How Much Are Large Shipping Containers (With Average Prices)

Emily Wilson

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A new, large shipping container.

Shipping containers are used for transporting goods across the globe and have become popular for repurposing into various creative projects. If you’re looking to buy or rent a large shipping container, it’s essential to understand how much it costs and the factors that affect its prices. 

The price of large shipping containers varies widely based on factors such as size, condition, age, and location. On average, a new standard 40-foot shipping large container can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,500, while used large containers range from $2,000 to $5,300. 

In this article, we will explore the average costs of shipping containers, as well as how the condition impacts their price. Additionally, we will discuss renting a large shipping container and highlight additional costs to consider before deciding. 

Factors Affecting Shipping Container Prices

When considering factors that affect shipping container prices, several key points come into play.

A man standing in front of large shipping containers.

Container Size

To determine how much large shipping containers cost, you can explore the sizes available and their corresponding prices.

When considering container size, there are several factors to keep in mind. Container measurements, such as length, width, and height, will determine the overall dimensions of the container. Oversized containers may require special permits or transportation arrangements that can increase costs.

Another critical consideration is container capacity, which refers to the maximum amount of cargo that a container can hold. The container’s weight should also be considered, as it may impact shipping costs. 

Container Condition

When purchasing a large shipping container, it’s crucial to assess its condition, inspect for damages, and ensure proper certification. 

Thoroughly inspecting the container will help identify potential issues, such as dents or leaks, that may compromise its functionality. Ensuring the container is certified guarantees compliance with industry standards and regulations. 

Pay close attention to signs of wear and tear, as excessive damage may affect its structural integrity over time. Rust is another crucial factor, as it can weaken the metal and lead to further deterioration. 

When considering shipping containers to build a house, it’s essential to know if the container home is safe and in good condition.

Container Age

Container age significantly determines its lifespan, depreciation, maintenance requirements, resale value, and inspection frequency. Generally, shipping containers have an estimated lifespan of 20 years when properly maintained. 

As the container ages, its structural integrity may diminish due to wear and tear from exposure to harsh weather conditions during transportation. Regular maintenance is essential to prolong its lifespan and prevent any potential damage or corrosion. 

Regarding resale value, newer containers hold their worth better than older ones. Buyers often prioritize inspecting older containers more thoroughly for any signs of deterioration or weaknesses. Therefore, investing in a relatively new container ensures peace of mind and a higher resale value. 

Geographic Location

Located in different regions worldwide, containers are subject to varying climatic conditions that can significantly impact their durability and longevity. When considering the cost of large shipping containers, geographic location plays a significant role.

The availability of containers can vary depending on the region. In some areas with busy ports or industrial hubs, there may be a higher supply of containers, resulting in more competitive pricing. Local regulations also come into play, as certain regions have restrictions or requirements that affect container availability and prices.

Lastly, transportation options should also be considered since shipping costs vary based on distance and accessibility to major transportation routes. 

Supply and Demand

The supply and demand influence the availability and pricing of containers in different regions. Market trends play a significant role in determining the cost of large shipping containers. 

Pricing strategies are implemented based on consumer behavior and economic impact. When there’s high demand for containers, prices tend to rise as suppliers try to maximize their profits. On the other hand, when there’s low demand, prices may decrease to attract more customers. 

The global shipping container market has experienced fluctuations due to various factors, such as trade imbalances, economic conditions, and regulation changes. Understanding these market dynamics can help individuals and businesses make informed decisions regarding container procurement. 

Staying updated on current supply and demand trends is essential to obtain containers at competitive prices. 

Standard Sizes and Average Cost of New Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are available in various sizes and can cost an average amount depending on their dimensions. 

A pile of shipping containers with different sizes.

The standard sizes for shipping containers are 10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet long, the most common being the 40-foot container. These containers have a width of 8 feet and a height of 8.5 feet.

