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Frequently Asked Questions

Read our Most Frequently Asked Questions to learn more
about shipping containers

Container questions (FAQ)

Cargo container, cargo boxes, conex, conex box, conex container, connex, container van, dry cargo, dry, storage, dry van, freight container, intermodal, ISO, sea can, sea container, corrugated box, shipping crate, maritime container.

Corten (Cor-ten) Steel is used in the manufacturing of a shipping container. This type of steel is alloyed steel mixed with other types of metals that when exposed to water (or oxygen) it forms a layer of oxidization that prevents further corrosion. Unlike steel used previous to 1990. 14-gauge corrugated steel panels throughout the container.

Most used containers have a 1 1/8″ laminated marine grade plywood flooring with steel cross member bars running horizontally underneath. There are also 4 corner posts keep the container off of the ground to allow air underneath the container.

Yes, the most common are:
● Dry Storage – A freight container, totally enclosed and weatherproof, with a rigid roof, rigid side walls, and floor, having at least one of its end walls equipped with doors and intended to be suitable for the transport of cargo. This is by far the most common type of container.
Open Top – Top of container can be completely removed so that materials of any height can be shipped easily.
● Open Side – Doors that can change into completely open sides providing a wider entry for loading of materials.
Double Door – Double doors on both ends of the container, making a wider room for loading and unloading of materials
Flat Rack – Collapsible or fixed side s, used for extremely heavy loads such as boats, vehicles, machinery or industrial equipment.
● Platform – Platform containers are without sides, ends and roof. They are used for odd-sized cargo which does not fit on or in any other type of container.
● Refrigerated – Temperature regulated used for shipment of perishable substances.
● Tank – A tank container or tanktainer is an intermodal container for the transport of liquids, gases and powders as bulk cargo.
● Tunnel – Container or Tunnel Tainer or Tunneltainer- is also a double door container. When doors are open at each end, you have a tunnel.

Exterior Dimension:
● Length – 20 – 40 – 45 – 53 ft.
● Height – 8ft 6-inch-high (standard) or 9ft 6- inch (high cube)
● Width – all shipping containers are 8 ft.

20ft standard shipping containers weigh approx. 5,000 lbs.
40ft standard shipping containers weigh approx. 8,000 lbs.
40ft high cube weigh approx. 8,500 lbs.
45ft high cube weight approx. 10,000 lbs.

Yes, all containers have a container number. 4 letters and 7 numbers.

This is a container that has been used once for the shipment of goods from the location where the container was manufactured, to the location where the container is available for sale. It is also referred to as a New Build container.

New containers are commonly known as One-Way or One Trip.  New shipping containers have been manufactured overseas and loaded with cargo for a one-way trip to the United States.  Used containers come in Cargo Worthy or Water/Wind Tight Condition.  Cargo Worthy Containers are for international cargo transport under CSC criterions and include a CSC plate. Container Sales Group will hire a professional to survey the container and provide a written survey certificate per your request.  Aesthetically, cargo worthy containers all have some exterior rust, dings, dents & professional welded patches, marine grade laminated plywood flooring and be ready for ocean export.  The quality of the container also makes it an ideal option for people looking for as a ground-level, portable storage option or to build with.

Water/Wind Tight Containers are retired from the steamship lines. These units may have exterior rust, dings, dents, or professional welded patches, but the flooring will be solid & doors operational for Water/Wind condition.   All containers are inspected at the depot facility prior to pick-up or delivery.  Many people use these containers for ground-level storage or for building purposes as they cannot be used for ocean export.

A Standard container is 8′ 6″ high
A High Cube container is 9′ 6″ high

Not all used containers are equal. Used containers will have various degrees of exterior rust, dings, dents & maybe patches. Container Sales Group has storage containers that are water/wind tight, structurally sound & cargo worthy. The exterior of our containers may have some rust, dings, dents & maybe patches but nothing significant that affects the structural aspect of the container.

Used containers are graded by the container industry as:
● Cargo Worthy – for OCEAN EXPORT
● Water/wind tight & structurally sound – for STORAGE
● AS IS – DISCOUNTED, DAMAGED CONTAINERS (may have low to high damage such as holes and/or damaged floors)
Any other grading system is subjective by the owner of the container and is not recognized by the container industry

Cargo Worthy – A certified container that meets all requirements of CSC criteria for ocean movement overseas. Certified means a licensed private company has inspected the container to confirm it meets all requirements for International ocean shipment

Water/ Wind Tight & Structurally Sound – Water/Wind Tight means containers are dry inside. Structurally sound represents the containers have structural integrity that meet the manufacturer requirements and are able to carry same weight as it was built to carry. (Container Sales Group has storage containers that are water/wind tight, structurally sound & cargo worthy).

