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How to Buy Shipping Containers Wholesale: Guide for Businesses

Nina Barango
Jun 6, 2024
12 mins
Table of Contents

In today's global marketplace, businesses often require shipping containers for various purposes like transporting goods, creating storage solutions, or repurposing containers for innovative projects.


Purchasing shipping containers wholesale can offer a cost-effective solution for businesses needing multiple units. This option allows buyers to save on per-unit costs due to the lower prices offered by wholesalers. It also helps avoid reseller markups and provides more value for money, particularly when buying in bulk.


In this guide we will cover everything you need to know about buying shipping containers wholesale to meet your business needs.

Understanding Wholesale Shipping Containers

A shipping container wholesaler is a company that purchases directly from shipping container lines in large quantities and then sells to customers. Wholesalers usually sell 20ft and 40ft standard and high-cube shipping containers. They also offer specialty containers such as reefers, double door, open top, open side, side door, and flat rack.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Wholesale Shipping Containers

1. Purpose: Determine the intended use of the containers, whether it's for shipping, storage, or other creative purposes.

2. Size and Specifications: Assess the size, dimensions, and specifications required for your business operations.

3. Budget: Define your budget and explore wholesale options that align with your financial goals.

4. Quality: Inspect the quality of containers to ensure they meet industry standards and your business needs.

5. Supplier Reputation: Research suppliers' reputation, reliability, and customer reviews before making a purchase.

6. Delivery and Logistics: Consider logistics, transportation, and delivery options for transporting containers to your location.

Benefits of Buying Shipping Containers Wholesale

1. Cost Savings: Buying shipping containers in bulk from wholesalers is usually more cost-effective due to the multi-unit discounts they offer. These discounts often depend on the number of containers bought, such as orders of 5 or 10 containers, resulting in significant savings.


2. Convenience: Working with a shipping container wholesaler can simplify the purchase process for large orders. Rather than multiple transactions with a retailer, a singular bulk order can be placed with a wholesaler, saving time and effort. Wholesalers are also experienced in managing the logistics and delivery of large orders, a task that can be challenging for retailers and local depots selling only a few containers.


3. Customization Options: A reputable shipping container wholesaler will typically offer a range of container sizes and types, to cater to different needs. Some suppliers might also offer additional services such as container modifications and customization. These services allow businesses to tailor containers to their specific needs, including the addition of roll-up doors, ventilation, heating/air conditioning, insulation, or converting the container into a specific structure.


4. Long-Term Relationships and Expert Advice: The nature of a shipping container wholesaler’s business often leads to establishing long-term relationships for consistent partnerships, whether with businesses or individuals. This is key for business scalability if that’s a priority for you. But it’s also important for any future customer support or questions you may have during or after the purchase process. Wholesalers are well-versed in the shipping container market and can provide valuable advice and industry insights based on their experience.

How to Buy a Shipping Container Wholesale

So, you've determined that purchasing shipping containers wholesale best suits your needs. Great! Here's what you can expect from the process:

Step 1: Assess Your Needs

As we mentioned, shipping container wholesalers typically offer a wide range of options to choose from. Before making a selection, consider your needs and determine the most suitable size and type of container. Here are a few things to consider:


New vs. used: Choosing between a new or used shipping container depends on your budget, use, and what you value most. New containers last longer and are good for long-term use, however, they are more expensive. Used containers, on the other hand, are cheaper and great for short-term use or storage.


Sizes: Two of the most common shipping container sizes are 20ft and 40ft. For extra-large cargo, 40ft new high cubes may be more suitable. To learn more about shipping container dimensions, check out this guide.


Special types: There are nearly endless options for shipping container uses, and certain applications will be better suited for specialized container types. For example, if you’re transporting oversized cargo you may need an open-top container, while repurposing the shipping container to build a bar or restaurant may call for a double-door container.

Remember, if you feel overwhelmed, write down what you need and proceed to step 2. Any reputable company will be able to offer expert guidance on the right container(s) for your needs.
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Step 2: Research Where to Buy Shipping Containers Wholesale

Buying shipping containers from a wholesaler can be cost-effective but it’s still an investment. It's important to work with a trusted supplier to get expert advice, quality containers, and avoid hidden costs or scams.


When conducting your research, here are a few things to keep in mind:


1. Check reviews, both overall ratings and specific customer feedback.


2. Talk with someone who can answer all your questions professionally and offer you references (or pictures) of past customers who have purchased from them.


3. Look at the types of containers they offer. Does it seem like they have a wide variety of container types and sizes available?


4. Inquire about the buying and delivery process.

Step 3: Evaluate Pricing

Once you’re working with a wholesaler you trust, everything else should be pretty easy as they guide you through the process. As you talk through pricing, however, keep in mind that a variety of factors can influence shipping container costs, from the size of your order to location and market.

Where to Buy Wholesale Shipping Containers

1. Direct from Manufacturers

Directly purchasing from manufacturers often ensures competitive pricing and access to a wide range of container options.

2. Wholesale Container Suppliers

Specialized suppliers or dealers offer bulk purchasing options and may provide additional services such as customization or delivery.

3. Online Marketplaces

Online platforms like Boxhub, make it easy for businesses and individuals to buy shipping containers wholesale. You can simply choose the size, type (standard, high-cube or specialty) and condition (new or used) of the containers you need and have them delivered, all in a couple of clicks. 

4. Local Dealers and Auctions

Local dealerships or auction houses may have bulk containers available for sale, offering the advantage of inspecting the containers in person.

Conclusion

Purchasing shipping containers wholesale offers businesses a cost-effective solution for acquiring multiple units while meeting their logistical and operational needs. By considering factors such as purpose, budget, and supplier reputation, businesses can make informed decisions when buying wholesale shipping containers. Remember to thoroughly research suppliers, inspect container quality, and explore customization options to ensure you find the best wholesale shipping container solution for your business. With careful planning and strategic purchasing, businesses can leverage wholesale containers to optimize their operations and drive growth in an increasingly competitive market.


For wholesale purchases of 5 or more shipping containers, Boxhub offers a 5% discount. If you have any questions about specific deals for containers in your area, please contact us today.

About Nina Barango

Nina Barango is an experienced content marketer and container expert with a proven track record in the tech and logistics industry. Having worked with various startups and SMEs, she bridges the world of marketing, tech and shipping containers. When she's not creating content that'll revolutionize global container trade, you can find Nina reading a book or mastering her video editing skills.

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