8 Things to Look for in a Good Shipping Container Supplier

8 Things to Look for in a Good Shipping Container Supplier
  • Whether you're looking for a shipping container to transport cargo or for storage purposes, you're going to need to deal with a shipping container supplier.
  • You should search for shipping container suppliers that are established, reputable and stock a variety of container types such as Tiger Containers.
  • Look for warranties or guarantees, and deal with suppliers with nearby depots to save shipping cost. If you want to modify your shipping container, go with a supplier who can also work on modification to save money.
  • Use this guide to learn what to look when searching for a shipping container and some tips for choosing the best supplier company to hire.

You might be looking to hire or buy a new or used shipping container to transport cargo, or maybe you need the container for storage or other purposes. No matter what your end goal is for your shipping container, you must deal with a shipping container supplier to get your hands on one.

How to choose a shipping container 

In this post, we’ll be taking a brief look at things to consider when searching for a supplier and a container, what to look out for and some tips for choosing the best company to buy or hire through.

Things to consider before you buy a shipping container

There are two things to consider before you buy a shipping container.

1. Determine your needs

Unless you’ve already worked everything out and are ready to start contacting suppliers, first, you’ll have to think about a few things, as your choices will dictate which supplier you choose. For example, what do you need the shipping container for? Is it better to just hire one temporarily rather than buying a new or used cargo container?

If you are looking to modify a container for another purpose, then you’ll need to buy the container. In this instance, it’s better to find a supplier that has an expert team of re-modellers to carry out the container conversions. You’ll often find you get a better deal overall if you can buy and refurbish your container through the same company rather than hiring a separate company to modify and refurbish your shipping container.

2. Consider the various types of shipping containers

Another thing you’ll want to consider is the type of shipping container and the size. Most people just want a standard size, and often a 20-footer, but there are other types such as:

  • High cube containers
  • Reefer containers (refrigerated)
  • Side loading containers
  • Top loading shipping containers
  • Flat pack containers
  • Dangerous goods containers

types of shipping container

Infographic By: Tiger Containers

If you are planning on buying a used shipping container, you also need to be aware of what the various quality grades mean. If you’re unsure about this, just choose an A-Grade used container to be safe. That’s the highest quality.

Choosing a shipping container supplier or manufacturer

You also need to weigh up several factors before you choose which shipping container supplier or manufacturer to go with.

3. Understand how established the shipping container supplier is

This is important as you should be dealing with a company that not only knows the business, but also has the experience and a good reputation in the business.

It’s also extremely hard to dig up any information on a new company to determine if they’re worth dealing with. While there’s nothing wrong with doing business with a brand new company, it’s the unknown that could present a problem. It’s best to play it safe and find a company that’s been in business for at least several years or more.

4. Review the supplier’s reputation

One of the best ways to discover if a company is legitimate and good to deal with is to search for independent reviews and recommendations online.

Just reading testimonials on a company website isn’t enough, as you don’t know how credible those testimonials are. You want independent feedback from people who have nothing to gain from heaping praises to a shipping container supplier.

Don’t be put off if you come across a few negative reviews. Even the very best company will get a few negative feedbacks. You need to weigh up the positives versus the negatives. If the company gets way more genuine praise than criticism, you can be pretty sure they’re worthwhile dealing with.

5. Evaluate the final price

You need to compare prices between several shipping container companies to figure out what the industry average is for both new shipping containers and used ones of various quality grades. Obviously, the size of the cargo container will affect the price as well.

Now, just because one company might be cheaper than another, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the company you should go with. A company that’s a little higher in price may have built up a stronger reputation. They may even include delivery of the shipping container in the total price.

Choosing the right company shouldn’t be based on just price alone, as you want to team up with a supplier who is easy to deal with, helpful and has the experience to solve any problems you might have.

6. Ensure there is a warranty or guarantee

Whether it’s a new, used container or one that you intend to modify, you want the peace of mind that the company you’re dealing with will stand by their work and reputation, and that there is some sort of warranty period on the container they supply you. Without any form of warranty or guarantee, you’re on your own if something’s not right or how it should be. You have no fallback.

7. Review the supplier’s location

Is it an Australian-based shipping container supplier? And if so, does the company have various depots sprinkled around the country or just one central location? If they only have the one depot and it’s on the other side of the country to where you’re located, you’re going to be up for hefty delivery fees and lengthy delivery time.

Likewise, if you’re in Western Australia, then you really want to choose a shipping container supplier that has a depot somewhere within the state.

8. Do your research: What containers do they offer?

You need to be able to buy or hire the exact type of container you want, whether it’s new or used, a 20-foot container or 40-foot container, high cube, refrigerated, etc. What you want to know is that your supplier has your needs covered. It’s best to deal with a supplier that can work on modifications as well, in case you’re planning on modifying the container, or need it later down the line.

Those are some basic tips on what to consider and look out for when choosing a shipping container supplier. Just do your homework and don’t rush into buying or hiring a container and you’ll be fine. At the end of the day, you want to deal with the very best company that can take care of all your requirements, now and into the future.


To buy or hire shiping containers

Infographic By: Tiger Containers

Ashley Bryan

Owner at

Owner of Website Strategies, providing website optimisation services for Australian and NZ businesses.