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Can’t decide between new containers and used containers? Make an informed choice

One of the main things to consider when purchasing a container is whether it is for storage, transportation or construction/conversion. The budget, intended purpose and intended cargo are often important deciding factors when choosing between new and used containers. In this article, we are going to explore the advantages and disadvantages of new containers and used ones.



The life of a new container is around 15 to 20 years whereas used containers usually have 2 to 4 years of life left in them. However, if the cargo to be carried is damaging to the container (HMS for instance), then a used container may be preferable.



A new container comes with a 5 years inspection certificate. Whereas a used container would need a CSC (Container Safety Convention) certification to be done every 6 months to a year to be loaded on many vessels.


Claims and Compensation

When using new containers, the chances of the cargo getting damaged is lower. Whereas with a used container the line runs a higher risk of damage to the cargo, possibly resulting in claims from the shipper.



If a new container gets damaged, the shipping lines can charge the shippers for repairs. But it might be difficult to charge the shipper for repairs if it is an older used container.



When buying new containers, the buyer has the ability to build up his fleet with a uniform color and specification to aid his branding. And since the container will be used for a longer duration it may also make sense to have the line’s decals on the sides to aid branding. Uniformity and decals may be not possible or feasible for used containers.


New containers can be used for any DV cargo whereas used containers may not be suitable for many high value or sensitive cargo types.


We at VS&B, help our customers decide on the type of container that best suits their needs. Besides outright sales, we also offer container rental & container leasing options.