If you’re in the market for a shipping container, you’re likely scratching your head over how much it’s going to cost. The recent surge in popularity for container homes, offices, pop-up shops, and agricultural applications has made clarification on pricing increasingly important. If this feels like trying to navigate a cluttered maze of varying prices and factors, don’t worry – I’m here to guide you through it.

The cost of shipping containers can swing widely, anywhere from $1,299 to $8,500, mainly dependent on its size, condition, and the type you opt for. To get the most accurate idea of what a specific container might cost, it’s wise to go straight to the source and contact suppliers directly for a quote. To get multiple quotes from suppliers near your area, fill out the form below. You’ll also save on delivery costs. 

Minimum CostAverage CostMaximum Cost

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the specifics of price ranges for the most common enquiries – new and used 20-foot and 40-foot containers. I’ll also give you some pointers on how to cut those costs and more.

How Much is a Shipping Container Cost?

If you’re in the market for a new or used shipping container, beware: prices can fluctuate significantly. Much depends on factors like the container’s size, condition, location, and any modifications it might have. Here’s the lowdown: a used 20ft container will likely set you back somewhere between $1,000 and $1,600.

If you need something bigger, a 40ft used container usually comes in between $1,500 and $2,500. When you compare these prices with those for new containers — where 20ft ones cost around $2,500 – $3,500, and 40ft ones stand at $4,000 – $6,000 — it’s easy to see that buying used can save you big bucks.

But buyer beware: not all used containers are created equal. They come with ratings such as cargo-worthy, wind and watertight, or as-is. If you’re looking to ship goods, you’ll want a cargo-worthy container. But if you’re planning on using it for storage, then those specifications might not matter as much to you.

Cost Factors That  Influencing Shipping Container Prices

If you’re thinking about buying a shipping container, getting to grips with the associated expenses is key. It’s not just about how much you’ll pay upfront, but also what factors can sway that price and whether there are savvy ways to trim the bill.

So, let’s jump right in and unravel the complexities of shipping container pricing – consider this your roadmap to making an informed and cost-effective decision.

Cost Factors That Impact Shipping Container Prices

Type of Shipping Containers

If you’re eyeballing shipping containers, you should know that the price tag can change big time, depending on the type you go for. Your basic, run-of-the-mill container is typically the cheapest option, but if you need something a bit special – like a refrigerated or insulated one – you’re looking at a steeper price. High cube containers, with their bonus headroom, are going to cost you more than your standard, too. And then there are containers with open tops or sides – they’re super handy, but that extra engineering to make them so comes at a price.

So, when you’re shopping for a container, think about what you need it for and what your budget can handle.

TypeDescriptionCommon SizesAverage Cost
Dry Storage ContainerMost common type, used for dry goods of all kinds10ft, 20ft, 40ft$1.600 – $3,000
High Cube Dry ContainerTaller than standard dry cargo containers, these are used for lightweight cargo20ft, 40ft$2,000 – $5,000
Refrigerated ISO ContainerUsed for goods which require temperature control20ft, 40ft$6,000 – $10,000
Insulated or Thermal ContainerComes with a regulated temperature control allowing for a higher temperature range20ft, 40ft$1,000 – $4,500
Tank ContainerUsed for liquids such as fuels and chemicalsVariable$7,000 – $12,000


Common sizes are 20-foot and 40-foot containers – the smaller ones are usually more affordable because they use less material and require less resource to manufacture. But here’s the catch, a larger container like a 40-foot one, even though more expensive upfront, could end up being more cost-effective if you need all that extra space, since you’re essentially paying less per square foot. Just keep in mind that bigger containers might need a stronger foundation and more time for modifications, so don’t forget to add these into the overall cost. The key is to figure out your size needs from the get-go so you can plan your budget and maybe even score some savings.

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


Why are some shipping containers pricier than others? It all comes down to their condition. Containers can be everything from cargo-worthy to wind and watertight, or even just as-is. A cargo-worthy container, ready to ship goods across the ocean, will definitely have a heftier price tag. But, if you look into ‘as-is’ containers, they might not hold up for storage, but they’ll definitely lighten the load on your wallet. A handy tip to remember is that used containers can slide the price down by up to 50% when compared to new ones. So, figuring out your specific needs and choosing a container in the condition that meets them could seriously save you some bucks when purchasing a shipping container.

