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Why You Shouldn’t Buy Shipping Containers for Your Business…Until After You’ve Read This!

Shipping containers are a viable solution for residential and commercial transportation/storage needs. They’re even a popular new-age housing option, thanks to their mobility and customization options. But, let’s focus on commercial use.

These modular metal units are weather-resistant, long-lasting, and relatively cheap. Also, they’re highly durable, so they’re suited for both short-term and long-term use.

If you intend to buy shipping containers, you’ll want to consider what their uses will be. You’ll want a container that’s both versatile and size-appropriate. Also, it’s important you determine the specific features you’ll require.

Once you have a basic idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to do some research. We’re here to help you learn the facts of purchasing a shipping container for business use.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Since Texas is a major port of entry, it’s crucial you obtain a permit for maritime transportation. The Intermodal Shipping Container Port Permit allows you to ship out of Port of Houston and Port of Freeport.

If you plan to buy from a local or even national retailer, you won’t have to worry about this annual permit. But, depending on the location of your business, you may still need a permit from your neighborhood association. This grants you permission to keep a shipping unit on your property for an extended period of time.

Shop Online

Today, we often turn to the internet for our commercial purchases to save a few bucks. But, like every other industry, you’ll see there’s an overabundance of online retailers. This is where it helps to have a specific idea in mind of what you’re looking to buy. It’ll help you narrow down your choices to easily compare units that fit your company budget.

If you’re looking online, it’s still wise to go for vendors in your nearby area. You have to pay to transport your container, so ideally, you’ll find someone within a few miles.

Inspect Before You Buy Shipping Containers

No one likes to get hustled online and buy something of lesser value than the seller proclaimed. Before you do business with any vendor, inspect the shipping container to ensure it is in good condition.

You’ll want to make sure the doors and seals are intact. If either let air in, it’s probably a sign you’ll need to fix the lining. Make sure you bring up any inconsistencies like this when negotiating price, especially for used units.

Look for a unit with little-to-no rust. Especially if your shipping container is for storage, you don’t want to risk letting any water in. You should also inspect the interior for beams of light to identify any holes where water may come in.

For All Your Shipping Container Needs

Shipping containers are a large purchase, but they don’t have to be a gigantic hassle. Work with a reputable seller to find the best quality units that match your specific needs.

Looking to buy shipping containers? We’ve got you covered. Equipment Management Services offers a wide variety of both new and used units. Request a quote today to learn about the containers we have available for purchase and/or rent.

What’s in Store for the Future of Shipping and Logistics?

Local and regional shipping is one of the largest industries in the United States.

US shipping and logistics companies move over $4 trillion in goods every year. Businesses spend up to $99 billion in delivery costs to keep up with their customers’ demands.

With so much commerce at stake, it important to know what trends are in store for this busy trade. You can read further to find out how you can position your company to leverage these developments to your full advantage.

Shipping and Logistics Defined

Shipping and logistics are two terms that are usually intertwined. But they have their own unique meanings. Shipment means moving products from one place to another. Logistics refers to the processes you use to move these products between two points. These processes include ordering, purchasing, and warehousing.

Trends for the Future

Trends for the future of shipping and logistics look promising. Here are a few of them in a nutshell.

Automation and Technology

The logistics and shipping industry will always need a level of human interaction. Onsite human judgment calls can correct mistakes or prevent accidents.

Companies can automate other processes such as scheduling, payments, and pricing. Automating these features can help simplify these procedures for drivers and shippers.

Companies are using drones and robots to load commercial vehicles. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology programs trucks to drive to their destination. Truck drivers never need to touch the steering wheel during the entire journey.

Transparency Shaped by Customer Experience

Consumers want to know where their products come from. They want to know how they’re made and moved. They want to know if manufacturing these products will hurt the environment.

The future of shipping depends on companies being able to answer these questions to an inquiring public. Companies now keep records that prove their products are eco-friendly and reduce waste. They’re also mindful of fair trade standards and pay fair prices to producers in developing countries.

Using Big Data to Make Better Decisions

Big data analytics provides a wealth of information on shipping for logistics companies. Logistics companies can get insights into routing and identifying obstacles in their supply chain model.

They can also streamline products and resources at the warehouse level.

Companies can use real-time traffic, climate, and fuel prices data to pinpoint optimal routes to a destination. They can also use predictive analytics to gauge consumer behavior and buying preferences.

Next Steps

The US shipping and logistics industry spent $1.5 trillion dollars in 2017 on its operations. Its the backbone for US retail sales which totaled over $5 trillion in 2017. Needless to say, the shipping industry is not going away any time soon and you need to be ready to anticipate it’s next direction.

