Why Shipping Container Modification Is the Future of Versatile Housing

Homeownership rates have increased to nearly 65% in the US. But even with ownership on the rise, buying a home has remained as expensive as ever. This is why shipping container homes are becoming an innovative solution to the struggles of home-ownership. 

Do you want to design your dream home but can’t afford the cost? Building with used shipping containers can save you money while guaranteeing the perfect space to live in. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of today’s shipping container housing trend. 

Seven Benefits of building Homes with Shipping Container

Most home projects that involve starting from the ground up can become complicated. However, shipping container construction offers many benefits that make the process easier. 

If you’ve been looking for alternative housing solutions in the Houston area, we’re here to guide you through the process. Here are seven major benefits to building with shipping containers. 

1. Customizable

A major plus to shipping container construction is that the sky is the limit in terms of customization. You can position them in various ways and reconstruct from the inside out until it feels like the perfect space.

Your local Houston-based, shipping container provider can offer their expertise in modifying containers to fit your unique design. You can even buy used shipping containers that have already been modified according to your needs. The team at Equipment Management Services is available to work with you as you dream up and design your perfect container home or office. 

2. Affordable

Buying a home will likely be one of the most expensive things you’ll ever invest in. But here’s why today’s shipping container buildings are rising in popularity–they are much easier on the wallet. 

Used shipping containers are readily available and quite inexpensive. Additionally, constructing a stylish shipping container home can cost you less than buying an upscale home off the market. 

3. Eco-Friendly

If the affordability and flexibility of shipping container construction isn’t enough to sell you, then consider the eco-friendly aspect of using containers to build your home. Instead of expending new resources in building a home, you’re reusing material. For today’s environmentally-conscious homeowners, this is a major plus to building and designing a new home. 

4. Safe and Durable

The safety of your home is always a top priority for any homeowner. For individuals living in busy urban areas like Dallas or Houston, you might have home safety on your mind a lot. 

Recently, steel has been tested for its durability and safety in construction. This is because it not only withstands wear-and-tear with ease, but it has a life expectancy of about 25 years. Shipping containers are built out of heavy-duty, 16-gauge steel that’s extremely hard to break into. 

What does this mean for you? It means you can trust that your shipping container home will remain safe and sturdy throughout the years. 

5. Weather and Rodent Resistant

The original goal for shipping containers is that they protect precious goods from shore to shore. With this in mind, you can trust that your shipping container home will be able to withstand both bad weather and troublesome rodents. They can handle all weather extremes, from icy Northern climates to hot Texas summers. 

6. Speedy Construction

A major bonus to constructing a home with shipping containers is that it’s a faster process than traditional home building. This is because the main frame of your home is already ready to go. 

A shipping container structure involves quick set-up, easy plumbing, and quick electrical work. They also have built-in foundations, which means you don’t have to spend time working on pre-installation. All you have to do is find storage containers for sale and start dreaming! 

7. Ideal Logistics

Shipping containers were originally designed to hold cargo and be easily transported from place to place. This means they’re ideal for moving around. 

Containers are easy to move via train, ship, truck, or airplane. Manufacturers design them with handling points so that they’re easy to move and stack.

Why is this important? Because it makes the process much simpler as you design your home and move containers around. 

Explore These Creative Shipping Container Ideas

Are you sold on building a container home but not sure where to begin? There’s no end to how you can design and reconstruct a shipping container to fit your exact needs. Here are some design ideas to help you out. 

Backyard Studio

If you have the space available, opting for a shipping container studio is a great way to transform your creative space. Shipping containers are easily modified to be open, airy, and perfect for those hours spent on creative projects. 

Breezy Pool House

Living in sunny Texas often means finding ingenious ways to cool down under some shade. A pool house made from a shipping container can be an easy way to boost your pool-side experience while making it more comfortable on sunny days.

Tiny Home

Today’s minimalist lifestyle trend means some homeowners are looking for innovative ways to live in small spaces. Shipping containers are the perfect solution for crafting a tiny home because they are completely customizable. 

