The Cost of 40-Foot Shipping Containers: Everything You Need to Know

How much do 40-foot shipping containers cost? If you’re a business owner or construction manager searching for cost-effective storage or workspace solutions, understanding the price range is key. Here’s a quick snapshot:

  • Used 40-foot shipping containers: $1,850 to $5,900
  • New or one-trip containers: Generally twice the price of used
  • Delivery time: 3-7 days after checkout

The market for shipping containers has been booming, driven by their versatile use in storage, construction projects, and even as modular housing. Over time, these containers have become essential for managing space constraints and enhancing operational efficiency on-site. The fluctuating pricing landscape means getting a local quote is crucial to securing the best deal.

I’m Steve Hyndman, Vice President of Aztec Container. With nearly three decades of experience, I’ve seen the market dynamics shift and evolve. At Aztec Container, we help you navigate these changes to make an informed and efficient purchase.

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Let’s delve into the details.

Factors Influencing the Cost of 40-Foot Shipping Containers

When considering how much do 40-foot shipping containers cost, several factors come into play. These factors can significantly impact the final price you pay. Let’s break them down:

Condition (New, Used, Refurbished)

New Containers: Often called “one-trip” containers, these have only made a single journey across the ocean. They are in pristine condition, usually free of rust, dents, or significant wear. New containers can cost between $5,750 and $9,500.

Used Containers: These have seen more action and typically show signs of wear such as dents, rust, and scratches. They can be classified into different conditions:
Cargo-Worthy: Suitable for shipping goods. Prices range from $2,850 to $5,900.
Wind and Watertight (WWT): Ideal for storage, keeping the elements out. These can go for $500 to $3,000.
As-Is: The cheapest option, often used for scrap or parts. Prices range from $800 to $2,000.


The cost of shipping containers can vary significantly based on your location. For instance, prices in major port cities are generally lower due to higher availability and reduced transportation costs. Here’s a quick look at average prices in some Texas cities:

Location 20ft Price 40ft Price 40ft HC Price
Dallas $1,544 $2,800 $2,555
Houston $1,462 $2,000 $1,788
Fort Worth $1,900 $2,500
El Paso $2,300 $2,857 $2,564

Market Demand

Market demand greatly affects container prices. For example, during peak U.S. shopping seasons, prices can soar. In 2021, container shipping rates from China to the U.S. East Coast hit a record $20,804 per 40-foot box due to high demand and supply chain disruptions.

Container Type (Standard, High Cube)

Standard Containers: These have a height of 8 feet 6 inches. They are the most common and generally less expensive.

High Cube Containers: These are one foot taller, offering more storage space. High cube containers are typically 10-20% more expensive than standard ones.


Availability can fluctuate due to various factors like global supply chain disruptions, natural disasters, or geopolitical events. For instance, typhoons off China’s coast or COVID-19 outbreaks can delay container turnaround times, driving up prices due to limited supply.

Understanding these factors can help you make a more informed decision when purchasing a 40-foot shipping container. Whether you’re looking for new, used, or specialized containers, knowing what influences the cost will help you secure the best deal.

Next, let’s explore how much do 40-foot shipping containers cost in more detail.

How Much Do 40-Foot Shipping Containers Cost?

When it comes to answering the question, “how much do 40-foot shipping containers cost?”, there are several factors to consider, including the condition of the container, its type, and location. Let’s break down the costs for both new and used 40-foot shipping containers.

Cost of New 40-Foot Shipping Containers

New 40-foot shipping containers, often referred to as one-trip containers, are typically in pristine condition, having only made a single trip across the ocean. These containers are almost free of dents, dings, and rust, making them ideal for those who want a container that looks and performs like new.

  • Price Range: New 40-foot containers generally range from $4,500 to $7,900, depending on availability and market demand. In times of container shortages, prices can exceed these averages significantly.

  • High Cube Containers: These are a special type of 40-foot container that are one foot taller than standard containers, providing extra vertical space. High cube containers are slightly more expensive, often costing an additional 10-15% compared to standard height containers.

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Cost of Used 40-Foot Shipping Containers

Used 40-foot shipping containers are a more budget-friendly option. However, the price can vary widely based on the condition of the container and its suitability for different uses.

