Many major business corporations are involved in importing and exporting goods around the globe. So it’s important to be knowledgeable about what works and what doesn’t if you intend to be a successful entrepreneur and delve into this space. You’ll need to know the basics, to make sure you make the right decisions when it comes to shipping containers and business storage. These tips will help you get on the right track. (Image Credit: Pixabay)
How durable is my conex box?
Shipping containers are made of corrugated weathering steel, a material that is highly resistant to damage and corrosion. A shipping container, if bought when brand new and only used for storage, can be used for over 20 years.
What is the condition of my conex box – Before signing the purchase agreement, inspecting the shipping container is highly advised. Physical inspection should be the preferred mode. One should check for damage or corrosion on all parts of the box. You should also check to see that all the fixtures are in place and the fittings are working correctly.
What are the payment terms? – Majority of suppliers will take cash, check or credit card. The purchase price should indicate delivery fees and any applicable taxes. Some suppliers require full payment before you take possession of the container while others offer contractual monthly payment plans. Read the purchase agreement carefully to make sure there are no sneaky clauses in there. If you are renting the container, make sure you clearly understand the lease agreement.
Buying or renting?
The main advantage of buying the container for your business storage needs is that you have full ownership of your storage. You can resell the container if you don’t need it anymore. In the long-term, buying could be cheaper than renting. For-purchase shipping containers usually have more features than those meant for rentals.
The initial outlay of the buying option can be very high. You are also stuck with a large metal box when you buy, and reselling is not necessarily easy. You also bear all the risks once you purchase the container. If you realize that the shipping container is damaged once you have bought it, it might be too late to return it.
Renting gives you flexibility especially if you are unsure of how long you will use the container. Most contracts are month-to-month. The initial outlay is low and affordable. Renting is a convenient option, at least in the short term. However, renting involves making monthly payments, and it comes with limited options. The quality of rental containers is usually lower compared to for-purchase containers.
Storage containers can be purchased online from third-party sellers such as eBay and Craigslist. You can also buy a conex box offline from your local supplier. Buying online can land you a great deal due to the price efficiency availed by online platforms. Online vendors try as much as possible to have the most competitive prices compared with other online vendors. This tends to push online prices down, which is a good thing for buyers. Online prices are usually negotiable. Online platforms also avail a wide range of options that you can choose from. Such options include different prices, different types, and sizes of containers and varying locations of sellers.
One of the downsides with buying containers online is that you can’t physically inspect what you are buying. Some online vendors might not disclose all of the critical information regarding what they are selling, and you might end up feeling conned. Online vendors can also be very tricky with the pictures. Online images can be misleading.
Online sellers might genuinely not have critical information regarding the container they are selling, especially if they are not first-time users. Containers may have had damages from previous uses, and this can affect safety and durability. Third party sellers may be located very far away, and transport costs can be high. You will also have to bear the risk of theft while the container is in transit.
If you choose to buy from a local supplier, you can physically inspect their stock and choose precisely what you want. Local suppliers tend to have been in the business for many years. They are likely to have high-quality stock of containers, and they have extensive knowledge on which containers might best fit your needs. They can also advise on the permits required to handle and use containers in your area.
Local suppliers tend to have better purchase agreements compared to their online counterpart. They could offer maintenance assistance and special features such as advanced locking mechanisms and shelving material. If the local container seller is very near to where you want your conex box to be, the delivery fees can be low, which is an advantage.