Shipping container information and FAQs

Buying a shipping container can be a complex decision. You need to consider what size will suit you best, where it will be located, whether to purchase or hire and more. Here are some frequently asked questions and general shipping container information.
 
We supply shipping containers across New Zealand, including new and used container sales and short to long-term container hire. No matter where you need it, we’ll deliver your container to your site and put it where you need it to go.
 
If you need specific information or want to arrange a container purchase or hire, feel free to contact our friendly team on 0800 400 400.
logistic worker teamwork working using smartphone calling command order control loading containers at port cargo to trucks for export and import goods.

FAQS

Containers are classed by grade according to their condition.  new build container is as new as you can buy in NZ as they are not made here, a new build will be in excellent condition with extra features you cannot get on a used Shipping Container.  Used Shipping containers need closer examination before you make your purchase.  A watertight container in excellent, used condition is classed as B+ Grade this extends to C Grade containers which are in poor used condition.
 
Important: There are no set parameters for grading containers. Never purchase a used container based on its grade. Always follow the tips below.
Go and physically view the container. Inspect what you are buying with your own eyes rather than relying on pictures.
 
Check the roof for rust and dents. Dents hold water and if it doesn’t already, will cause rusting.
 
Check the doors and rubbers to make sure they swing freely and that the door bars operate well. Get this in writing if you cannot view the container. Make sure the door rubbers are secure and check there are no missing pieces.
 
Check the condition of the floor. A container floor is usually 27mm laminated plywood. Forklifts are used to load containers. Sometimes they can get gouged, cracked or have water damage.
 
Check if the container has been repainted. If the container has been painted either inside or outside, then you need to ask why. Usually this would indicate they are hiding something. How rough is the area that’s been painted? Improper rust treatment will lead to further rust. We usually don’t sell repainted containers, we sell them as they are and then paint them to suit the customers colour. 
 
If you cannot view the container, ask for photos. Never buy a used container without seeing photos of the roof, sides, ends, doors and interior including the floor.
There are many container manufacturers around the world, most are very good, some are not so good. A cheap container is likely to be made from cheap materials. Check the following before you buy.
 
Check the tare weight of the container, which is usually found on the right hand door. Tare weight will vary for container size, specifications and manufacture. For example a quality built 20ft Standard (GP) Container should weigh no less than 2100kg. If the container tare weight is under 2100kg then you could have issues with the steel exterior (not Corten), the paint quality (inadequate), and the thickness of the walls. All of these problems lead to rusting and a shorter useful lifespan.
 
If the price is cheap, ask why the container is cheap. There will be a reason, and with containers, you get what you pay for. Buy from reputable suppliers.
 
We have a range of different sized containers available. The common sizes are 10ft, 20ft and 40ft. If you have specific requirements which don’t suit a standard size, we may be able to source or modify a container to suit. Talk to our friendly team and we’ll find a solution for you.
There are a number of ways containers get delivered. Most commonly, they’re transported on hi-ab and side loader trucks and side loader semis. Every site is different. Regardless of whether it’s easy or challenging, talk to our friendly team. We’ll find the best solution for you.
 
Click here to learn more about our Transport process.
Containers are designed to sit on their four corner posts and can twist if not sitting flat. They do not need to be level but each corner needs a near equal share of the load.
 
To avoid moisture getting in from underneath, we recommend the container is placed on pavers or treated timber. You can choose the height to suit, but 3 to 5 centimetres is fine. If the blocks are too high, the step will make access more difficult.
Most shipping containers have vents, however if you are storing wet items, fuels or anything else that can create condensation then you will have this issue. Things to check include whether the container is watertight or whether there are any holes where water can get in.
 
We have tips and tricks we offer our customers when they buy or hire a container and we also sell Desiccant Dry Poles that absorb moisture.
 
Our new build shipping containers come with with factory fitted lock boxes. You are able to buy a special padlock from us for these. Used containers usually do not have these fitted. We can fit a lockbox onsite for extra security on our used Shipping Containers. We sell lock boxes and padlocks separately and we can fit a lock box if required.
Container lifespan is mostly determined by the condition and age of the container when you buy it. If you buy a used, low grade container, it may not last long before maintenance is required. Good used containers can last for more than 10 years before requiring maintenance.
 
New builds with basic maintenance every 10 to 15 years can last longer than 50 years depending where they are and how they’re used.
 
Getting insurance is up to you. Hired containers are in your care from the time it leaves our depot to the time it’s returned. Any damage while in your care falls to you to pay for repairs back to the original delivered condition. We recommend contacting your insurer to discuss options for the container and your contents.
 
If you are looking to ship the container overseas or between the North and South Islands, then it will need to have a current CSC, which is like a car WOF. We have containers that have a current CSC and we can also have used containers certified to order.

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