  • Cargo-Worthy (CWO): These containers are certified to be structurally sound and suitable for shipping. They typically cost between $1,750 and $3,500. While they may have some cosmetic blemishes like rust and dents, they are still in good working condition.

  • Wind and Watertight (WWT): WWT containers are not suitable for shipping but are ideal for storage. They ensure that wind and water do not penetrate, keeping the contents safe. These containers are usually priced between $1,000 and $4,000.

  • As-Is Condition: These containers are sold without any guarantees regarding their condition. They are the cheapest option, typically costing between $800 and $2,000. However, they may require significant repairs and are best suited for scrap or parts.

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Cost Variations by Location

The cost of 40-foot shipping containers can also vary based on your location due to factors like transportation costs and local demand. For example:

  • Urban vs. Rural: Containers in major port cities may be cheaper due to higher availability, whereas containers in rural areas may cost more due to transportation expenses.

  • Regional Demand: Areas with high storage needs or construction activity may see higher prices due to increased demand.

Cost Variations by Condition

As mentioned earlier, the condition of the container significantly impacts its price:

  • New Containers: These are the most expensive but offer the best condition and longest lifespan.

  • Used Containers: Prices vary based on whether they are cargo-worthy, wind and watertight, or sold as-is. Used containers in better condition will naturally cost more.

Understanding these price ranges and factors can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a 40-foot shipping container. Next, we’ll discuss additional costs to consider, such as transportation and modifications.

Additional Costs to Consider

When purchasing a 40-foot shipping container, the initial price is just one part of the total cost. Here are some additional expenses to keep in mind:

Transportation and Delivery

Transporting a 40-foot shipping container can be a significant cost factor. Whether you’re using a tilt bed truck, flatbed truck, or a truck with a container chassis, you will need to account for transportation fees.

  • Proximity: If you’re close to the supplier, transportation costs will be lower. However, if you’re far away, these costs can add up quickly.
  • Accessibility: If the delivery site is difficult to access, additional fees may apply. For instance, a remote or hard-to-reach location might require specialized equipment or handling.

Expect transportation costs to range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars, depending on these factors.


Modifying your shipping container to suit your specific needs can also add to the overall cost. Common modifications include:

  • Insulation: Essential for temperature control, especially if you’re converting the container into a living space.
  • Electrical and Plumbing: Necessary for containers being used as offices or homes.
  • Structural Changes: Adding windows, doors, or vents to improve functionality and comfort.

Modification costs can vary widely. Basic changes might cost a few thousand dollars, while extensive modifications can significantly raise the price.


While shipping containers are known for their durability, they still require maintenance to ensure a long lifespan.

  • Rust Treatment: Regularly treating rust spots to prevent corrosion.
  • Seal Checks: Ensuring the container remains wind and watertight.
  • Structural Repairs: Fixing any dents or damage that could compromise the container’s integrity.

Maintenance costs are generally lower than modification costs but are essential for prolonging the life of your container. Regular maintenance can help avoid more significant repair costs down the line.

Understanding these additional costs will help you budget more accurately and avoid any surprises. Next, we’ll delve into the benefits of investing in 40-foot shipping containers.

Benefits of Investing in 40-Foot Shipping Containers


One of the biggest benefits of investing in a 40-foot shipping container is its durability. These containers are made from strong steel, designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy use. Whether it’s rain, snow, or extreme heat, your container will keep your belongings safe and secure.

Fun Fact: Shipping containers are built to last 25 years or more, even with regular use. This makes them a long-term investment that can withstand the test of time.


Shipping containers are incredibly versatile. They can be used for storage, as mobile offices, or even converted into homes. The possibilities are endless.

Here’s how some customers have used their containers:

  • Storage: Perfect for keeping tools, equipment, or inventory safe.
  • Offices: Create a comfortable, secure workspace on-site.
  • Homes: Turn a container into a unique, eco-friendly living space.

Case Study: Mitchell Sampson, a satisfied customer, said, “Couldn’t be happier with my decision to buy a container. Practical, durable, and competitively priced.”

