Second-hand containers make for an Eco-friendly building material. Recently, Cargotecture has experienced a rise in popularity; Cargotecture living spaces are inhabitable art. These spaces are constructed by stacking containers like wooden blocks. Moreover, second-hand shipping containers possess ample space for almost any storage need. These sturdy steel containers can be placed on a lot and filled with a variety of goods.

Purchasing a second-hand shipping container is an investment. It’s essential to thoroughly inspect a container before making a purchase. When purchasing a second-hand container, It’s important to ask the seller for a concise history of the unit and know what you’re buying- much like shopping for a used car, without knowledge of what you’re buying you might end up with a lemon.

Rust is a shipping container’s enemy. Although shipping containers are coated with primer and paint, they often succumb to the ocean’s salty environment. Too frequently a shipping container’s paint and primer are damaged due to improper handling or the ocean’s harsh elements. These minute damages allow for rust to infiltrate the container and cause structural damage. According to the University of Illinois’ Department of Physics: “Rust has a number of effects on metal objects. It makes them look orange and rough. It makes them weaker, by replacing the strong iron or steel with flaky powder.” Be sure to ask the seller for the container’s complete history to avoid purchasing a lemon.

A container’s history should include what it was used for and status. Second-hand containers, most often, are no longer worthy of overseas travel but are suitable for storage and projects. A seaworthy status for a shipping container is determined by “the conditions it has been exposed to,” damages incurred and miles traveled. Storage container are given a grade, based on these factors, and eventually retired. However, a status of “retired” doesn’t denote that the container isn’t viable for storage and projects.

Second-hand containers can be found on Ebay or Craigslist. However, the buyer, much like purchasing a second-hand car, must be aware of what they are purchasing. Make sure to ask for the container’s complete history and inspect the unit for rust and structural damage. Some of the best sellers for used shipping containers are those who specialize in this exact thing. A great example is ATR Trailer in Tampa, Florida.