Location and Delivery 

It’s super important to consider how the location of your supplier can impact the overall price of your shipping container. Why, you ask? Well, it’s all about delivery costs. If your supplier is just around the corner, the transportation costs will be pretty low. But if they’re on the other side of the country, or even overseas, you’re looking at higher delivery costs. 

Major Cost Factor Alert: Where your supplier is based plays a big role in determining delivery charges. Are they miles away? If so, you might need to shell out more for delivery, which bumps up your total costs. On the flip side, if you choose a local supplier, you’re likely to save on these delivery costs.

So, don’t forget this little nugget of wisdom: that bargain you snagged on a cheaper container could be obliterated by the delivery costs of getting it from a far-off supplier! When you’re figuring out the costs of your shipping container, always factor in the supplier’s location and delivery costs.

Additional Shipping Containers Costs to Consider

Before diving headfirst into your shipping container adventure, there’s more to account for than just the price tag of the container itself. Unforeseen expenses such as site preparation, permits, customizations, and modifications may pop up during your journey. Let me break down these costs for you so you can budget wisely. 

Site Preparation 

Getting the foundation right is a must for the longevity of your shipping container, which may involve grading and leveling your land costing anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. You might also need to smack down a concrete pad for an additional $3,000 to $7,000. And hey, let’s not forget about the electricity- those hookups can run between $500 to $2,000. 


Laws and permits vary based on locale, so you’re looking at a usual permit range of $100 to $500. Do make sure to give your local government a call to get the low-down on what you need to do. 


Let’s talk modifications. Need doors or windows on your shipping container? That could be $500 to $1,600 a pop. Insulation climbs between $4 to $16 per square foot, and interior wall framing finds itself at $10 to $20 a linear foot. Electrical wiring and plumbing can range from $8 to $15 and $15 to $30 a linear foot, respectively.

Installing HVAC? You might be shelling out a cool $5,000 to $12,500. And hey, for shelving and racking, you’re looking at $100 to $500 a unit. 


Want a splash of personality on your container? Customization costs can get tricky. A splash of custom paint could run you from $1,000 to $4,000. Retractable awnings land between a cool $1,500 to $2,500. As for a touch of custom flooring? Expect to shell out around $4 to $12 per square foot. 


Security is no joke. You might need to bulk up on locks, costing you between $150 and $500 per door. As for ticking off that alarm system on your to-do list, that’s usually around $750 to $2,000. 


Don’t overlook the need for consistent care and upkeep. Just like any investment, taking care of your shipping container is critical to its longevity. Maintenance costs, though, can vary wildly based on your specific container, its location, and how you’re using it. 

So, there you have it! Gauging the real cost of this venture can be a bit of a brain teaser with all the varied costs coming into play. But hey, with a meticulous plan and an effective budget, you can confidently navigate through these expenses and propel your shipping container project to success.

How much does a 20 foot shipping container cost?

Alright, you’re here because you’re wondering, ‘How much is this 20-foot shipping container going to set me back?’ Well, friend, there’s a few things you’ve got to consider. Things like is it brand-spanking new or has it seen a bit of life (used)? What’s the condition like? And of course, are you planning to customize it or use it as is? 

New 20-foot shipping containers? Expect to cough up anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000. They’re fresh off the production line, squeaky clean, and ready to go without needing any fix-ups or alterations.  

But if you’re a bit of a savvy saver, you might want to check out used 20-foot shipping containers. These guys are typically cheaper, ranging between $1,500 and $3,000. Just remember, though, that you might need to roll up your sleeves and give it a bit of TLC depending on its condition.  

Finally, don’t forget about the custom stuff. Planning to add some extra doors or windows? Maybe some insulation or a custom paint job? Or even some interior framing? All of these will add to your final price tag, so be sure to factor them in your budget.

Note: Always consider requesting quotes from multiple suppliers to ensure you’re getting the best price possible for your shipping container. 

Here’s a simple table to help you estimate costs: 

ConditionPrice Range
New$3,000 – $5,000
Used$1,500 – $3,000

Keep in mind, these are just average prices and actual costs can vary based on various factors as mentioned earlier.

How much does a 40 foot shipping container cost?

