From new to used, 20ft. to 40ft., and standard to open top, shipping containers come in all types and sizes to suit your needs. In recent years, their uses have even extended far beyond the transportation of cargo; there has been an explosion of popularity in other shipping container uses, from building houses to event spaces and even public restrooms. So it’s no secret shipping containers are useful and versatile. What’s not so straightforward, however, is when you should buy vs. rent or lease shipping containers. Even when it seems leasing a container is the clear choice, certain circumstances may actually make leasing more expensive than purchasing. To help you make your decision, we’ve broken down a few factors you’ll want to consider.
Shipping Container Leasing
Exactly what shipping container leasing looks like can vary substantially based on the type and length of lease. In some lease types, for example, you may be responsible for the cost of the repairs in addition to the monthly rental fee. Similar to renting a home or apartment, shorter-term leases often come at higher price points, and even then, many companies prefer to lease containers on a 6-month minimum time frame. With the right partner and lease terms, however, shipping container leasing may make the most sense for you or your business.
Benefits of Leasing
- It’s convenient: When a shipping container reaches the end of its life or you no longer have need for it, disposal can be a task, to say the least. When renting or leasing a shipping container, you can feel confident knowing the final disposal of the unit is out of your hands.
- The upfront cost may be lower: If you do not have the cash on hand for a full payment or down payment to buy a container, leasing may be the best option to save money. Just be wary of hidden fees that could result in a higher-than-planned cost!
- Tax benefits: In certain situations, your business may be able to write off lease payments as an operating expense. If you think this may apply to you, be sure to discuss the best course of action when it comes to buying vs. leasing a shipping container with your tax professional.
When to Lease Shipping Containers
- You need the shipping container for less than a year
- You need the container(s) for a special event
- You don’t have the financing required or upfront cash to buy
Purchasing Shipping Containers
Benefits of Buying
- It’s cheaper in the long run: If your need is less than 30 days or for a special event, you might consider shipping container leasing, but if plan on keeping it for a year or more the decision can be a little trickier. Lease contracts can be signed for a longer time frame. Whether you rent or lease, it is your financial responsibility if you damage the container. But in the long run, you could have purchased the container and it would have been less expensive.
- You’ll have more flexibility: When you purchase a shipping container, you have the option to customize or modify it to your liking. So besides using it for storage you can add shelving, and lights or make it into a tiny home. When working with a shipping container leasing company, you can basically use it for storage only.
- Tax benefits: Purchased containers are business equipment that may qualify for the equipment depreciation tax deduction. Always speak with your tax professional before making purchases with future tax benefits in mind.
- Make money by renting your container: A good way of making some extra cash is to rent out your purchased shipping container to other small businesses or residents when it is not in use. You can make anything between $40 and $200 per month depending on its size and condition. This way, you can recover all the money you spent on buying the same in a really short time and can gain profit thereafter. You can also modify the containers into office spaces or shops.
- Sell it: If well maintained, containers typically hold their value, unlike cars that put on mileage. If you are done with the container, you can easily list it on a local online community.
When to Purchase Shipping Containers
- You need a regular transport solution
- You think you have a one-time or short-term need but are interested in reusing shipping containers for personal or business use, such as turning it into a pool, garage, or tiny house
- You need to customize or make modifications to the container
- You are interested in using a container as a new revenue stream through renting or selling it down the line
Call An Expert For Help
Now you know the benefits of buying vs. leasing shipping containers, learn more about what to look for in a reputable container seller or explore shipping containers for sale.
Container Sales Group buys shipping containers direct from the steamship lines to offer our customers the highest quality container at the most competitive prices. Interested in getting a quote on buying a shipping container, or simply have questions about the process? Give us a call at 708-639-4183 and our team is happy to help.