New/One-Way containers – A new container that has had a one way loaded move to the United States from the factory in China.

Look for the CSC (Container Safety Convention) plate, usually mounted on the left-hand door of the shipping container, which will tell you the manufactured date.

Please view the container specifications page.

Please view the container specifications page.

The possibilities are endless:
● Agricultural – farming equipment, machinery, and supplies
● Construction – equipment, supplies, machinery, temporary office space
● Education – athletic equipment, documents, and records
● Financial – documents and records
● Government – disaster relief, temporary shelters, security offices, military supplies
● Medical – equipment and supplies
● Residential – household goods, tools, supplies, furnishings, non-perishable items
● Retail – seasonal inventory Also, building of homes, garages, restaurants, commercial business, swimming pools, etc.

New containers are painted many different colors (usually one solid color) when manufactured. Depending on what we have at the time of your inquiry, we are happy to provide you with a container to meet your color requirements. Used containers are not sold by color or manufacturer. We are essentially getting the next container off the stack at the storage facility that meets the criteria you requested.

Because of insurance liability restrictions it is not possible to walk around the depot facility location. Containers are stacked 5 & 6 high therefore, we cannot obtain photos or guarantee a specific unit. The depot facilities are storing empty shipping containers for shipping lines and intermodal equipment providers. When we place an order for our customers, they get the next container off the stack that meets their criteria.

All container doors are inspected at the depot facility. The doors should create a tight seal. Keep in mind that used shipping containers have been in service between 10 – 20 years, as such, the hinges and handles may need some grease or lubricant to get them moving freely. If the container is placed on uneven ground this may cause the frame to twist & make the doors hard to open & close.

Container doors are designed so you can use your own padlock or master lock from any hardware store. One of the most popular ways to make your container secure is using a high security lockbox. This is a steel shroud that is fitted onto the cargo doors to help protect padlock/ master lock. It is positioned onto the steel lug that not only acts as a deterrent to criminals but is also cut resistant, pick resistant and tamper proof.

We suggest Sherwin Williams – DTM Acrylic Enamel.
Try using a multi purchase tape (Nashua) and then spray with Flex Steel Spray.
An ISO container is a standardized reusable steel box used for the safe, efficient and secure storage. It also makes it easy to move materials and products within a global containerized intermodal freight transport system.
Yes, containers must meet cargo worthy criteria before it can be loaded. You may either buy a new container for shipping or a used container. A container for overseas shipping, needs to have a CSC Verification Plate. CSC Verification can be described as a shipping container passport. All CSC plates have an expiration date. It is a small metal plate fixed to the doors of the container to confirm to shipping lines that the container is structurally sound and safe to ship cargo by vessel around the world. The plate is fitted to either a new or used (just because a container is CSC verified it does not mean that it will be a brand new, aesthetically pleasing container).
We only sell the cargo worthy shipping container for ocean export. You need to contact an International Freight Forwarder to handle all the steamship line paperwork and transportation.
If you are using the cargo worthy shipping container for ocean export, you may want to pay to have the container certified with a written survey certificate.
We sell to business, individuals, corporations and even the military.
The depot facility locations are storing empty shipping containers for shipping lines and intermodal equipment providers. The shipping companies keep reserves (inventory) so they will be immediately available for export shipments and are not for sale.
ISBU is from the name Inter-modal Steel Building Unit. Since 2006 the shipping containers have become very popular and trendy for use as home, storage, prefab and business construction purposes.
Many people think the Shipping Container was invented in China — not true. The first shipping container was invented and patented in 1956 by an American named Malcolm Mc Lean. Mc Lean was not an ocean shipper, but was a trucker and by 1956 he owned the largest trucking fleet in the South and the fifth largest trucking company in all the United States. He saved his money and bought his first truck in 1934. During those years all cargo was loaded and unloaded in odd sized wooden crates. The process was very slow and certainly not standardized.

After observing this slow and inefficient process for 20 years, he finally decided to step back and develop some standardized way of loading cargo from trucks to ships and warehouses.

Malcolm then purchased Pan Atlantic Tanker Company, which owned a bunch of fairly rusted tankers. He re-named the new shipping company Sea-Land Shipping. With this shipping company he could finally experiment with better ways to load and un-load trucks and ships. After many experiments, his final design is what we know now as the Shipping Container… super strong, uniform design, theft resistant, stackable, easy to load, unload, truck, rail, ship, and certainly store.

