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A shipping container is an important investment. Asking the vendor these questions will ensure that you find the right shipping container for your needs, whether you’re planning international exports or simply need some extra storage space.
Your Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI) report and International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) plate are your guarantee of the shipping container’s quality.
The CSC set the international standards for containers. After your shipping container has been evaluated according to CSC standards, it will receive both a CSC number and a CSC plate. The plate must be displayed on the container.
Your PTI report confirms that your reefer shipping container is still in good working condition. Unlike the CSC plate, PTIs should be regularly conducted. Once you’ve received your shipping container, you’ll be responsible for future PTIs. However, your vendor should conduct one before handing the container over to you.
If you’re looking for a specialist container, such as a dangerous goods or DNV off-shore container, you may need to ask for additional certifications.
When maintained well, shipping containers last a long time. You can typically expect 10–12 years of use for sea shipping or 25+ years of general use.
There are four grades of shipping container conditions:
Food grade: A food-grade shipping container meets the highest quality standards. It is either new or has never transported goods that could be toxic. Scratches on the outside walls cannot be more than 2mm deep.
Cargo: A cargo-grade shipping container may have some small dents, but it’s still in excellent condition.
WWT: WWT is the minimum grade we recommend using. This guarantees that your shipping container has wind and watertight qualities, i.e. it will keep your goods safe and dry in all weather conditions. It can still be suitable for transporting products, especially if it has a good maintenance history.
As-Is: With an as-is shipping container, there are no quality guarantees. It could have holes, a broken door or extensive rust.
Depending on how much you plan to use the shipping container, it may be more economical to rent or lease it rather than buy it outright. But before you make that decision, carefully review the conditions.
If you choose to rent or lease, you have several options:
One-trip: Ideal for relocations, a one-trip rental allows you to hire a shipping container and transport it to a different location. The vendor will then collect it.
Long-term (3–5 years): If you need the container for more than five years, buying it is normally a better option.
Finance leasing: This option is similar to renting, but it allows you to purchase the shipping container for a reduced price at the end of the contract period. Alternatively, you can return it if you no longer need it. Consider it a try-before-you-buy option.
Check if you need to arrange the collection and, if you’re renting, the return of your shipping container. Ideally, the vendor will be able to arrange both of these. Make sure to also check the price and delivery times.
Windows, electrical outlets, furniture, working toilets, dispensing hatches, bar counters: there are numerous modifications that you might need.
It’s often more economical — and less stressful — to ask your vendor to make these modifications than to contract them from a third party.
A shipping container is a large investment. And if your container doesn’t meet quality standards, it can lead to an even larger loss of goods. Reading reviews from past customers will reassure you that your vendor provides quality shipping containers and excellent customer service.
All reputable vendors will be able to provide testimonials, so don’t hesitate to ask for them.
With our wide range of new and second-hand shipping containers, we can help you find the best container for your needs. All our containers come with CSC plates and PTI reports, and have a minimum WWT quality standard. Plus, we offer quick and affordable shipping, numerous modifications and the guaranteed best price.
To find out more, call us on 1800 433 455 or email email@example.com.