Storage containers are built for durability; hence, secondhand containers can be perfectly acceptable alternatives to brand new ones. When buying secondhand, keep in mind that the determining factor for the price is often the container’s age and condition. There are several ways to determine the age of the storage container.
First is to check the door. In the early 90’s, manufacturers have ceased manufacturing flat doors in favor of corrugated versions. If a container has flat doors, then chances are they are much older models. The second way to determine a container’s age is by checking its CSS plate in which you’ll find its manufacturing date. Think of the CSS plate as the container’s passport, which is necessary in order to transport it internationally.
If you are buying the container for shipping purposes, remember that it must have a valid CSS plate. It is common for used containers to have expired CSC plates. If this is the case, determine whether the seller will be able to renew them.
Buying a newer container does not necessarily guarantee that it is in a better shape. The condition of the container is affected by several major factors such as the number of miles it has traveled, the environment and the handling. Some portable storage cubicles may have been used a lot for moving cargo while some may have spent more time in ports.
Naturally, a container, which has travelled in extreme climates, will manifest more wear and tear. Careless handling by forklift operators causes internal and external damages on the containers. Another factor that can greatly influence the state of the container is the cargo that has been previously stored inside it.
Storage containers that have been utilized once for cargo and then sold are called “one-trip” containers. Consider purchasing one if you are after an “almost new” condition. However, it would be wise to manage your expectations and anticipate the presence of scratches and scuffs. A “factory paint” label means that a container has been newly painted as opposed to being refurbished.
When a container has been refurbished, it often means that the flaking rust has merely been concealed. If so, then it is only a matter of time before the paint begins to peel and the holes start to appear.
Storage containers that are meant to be used frequently must have doors that can be closed and opened with ease. When buying used containers, be sure to check the locking mechanism yourself. Certify that the handles for unlocking the storage container and the vertical rods used for locking them are not bent.
Inspect the hinges as well and determine if the doors swing smoothly. Don’t forget to test both doors. The container’s roof must be checked from the inside for dents. If possible, go on top of the roof and examine it there. Keep an eye out for areas that may collect water and subsequently cause rusting.
Storage containers should have intact gaskets that seal up firmly. When buying used ones, you will sometimes find that a piece of the outer gasket has been removed. In this case, make sure that the internal gasket remains undamaged in order to ensure a watertight seal. Remember that rust often develops where the gasket and the door is connected.
One way to determine whether a container is genuinely watertight is by locking yourself inside it in broad daylight. By doing this, you’ll be able to see even the small holes on the container. Also, beware of holes hiding beneath surface rust.
Learning these simple tips will not just prevent you from wasting time and money on a sub-quality product. It will also help you in preparing for necessary maintenance needs when you buy a secondhand container.