when you consider buying a particular container. Make sure you use this guide so that you end up with a high-quality container.

The Basics of Conex Containers

Conex shipping containers are large steel boxes that are used to ship a large amount of cargo. In recent years they have also become popular as a building material. They come in two standard lengths of 20 or 40 feet. The standard height is 8 feet 6 inches. The standard width is 8 feet. You may find some containers that are referred to as “high cube”. These containers are 9 feet 6 inches

1. The Roof

Walk inside the container and look up at the roof. If you see sunlight coming through then the roof has started to corrode. The container is no longer watertight. You should also climb a ladder and take a look at the roof on the outside of the container. Are there any dents or low spots where water will collect? If the container isn’t rusting yet, these are the spots where it will one day.

2. The Floors

You don’t want to buy a container that has rotting floors. This goes for both containers intended for shipping and building. The majority of containers will have a steel floor but some will have a wood floor. With the steel floors, you will need to check for rust. If the floor is wood you will need to check that it hasn’t rotted away.

3. The Doors

Open the doors and make sure they swing open and closed smoothly. Check the latching mechanism to make sure that it works the way that it should. The most common place for corrosion and rust is at the bottom of the door.

4. The Height

Will the standard height work for your needs or does your cargo require you to buy a high cube? If you are shipping large equipment then the high cube may be necessary. Otherwise, stick with the standard height.

5. Is It Insulated?

If your cargo needs temperature regulation then you will want your container to have insulation. Otherwise, you risk your cargo being subjected to extreme hot and cold temperatures. If you are planning on building with your container, you will need to check your local codes for requirements on insulation and wiring. You may find that an uninsulated container gives you more space and freedom.

6. Delivery

Where do you need your container to be located? If you are going to use your container for shipping purposes, you will most likely want it at the port. This way you can have it loaded and ready for transport. If you are planning on building with your container then you will want it delivered to your property. Ask your container seller if they are willing to deliver after making any necessary repairs or modifications.

7. The Length

What length is going to work for your needs? If you are planning on using your container for shipping, you will want to stick with the standard 20 and 40-foot lengths. Which one you choose will depend on the cargo you intend to transport. Both lengths tend to have a similar weight limit. Because of this, if your cargo is heavy it is better to fill a 20-foot container then have a half empty 40-foot container.

If you are planning on building with your container then you have a bit more freedom with the length. Both lengths are going to cost the same for delivery. You will probably be happy with the longer length as it will give you double the square footage. Keep in mind that it is easier to trim some off a container that is too long than build onto one that is slightly too short.

8. Is It Legal?

When it comes to shipping your container, it must be certified. Otherwise, you risk rejection at the port.

Look for the CSC plate on the container. It will state key information about your container including:

  • Container model
  • Manufacturer name & serial number
  • Manufacture date
  • Fumigation details
  • Owner name and address
  • Approval number
  • Container number
  • Max operating gross mass
  • Allowable stacking weight
  • ACEP number

If you are planning on using your container for building you need to check with the local building codes first. You need to make sure that your home or office will be legally inhabitable upon completion.

9. Is There a Funky Smell

Walk inside the container and take a whiff. What do you smell?

It may smell like paint, pesticides, or remnants of past cargo. This may not be a big deal if you plan to ship well-packaged cargo.

But what if you are planning to build with it? Can you get rid of the smell? Are you especially sensitive to smells that it will always bother you?

Conex Box for Sale in Houston

Whatever your intended use, you need to keep these 9 factors in mind when looking for a Conex box for sale in Houston. You may find a good deal on a container, but quickly discover that it is in terrible condition.

Keep in mind that if the damage or rust is minor, you may be able to repair the container. We can help you determine the feasibility and cost of repair. We can also help you find the right container for your needs.

Contact us today to get a quote for your Conex box.

Container Living: 5 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Shipping Container

Buying a home in the United States is getting more and more expensive every year. In fact, The cost of homeownership is going to rise twice as fast as inflation and average income. This is one of the main reasons people are turning to alternative home ownership. One of the newest and most popular alternative homes is the shipping container home.

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