Choosing the Perfect Shipping Containers for Your Storage Project

Did you know that the largest container ship can transport up to 18,000 20 foot containers at a time? While shipping containers are the staple that holds the worldwide shipping industry together, they have also gained popularity as a storage solution.

If you’ve never bought a container before, there are a few things you need to know before you price and compare different container options.

We’ve created this guide to help you find the perfect solution for your storage needs.

Where Do You Live? 

Depending on where you live, finding a shipping container can be an easy task or a total logistical nightmare. If you live near the coast, and especially a city with a port, then finding a shipping container will be an easier task.

The farther away you live, the fewer containers there will be near you. Your other option is to arrange for transport of a container to you.

We have offices near ports in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Fremantle. This enables us to source quality containers of all sizes effectively.


When considering size, you need to think about height and length. There are standard sizes that containers come in, but you also have the option of customizing your container to suit your specific needs.


Standard sized shipping containers are 8 or 8.5 feet tall. You will also find containers referred to as “high cube” that are 9.5 feet tall. If these heights aren’t tall enough or the items you need to store, then you must consider some custom modifications.


The two most common lengths you’ll find are 20 and 40 feet. However, you can find containers that are anywhere from 8 feet to 53 feet.


These measurements sound great, but what do they mean for your storage capacity? A 10-foot container is going to give you storage capacity comparable to a garden shed. A 20-foot container is going to provide you with the storage capacity of a single-car garage.

How to Choose the Right Size 

Don’t focus on the amount of extra space you need right now. You also need to think about your increasing need for space. This means you may need to buy a container larger than your current need to accommodate for long-term usage.

You should also consider accessibility. You may squeeze all of your equipment into a 20-foot container. But then there is no room to maneuver, and the margin for error is slim to none.

Instead, why not buy a larger container that gives you the freedom to move about within?

New vs. Used 

There are a few different levels of quality that you’ll find when looking for a container. A newer container is going to cost over one that is older and in worse condition.

Keep in mind that the shipping industry creates the terms used to describe the quality of a container. Just because a container isn’t seaworthy doesn’t mean it won’t make an excellent storage container.

One Trip or New 

Containers in this category are essentially new containers. A one-trip container has only gone on one trip.

These containers may cost the most, but they are also the best quality. They make an excellent solution for use as a storage container.


The International Institute of Container Lessors has an outlined standard for inspecting containers.  It ensures a high standard of quality for containers meant for shipping.

This option rarely makes its way into the aftermarket storage container market. You’ll see these containers after their certified shipping lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

Cargo Worthy 

If you want to use your storage container to ship your items, then you need to consider a cargo worthy container. They will give you the best balance of functionality and affordability.

These containers are used and are usually the same condition as a water-tight container. The main difference is that these containers have gone through inspection by a maritime surveyor.

Wind and Water Tight

These containers have made a few trips and have the wear and tear to show it. They may have a bit of rust and a few dings and dents.


These containers are used and have the potential to be damaged or have significant rust. These are the most affordable containers and are not considered water tight.


Not all containers are made out of the same material. Containers that are meant for shipping will have Cor-Ten Steel, or also known as weathering steel. These containers will last the longest and be the most resistant to rust and inclement weather.

You may find that these containers are more expensive, but they are well worth the extra investment. Remember, they’re designed to withstand the corrosive salt air of ocean freight for years, so they’ll have no problem storing your belongings.


Many sellers will negotiate with you. One area you can ask for some extra leeway is delivery. Many sellers will deliver your container to you for free, as long as it is within a certain distance.

We offer another solution for you. Instead of delivering your container to you, we can store it for you at one of our secure storage facilities. This eliminates your need to have the container transported out to you.

Start Shopping for Shipping Containers

By using the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, you’re ready to start shopping for and comparing shipping containers. Consider the material, size, and age of the container.

Once you find the perfect container, consider whether you want to store it on-site or at a secure storage facility.

Let us help you find the perfect container for your storage needs.

Photo of author

Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
Share on:

Leave a Comment