Cozy Guest House

You might look at a shipping container and think it’s nothing more than a boring metal box, but think again! Many homeowners have transformed their shipping container spaces into sleek guest houses. 

Modern Office

You can easily convert a shipping container into an office space for your growing team. They can be stacked and customized to create a shipping container office that’s as spacious or compact as you want. There are a wide variety of shipping container designs out there to fit your business needs, whether you’re looking for a two-person work-space or a corporate office. 

Urban Housing With No Design Limits

Shipping container homes are on the rise because they offer many benefits and solutions to traditional housing issues. It’s simple to find these cargo containers for sale and they’re easily transported to you. Even for the most creative home designer, a shipping container can be modified and transformed into any level of luxurious, trendy, or cozy space. 

Are you ready to start building your shipping container dream home? Check out our tips and tricks to buying shipping containers for sale in Houston. And don’t worry–we also ship our containers to any US location. 

Deciding Between New and Used Shipping Containers in Texas

You may have seen an upsurge in homes built out of shipping containers. Shipping Container Homes can be as small as 1 container or as larger as 11 containers stacked together to create a 3 story home.

Did you know that shipping containers can also be used for a module office, in-law suite, extra storage, and so much more?

If you plan to use a shipping container for shipping or some other creative solution, step 1 is to determine if you need a new or used container.

Read on to learn the pros and cons of each and how to find the right used shipping containers for sale in the Houston area.

New and Used Shipping Containers for Sale in the Houston Area

Deciding between new and used shipping containers can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider these pros and cons when deciding which type of container is right for you.

New Shipping Containers

We have listed the pros and cons of new shipping containers here.

PROS

Besides being bright and shiny, new containers have no risk of cross-contamination from the previous products it stored.

New containers are air and watertight and will pass all inspections associated with shipping on a container ship.

New containers will not be branded from previous use and will more than likely already come with forklift pockets. New containers are also easier/safer to modify and come with a longer manufacturer’s warranty. 

CONS

The biggest drawback of a new shipping container is the cost. Depending on how you are planning on using the container, it may not make financial sense to purchase a new container to store used or end of life equipment. 

Used Shipping Containers

If you are purchasing a used container consider having it inspected by a certified member of the Institute of International Container Lessors. They can independently determine the grade and quality of the container. 

PROS

The first benefits of used shipping containers is they are cheaper than new ones. If aesthetics are not an issue, used containers can be great for an on-site, mobile office or portable toilet facility.

There are three different grades of used shipping containers, A, B, C. Grade A is only slightly used and can still be considered watertight. B and C containers are used containers that have various grades of defects.

CONS

For used containers, there are three factors to consider. The first, and biggest is the risk of cross-contamination. Chances are you will have no idea what was in the used container before you purchased it. Therefore this is not the ideal choice for the storage of sensitive goods.

Second, used containers are not considered “seaworthy” because of the potential for air and water leaks at the seals. Finally, used containers do not last as long as new ones. 

The first step in purchasing a shipping container is to be clear about your needs. From there it is easy to determine if you need to purchase a new or used shipping container.

Do You Need Used or New Shipping Containers in the Greater Houston Area?

If you are looking for a new or used shipping container in the Houston area, contact us. We have a large selection of both new and used containers and our qualified team can help you find the perfect one for your needs.

7 Key Factors in the Cost of Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container homes are growing in popularity, enough so that by 2025, Allied Market Research estimates that the global market for shipping container homes will reach $73.07 billion.

Using these containers for your home can be a great choice. They’re very durable, and they can be less expensive than a traditional home.

Even so, before deciding on this option, it’s important to understand the cost of shipping container home building. Here are 7 factors that impact the price. 

  1. Condition of Container

The first consideration in the shipping container home builders’ cost is the condition of the container.

For a home, a new shipping container is the safest option. With a new container, you won’t have to worry about structural integrity or damages. These will also be weatherproof and free from contamination.