Matson, on the West coast of the US also attempted the container concept but failed sorely. The final boost to standardize Mc Lean’s concept was the US Navy and by the early 70’s were globally accepted. So, in fact, although Mc Lean had the first concept and working system in 1956, it was the US military who finally did what was necessary to make the ISO shipping container accepted by every shipping line and every country of the world.

Because it was so much faster and organized to load-unload, the cost of loading freight was reduced by more than 90%. Thus, the cost of products you sell or buy were reduced greatly because of the invention and standardization of the ISO shipping container.

1.) Styrofoam – Most cost effective, fast & easy. Does not require build-out of stud walls to secure the panels. You can easily glue the panels directly to the shipping container

2.) Blanket form (or Batt Insulation) – Best to keep shipping container warm and is the cheapest option
of any insulation. While the insulation is cost-effective, the framing out and plywood installation to the container adds extra costs.

3.) Spray foam – Combats condensation and is flexible & easy to use. Generally, a little more expensive but it’s quicker and easier to apply and does not require any build outs. This insulation is
material is liquid but solidifies when sprayed on the container

4.) Expanded Insulation – Manufactured off site into large insulation panels that are pre-sized. These
panels can be attached to studs or just glued right to the container. Quick to install unless you have a lot of cuts to make. Some varieties are molded
to match the corrugations of a shipping container

5.) Loose Fill – Requires a complete wall cavity containment before application.

During World War II, standard sized shipping containers were developed to ship military cargo to the front lines. These boxes were called “Transporters.” The term “conex” came from the development of Transporters into Container Express and abbreviated as “ConEx.” This abbreviation became universal and was later used to identify the entire category of shipping containers – eventually becoming a single term: Conex.

Purchasing Questions

Once you decide the size of the container and if you need delivery, we will email you an invoice to purchase with the following provided information: Name/Company Name, Billing & Delivery Address, Email Address and how to position the container on the delivery truck (container doors sliding off back of truck and hitting ground first or last). Upon receipt of your payment, either delivery will be scheduled or we will provide you with pick up/release information which is the depot facility address & pick up number.

Payment can be made by ACH, Wire Transfer, Mailed Check, Overnight payment, Major Credit or Debit Card.
Sorry we do not offer financing.
Sorry we do not rent containers or offer rent to purchase.
Since we will invoice from the state of Illinois, only sales tax will apply to customers with an Illinois address.

Delivery Questions

Once we receive payment on your invoice to purchase a container and agree on a delivery date. The truck driver will call the contact you provided us once the container is loaded on the truck to advise he is on his way to your location.

Delivery depends on the distance of your location from where we store our containers. Call our office at 708 627-2725 and we will provide you with a delivery quote.

Containers are typically delivered with a tilt-bed roll off truck. The driver tilts the bed up and the container slowly slides off onto the ground as the driver then pulls out from under the container. For a 20ft long storage container, you will need about 75ft of straight line clearance. For a 40ft long storage container, the truck and trailer will need about 110ft of straight line clearance.

We will deliver on cement, pavement, asphalt, gravel, grass & dirt, provided the surface is not too soft. However, we strongly recommend that you choose a site that is as level as possible. If the storage container is not level, the container doors may be hard to open and close. The surface area where you place your container should also have adequate drainage to avoid sinking.

Yes, there is no fee to load the container on your delivery truck.
Yes, railroad ties/landscape timber can be placed under the container to lift it up. The truck driver can help you at time of delivery. Please note, we do not provide the railroad ties/landscape timbers.
Not typically. Because the unit is considered a temporary structure, most zoning regulations do not require a permit. Contact your local municipality to find out the specific requirements for your area.
Yes, in some locations we can move or relocate your container. Please give our office a call at 708 627-2725 to discuss further.
Container deliveries are typically Monday thru Friday. But we do work with some trucking companies who will deliver on the weekend for an extra fee.
Yes, an authorized representative must be there for delivery.
We strive to deliver storage containers to fit your needs. Generally, delivery can take place in 3 to 5 days business days from time of order.
All used containers may have some exterior rust, dings, dents & maybe patches but nothing so significant that affects the structural aspect of the container. At Container Sales Group, we offer a water/wind tight guarantee at the time of delivery or pick-up. We ask our customers to thoroughly inspect the container at the time of delivery or pick-up to ensure it is water/wind tight. If there are any issues, we will work with the customer to replace the container, refund their money or assist in fixing the container.