Have you observed that there is a rising trend in the use of shipping or cargo containers almost everywhere in the world? You probably have and that could even be the reason why you are here. Cargo containers were originally built for ocean freight services. But nowadays, people are looking beyond this purpose and are using it for several other purposes such as storage, apartment, offices, schools, shopping malls, clinics, restaurants, etc. and many more ideas popping up every day. This is because they are strong and durable, movable, can be stacked on top of and connected to one another, and are relatively cheaper than traditional building materials.
Because of this growing trend, the demand for shipping containers has gone beyond the confines of the shipping industry and has created a relatively new but growing market. Like any other product, the shipping container prices are subject to the laws of demand and supply. If demand is high and supply is low, the price increases; if demand is low and supply is high, the price drops. Besides demand and supply, there are other factors that affect the prices of cargo container which you need to consider if you want to get it at the best price.
Not all these factors would apply to your situation. But there are some that are universal and those are the ones you need to pay close attention to. The factors include:
You might be wondering how location affects the price of a cargo container but this factor can significantly affect the price at which you get this product. Shipping containers are cheaper at coastal cities for one obvious reason – they can be found in abundance around docks. Plus, if you live in a coastal city you would spend less on the delivery of the container owing to the shorter distance as compared to someone living far inland.
Additionally, certain locations such as states or countries may require a sort of permit before you can use a shipping container for other uses other than freight services. These permits could significantly contribute to the cost of acquiring a shipping container.
- Exchange Rate
This is one factor that has a significant influence on products around the world. At the moment, a great deal of all the containers in the world are designed and built in China. This means that you would have to convert your local currency to theirs in order to make your purchase. If the exchange rate between your local currency and China’s is high then expect to spend more buying the cargo container. In addition to this, global economy does affect the prices of shipping containers. Whenever there is a boom in global economy, shipping firms have a higher demand for shipping containers. This higher demand leads to increase in prices (as stated earlier). On the converse, a burst in global economy can crash the price of these items.
- Size of the Container
Yes, size does matter and when it comes to prices of cargo containers you will know that this is true. Shipping containers come in different shapes/dimensions but in two commonly used sizes – 20 foot and 40 foot. The prices are determined by the sizes with smaller sizes costing less than bigger sizes. Uncommon or special shipping type of containers such as reefer containers, open top containers, and flat rack containers are relatively more expensive than traditional containers. Visit http://www.worldshipping.org/about-the-industry/containers to learn more about shipping containers.
- Shipping Season
No, there is never a time when there are no shipping activities going on in the world. However, there are times when shipping activities rise and fall and this is usually around festive or holidays seasons. When holidays are approaching, shipping activities increase because companies try to stock up on gift items before the holiday shopping begins. Because of this, shipping companies would need more containers to cater for the increased shipping business. After the holiday season, shipping activities decline and shipping companies would be more willing to sell of cargo containers they don’t need.
- Container Condition
The condition of a shipping container does affect how much it is going to cost. Generally, brand new containers cost much more than used ones. Your purpose of buying a shipping container would determine if you need a new or used one. Most purposes besides freight services can make do with a used container. The shipping industry has standards for shipping containers and most containers fall below these standards after 10 to 15 years of use. However, containers are designed to be tough and built to withstand harsh weather conditions. And so even after 10 to 15 years of use for freight services they remain strong and water-proof enough for other uses. When purchasing cargo containers, the price tends to drop the more damage the container has. Damages such as dents, scratches, rusts, and others can significantly affect its price. Containers stored in excellent conditions usually fair better than others and are the best to buy. If one doesn’t mind a fair amount of dents and rusts then you can get shipping containers at reduced costs.
Furthermore, the older the container the cheaper it will be. Cargo containers that have been used for between 1 and 5 years would cost more than containers that have had 7 to 15 years of use. There are a few exceptions to this rule: for instance, containers that are say, 9 years old, but have only been used once or twice. They would cost more than those that have been used extensively for 5 years.
- The Seller
The prices of a container (in this case, a used one) can be significantly affected by who is selling it. As mentioned in factor number 4, shipping companies sell off containers they don’t need in the off season or when the containers’ conditions fall below industry standards. In this scenario, bigger companies offer the best prices and this is because they usually have a larger number of containers to sell off than smaller companies. The quicker they do this the better for them; hence they sell them at a reduced price to make it happen quickly. While smaller companies might generally sell at a slightly higher rate, a few of them could give them out at discounted rate in order to attract customers.
If you are in the market for a shipping container, carefully go through this post and consider each of these factors carefully. Look at those that apply to your situation and learn how you can use them to your advantage and get the best price.