As with most things, buying a new container will cost more, around $3,000-$5,000. Getting one can also take longer, since you may need to wait for it to be built and shipped to you.

Depending on your comfort level, you could also choose a high-quality used shipping container. A used container might be half the price of a new one.

If you opt for a used container, find out as much as you can about it. Some things to consider are:

  • How it’s been used
  • What’s been kept in it
  • What climates has it been exposed to
  • If it has any damages or rust

If possible, inspect a used container before purchasing it to make sure you know what you’re getting.

  1. Size of Container

Size is another key factor in the cost breakdown of shipping container home building.

Shipping containers have three standard lengths, but the most popular for homes are 20 feet and 40 feet. Most are 8.5 feet tall, although you can also go for a high cube, which is 9.5 feet tall. As you would expect, the larger containers cost more. For the standard height, you could get a new 20-foot container for about $3,000, while a 40-foot container would cost around $5,600 more.

Also remember that for a home, you might want multiple containers. You could choose a larger option for the main living space, and smaller containers for an office or bedroom.

  1. Prefabricated Homes

The next question is whether you want to get a pre-fabricated, or prefab, home, or if you want to modify one yourself.

The cost of prefab shipping container homes varies widely. You can get fairly basic ones from Amazon for around $40,000 and up. On the other hand, you can get much more elaborate prefab homes for $150,000 or up. It depends on how much space you need, and how many amenities you’re looking for.

  1. Modifications

If you’re not getting a prefab home, you need to consider the cost to convert a shipping container into a home.

Some of the things you’ll need to consider are:

  • How many entrances you want
  • Number and location of windows
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Heating and cooling

All of these modifications add up, so you’ll want to compare the costs against getting a prefabricated home to see which is the most cost-effective.

  1. Insulation

Insulation is another important part of your shipping container home. Without this, you won’t have any protection from heat or cold.

You have three main choices for insulation: spray foam, blanket, or panel.

Spray foam insulation costs the most, from around $2-$3 per square foot. This is still worth considering because it provides a vapor barrier, something the other options don’t have. Spray foam is also very thin, at just 2 inches thick, and it’s easy to install. For either of the other options, you’ll first need to attach a wooden frame to the inside of the container. That takes up additional space.

Panel insulation is the easiest to install, and it’s less expensive, at around $0.75 and $1.45 per square foot. It’s also 3 inches thick, which is a bit thicker than the spray foam.

Blanket insulation is the most budget-friendly choice, about $0.30 per square foot. It’s not difficult to install, but if you choose fiberglass insulation, you’ll need to wear gloves when installing it.

  1. Foundation

As with any home, having the proper foundation is important. Even if you get a prefabricated home, you might need to think about a foundation, unless the prefab comes with a foundation.

As with insulation, you have three foundation options to consider: pier, strip (or trench), and slab.

The least expensive choice is a pier foundation, which is around $550 for a single 40-foot container. It’s also the quickest option, and a great choice if you’re working on the home yourself since it doesn’t require special equipment. For a pier foundation, you need a cement block under each corner of the container and potentially blocks to support the middle for larger containers.

A strip foundation, also called a trench, is useful if the ground is too soft to support a pier foundation. With this approach, you put a strip of concrete around the container’s perimeter. This requires excavation, since the trench is typically four feet deep, although it might be more depending on your freeze depth.

The additional effort of a strip foundation drives up the cost. For a 40-foot container, the cost estimate is around $5,400.

The most expensive option is a slab foundation, which involves putting a slab of concrete under the whole container. This requires excavating the ground under the entire container, which means this could cost around $6,000 or more for a 40-foot container. You would typically choose this option if the ground won’t support pier or strip foundations.

  1. Location and Shipping Fees

The final factor in the estimated cost of a shipping container home, is how far the container is from your building site.

You might think you need to order a container from a far off location, but it’s worth looking for local dealers in the Texas region first. If you buy from someone nearby, you’ll avoid the extravagant shipping costs, and you can inspect the unit before you buy it.

