Should You Rent Or Buy A Shipping Container?

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Should You Rent Or Buy A Shipping Container Expert Advice

A shipping container is a smart solution for individuals or companies that need more storage space, an inexpensive and mobile workspace, or who are interested in a low-cost structure that can be converted into any number of uses.

There are a lot of benefits to shipping containers. They are affordable, eco-friendly, easily movable, customizable, and, of course, functional.

Ironclad Containers offers shipping containers for rent and for sale. For a new customer, they may not yet know whether renting a shipping container or buying a shipping container is the better option for their needs, budget, and requirements.

In this article, we outline what it’s like to rent or buy a shipping container, offering an honest comparison between both options.

How Will You Use Your Shipping Container?

When making the decision should you buy or rent a shipping container, you first need to better understand whether a rental or purchase is more appropriate. Ask yourself how you want to use your shipping container, and how long you need it for.

To convert a shipping container into a tiny home or residential property, this requires you to purchase and have a permanent container. Alternatively, if you’re a commercial construction business and you need an office located at a job site, if you know you only need it there for a few months, a rental may have more pros than cons.

If This Is Your First Time Buying A Shipping Container, Consider A Rental

If you’ve never used a shipping container before, you may not know the full extent of their advantages or disadvantages. A decision as simple as what size shipping container to rent or buy will have a massive influence over how much you enjoy your container.

If you have any uncertainty about buying a shipping container, consider renting one first. This will help you get a sense of how they work, what quality of container is out there, and you can do your own informed comparison on what it might be like to buy a container as opposed to renting.

When You Buy A Shipping Container, You Can Make Your Own Layout

With regards to rentals, shipping container services may offer rentals in pre-defined layouts, such as that of an office or storage unit. They might incorporate the essentials you expect to find in an office but nothing further and likely are not equipped with a washroom of any kind. There is not a lot of modification that you can do with a shipping container rental compared to if you owned it outright.

That said, an advantage to a rented shipping container is that the maintenance involved is usually deferred to the rental company.

Freedom To Customize Your Shipping Container

A shipping container that you own can be formatted however you like. Add the windows and doors you want. Customize the walls and flooring. Install a bathroom or kitchenette area. With shipping containers for sale, you can also buy multiple and create multi-level structures which you can rarely do, if ever, with a rented container. You can also relocate your container without asking for permission or to alter the terms of a contract.

Renting VS Buying A Shipping Container

How Much Control Do You Want Over Your Shipping Container?

A key consideration is how much control you want over your shipping container use. If you want to permanently install it somewhere and make alterations, relocate it regularly, or want to repurpose it again and again, renting does not make a whole lot of sense.

Chances are that you will want to make at least some alterations. This might be something as simple and straightforward as adding windows, shelves, doors, electrical, plumbing, or decorating it with a new coat of paint.

It is not possible to do these sorts of customizations with a shipping container rental because the lender requires the container returned.

When you own a shipping container, you can do what you like with it. Many will repurpose a shipping container structure many times over the decades.

The Downside To Owning A Shipping Container

The downside to this, however, is that you’re in charge of everything and it all comes with a cost. Transportation. Maintenance. How you brand your shipping container, such as if you want a logo or specific type of exterior paint to adorn the outside. How a structure is managed over the course of its lifespan. When you rent, your shipping container rental service takes care of all of these responsibilities.

How Expensive Is Renting Or Buying A Shipping Container?

Cost factors into whether to rent or buy a shipping container in a big way. When you buy a shipping container, you pay a flat rate plus delivery costs. When you rent a shipping container, you pay the delivery costs and then are charged monthly.

How you can lower or alter cost also involves a container’s age, size, and what modifications, if any, are required. A new, large shipping container with modifications is obviously going to cost more than an older, unmodified container of a small size.

Budget To Rent Or Buy A Shipping Container

What your budget is to rent or buy a shipping container is up to you to decide.

The average shipping container rental rate is from $75 to up to $500 or more monthly, with a delivery fee starting at $100 and above.

To buy a shipping container, you may be looking at anywhere from $4,000 for an older, unmodified container with visible signs of wear and tear to up to $50,000 for a newer structure with permanent, complex modifications.

For some companies that buy a shipping container, they may opt to use it for a period of years and then attempt to sell it. There is no guarantee one will be able to find themselves a buyer though nor can anyone say for sure what a container might be worth a few years down the road. There are some major risks involved with this strategy.

How Long Do You Need Your Shipping Container

Do You Need A Shipping Container For A Few Months Or Over A Year?

There is a long list of factors that influence how much a shipping container costs but ultimately, another way to debate what’s more expensive is analyzing your cost based on the amount of time a shipping container is required for.

For example, ask yourself how long you will be using your shipping container for. A few weeks or months of use only will be expensive if you buy a container. This type of short-term use is precisely what shipping container rentals are made for. All in all, if you require a shipping container for up to a year or less, rent. If you need your container for over a year, consider buying.

Another benefit to renting if you only need a shipping container for a short period of time is that the rental service will handle the pick-up, disposal, or sale of the container when you are through using it, leaving you with nothing to do except pay the bill.

Shipping Container Rentals & Shipping Containers For Sale From Ironclad Containers

When deciding whether buying or renting a shipping container is right for you, speak with an expert. Let them know your concerns and get your questions answered. Do a price comparison, based on your unique specifications and requirements. There are certainly reasons to rent or buy but which is the better choice will be different for everyone.

Contact Ironclad Containers today for a personalized quote on shipping containers complete with the features and modifications you want. For short-term and long-term use, there’s a shipping container out there for everyone.


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