When it comes to choosing a 40-foot shipping container, whether for a home, office, or other commercial purposes, you’ll notice prices can vary significantly. This is often due to factors such as the container’s condition, meaning whether it’s brand new or preloved, as well as things like its location and your unique customization needs.  

New Containers: If you favor durability and that new-container-smell, prepare to pay a bit extra. A shiny new 40-foot container will generally cost you around $6,000 to $8,000. However, while this might seem steep at first, bear in mind you’re paying for a container that’s in mint condition and ready to serve your needs for years to come.  

Used Containers: On the flip side, grabbing a 40-foot used container can save your wallet some strain, with cost usually ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. While it’s definitely a more affordable option, don’t forget to give the container a thorough check for signs of wear and tear or damages before buying. After all, even though a used container can be a real bargain, you’ll still want to make sure it’s up to the task and will last you for the long haul.

New 40 Ft Container CostUsed 40 Ft Container Cost
$6,000 – $8,000$2,500 – $5,000

New containers carry a higher price tag due to their pristine condition, never having been used for shipping. They are completely free of any wear and tear, ready to be customized to

Container TypeAverage Price Range
New 40ft Container$6,000-$8,000
Used 40ft Container$2,500-$5,000

Let’s not forget that the initial purchase price isn’t the end of your costs. You also need to factor in delivery, site preparation, potential modifications, and possible permit fees into your overall budget. Plus, it’s worthwhile to hunt for a local supplier or keep an eye out for seasonal sales – it could net you a decent saving. Remember that the cost of new containers can also be influenced by things like transportation expenses and fluctuating material costs.

New Vs. Used Containers Pricing Breakdown

New Containers 

If you’re looking at brand-new, never-before-used containers, you’re looking at the most expensive option. Straight off the production line, a 20-foot container can set you back between $3,000 and $5,000. If you need a larger 40-foot container, expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000. Remember though, these numbers aren’t set in stone; actual costs can fluctuate depending on several factors. 

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Demand surges
  • Customization requirements
  • Transportation costs
  • Rising material costs
  • Shortage of skilled labor

Used Containers 

If the price tags on new containers seem quite hefty, used containers can be your saving grace. They’re significantly more budget-friendly, and depending on your requirements, a high-quality used container could be an excellent purchase. Typically, a used 20-foot container can set you back anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000, while a 40-foot container can cost between $2,500 to $5,000. 

Remember, the price of used containers is influenced by their condition, demand, and availability.

Here’s a handy table to give you a clearer perspective on the pricing ranges for new and used containers: 

Container SizeNew Container Price RangeUsed Container Price Range
20 ft shipping container$2,800 – $3,400$1,500 – $2,000
40 ft shipping container$4,200 – $5,400$2,500 – $3,500


As you consider your budget and shipping container needs, it’s important to weigh these costs and choose the option that aligns closely with your needs and financial preferences.

Ways to Reduce Shipping Container Costs

Money matters. When you’re hunting for shipping containers, you want the best bang for your buck. So how can you save some cash? Here’s some advice to help you keep those dollars in your pocket. 

used shipping container cost
  • Score Some Used Containers: Used containers can be just as good as new. And guess what? They’re loads cheaper. Yeah, they’ve been around the block a few times, but they’re built to last. You might find a 40ft used container for somewhere between $2,000- $3,000.
  • Hunt for Seasonal Sales: Just like with any store, shipping container suppliers have some sales seasons. Keep an eye out when the seasons change, you could snag a sweet deal.
  • Skip the Extras: Customizations might seem cool, but they come with a hefty price tag. Stick with the standard features—they usually do the job just fine.
  • Group Up: Ever heard of buying in bulk? Teaming up with others who need containers could help you land an excellent group discount.
  • Buy Local: Delivery costs can be a killer, especially for long distances. Cutting down on these costs by buying from nearby suppliers is a smart move.
  • Shop around: Different suppliers, different prices. Instead of diving headfirst into the first deal you see, get some quotes from different places and compare them.
  • Rent Don’t Buy: If you only need a container for a short while, why not rent instead of buy? Could be a game-changer for your wallet.

These tips could save you money, but remember, cost isn’t everything. The quality, durability, and whether the container fits your needs are all crucial. Don’t compromise functionality for a cheaper price.

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