Container Grading Is Key When Choosing Cheaper Shipping Containers for Sale

March 20, 2018

Shipping containers for sale are available in different international standard sizes. Prices are variable, largely depending on availability and condition, and there’s no definitive guideline relating to used containers for sale prices. So, if you are looking for cheaper units and basing your choice on price, it’s important to establish condition before you buy.

So how do you know the condition of shipping containers for sale? If you can get to see the container before you buy it, you’ll be able to assess the condition yourself. But this is not always possible for logistical reasons.

How to Assess the Condition of Shipping Containers for Sale

Standard container sizes and specifications for manufacture are set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The US-based Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL), established in 1971, was instrumental in developing the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), an international agreement that aims to ensure all containers are maintained in a safe condition. It also prescribes test procedures as well as strength requirements to ensure that the international transportation of shipping containers complies with international safety regulations.

Broadly, the shipping container industry categorises shipping containers for sale by age. They are either:

  1. New
  2. Less than five years old, also referred to as IICL grade
  3. Older than five years and generally sold “as is”

Regardless of age, all shipping containers for sale should be Cargo Worthy (CW) and should have a valid CSC certification. Cargo worthiness must be assessed in a physical inspection by an authorised approval authority. They should also be Wind & Water Tight (WWT) so that neither wind nor water will enter the container. So, if you go into the container and close it up, no light will show through the roof or side panels. To be CW and therefore suitable for the safe transportation of cargo, a WWT container must meet the CSC specifications.

While there is no international container grading system in place, some companies have their own internal classification systems and container grading protocol. When you are looking for used containers for sale prices ask if there is any internal grading system that indicates the condition and appearance of the shipping containers for sale.

Some containers may be a little rusty and there may be dents in the metal, but this is not necessarily an indication of the container’s structural quality. Instead, it may only be a cosmetic consideration. For this reason, before you assess the acceptability of used containers for sale prices, be sure of your needs. Generally, cheaper shipping containers for sale are better suited for storage rather than transporting cargo. But if you are going to use the container as an office or even a storage unit that is visible to customers, aesthetics will probably be a strong consideration. At the same time, you might opt to paint the container or even disguise it with cladding; it really depends entirely on your own unique needs.

Almar Container Group Shipping Containers for Sale

Almar offers quality new and used shipping containers for sale in Africa and the Middle East, and all containers are WWT and CW.

The company has an internal grading system that helps customers decide what is suitable for their needs:

  • Grade A - New containers of various standard sizes.
  • Grade B - Used containers that are in good condition, with minimal dents and minimal rust.
  • Grade C - Used containers that are in a fair condition, with moderate dents and moderate rust.

You’ll know what to expect when you buy your used shipping container from Almar, even if you don’t see it prior to delivery. Call us today to find out more about our used containers for sale prices and availability.

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