If you’re ready to automate your existing shipping and logistics services, you can read more about ADAS truck technology here. You’ll learn all about ADAS’ breakthrough technology that improves efficiency and safety for commercial vehicles.

Don’t forget to check our blog for more helpful information on considerations for planning a shipping business. We’re experts in the shipping and maritime service industry.

Give us a call today!

Informational Things You Need to Know About Cargo Containers Before Buying One

The seaborne shipping trade around the world is worth about $12 trillion dollars, and container shipping accounts for about 60 percent of that trade. Is your company poised to participate in this massive market? If that is the case, you’ll need to purchase the right cargo containers from the right source.

Cargo containers may all look the same, but they’re actually not all alike. Before you make this investment, there’s some key information you should know. We’ve put together the essential basics right here — keep reading to learn what you need!

Buying Cargo Containers for Business Purposes

First, let’s take a look at the things you’ll need to know before you buy a cargo container for business shipping.

1. Specialty Containers Exist

The kind of container you should get depends on what you’ll be shipping. For example, if you’re shipping food items that could spoil or melt, you’ll want to look for climate-controlled options. If you’re shipping large machinery or other items that won’t pack well in standard containers, consider open-top containers instead.

For shipping vehicles such as boats, cars, or certain machinery, flat rack containers are your best choice. For liquids like oils or chemicals, you’ll need shipping tanks instead. And open-side containers work for certain vegetables that spoil in the wrong conditions, like potatoes.

2. Choose the Right Size

In addition to the type of container, you’ll also need to choose the proper size for your needs. Standard containers are often 8.5 feet high, while high cube containers are 9.5 feet high. The right size depends on what you’ll be shipping, as well as how much of it you’ll ship.

All shipping containers come in standardized sizes, which makes them easy to load and unload. For oddly-sized items, you’ll need one of the specialty container types listed above.

3. Consider Used or New

Plenty of used shipping container retailers can get you what you need at a discount. However, when you buy used, you might have a harder time finding the exact size and style you need. Thus, buying used is great if you’re buying a standard type of container. But for some specialty types, you might need to look for new containers.

4. Know the Shipping Methods

The goods you ship will usually make their journey in a number of different ways. First, they might travel via tractor-trailer across the land. Trucks can then load their containers directly onto cargo ships, to make the journey overseas. These large ocean ships follow fixed schedules and routes to save money while arriving on time.

Trains may also be used to ship goods on land — they’re actually more efficient than large trucks. Cranes can unload containers from a ship onto a train. Finally, smaller freight containers can get shipped by airplane. However, this option greatly limits how much you can ship at once, and it’s also much more expensive.

Buying Cargo Containers for Personal Use

Next, you might want a used or new cargo container for many non-business-related reasons. Here’s what you should know before you make the purchase.

1. Consider Storage

Storing your shipping container can pose its own challenges. Before you buy, check to see if you’ll need a permit to put a shipping container on your property. Typically, you’ll need a permit to store these containers in highly public spaces or residential areas. But if you live in a more rural area, you might not need a permit.

If you want to have the container on your property permanently, the requirements may be different than those for temporary storage. Know what you’re getting into before you buy, so you won’t get hit with fines or other trouble.

2. Know How Long You’ll Need it For

Often, it’s tempting to rent a container rather than buying one. But if you plan to use it for a couple of years or more, it makes more financial sense to buy one. When you buy a shipping container for personal use, it’s helpful to have the option to customize and make changes to it. Why rent a container that you have to send back intact, when you could buy one and modify it exactly how you want?

3. Get Your Site Ready

You’ll need to prep the permanent site of your shipping container before it arrives. The exact prep depends on what you’ll use the container for, and how long it will be there. Dry, level land won’t need much, or any prep, before it can host a shipping container. But damp or uneven land might need to get filled or regraded first. Land that’s rocky, sloped, or prone to floods is never good for a shipping container. Choose the space wisely, and you’ll have less work to do in the end.

4. Think About Security

Some shipping containers have built-in security measures. These can be helpful if you plan to use the container for purposes like storage. If your container doesn’t have a lock, you can also buy an exterior bolt lock for protection. However, some containers come with interior locking mechanisms instead, or you can have one installed. These offer better security since they can’t be destroyed with a pair of bolt cutters.

You might need different locking mechanisms altogether if you plan to turn your container into a home or business. In this case, you’ll probably need to install doors and windows with more standard lock styles.

5. Buy the Right Features

Just as with shipping containers for business purposes, you should also consider the features of a container for personal use. Look for door entry options, shelving, windows, and other features that will make your container easier to work with. You can also buy from a brand that offers container modifications.