Are shipping container homes cheaper to build? Here’s a table showing the average cost of new 10-foot, 20-foot, and 40-foot shipping containers: 

Container SizeAverage Cost
10-foot$1,500 – $5,000
20-foot$2,000 – $6,000
40-foot$5,000 – $7,500

Please note that these are approximate average costs, and actual prices can vary depending on the abovementioned factors. 

Container customization has also become increasingly popular due to its versatility and affordability. Many people use containers for various purposes, such as container architecture, container gardening, container homes, and even as part of the latest container shipping trends.

The average cost of large shipping containers depends on their size and condition. With the rising popularity of container customization and its various applications, it is clear that these versatile structures offer great potential for those seeking innovative solutions in today’s world. 

Cost of Large Shipping Containers By Condition

If you’re considering purchasing a large shipping container, it’s essential to understand the cost differences based on their condition.

There are several condition categories to consider. Each category has its price range and level of quality, so it’s crucial to assess your needs and budget before making a decision. 

New – One trip condition

Average price: $5,000 to $7,500  

A new, large shipping container in color gray.

When you’re in the market for a new shipping container, one that has only been used for a single trip, you’ll find various price ranges depending on the size and condition of the container.

In the rental options market, these new one-trip containers are often priced higher than second-hand alternatives due to their pristine condition and limited use. However, if you explore the second-hand market, you may find slightly cheaper options that have been minimally used.

One advantage of purchasing a new one-trip container is that it allows customization when you build your container home. These containers can also be utilized for specialized uses such as refrigerated storage or modified into pop-up shops or offices.

Additionally, considering their relatively short trip lifespan, these new containers have a longer overall lifespan than those subjected to multiple journeys at sea. 

Premium IICL-5 – Used between 2 and 8 years old

Average price: $3,100 to $5,300 

You can opt for a premium IICL-5 container if you’re looking for a high-quality and long-lasting option. These containers are ideal for those who want the best durability, strength, and overall condition.

The rental options for premium IICL-5 containers are available from various suppliers and can be customized according to your specific needs. Container customization allows you to modify the interior or exterior of the container based on your requirements.

Moreover, choosing a premium IICL-5 container ensures you get a higher resale value than other conditions. These containers have certifications that guarantee their quality and adherence to industry standards. They are manufactured by reputable container manufacturers who prioritize excellence in design and construction. 

Grade A – Over 8 years old and still certified cargo-worthy

Average price: $2,800 to $4,800   

When considering large shipping containers, you want to ensure that they meet the highest standards of cargo inspection and container certification. 

With Grade A cargo-worthy containers, you can be confident in their container integrity, as they’ve undergone thorough inspections to ensure they’re suitable for transporting goods. 

These containers have been certified to be structurally sound and capable of withstanding the rigors of international shipping. Their superior container quality guarantees protection for your valuable cargo during transit. 

Whether you need to transport perishable items or fragile goods, a Grade A cargo-worthy container is designed to meet your needs and provide peace of mind.

Grade B – Over 8 years old and not certified cargo-worthy anymore

Average price: $2,700 to $4,300 

A grade B large shipping container that is over 8 years old and not certified cargo-worthy anymore.

Grade B containers provide you with a cost-effective solution for your shipping needs.

Regarding container grading, used shipping containers are classified based on their condition. Grade B containers, also known as Wind and Watertight (WWT), balance quality and affordability. These containers may have cosmetic imperfections like dents or surface rust, but they are still structurally sound and suitable for transportation.

Container pricing factors depend on various market trends, such as supply and demand, location, and the condition of the container. With Grade B WWT containers, you can expect lower prices than Grade A cargo-worthy containers while enjoying functionality and durability.

Whether you need to ship goods across the country or store equipment long-term, this option provides an excellent solution that meets your requirements while fitting within your budget. 


