Should You Rent or Buy a Shipping Container?

Shipping containers have a wide variety of uses. However, people wonder if they should rent or buy their shipping containers. This essentially boils down to the individual circumstance and structure required. When deciding whether to buy or rent a shipping container, you need to ask yourself four key questions.

What Kind of Container Structure Do You Need?

Most container rental companies only offer two types of container structures. These types of container structures are offices and storage units. 

Offices typically have an added personnel door, a window, finished walls, and climate control. They usually don’t container a bathroom or additional modifications. A storage unit typically contains operable cargo doors and climate control. 

If you need more modifications added to your shipping container, you’ll probably want to purchase it. Changes can include multiple doors and windows, custom flooring and walls, bathrooms, and kitchenettes. You can also combine or stack containers to add more room.

How Long Will You Use the Structure?

If you only need a structure for weeks, months, or even about a year, it’s usually better to simply rent a shipping container. However, if you need it for over a year, you should consider buying a modified shipping container. 

If you’re planning on permanently installing your shipping container somewhere, you’ll need to buy it. Owning a container will allow you to reuse the structure for a long time and utilize it for different purposes. Most containers have a 25-year lifespan. You can move the container to other cities or different parts of the same location.

What’s Your Budget?

The cost of renting a shipping container can vary depending on the size, age, and modifications required. Storage units typically cost less than container offices because storage units have fewer modifications than offices.

The cost of purchasing a shipping container also varies depending on the size and type of container you choose. 

When comparing the cost of renting a shipping container over a few years versus purchasing a container, it makes more sense to rent a container for a short time. However, buying a container will probably end up costing less if you plan on using it for over a year.

Can You Manage the Container on Your Own?

Your desire and ability to oversee the management of your container play a significant role in choosing to rent or buy a shipping container. Renting typically makes more sense if you prefer not to take complete responsibility of the shipping container. Renting typically allows you to return the container without worrying about maintenance responsibilities. 

If you prefer to maintain complete control over your container, buying might be the better option. If you plan to transport the container on your own terms, or if you want to paint the container, you should consider buying the container. 

Helping You Make the Right Decision

Deciding whether to buy or rent your shipping container can be burdensome. At Storage on Wheels, we can help make that decision easier. We have many varieties of shipping containers available with plenty of modification options. Contact us for more information. 

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