How to order a shipping container: A step-by-step guide to buying smarter

Jared Blackmore   |   March 22, 2016

Need somewhere safe to store valuable items or keep your yard or site tidy? With its modular shape and weatherproof materials, shipping containers make excellent affordable solutions. But when it comes to actually purchasing, you'll soon realise there are many different options available including size, layout and condition – and that’s before you even look at custom container modifications. Here are our top tips to help you design and purchase shipping containers that are tailored to your job requirements. 

1 – Think about what you want before you order.

Shipping containters have an incredibly wide variety of potential uses. To utilise it effectively in the long run, have a clear understanding of the intended use of the shipping container. This will play a big part in budget, type of container, size and whether you rent or purchase. 51.jpg

Take the time to sit down and think what you would like in your container. For example, a workshop, where would you like the work bench to be positioned? How many shelves or power points would you like? Do you need lockable cages? Would you like multiple points of access? Any specialised modifications for your equipment? How long do you need the container for?

A way to help visualise this is to draw up a quick plan of your end goal. Taking a step back and viewing your needs and wants helps a great deal in the design of your modified container, it also saves a lot of messing around at the last minute with “addons78.jpg” here and there.

Common uses of shipping containers coming out of ANL Container Hire & Sales include (but not limited to):

2 – Experience and quality.

It g212.jpgoes without saying that these two factors play a huge role in any sort of business. Do yourself a favour, visit the container companies to see the work that they’ve carried out and to what standard. Any legitimate Container Sales will even allow you to pick your own container.

A lot of container modifiers will “have a go” at any job, but research whether have they done this type of work before or are they going to subcontract the job out? By using a reputable company which is not only helpful with suggestions, but also well versed in a range of modifications and uses the right material for the job, will give years of great service from your container. 

3 – Price and honesty.

Price does not always dictate the best product on the market. Unfortunately, some sales people see modified containers as an opportunity to charge far too much. It’s quite easy to ask for a quote and run with the cheapest one, although it does not always mean that you will get value for money. Any reputable business will always make suggestions to save the customer money in the long run while not sacrificing quality.
Use someone local, often some of the big players do not modify their own work, but rather sub-out to other companies. This means that you pay a premium. ANL Container Hire and Sales knows this all too well as they are often asked to modify containers for other Container Hire and Sales businesses.

Lastly, shop around, it may seem like an inconvenience at the time but it will save you money in the long run. Visit the Container Depot doing your work. If you can’t call in and pick your container, don’t buy it based on generic photos the salesperson has sent you as an example of what you might get.

By taking these few critical points on board, you'll not only save your company money and time, but will also transform the way you can operate more efficiently. Your imagination is the limit when modifying shipping containers. I’m sure you have seen some very creative applications on the web using all types of containers. There is a huge variety of scenarios that the use of containers can accommodate. Who knows, the use of something truly unique in the correct environment could revolutionise your industry and how it operates. 

To start the ball rolling and enquire about your next container, give the team at ANL Container Hire & Sales a call or enquire online. With depots in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Sydney, they have years of experience and a wide range of modified and unmodified containers to meet whatever storage or building need you might have.

Jared Blackmore
Jared Blackmore is the National Sales Manager at ANL Container Hire & Sales, the leading supplier of new and used shipping containers for sale or hire, long & short term throughout Australia.
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