One of the first decisions to be made when buying shipping containers is whether to get used or new. I personally chose to go with new containers for a whole host of reasons. The only advantages I could see to used containers were cost and availability. New containers are in such better condition throughout that it makes working with them that much easier. An additional benefit to new containers is that the risk of unknown chemical contamination is reduced considerably. I know that the flooring in containers is treated with pesticides from the factory, and I will be discussing that in detail in a later post, but that is a known quantity that I can make an informed decision on.
Another choice to be made is that of 20′ or 40′ containers. 40′ containers are definitely more cost effective, and just one or two of them can make a nice sized cabin. My choice of 20′ containers was driven by the need for security. Since I will not be cutting any holes in the sides for windows or doors, I needed the greater ratio of container door opening to square footage that the 20′ containers offer. With large windows behind the container doors, the natural lighting in addition to the view will be more than adequate without sacrificing security.
Something else to keep in mind when you are connecting multiple containers is to make sure that they are all from the same manufacturer. Even though containers are designed to stack together on a container ship, there are minor variations between manufacturers that could make mixed source containers more difficult to work with. My three containers were all built on the same assembly line just a few serial numbers apart, and they fit together nearly perfect. The identical appearance, hardware, and color will definitely make the cabin look better.
I know I will be asked about price, so here goes. My new containers cost me $2,600 each delivered to Chicago. The delivery to Chicago was free since I allowed them to be used for a single shipment of goods from China to Chicago. If I wanted the containers to be truly new and unused, I would have had to pay for the shipping charges from China – I can’t even imagine what that would have been. Shipping charges for all three containers from Chicago to Northern Wisconsin was $1,175. So, the total delivered cost to my property was $2,992 per container.
I ordered my new containers from Dorothea Garrett at Cherokee West Enterprises. She not only had the best price I could find at the time, but was also very helpful to a container newbie throughout the entire process. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phoned at 530-547-5408.
Shipping Container Resources:
20′ Shipping Container Specifications. These are the technical specifications for the type of shipping container that I am using.
Magellan Container Specifications. This link has detailed specifications for almost every type of shipping container imaginable.
Shipping Container Information. This is an interesting website with information on containers, manufacturers, and dealers. They even have a page that says it can track shipping containers when given the container number. When I plugged my numbers in they identified the manufacturer, but they did not have any tracking information for them. My containers haven’t moved for a while, so maybe there’s a time limit on tracking or something.