Where to Find Cargo Containers

Now that you have a clear idea of what you need, it’s time to find the company that sells the right cargo containers at a reasonable price. Did you know that you can find shipping containers for both business and personal use at just one retailer? We’ve got the containers to meet all kinds of needs — learn more about what we have to offer here!

Sea Your Shipment Through: A Complete Guide to Ocean Shipping Containers

Thanks to shipping containers, international trade is made infinitely easier. Here in Texas, there are 29 ports of entry that are helping to generate $650 billion in trade each year. The port here in Houston is the nerve center to one of the nation’s busiest waterways. This one port alone handles so much tonnage of cargo shipped by ocean freight that it ranks 15th in the country.

None of this would be possible though without the use of sea containers. We’ve put together the definitive guide on these containers that are so essential.

Types of Sea Containers

There are 8 different styles of containers that are used for ocean shipping. The one you choose will depend on what your cargo is.

Standard Container

These containers are completely enclosed on all sides. At one of the short ends, there are two large doors. There are two standard sizes, a 20 foot and a 40-foot length. These containers work well for any dry cargo. Anything that is in boxes, bags, or on pallets work well in these containers.

Hardtop Container

A hardtop container is almost identical to a standard container. The main difference is that the top is designed to be removable. This is extremely helpful for when you have heavy cargo you need to load. A crane can lift the cargo up, over, and in. These containers also come in 20 and 40-foot lengths.

Open Top Container

Think of a standard container and take the top off. These containers will typically have a tarpaulin roof. Then the door frame will disconnect and swing out. These containers work well for items that need to be dropped into a container. But they may not be the best choice for over-sized items that interfere with the stabilizer bars.

Ventilated Container

Some cargo requires ventilation, that is where these containers come in. They look exactly like a standard container, except they have openings at the top and bottom. This allows for air to flow.

Insulated Container

Insulated containers are a standard container with Polyurethane foam on the walls. This helps maintain the temperature inside the container. You may also find that there is a “clip on” unit for ventilating. If your cargo needs to be kept at a constant temperature then this is a smart choice.

Reefer Container

If you need more serious temperature control or refrigeration then you need to consider a reefer. These are refrigerated containers. Just like the insulated version, their walls are lined with Polyurethane foam. The difference is that they have powerful compressors built in. This will keep the internal temperature at or below freezing.  If your cargo is temperature sensitive such as produce or white wine, then regulation of the container environment is vital to maintaining product quality.

Platform Container

If all you need is a base then a platform container is the way to go. They are typically a steel frame with wood flooring. Over-sized cargo works best when transported on platform containers. You just need to ensure that anything you transport is secured to the platform.

Flat Rack Container

These containers are kind of like a very large pallet. There is no ceiling or walls on the long sides. The walls on the short ends are collapsible. They also typically have a wood floor. If you need to ship bulky or over-sides cargo then you need a flat rack. If you pack them correctly, you can have them stacked on top of each other.

Ocean Container Construction

Any sea shipping container that is worth its salt will be made of steel. It’s strong enough for stacking many containers on top of each other. It also is corrosion resistant which is vital for the harsh salt air. That durability also makes them a great building material for a home or office. Their structural design of beams and sheets of metal give them the internal strength to withstand the weather elements here in Texas and across the country.

Sea Containers vs. Storage Containers

If you intend to use your containers for shipping overseas then you need to make sure they are ISO certified seaworthy. There should be a plate on the container that states its approval for transport. Buy the wrong type of container and your shipment will get rejected at the port. This will cause you to incur all kinds of extra fees.

Containers that are intended only for storage are not of the same quality and durability. These containers are only made to be watertight.

You will also find that storage containers are modified to fit their intended purpose. They can be cut to any length, have the doors moved, or add extra doors.

Ocean Containers for Building Construction

Steel containers may be durable, but they have a useful lifespan. Often times they are retired at ports where there tend to be more imports than exports.

Ports in the west are an example of this. The ports here in Texas handle 22 percent of all US port tonnage. So there are a lot of containers coming through.

If you are looking for a discount, you may be able to find a used shipping container to incorporate into your building. Just know that these containers will have wear and tear to them.

Purchase an Ocean Container Today

If you are in need of a container for your cargo the first thing you need to think about is what special needs your cargo has. Take into consideration if it is especially heavy or large. Also, think about if it needs temperature control of some sort.

If you are looking to build with your sea containers you may not need to go all out with a certified one. Or you could look for one that is no longer used in ocean freight.

Whatever your container needs, the best thing to do is speak to an expert. They can help you select the right container.

Contact us today and we can help you find the right sea contai