Why Buying a 40-Foot Shipping Container is a Smart Investment

When searching for 40 foot shipping container for sale, you’re likely seeking a versatile, secure, and cost-effective solution for storage or workspace needs. Here’s what you need to know right away:

  • Cost: Used containers start around $1,750 and can go up to $3,500 depending on market conditions. One-trip containers can range from $4,500 to $7,900.
  • Delivery: You’ll need about 120 feet of clearance for the truck to deliver the container to your site.
  • Condition: Options include “One Trip,” “Cargo Worthy,” “Wind & Water Tight,” and others. Each has varying degrees of wear and tear, from like-new to needing significant repairs.

A 40-foot shipping container is not just a large metal box; it’s a resourceful investment for many business owners and construction managers. These containers offer robust storage and workspace options. You can store building materials, tools, or even convert them into office spaces or living quarters.

Benefits include high durability, theft prevention, and customization options. They are built to withstand harsh conditions, ensuring your belongings are secure.

My name is Steve Hyndman, Vice President of Aztec Container. With 30 years of experience in the industry, I’ve seen how beneficial a 40 foot shipping container for sale can be.

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1. Online Marketplaces

If you’re looking for a 40-foot shipping container for sale, exploring various platforms can be a great start. While there are many places online where you might find shipping containers, it’s crucial to choose platforms that offer reliability and a good selection.

User Reviews

User reviews are crucial when shopping for a shipping container online. They provide insight into the quality of the container and the reliability of the seller. Look for reviews that mention the condition of the container upon delivery, the accuracy of the listing, and the seller’s customer service.

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Key Takeaways

  • Wide Selection: Look for platforms that offer a wide selection of containers.
  • Reliable Customer Service: Platforms with reliable customer service and return policies are preferable.

By leveraging reputable online platforms, you can find a 40-foot shipping container for sale that fits your needs and budget. Next, we’ll explore specialized container retailers that offer more tailored options.

2. Specialized Container Retailers

When looking for a 40-foot shipping container for sale, specialized container retailers are a great option. These companies focus on providing high-quality containers and often offer customization options.

Aztec Container

Aztec Container is a reliable retailer specializing in shipping containers. They offer a wide range of sizes and conditions, ensuring you find the perfect container for your needs.

What sets Aztec Container apart:

  • Variety: They offer 10′, 20′, and 40′ containers, including high cube options.
  • Customization: They provide various modifications, such as adding roll-up doors, vents, and partitions.
  • Transparent Pricing: Prices are listed upfront on their website, so there’s no need to call for a quote.
  • Customer Service: Known for excellent customer service, they help you choose the right container and ensure a smooth delivery process.

Direct Purchase and Customization Options

One of the main advantages of buying from specialized container retailers like Aztec Container is the ability to purchase directly and customize your container. Whether you need additional doors, windows, or specific paint colors, Aztec Container can tailor the container to your exact requirements.

Direct Purchase Benefits:

  • Convenience: Buy directly from the retailer’s website.
  • Transparency: Clear pricing with no hidden fees.
  • Assurance: High-quality containers with guarantees.

Customization Options:

  • Doors: Single, double, or side doors.
  • Windows: Add natural light and ventilation.
  • Paint: Custom colors to match your needs.
  • Interior Modifications: Shelving, partitions, and more.

By purchasing from Aztec Container, you can find a 40-foot shipping container for sale that fits your needs and budget, ensuring a convenient and reliable way to purchase and customize your container.

3. Local Dealers and Distributors

Local businesses and regional suppliers offer a hands-on approach to buying a 40-foot shipping container for sale. This option allows you to inspect the containers in person, ensuring you get exactly what you need.

Benefits of Buying from Local Dealers

  1. In-Person Inspection:
  2. See Before You Buy: Inspect the container for any dents, rust, or structural issues.
  3. Verify Condition: Ensure the container meets your standards, whether it’s for storage or conversion into an office or living space.

  4. Personalized Service:

  5. Expert Advice: Local dealers can provide valuable insights based on your specific needs.
  6. Customization: Many local suppliers offer modifications like adding doors, windows, or shelves.

Delivery Options

  • Flexible Delivery: Local dealers often provide delivery services tailored to your schedule. Whether you need it the next day or in a week, they can accommodate.
  • Site Preparation: They can advise on site preparation, ensuring the ground is level and firm enough to support the container and the delivery truck.

Real-Life Experiences

Lisa Joseph shared her positive experience with a local dealer: “If you’re looking for good customer service and a company that is accommodating with drop off and pick up times, I would recommend this business over the larger chain competitors. They made logistics one of the least painful experiences I’ve had.”

Building Relationships

  • Future Purchases: Establishing a relationship with a local dealer can be beneficial for future needs or customizations.
  • Support: Local dealers are more likely to provide ongoing support and assistance compared to larger, impersonal companies.

In summary, local dealers and distributors provide a unique advantage with their personalized service, in-person inspections, and flexible delivery options. This hands-on approach ensures you get the best container for your needs.

Next, we’ll look into auctions and liquidation sales as another source for finding a 40-foot shipping container for sale.

4. Auctions and Liquidation Sales

Finding a 40-foot shipping container for sale through auctions and liquidation sales can be a cost-effective option. These events offer a variety of containers, often at lower prices than traditional retailers. Here’s what you need to know:

Government Auctions

Government auctions are a great place to find used shipping containers. These auctions often feature containers previously used by government agencies, which are now surplus. One advantage is the potential for lower prices, as these containers are sold to the highest bidder.

