Nowadays shipping containers are very popular, as they can be used not only for cargo transportation but also as a warehouse for storing goods, production raw materials, and equipment. Increasingly, shipping containers began to be purchased for the construction of commercial premises and for the creation of temporary residential structures (construction change houses, garages, cottages, etc.) For such purposes, 40-foot containers are one of the most common. In this article, we will tell you how to choose a 40′ high cube shipping container for business purposes.

How To Choose A Shipping Container 40 Feet - shipping, proportions, door integrity, corrosion, container

Features of a 40-foot shipping container

The structure of a 40-foot shipping container is a steel frame sheathed with profiled metal sheets, treated with an anti-corrosion agent, and connected by welding. Thanks to this, 40-foot shipping containers are completely sealed and have a long service life.

The impermeability of the container is complemented by steel doors, which are securely sealed. Also, container doors have one of the main functions – they are designed in such a way that they allow loading and unloading cargo without unnecessary difficulties since they open completely to the entire width of the container.

The floor is important in the design of the container. Its structure is completely made of wood, using heat-insulating materials, which creates low resistance to mechanical and chemical stress.

Nowadays, you can not only buy 40′ high shipping containers but also rent, if their use is required for temporary transportation work. For an accurate understanding of how to use a shipping container, its further purpose is taken into account. In the case of cargo transportation, when purchasing a 40-foot container, the amount of cargo is calculated and its type and technical characteristics are taken into account.

When buying or renting a new 40-foot shipping container, as such, special attention to the choice is not required. The reason for this is the absence of factors that could violate its integrity and functionality. When purchasing or renting a container, documents are provided with a detailed description of its characteristics, on the basis of which a full package of documents is issued for further actions.

Since a new type of container does not require special inspection, in this article we will step by step analyze how to choose a used 40-foot shipping container for its purchase or rent.

Things to consider while choosing a 40-foot shipping container

The main criterion is capacity. Standard sizes of shipping containers are 20 and 40 feet. The direct purpose of the container is the transportation and storage of goods. Therefore, the first step in choosing a shipping container should be the correspondence of the volumes of containers and cargo to each other. The most popular choice is often the 40-foot designs, but be aware that they are significantly more expensive.

First of all, when choosing a 40-foot shipping container, its age, conditions of use, and storage before sale are taken into account.

The best option for choosing a shipping container is special terminals, which provide the opportunity to select and carefully inspect containers. Shipping container terminals often provide a container loading and transportation service, which facilitates the purchase and saves time and money. However, you can contact Pelican Containers to buy new or used shipping containers.

Having chosen, at first glance, a more suitable shipping container, it is necessary to examine the state of its construction.

Based on a complete description of the structure, it is necessary to identify the absence of the following damage:

1. Hotspots of corrosion

With corrosion damage, the use of the container becomes impractical. There are risks in the transportation of goods that can lead to the destruction of the integrity of the cargo. In some cases, such damages are easily repaired, depending on their size and quantity.

2. Door integrity

Since the doors are the only moving place in the container, their condition is not unimportant. Due to damage to the doors, the main functionality of the container is violated.

3. Preservation of geometric proportions

When moving containers with a crane, there are cases of collision with nearby objects, for example, due to weather conditions. Then their design is broken and the proportions are distorted. In many cases, this is repairable damage and does not entail particularly dire consequences in the use of containers, if it is repaired in time.

Be sure to examine the selected shipping container for the absence of leakage. Taken together, the above criteria can violate the tightness of the container, which reduces the period of its use and minimizes the safety of the cargo. Since the container is designed to transport cargo in a large volume in order to maintain its proper quality.

To avoid unpleasant situations when buying or renting a shipping container, without fail, the seller must provide a certain set of documents:

4. Copy of the cargo customs declaration

A strictly established document that indicates information about the movement of goods purchased by the buyer across the borders of another country.

5. Bill of lading

This is an accounting document that contains the complete information of the seller and the buyer and the name of the sold goods with the date and time of its transfer to the buyer.

6. Contract of sale

It details the parties involved in the transaction and the terms and conditions of the transaction.

7. Invoice

A document that details the transfer of money for the shipment of goods, after receipt by the buyer.


The demand for shipping containers 40 feet, in a state of being in use, today is very high. Therefore, the choice must be careful and attentive. If one of the container selection criteria is not met, the risk of conducting an unsafe, useless and impractical transaction increases.

When purchasing a 40-foot shipping container, you need to contact only trusted companies that have a demand for services and provide the entire set of documents that, without various excuses, can provide the opportunity to select and inspect the container personally. The Pelican Containers company is one of the few companies in the container USA market that to the qualities described above, our specialists will select containers for you in accordance with your requests, load the container, deliver it, and unload it at the address you specified.