If you don’t have a local dealer, shop around to see if you can find the closest one, or one that offers any price breaks for shipping the container to the building site. Otherwise, transportation costs can add significantly to the price of your home. 

Decide the Cost of Shipping Container Home Building

The cost of shipping container home building is partly in your control once you understand all your choices. Make sure to evaluate all your options and then find the best fit for your new house.

Are you ready to bring your shipping container home dream to life? Contact us today, and our container professionals will help you get started.

How Much is a Shipping Container – Budget Planning Tips for Containers

In times past shipping containers were only just that–containers used to transport goods and materials across long distances on both land and sea. While shipping containers are still one of the very best options for the shipment and storage of goods, they are being used in an increasing number of different ways.

Have you heard about the fairly recent trend of turning storage containers into super cool, ultra-modern, eco-friendly container homes? What about using containers for your office to make a lasting impression on clients and prospects alike? Whether you’re a shipping company looking for a more secure way to transport goods or just someone looking to get into the shipping container building trend, you will need to clearly understand how shipping containers are priced.

So, in this article, we’ll go over some of the factors to consider when buying a shipping container.

Factors Affecting Shipping Container Costs

So how much is a shipping container to purchase? Well, as with most things, it depends! A number of factors go into the price of purchasing a shipping container.  This is why what you’ll actually be using the container(s) for is significant. Depending on its intended use, you’ll want to consider the following factors which will affect the final price:

  • Container condition
  • Size and style of the shipping container
  • Modifications needed to fit its final intended use
  • If you’ll be needing your shipping container(s) transported to you

How The Container Condition Affects Its Cost

The eventual use of your shipping container is going to play a major part in what you will end up prioritizing. Planning this out will help you to know whether you should value cost over condition or condition over cost. If you’ll be purchasing containers to build a container home or office, you’ll likely want to buy an unused container. New shipping containers will be weatherproof, free of superficial damages, and structurally sound.

Though buying new will be the highest-priced option, it is the best one to ensure structural safety. Whether you’re wanting to build a container home, office, or mobile food truck, this is the most worry-free option. Since new containers can be properly modified to fit all structural and building requirements.

Still, if your container isn’t going to be inhabited or heavily modified, buying a used container can be a great way to save money while not compromising on your needs. This is where it’s important to know how used shipping containers get graded. Multiple factors go into placing a condition grade on a used container. 

Grade A used containers are going to be the highest-priced used option. They’ll be ones that are wind and watertight, have minimal superficial damage and have no structural compromises. These containers are great for storing or shipping expensive or fragile goods, such as sports cars, jewelry or electronics. 

If you’ll be storing hardier goods or materials, you can go with a cheaper used container option. Grade B and C condition storage containers may not always be certified for shipping. Still, they make great options for storing things such as building materials, hand tools, heavy equipment, recreational vehicles, and more.

How Much is a Shipping Container? Size Matters

Not only do you have several options to choose from when it comes to the condition of shipping containers, but you also have many options when it comes to its size. This is another reason why it’s important to consider what exactly you’ll be using the container(s) for–you’ll want to know how much space you need.

Shipping containers commonly come in three standard lengths–10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet. Standard shipping container dimensions are 8 feet wide by 8.5 feet high. If you need greater height, you are able to purchase the 9.5 foot high containers. These are called high-cube containers, and will usually be slightly more expensive than the standard option.

If you’re planning on opening up a shipping container food truck or want a storage container shed on your property, you’ll probably not need the 40 feet option. However, this longer option, though, is excellent for a variety of secure shipping and storage needs, as well as for converting into homes and offices.

Modifications Mean a Modified Price

Especially if you’ll be converting your storage containers into a home, office, food truck, or business inventory space, you’ll likely need to add modifications.

Building a container home or office means you’ll have to make modifications to install necessities such as windows, electrical and plumbing, and insulation.

