If you’re in the market for a shipping container, you may be wondering how much is a shipping container costs, as it has become increasingly popular for business and residential uses such as homes, offices, agricultural uses, or even pop-up shops. 

As versatile as they are, it’s essential to understand the costs involved in acquiring one. The cost of a shipping container can vary depending on a number of factors, including its size, type, condition, location, and modifications. 

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the factors that affect shipping container prices, the different types of containers, and ways to save on costs, so that you can make an informed decision.

Let’s dive in!!!!!

How Much Is a Shipping Container Cost?

The average cost of a shipping container ranges from $1300 to $7800, depending on several factors such as size, age, condition, modifications, whether new or used, and delivery fees. 

It is important to note that shipping containers with a price tag less than $1,000 may have many faults that may not be repairable. Before purchasing a shipping container, it is critical to inspect it for any damages or flaws that may affect its use.

Customized models can add $250-$2,500+ to the cost of the shipping container, according to the ShippingContainerTool website. A highly modified shipping container costs more than a standard one.

Again, we provide details on how much shipping containers cost based on various factors, so you will have a better understanding.  

Factors That Impact Shipping Container Prices

Here are 14 factors that impact shipping container prices, so you know exactly what to negotiate on when comparing quotes and closing deals with shipping container suppliers. 

FactorDetailsHow This Factor Affects Price
1. Size and TypeShipping container prices vary depending on size (10ft, 20ft, 40ft) and type (standard, high cube, refrigerated, open-top, etc.). Bigger and specialized containers are more expensive.High
2. ConditionContainers are sold in different conditions: new (one-trip), cargo-worthy, wind and water tight, and as-is. Prices are higher for containers in better condition.High
3. AgeThe age of the shipping container affects its price. Newer containers are more expensive, while older ones with more wear and tear are cheaper.Medium
4. MaterialShipping containers are usually made of steel or aluminum. Steel containers are more durable and cost-effective, while aluminum containers are lighter but more expensive.Medium
5. Demand and AvailabilityThe market demand and availability of shipping containers in a particular region can greatly impact their prices. High demand or low supply can lead to increased costs.High
6. Seasonal FactorsDuring peak shipping seasons, the demand for containers increases, leading to higher prices. Conversely, off-peak seasons may see lower prices due to reduced demand.Medium
7. Currency Exchange RatesInternational trade can be affected by currency exchange rates. Fluctuating rates can lead to changes in shipping container prices, especially for imported containers.Low
8. Freight ChargesFreight charges for transporting the container to the buyer’s location can influence the overall price. Longer distances and more complex routes result in higher costs.Medium
9. Modifications and CustomizationsShipping containers can be modified for various purposes (e.g., offices, homes, storage units). Customizations and added features can increase the overall cost.Medium
10. Government Regulations and TariffsImport duties, taxes, and regulations can impact shipping container prices. Some countries may impose additional tariffs or restrictions that increase costs.Low
11. Manufacturer ReputationThe reputation and reliability of the container manufacturer can influence prices. Well-established manufacturers with high-quality products may charge a premium.Medium
12. Environmental FactorsEnvironmental factors, such as extreme temperatures or humidity, can affect the longevity and durability of a shipping container, potentially impacting its price.Low
13. Warranty and After-sales SupportThe presence of a warranty and the quality of after-sales support from the manufacturer or seller can affect the container’s price. A good warranty and support may command a higher price.Low
14. Market CompetitionThe level of competition among sellers in the market can influence container prices. A more competitive market may result in lower prices due to sellers vying for customers.Medium
Factors That Impact Shipping Container Prices

Types of Shipping Containers and Their Estimated Cost

TypeDetailsEstimated Cost* (USD)
1. Standard (Dry)Common containers for general cargo, various sizes.$1,500 to $3,500 (20ft)
$4,500 to $7,900 (40ft)
2. High CubeTaller standard containers for bulky, lightweight cargo.$3,000 – $4,000 (20ft)
$4,100 to $8,000(40ft)
3. Refrigerated (Reefer)Temperature-controlled containers for perishable goods.$8,000 – $12,000 (20ft)
$12,000 – $19,500 (40ft)
4. Open TopRemovable top for loading oversized cargo from above.$1,500 to $3,500 (20ft)
$2,500 to $4,500 (40ft)
5. Flat RackCollapsible sides, no roof, for oversized, heavy cargo.Not available
Not available
6. Insulated (Thermal)Insulated walls for temperature-sensitive cargo.Not available
Not available(40ft)
7. TankDesigned for liquid or gaseous cargo, built to regulations.Not available (20ft)
8. Double DoorDoors at both ends, available in standard and high cube.3,000 – 5,500 (20ft)
5,000 – 9,000 (40ft)
Types of Shipping Containers and Their Estimated Cost

**Please note that the estimated costs provided in the table are for reference purposes only and can vary depending on factors such as condition, age, location, and market demand. Always consult with a shipping container supplier for accurate pricing.

New Vs. Used Containers Pricing Breakdown

According to UNCTAD, Review of Maritime Transport, 89% of the production of shipping containers comes in two standard sizes, which are 20 ft and 40 ft. 

For that reason, we decided to only provide estimated prices for only 20 ft and 40 ft new and used containers. 

New Containers

New containers are the most expensive option because they are brand new and have never been used for shipping. A new 20-foot container costs between $3,000 and $5,000, while a 40-foot container costs between $6,000 and $8,000. 

Here are some reasons for high prices to think about.

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Increased demand
  • Customization requirements
  • Transportation costs
  • Rising material costs.
  • Shortage of skilled labor

Used Containers

Used containers are more budget-friendly and are available in various conditions. A used 20-foot container can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000, while a 40-foot container ranges from $2,500 to $5,000. 

Here is a nice table that provides details.

Container SizeNew Container Price RangeUsed Container Price RangeDimension
20 ft shipping containers cost$2,800 – $3,400$1,500 – $2,00020ft x 8ft x 8.5ft (LxWxH)
40 ft. shipping containers cost
$4,200 – $5,400$2,500 – $3,50040ft x 8ft x 8.5ft (LxWxH)

Ways to Save on Shipping Container Costs

Here are some ways to save on shipping container costs:

  • Buy used: Used containers are more affordable than new ones, making them a cost-effective option if the container’s condition is suitable for your needs.
  • Compare prices: Shop around and get quotes from multiple suppliers to find the best deal on your shipping container.
  • Negotiate: Some suppliers may be willing to negotiate on the price of shipping containers, especially if you are purchasing multiple containers or are a repeat customer. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price
  • Purchase locally: Buying from a local supplier can help you save on transportation and delivery costs.
  • Rent or lease: If you only need a container for a short period, consider renting or leasing to save on upfront costs.
  • Buy in bulk: If you require multiple containers, negotiating a bulk purchase with a supplier can lead to significant savings.


frequently asked questions

Can I negotiate the price of a shipping container?

Yes, it’s possible to negotiate the price of a shipping container with the supplier, especially if you’re buying in bulk or during a slow sales period.

What is the lifespan of a shipping container?

A well-maintained shipping container can last up to 25 years or more, depending on its usage and the environmental conditions it’s exposed to.

Is it cheaper to buy or rent a shipping container?

Renting a shipping container can be more cost-effective if you only need it for a short period of time. However, if you plan to use the container for an extended period of time or make significant modifications, purchasing it may be the better option.