Today’s modern usage of standard shipping containers started during the end of the 1940s and the early 1950s. It was around this time that the U.S. Military, as well as many major shipping operators were beginning to design shipping units to help them safely transport cargo around the world.
During WWII, the U.S. Military had begun experimenting with steel containers to ship their supplies to the front lines of the war.
Until then, cargo was often being delayed at ports because of the time it took to load and offload everything individually, and in addition to this, the supplies were often pilfered or damaged during transit.
Starting in 1948, the U.S. Army Transportation Corps first designed and created what was known as the “Transporter”.
It was a solid, corrugated steel shipping container, had double doors at one end, was mounted on skid skis, and had four lifting rings on the top corners of the unit. The Transporter was capable of carrying a total of 9,000 pounds of cargo.
The Transporter was used successfully throughout the Korean War and was eventually developed into what is known as the Container Express (CONEX) box system in 1952.
CONEX boxes were designed with the same dimensions as the Transporter containers, however, they were made to be modular, meaning that they could be safely stacked on top of each other.
By 1965, the U.S. Army had procured about 100,000 CONEX boxes and were still busy procuring more to support the escalating tensions during the Vietnam War. This moment marked the first worldwide application of the intermodal shipping container.
Needless to say, CONEX boxes were extremely useful for the soldiers. Not only were they excellent for being able to protect supplies from the elements, soldiers could also use them as storage or shelter if nothing else was available.
Today, shipping containers and CONEX boxes are used for all sorts of different applications: from shipping supplies and products around the world, through to being converted into tiny homes or being used as backyard storage sheds.
The term “CONEX box” remains most commonly used amongst U.S. military personal, however, it is also used to refer to standard steel shipping containers we see today. Learn more about CONEX boxes here.
CONEX Box Prices
The cost of a Conex box will vary significantly depending on wide variety of factors, which include:
The older a shipping container is, the more likely it is to have some damage or wear and thus, will cost less than a newer container.
Again, containers that have damage or wear present are usually more affordable than those that are in perfect condition.
It should also be noted that a small amount of wear or damage will not necessarily affect the structural integrity of the unit.
However, if a unit has extensive damage or an alarming number of holes, it might be best to reconsider and look for another model.
Shipping containers are used for all sorts of applications aside from shipping. Some are used for storage, while some have simply been sitting, empty and unused for years.
Shipping containers that have been used extensively will generally cost less than a container that has been sitting unused for a while.
Also, if a container was used for commercial shipping, but was damaged in transit or during a shipping accident, it might be sold for a significantly lower price. Just be wary, that containers that were part of shipping accidents could have damage present that might not easily be visible.
Shipping containers come in several different sizes. Standard lengths include 20’, 40’, and 45’ containers and generally, the bigger the container, the more expensive it will be.
There are also high-cube shipping containers, which have an extra foot of height and are extremely popular for people looking to convert their containers into tiny homes. However, these high-cube units usually cost considerably more than standard sizes.
Below, we’ll go over the three main pricing tiers for new and used shipping containers and CONEX boxes. You can also find pricing to buy a shipping container for sale online fast.
The most affordable way to get your hands on a shipping container or CONEX box is to buy one that is used and has some damage present.
These units are sometimes referred to as handyman containers, since they’re best suited to handy men and women who are willing to perform a few minor repairs to get their containers back in proper shape.
Sometimes, these units are damaged during shipping accidents and even though, they may no longer be suitable to shipping freight and cargo, they can still be used for storage.
If you’re looking at purchasing an older or heavily used container, just make sure to perform a thorough inspection on the unit before purchasing it. Be sure to inspect the flooring, walls, and roof to ensure that there are no major holes present.
Damaged or heavily used shipping containers can generally be found ranging between $1,000 and $2,500.
Mid-range shipping containers are units that have been used but are still in decent condition. They may have some minor damage present such as small holes or corrosion, however, the unit’s shell should still be structurally intact.
Used containers that are still in good condition typically range anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000, depending on their size. Learn more about inspecting used shipping containers here: http://www.aadhan.org/blog/2016/7/14/howtoinspectausedcontainer
Buying new or lightly used shipping containers will be significantly more expensive than buying used or damaged models.
New shipping containers, or CONEX boxes, are sometimes referred to as “one-trippers”. This is because they are typically manufactured overseas in countries such as China or Russia. They are initially used to ship cargo across the sea and are then sold as new shipping containers.
Although these units are, in fact, used, they should not present any type of wear and tear or structural damage whatsoever.
New or lightly used containers typically range between $5,000 and $6,000 but can be even more expensive depending if they have any built-in customizations or features.