If you’re looking to bring your shipping container food truck to life, you’ll need to make some critical container modifications, such as installing proper ventilation. The specific modifications your project will need is an extremely important factor to take into account before purchasing your shipping containers.

Additional Cost Considerations

There are a couple of considerations outside of the container itself that will also affect its price. Are you local, or located further away from where you’re planning on buying your container(s) from? Will you be picking these up yourself or needing them delivered? If you’ll be picking your container up yourself, you’ll likely need to rent a truck.

Make sure to factor these costs in as well. If you don’t, you may find that the cost of shipping and delivery is greater than the cost of the purchase!

Tell Us What You Want So We Can Tell You the Price

Do you have an idea and think shipping containers would be the best fit to bring that idea to life? Even if you don’t know all of the potential modification details needed to bring your idea to life, we are here to help.

Get in touch with our experienced container professionals today or request a quote and expect a quick reply to whatever your container questions may be.

Shipping Container Primer : Shipping Containers for Sale Near Houston

If you are looking for shipping containers in Houston, then you are in luck! The Port of Houston climbed into the top five list of ports in the United States. It handled 2.46 million containers in 2017. 

What this means for you is that there are plenty of container options for you to choose from. To help you get started, we are going to give you an overview of your options and what you should look for in your next container.  

New Containers 

New containers are going to be your most expensive option. The advantage of them is that they are in the best condition. 

To get started, think about what you plan to ship and the regulations of the country it is going to. Remember that freight carriers charge by weight and volume. You also need to think about your company’s growth. It can be smart to buy a container bigger than what you need right now. 

If you want to build with your container, then instead of cargo, you need to think about usable interior space as a room. 

Used Containers 

Operating revenue for Port Houston is $366 million. This is up 10% from the previous year. To continue this growth, a four-year project to deepen and widen the channel is in place. 

What does this have to do with you buying containers? Well, the more shipments that can come through the port, the more options you will have for used containers. As the port grows, so does the container industry. Buying a used container can save you a lot of money. The trick is to balance quality with cost. You will find used containers that are quite cheap, but these containers may not be in good or usable condition.

You need to make sure your container complies with either shipping regulations or building codes.  If you plan to ship your cargo via ocean freight, then Houston is a great place to look for your container. The port ranks number one in the country for waterborne tonnage at 173 million short tons

What Is Your Intended Use?

If you plan to use your container for shipping, you need to make sure you buy the right container for your cargo. The amount of general cargo that comes through Port Houston is around 3.5 million. This cargo typically comes in standard sized containers. 

Styles of Containers 

When it comes to shopping for your container, you have a couple of different options when it comes to style. 

Standard, Hard Top, and Open Top 

These are the containers that everyone thinks of when they think of ocean freight. They are metal boxes that are 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. At one end you will find a set of doors. 

Hard top containers have a roof that is designed to be removed. This way your cargo can get dropped in from the top. 

An open top container is accessible on the top with a tarpaulin roof. Unlike the hard top 

These containers work great for shipping dry goods. Anything in boxes, bags, or on pallets can go in these containers. 

Ventilated or Insulated? 

Some containers offer ventilation or insulation. They look exactly like regular containers, except they provide increased or reduced air circulation. 

Ventilated containers have openings at the top and bottom to encourage the flow of air. Insulated containers have a layer of Polyurethane foam on the walls. This will help regulate the temperature inside. 

Reefer 

If you need more than just insulation, then you will want to look at reefers. These containers have refrigeration thanks to a powerful compressor built into the container. These containers are a must if you need your cargo to stay frozen or is temperature sensitive.

Flat and Platform 

Think of these containers as a very large pallet. They are what you need for large or over-sized cargo. They are a flat platform with no walls or ceiling. 

Do You Need Modifications?

Do you need your container modified for a specific purpose? Ask if your container dealer can help you with this. Modifications are typically a discussion when you want to turn your shipping container into a building material. This means you need to add windows, doors, and electrical. 

