The Shipping Container Buying Guide


What is a shipping container and what is is used for? 


Shipping containers are large metal rectangular boxes that are used for shipping and storing goods and other valuable products. In addition to shipping and storing products, people are also buying up shipping containers to turn them into food venues, office buildings, and small apartments. Because of their stackable design, and relatively low cost (compared to erecting a brand-new apartment building), shipping containers are a great solution for many commercial and residential needs.

While shipping containers can be used for international shipping, we are going to focus on domestic storage and shipping for commercial, home and storage facilities. Companies like Nationwide Container Sales provide both hiring and selling of their containers. “Most customers prefer to buy containers so they aren’t restricted to timeframes” said Mr Graham Salisbury, Nationwide Sales Manager. “Standard sizes for containers are 20 foot and 40 foot, but the 20 foot containers are most popular” he added”.

Buying shipping containers

Shipping Container Specifics


There are several sizes available for shipping containers in Australia. The most popular sizes are the 20’ and 40’ dry cargo containers.

The typical 20’ dry cargo containers measures 8’ wide and 8.5’ high and can hold 1,158 cubic feet of goods and products.

The 40’ dry cargo container also measures 8’ wide and 8.5’ high but the total 2,372 cubic feet is made up in the extra 20’ length.

Storage containers are usually made from of steel or metal, however, some shipping containers are made from wood; wood containers are often used for very specific purposes such as transporting a large product one time.


Top 10 Common Uses for Shipping Containers

  • Shipping vehicles

Shipping containers are just about the right size to drive a compact car into and vehicles can be easily moved around the country on flatbeds or railcars.

  • Storing vehicles

Once cars have been moved, they can be easily stored in shipping containers or housed there by owners.

  • Storing furniture

Shipping containers are great for long term storage of furniture or other household goods while moving.

  • Storing personal belongings

If you have a garden space or farming land, storage containers can act as outdoor storage for equipment and items that are too big for the home or shed.

shipping containers

  • Shipping or moving for residential purposes

Packing up everything you own and putting it into a shipping container to move it across the country is a really affordable way to move.

  • Shipping or moving for commercial purposes

When it comes time to move an entire enterprise or company, there can a be a lot of items to move; shipping containers are a great way to move things in one large move, instead of many smaller moves.

  • Food establishments

There are some really great restaurants and street food establishments popping up in Australia, as well as all over the world using shipping containers.

  • Office space

This is still a growing trend in office space, but repurposing old shipping containers is very cost effective and a modern take on the traditional high-rise building.

  • Shipping construction equipment to/from construction site

Construction companies have a lot of equipment to move around on a regular basis and a shipping container might be the answer to their problem!

  • Workshops

Back at home, people are repurposing shipping containers for all kinds of garden workshops, storage sheds, and even playhouses for their kids. Shipping containers are really versatile!

Tips for Buying Shipping Containers

  1. Watch for bulk sales from manufacturers
  2. Don’t rule out buying used containers
  3. Check the container in person if you can; make sure door hinges are working properly
  4. Watch for signs of interior rust that could leave marks on your belongings
  5. If you are taking the doors off anyway, buying a shipping container that has broken doors might get you a better price.

shipping container sales

How Much Do Shipping Containers Cost? 


There are a variety of shipping containers available for purchase. Here are some online sources for purchasing shipping containers.

  1. Nationwide Container Sales Construction Sales starting at about $1500
  2. Gateway Containers starting at about $1500
  3. Port Melbourne Containers asks customers to inquire about their price but they have a wide selection to choose from.




You don’t have to do much shopping around when it comes to buying shipping containers; they are pretty straight forward. However, you want to pay attention to damage on used containers, and do a little price shopping to make sure you are getting a good deal. Considering that you can get a shipping container for about $1500, you can see why so many people are buying these up and turning them into permanent storage spaces, apartments and even food venues. With a little imagination, you can use your shipping container for so much more than just shipping; however, they are pretty great for shipping too!