Average price: $2,000 and up   

Refurbished containers offer a cost-effective solution that breathes new life into worn-out structures, providing a fresh and revitalized option for storage or transportation needs. Several aspects come into play when considering the pricing factors of refurbished containers. 

The first factor is the container’s condition. Containers undergoing extensive refurbishment will generally be priced higher than those with minimal repairs. 

Secondly, container age plays a role in determining its price. Older containers may require more refurbishment work, affecting the overall cost. 

Lastly, geographic location also impacts pricing as it affects the availability of refurbished containers and transportation costs to specific areas. 

Considering these factors when purchasing a refurbished container ensures you get the best value for your money while meeting your storage or transportation requirements.

As-is – General-purpose

Average price: $1000 and up   

The as-is general-purpose containers are like rugged workhorses, ready to take on any storage or transportation task without any fancy upgrades or repairs. These used containers offer a cost-effective solution for your shipping needs. 

Container pricing for as-is general-purpose units can vary depending on size, condition, and location. It’s important to thoroughly inspect the container before purchasing to ensure it meets your requirements. 

While these containers may not have customization options, they still provide excellent value for money due to their versatility and durability. Additionally, resale value remains relatively high for these containers, making them a wise investment. 

Whether you need temporary storage or long-term shipping solutions, the as-is general-purpose containers are a reliable choice that won’t break the bank. 

After considering the cost of large shipping containers, you might be interested in further exploring the concept of container home vs. tiny home.

How About Large Shipping Containers Rental?

Interested in renting large shipping containers? Rental terms for large shipping containers vary depending on the company, but most offer flexible options to accommodate your needs. Whether you need a container for short-term or long-term use, rental companies have options available.

A truck carrying a large shipping container for rental.

The average monthly rental cost for large shipping containers ranges from $75 to $200. 

Rental costs for large shipping containers also depend on size and rental duration. Generally, the larger the container and the longer the rental period, the higher the cost. However, renting a large shipping container is often more cost-effective than purchasing one outright, especially if you only need it temporarily.

When considering renting a large shipping container, it’s essential to research different rental companies to find one that offers competitive prices and reliable service. Look for reputable companies that have positive customer reviews and transparent pricing structures.

If you need a large shipping container but don’t want to invest in purchasing one, renting can be a great option. With flexible rental terms, various available sizes, reasonable rental costs based on duration and size, and trustworthy rental companies, you can easily find a solution that fits your needs without breaking the bank. 

Additional Costs to Consider

When considering the additional costs of buying or renting large shipping containers, there are a few key points to keep in mind. 

  • Delivery and Transportation Costs: Shipping large containers can be expensive, but ensuring your goods are delivered safely and on time is worth the investment. Delivery options play a significant role in determining the cost, as different methods, such as ground transportation or air freight, will have varying prices. 
  • Container Modifications: The cost of container modifications varies depending on the extent of the changes required, but it’s generally more economical than building structures from scratch. Popular container modifications include adding windows, doors, insulation, electrical systems, and plumbing. 
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Do shipping container homes last? The longevity of these homes can be extended through cost-effective maintenance, which can include DIY repairs, such as repainting or applying sealants. However, for more complex repairs, it’s recommended to seek professional maintenance services.
  • Permit and Licensing Fees: Each jurisdiction may have different requirements and costs regarding permit fees. It’s essential to research and understand the specific licensing requirements for your area before proceeding with any modifications or use of a shipping container. 

By knowing additional costs and the realities of buying container homes, you can avoid unnecessary issues while maximizing the benefits of your large shipping container.

The Verdict: How Much Does a Large Shipping Container Cost?

In conclusion, large shipping containers can vary in price depending on factors such as size, condition, and whether you choose to rent or buy.

On average, a new large shipping container can cost anywhere from $5,000 – $7,500. However, used containers are often more affordable and range from $2,000 to $5,300. Renting a large shipping container is also an option if you only need it temporarily.

Remember to consider additional costs such as delivery fees, repairs, and modifications! 

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