Some companies have limited skill in this area. They will offer you a handful of pre-designed options. These companies may not have what you need though. 

Look for a company that can work with you. You need a team that can be as creative as you when it comes to the shipping container of your dreams. 

Do You Need Delivery?

Ask if the company you plan to buy your shipping container from will deliver it. Otherwise, you will have an added expense of moving your container. One catch to this is if they will ship it anywhere you want. Texas and Houston are huge geographic regions. Many container companies will either only move your container at the port terminal or in a minimal radius from it. 

Shop for Shipping Containers in Houston

When it comes to buying shipping containers in Houston, think about your budget and intended use. That way you can narrow down whether you need a new or used container. 

If you intend to use your container for shipping, you need to decide which style of container will work best for your cargo. If you are struggling to choose, we can help you sort through your needs and the available containers at our Houston Depot. 

Contact us today and we can help you find the perfect shipping container for your needs. 

Shipping Container Depot Houston Texas

Thinking Outside the Box: Your Complete Guide to Buying Freight Containers

Why would you want to buy freight containers?

There is a multitude of reasons. The most obvious starts with wanting to ship cargo somewhere else. Other reasons are more creative. As an example, the University of Wales is developing a ‘box village’ that will be made entirely from freight containers.

That is part of the beauty of buying a container. Yes, it is a metal box, but you can do a lot with a metal box that is weatherproof. In fact, you could say that the use of a freight container is only limited by your imagination. You can find other ideas here.

No matter what you intend to do with your freight container you will need to make sure you read this complete guide BEFORE you buy.

Freight Containers – the Basics

Perhaps you have seen freight containers stacked near a port, pulled by a lorry, on a building site or even in someone’s backyard. So you already know what they look like. Did you know though, that not all freight containers are the same?

Dimensions

Freight containers are normally 10, 20, 30 or 40ft long. The standard height is 8 or 8.5 ft. A standard 40ft container can hold 40,000 pounds in weight.

There is standardization in the shape of ocean-going freight containers. This is rectangular. An alternative to the standard dimensions is the high cube. This is better suited to certain types of cargo.

It is also worth noting that the container can be open or closed, ventilated or insulated, and even refrigerated. The key determining factor is, of course, the cargo.

Material

No prizes for already knowing that freight containers are made from metal. Bonus point for knowing they are made from steel. However, the real prize is that they are made from a special type of steel designed to last longer outdoors.

This steel is called COR-TEN. When you see a freight container looking rusted you may think that the metal is just like any other metal that corrodes outdoors.

However, this is part of what makes this steel alloy so special. It forms a rust-like outer layer that then serves to protect the rest of the metal from corrosion. 

Lifespan 

In general, a standard freight container has a lifespan of 10 years. After which it is sold onto the used market.

A second-hand container has another 10 years or so of use. Of course, it depends partly on how it is used and whether it is maintained in any way.

There is such a thing as a single trip container which means they are only used once and then sold on. These containers could be used for 20 to 25 years.

How Much Do Freight Containers Cost?

New freight containers tend to have a more standardized price range and vary between $3000 and $5000 or sometimes more. It is possible to have containers built for you to special dimensions and specifications but obviously, that comes with  higher price tags.

Used containers can be as cheap as $1000 or cost upwards of a few thousand dollars. The key to remember with freight containers is that it is a buyers market. There is no shortage of containers. The limited life-span of using a container commercially means that there is always a steady supply to the second-hand market. However, like any used product, you need to do your due diligence before purchase. 

Where Can I Buy a Used Container?

The first thing to know when buying a container is that it is much better to buy locally. This will save you a small fortune in transportation costs. It is unlikely you will be able to buy internationally because the shipping cost will be too expensive. That said don’t discount the possibility of free transportation if you are buying locally. Always ask and always negotiate.

EMS is an excellent place to start your search. You can browse the website or get in touch with further questions. An alternative idea is to search for used containers on local online websites. 

