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How to Properly Purchase A Shipping Container, Get it Delivered, and Placed on Its Platform

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How to Properly Purchase A Shipping Container, Get it Delivered, and Placed on Its Platform

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The pricing on standard ISO steel shipping containers depends on your location. You can buy a 20ft shipping container on Craig’s list or E-bay for $1500. In fact, I have seen them as low as $1000. Now remember you will need to not only pay for the transportation but co-ordinate the unloading when the container arrives.
Once you have located your potential shipping container and are satisfied with the price, then you will want to do the following:
1. Have your foundation ready. Remember that the cement foundations require 2-3 weeks to cure before they can support any weight.
2. Co-ordinate the times with the driver of the shipping container and the receiving team on the ground, Crane, backhoe, etc. Most of the machine operators get paid by the hour. You will want to have the units placed on their foundation on the day of delivery to avoid any additional costs of the crane having to return to the site. Also, when coordinating the delivery see if there are flatbed tilt trucks that can just unload the container without a crane.

The inspection of the shipping container is not always an option for most people, they order on line or through the yellow pages. For most container owners, the first time they actually see and/or inspect the container is when its delivered and paid in full. Our company, for example requires that the containers be paid in full before they are loaded on the truck. Even though the above information occurs for the majority of the container clients, this does not mean that you should not ask questions. Make sure to get something in writing regarding the quality of the units and ask for several photos.
Here is a list of excellent questions to ask:
1. Is there any structural damage?
2. Do the doors seal properly?
3. What is the level of rust and corrosion?
4. Ask for a “right of refusal if the shipping container arrives in a damaged or misrepresented condition.
The client is usually charged per mile for the transportation costs. Make sure you get the cell phone number of the actual driver so you can be in close communications on the day of delivery, especially if you have a crane or a backhoe waiting by the hour, to unload the units. You will also need heavy-duty chains, long and strong enough to lift a container off its platform. This is very important, most drivers are not responsible for the unloading of the unit and most backhoe drivers don’t carry chains with them. You want both the driver and the backhoe/crane operator to understand exactly what you are doing. Also, if you are purchasing a 20ft-shipping container, you might have the delivery option for a flatbed truck that inclines to unload. This way you do not need to contract a crane or backhoe.




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