Long Lifespan

A 40-foot shipping container has a long lifespan. With proper maintenance, these containers can last for decades. This means you won’t need to replace them anytime soon, saving you money in the long run.

Testimonial: Orlando Robertson shared, “On-Site Storage Solutions made the process of purchasing a 40ft container seamless and stress-free. Highly recommend!”


Investing in a shipping container is cost-effective. New containers are typically more expensive, but they come in excellent condition with minimal wear and tear. Used containers, on the other hand, are cheaper and still provide great value.

Price Insight: In the U.S., a cargo-worthy 40-foot container costs around $1,848. In India, it’s about $1,536. These prices can vary based on location and condition.

Customer Experience: Darian Hayden noted, “We couldn’t be happier with our 40ft shipping container! The quality is outstanding, and it arrived in perfect condition.”

In summary, investing in a 40-foot shipping container offers many benefits, including durability, versatility, a long lifespan, and cost-effectiveness. Next, let’s address some frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions about 40-Foot Shipping Containers

How heavy is an empty 40-foot shipping container?

An empty 40-foot shipping container typically weighs around 8,400 lbs (4.2 tons). However, this can vary depending on the specific container and manufacturer.

For a High Cube container, which is one foot taller, the weight is slightly higher, often around 8,600 lbs.

Tare weight (the weight of the empty container) is crucial for calculating total shipping weight when the container is loaded. This information is usually indicated on the container doors.

What is the lifespan of a shipping container?

The lifespan of a shipping container can vary based on usage and maintenance.

Durability: Shipping containers are designed to withstand harsh conditions at sea, making them extremely durable. With proper care, a container can last for 20-25 years or more.

Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as rust treatment and repainting, can extend the lifespan. Containers used for static storage typically last longer than those used for frequent shipping.

Usage: Containers used for shipping will face more wear and tear compared to those used for storage. Ensuring the container is kept in a dry, level area can also help prolong its life.

What are the dimensions of a 40-foot shipping container?

External Dimensions:
Length: 40 feet (12.192 meters)
Width: 8 feet (2.438 meters)
Height: 8 feet 6 inches (2.591 meters)

High Cube Containers: These are one foot taller, with an external height of 9 feet 6 inches (2.896 meters).

Internal Dimensions:
Length: 39.5 feet (12.032 meters)
Width: 7.7 feet (2.352 meters)
Height: 7.9 feet (2.393 meters)

Floor Space: A standard 40-foot container offers approximately 300 square feet of floor space, making it a versatile option for various storage and shipping needs.

Understanding these dimensions and weights can help you choose the right container for your needs and ensure safe and efficient transport and storage.


In summary, the cost of a 40-foot shipping container varies based on several factors including condition, location, and market demand. New containers, often referred to as “one-trip” containers, are typically more expensive, ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 or more. Used containers offer a more budget-friendly option, generally falling between $1,850 and $5,900, depending on their condition—whether they are cargo-worthy, wind and watertight (WWT), or sold as-is.

It’s essential to consider additional costs such as transportation, delivery, modifications, and maintenance when budgeting for your container. These can add to the overall investment but also enhance the container’s utility and lifespan.

Why Choose Aztec Container?

At Aztec Container, we pride ourselves on offering high-quality shipping containers at competitive prices. Our transparent pricing and commitment to customer satisfaction set us apart from the competition. Whether you need a container for storage, shipping, or a unique construction project, we have options to meet your needs.

Customer Testimonials:
– “The process of ordering and receiving my shipping container from Aztec Container was seamless. The customer service team was helpful and communicative throughout the entire process.” – Customer Review
– “I’ve purchased several shipping containers from Aztec Container and have always been impressed with the quality and durability of their products.” – Customer Review

Final Thoughts

Investing in a 40-foot shipping container can be a cost-effective and versatile solution for many storage and shipping needs. By understanding the price range and additional costs, you can make an informed decision that best suits your requirements. Aztec Container is here to help you every step of the way, providing durable, weather-resistant containers that meet your needs.

For more information and to explore our range of 40-foot shipping containers, visit our 40-Foot Containers page.

Thank you for considering Aztec Container for your shipping container needs.