Of course, one of the best ways is to call ahead and make an appointment at a shipping depot like EMS where you can see many containers on a single visit. 

Buying Second Hand – Top Tips

Although containers are extremely robust they are certainly not indestructible. You will need to physically inspect the containers. Follow these tips to make sure you get a good buy.

1. Outside

Check for dents and any scrapes in the exterior walls. It’s also important to check if the walls are intact or bent out of shape. You will expect trust but make sure it is not severe and with weak spots. 

2. Interior

Get inside and have a good look. Allow your eyes to adjust to the light or even better take a torch with you.

Check for weak spots. Look for holes and dents. Look for gouges any signs of leaks. Note if there are any unusual smells. There will always be odors so just make sure you are happy with how the container smells.

3. Roof

Make sure you inspect the roof. In particular, check the corners for damage as this is where the container is most likely knocked and hit when moving. 

Once again you are looking for holes and severe scrapes and general signs of wear and damage.

4. Doors

Make sure the doors open and close as they should. Avoid containers with ceased doors and with damaged seals. 

Freight Containers – Where Will Yours Go?

Buying freight containers is not as difficult as it may seem at first. Now that you are armed with this guide you can continue to gather more information when you are ready to make a smart purchase.

If you have questions please contact us here.

 
container

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.

Environmentally Conscious Homeowners Choose Used Shipping Containers

5 Ways Shipping Container Homes Are Changing Our World (for the better!)

Way back in 1937, Malcolm McLean finally lost it with the slow pace of loading cargo onto ships and began experimenting with ways to streamline this task.

After 20 years of trial and error, he patented the first shipping container in 1956. In the same year, the first 60 containers left Newark, N.J. bound for Houston.

Today, almost every country in the world has a container shipping port. Read about how these not-so-little boxes continue to shape the world in the form of shipping container homes.

1. Shipping Container Homes are Green

While you can buy new shipping containers to build storage container homes, used containers are a good option for this kind of dwelling.  This ticks several boxes for eco-conscious homeowners who like the idea of re-using something that may have ended up in a landfill. Building these houses also uses fewer resources in the form of bricks and mortar than traditional methods do. Many homes made from containers have off-grid capabilities, such as solar power. This means they use less of the Earth’s resources too.

2. Less Cost Involved

The older the container you choose, the cheaper it’s going to be to buy and the more it’s going to cost to refurbish it. However, this should still be less than building or buying a conventional home. These lower building costs open up the world of home ownership to many more people than before.

3. Quick Construction

Construction delays can be frustrating and costly when building a brick and mortar home. This is never the case with container homes. Many storage container homes fall into the realm of prefabricated housing. This means that there is little to do when your new home reaches your site. It’s almost a drop-and-go situation, with only a little work required to hook up your utilities.  One of the best parts about building one of these dwellings is that first-time homeowners can start off with tiny homes and expand as they go along.

4. Mobility

Cargo containers are specially designed to travel all over the world on ships, trucks, and trains. Thanks to this, they are super easy to relocate as needed. If you plan your home design carefully, you could move it from place to place as you choose. Should you get a new job in another city, you can take your tiny abode along with you.

The convenience, cost-benefits and minimalistic comfort of shipping containers is hard to beat.

5. Versatility and Scalability

These cheap homes are infinitely scalable. You can keep adding containers as you go along. Take a look at these examples of homeowners who thought out of the box with their home designs. They are also extremely flexible with many uses including as premises for clinics, offices, mobile site buildings, pop-up shops and much more. One of the most important uses for shipping containers is as temporary housing or shelters during times of disaster.

Into the Future with Cargo Containers

As more people realize the benefits of shipping container homes, we’re entering a time where less is definitely more with regard to housing.

Smaller spaces to live in means people can accumulate fewer things and focus more on what’s important.

They can move around more easily to broaden their horizons and own their own dwelling without a crippling mortgage to worry about.

Get in touch if you’d like to get on board with the bright new future of container home living.

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!

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.