Are you thinking of purchasing a shipping container for keeping goods? If yes, then you might want to reconsider. Renting a shipping container is much cheaper and more accessible than buying one. It is more convenient, affordable, and an excellent option for short-term storage needs. Rental shipping containers are mainly used for seasonal inventory or as temporary storage units when moving or remodeling. The best thing about shipping containers is that they are readily available on-site, can be dropped off easily, are versatile, and highly cost-effective. However, before you quickly jump to renting one, some factors need to be considered as they may affect your decision. So, avoid making a rental mistake and consider the following things before deciding:
1. Think about the rental duration:
Before renting a shipping container, the first thing to consider is to learn for how long you’ll need it. The rental duration is the deciding factor in whether you rent a container or buy it. It may cause you much more than intended if you go beyond the agreed date of the return. Therefore, make sure you know exactly how long you intend to rent the container. Unfortunately, there are times when it is hard to determine the exact duration as your needs may be changing. That is why it is better to sign a long-term contract. Because suppliers tend to offer better rates, and many companies also offer discounts for longer-term leases.
2. Determine the mode of transportation:
Suppose you need to ship goods, and you see that there are new shipping containers for sale at a reasonable rate. You jump at the opportunity only to realize later that the container is not suitable for transporting goods overseas. Now, you are stuck with a good-for-nothing shipping container, but things could have been easier if it were a rental and if you had checked the design first. Therefore, you must check the construction and design of the container that best accommodates your storage needs. Confirm with the container company about moving the container and whether moving units in your area is permitted or not. Do your homework and make sure the container you are renting is compatible with your chosen mode of transportation.
3. Determine size requirements:
Shipping containers come in various sizes, so you must know which size will accommodate your business needs. Thoroughly check the exact size of the container you require before renting, or you can ask the suppliers if they offer customized sizes. However, non-standard or customized sizes cost more, so you should first check the standard container dimensions. Usually, standard storage containers come in two lengths, 20 and 40 ft, while they can be 10, 20, 40, 0r even 45 feet high.
The average shipping container can hold up to 4-bedrooms’ worth of belongings or furniture. It will help if you also account for the space in your parking lot because 40-to-60-foot trucks usually deliver these containers. Hence, make a complete list of things you’d like to store in the container, along with their measurements and the dimension of space where you will keep the container.
4. Physically inspect the container:
Since you aren’t buying a brand-new shipping container, it wouldn’t hurt to double-check the condition of the one you are renting. It can make a world of difference to physically inspect the container because you don’t regret damaging your goods. So, here are a few things you should look out for:
- Holes are a big no because they allow water and air to enter. Examine the holes. During the day, walk through the container and locate the locations from where the light is passing. These holes are repairable. However, it is preferable if the container is in one piece.
- • Dents are common when renting a container and, for the most part, aren’t a big concern. However, you need to look out for deep ones to hold water, leading to leakage and rusting. Therefore, make sure to check all sides, including the top of the container both inside and out.
- Knowing which chemicals are beneficial to treat the container if you plan on using it regularly is helpful. For example, to ensure the containers are wind-tight and waterproof, they get treated with various chemicals. So, conduct a full chemical inspection for the chemical residue to expose you and your cargo to anything harmful.
- Rusting is inevitable for a shipping container, but severe rusting is harmful. A simple paint job can take care of mild rusting, but it can cause large holes in the container if there is severe rusting.
5. Ask about overall security:
The main purpose of renting a container is to make sure you can keep your goods in a safe, accessible, and secure place. Security is crucial, and that is why you should assess the security risks, whether it’s the durability of the container or the location. It would be best to ask the supplier about the security measures that come with the container, such as locks, site security, insurance, etc. For example, if you keep the container on-site, like during moving or home renovation. In that case, it’s best to invest in a good lockbox that protects the lock shank. Otherwise, you should thoroughly check the container condition and possible factors that can compromise the security of your goods. For example, if the container is extremely rusty or not made of durable material, anyone can break into it easily.
Storage units such as shipping containers are an excellent investment for short-term storage solutions or on-site accommodation. Renting a shipping container is much more cost-efficient than buying one, but it depends on how long you need it. Therefore, sort out your priorities and inventory list before renting a container. You should know your exact size requirements so that you can store fragile items easily. It would be best to conduct a thorough physical inspection of the container before renting either by yourself or by a professional. Look out for rust, dents, chemical residue, large holes, locking mechanism, material, and safety measures.