To participate, you typically need to register online and place your bids within the auction timeframe. Keep an eye on sites like GovDeals or GSA Auctions for upcoming events.

Surplus Sales

Surplus sales are another excellent source for finding shipping containers. These sales usually occur when companies or organizations have excess inventory they need to offload. Containers at surplus sales can be in various conditions, from almost new to well-used.

Liquidation Events

Liquidation events are held when businesses close down or need to quickly sell off assets. These events can offer significant savings, as the goal is to sell items quickly. Keep an eye on local listings and online platforms that advertise liquidation sales.

Cost Savings

One of the main benefits of buying a container through auctions or liquidation sales is the potential for cost savings. Prices can be significantly lower than purchasing new or even used containers from retailers. However, it’s essential to:

  • Inspect the Containers: If possible, inspect the containers before bidding. Check for structural integrity, rust, and other damages.
  • Set a Budget: Decide on a maximum bid to avoid overspending in the heat of the auction.
  • Understand the Terms: Read the auction terms carefully, including payment and pickup requirements.

Real-World Example

Recently, a 40-foot container sold for just $1,800 at a government auction, significantly below the market price. The buyer, a small business owner, used it for additional storage space, saving money compared to traditional storage solutions.

Auctions and liquidation sales can be a goldmine for finding affordable shipping containers. With some research and strategic bidding, you can secure a great deal.

Next, we’ll explore purchasing directly from shipping lines and freight companies as another option for finding a 40-foot shipping container for sale.

5. Shipping Lines and Freight Companies

Purchasing 40-foot shipping containers for sale directly from reputable sources can be a smart move. Companies often sell their used containers when they no longer meet their shipping needs but are still in good condition for other uses.

Direct from Reputable Sources

Buying directly from reputable sources often means you can get containers at a lower price compared to other sources. These companies regularly rotate their container stock, selling off older units to make room for new ones. This can be a cost-effective way to purchase multiple containers if you need them for a large project.

Used Containers

Used containers are typically categorized based on their condition:

  • One Trip: Practically new, used for a single trip.
  • Cargo Worthy (CW): Suitable for shipping but may have some wear and tear.
  • Wind & Water Tight (WWT): Ideal for storage, ensuring no leaks.
  • As-Is: Cheapest option, may require repairs.

For example, a small business owner who needed extra storage purchased a WWT container. It had a few dents but was leak-free and cost significantly less than a new container.

Bulk Purchase

If you need multiple containers, consider bulk purchasing. Reputable sources often offer discounts for bulk buys, making it an economical choice for businesses needing large storage solutions or for construction projects.

Bulk purchases also come with the benefit of consistency. All your containers will likely be of the same type and condition, simplifying planning and logistics.

By purchasing directly from reputable sources, you can find quality 40-foot shipping containers at competitive prices. This option is especially beneficial for those needing multiple units or looking for specific container conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions about 40-Foot Shipping Containers for Sale

What are the typical prices for a 40-foot shipping container?

The cost of a 40-foot shipping container can vary widely based on factors like condition and market availability.

  • Used Containers: Prices start as low as $1,750 but can go up to $3,500 in areas with high demand.
  • One Trip (Like New): These containers are almost brand new, costing between $4,500 and $7,900.

Market factors such as supply shortages can cause prices to exceed these ranges. For instance, during container shortages, prices have been known to more than double.

How is a 40-foot shipping container delivered?

Delivery is a straightforward process but requires some preparation:

  • Space Requirements: The delivery truck needs 120 feet of total space to maneuver and unload the container.
  • Firm Surface: The truck, weighing over 45,000 pounds, requires a firm surface like concrete or asphalt to prevent sinking.
  • Time Frame: Delivery is typically within 4-7 business days. You’ll be contacted within 1 business day to confirm the delivery date.

What are the different conditions of used shipping containers?

Understanding the condition of a used 40-foot shipping container is crucial for making an informed purchase. Here are the common conditions:

  • One Trip: Nearly new, used only once. Expect minimal wear and tear.
  • Cargo Worthy (CWO): Suitable for shipping; structurally sound with some cosmetic imperfections.
  • Wind & Water Tight (WWT): Guaranteed to be weatherproof but may have more visible wear.
  • As-Is: These containers are usually damaged and not guaranteed to be structurally sound. Note: Aztec Container does not sell “As-Is” containers due to the high risk of issues.

Every used container will have some rust and dents, but they are guaranteed to be structurally sound and come with a three-year warranty.

Next, we’ll summarize the key points and provide final thoughts on buying a 40-foot shipping container for sale.


In summary, finding a 40-foot shipping container for sale can be a straightforward process if you know where to look and what to expect. We’ve explored various avenues such as online marketplaces, specialized container retailers, local dealers, auctions, and shipping lines. Each option has its own set of advantages, from cost savings to customization capabilities.

Aztec Container stands out as a reliable choice for purchasing shipping containers. We offer a range of sizes and conditions, ensuring that our customers find exactly what they need. Our containers are manufactured to the highest standards, featuring durable Corten steel, welded tie-down points, and marine-grade plywood floors. Additionally, we provide a hassle-free delivery process, ensuring your container arrives safely and promptly.

Final Thoughts

Buying a shipping container is a valuable investment for both personal and business storage needs. Whether you’re looking for a used container to save costs or a “one trip” container for like-new quality, it’s crucial to choose a reputable supplier. Aztec Container guarantees structurally sound containers with a solid warranty and excellent customer service.

Ready to find your perfect 40-foot shipping container? Visit our 40-foot containers page to explore your options and make an informed purchase today.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this guide helps you find the right container for your needs!