Welcome to the most important section in the article!
Before we go any further let me say, the following advice is for purchasing a used shipping container. If you’re container is new then you won’t need to inspect it as thoroughly.
This is one of the most important parts of building your shipping container home.
If you end up buying a worn-out container your build is in trouble before it begins.
When I first inspect a shipping container I walk around the perimeter of it looking down each side of the container to make sure they are straight.
When walking around the outside of the container also keep an eye out for dints and rust.
On a used container you should expect some small dents and the occasional patch of light rust. Larger dents aren’t too much of a problem. But large sections of rust and corrosion are a red alert!
Check the rust and if the metal is flaking and weakened then don’t buy the container.
The last exterior check to make is the roof. Get a pair of ladders and check the roof for any signs of rust or leaks. Again any light rust is ok but any significant rust with flaking and the container should be avoided.
Once the external inspection is complete you should turn your attention to the inside of the container.
You want to make sure that the container doors are closed for a while before you inspect the inside of the container.
As soon as you open the doors and walk into the container do a smell test.
You should smell for mold and any toxic chemicals. If the container smells of mold it’s likely that there is a leak.
Next, make sure the container is watertight.
The best way to do this is to close the containers door whilst still inside- then look for any daylight entering the container.
After this check, get a torch out and take a good look around. Pay special attention to the wooden flooring and make sure there aren’t any holes in it.
Finally, check the container’s identification code is intact.
Cost to Transport a Shipping Container
If you’ve read this far, chances are you’ve inspected and purchased your shipping container.
All you need to do now is to arrange for the containers to be transported.
Obviously there will be huge differences here to the price depending on if you’ve purchased your containers locally or internationally.
If you’re purchased the containers locally then you should expect to pay around $400 for a 20ft and $800 for 40ft containers.
These prices include the unloading fee and allow for a total journey distance of 300 miles.
This means a price of around $1.33 per mile to transport a 20ft container, and $2.60 per mile to transport a 40ft container.
If you’ve purchased the containers internationally then you are going to have an expensive transportation fee.
Depending on the distance it can be anywhere from $1900+. I received a quote to transport a 40ft container from China to Miami for $5500.
If you want to reduce the cost to ship a container long distance, you can allow the haulage company to transport goods inside your container.