Buying 40' Shipping Containers or Freight Container That's On Sale Online

How to Buy 40′ Shipping Containers or Freight Container That’s On Sale Online

Buying 40' Shipping Containers or Freight Container That's On Sale Online

A shipping container might weigh 4000 pounds, but it’s not something you can simply find lying around. There are many challenges to buying shipping or freight containers starting with finding a reliable dealer like Although the internet has made it a lot easier to find items on sale, buying a container online comes with its own risk. One of the most obvious challenges is being unable to inspect the container before it is delivered. This is why the focus isn’t just finding containers but finding reliable dealers with good reputations.

While it is true that buying a container online saves you a lot of time and helps you to avoid stress, we recommend an offline purchase over buying online without inspection. Alternatively, you can simply look for a dealer online make the needed inquires and seal the deal offline in person unless you are absolutely sure of the dealer’s reputation.

Know what you want

40′ Shipping Containers otherwise called 40 footers are among the most common containers out there. But apart from size, there are still a lot of other details to look at when making your choice. Perhaps the most important point to consider is whether you want to purchase a new or used container. New or one trip containers are newly constructed containers or those ones that haven’t been used for shipping more than once. Your choice between these two depends mainly on one how much you are willing to spend on your purchase. However, even if you are constrained by a budget you will still find good quality used containers. Read here to learn more guidelines for buying new or used containers.

Who should you buy from?

Buying 40' Shipping Containers or Freight Container That's On Sale Online

As mentioned, the main challenge of finding shipping containers online is finding one that is of good quality. And since you won’t be able to inspect before you purchase, then your focus should be finding a great seller.

As far as the seller is concerned, you have two main options. You can either buy directly from a shipping company or from a distributor (a dealer). However, you should know that buying a 40′ Shipping Container from a shipping company directly is usually more expensive than and not as easy as buying from a reputable dealer. So where exactly can you find these dealers online?

Finding Shipping Containers Online

Online container directories

One of the ways to find stuff for sale online is to check online directories. For shipping containers, there are online directories that can give you access to a collection of regional and national suppliers. Western Container Sales, for example, provides a collection of suppliers in the continental USA.

Another online directory you can check is the Green Cube Network’s Eco, Green and Sustainable Resource Directory. It works like a search engine for finding local container suppliers and dealers around you. Once you open the website you will be able to enter your location and you will be provided with a list of dealers around you. You can then check online for reviews to verify the credibility of the dealers.

Search engines

Another way to find container dealers online is by conducting a local search using a normal search engine. Typically, search results on Google, for example, will show you related results based on your locations. To ensure that the dealers curated by a search engine are nearby, you can be specific in your search by adding location to your specific search term. Your search can be something like “40′ Shipping Container dealers in (your location)” or a variant of it.

Buying 40' Shipping Containers or Freight Container That's On Sale Online

Merchant Websites and classified ads directories

Apart from search engines or dedicated directories for searching for containers on sales you can also find used and new shipping containers being advertised for sale on regular merchant sites or on classified ads website. Examples of such websites include


eBay is one of the top websites where you can find containers on sale wherever you are in the world. You can visit the designated eBay site specifically for your country or search directly to find dealers in your location. You can refine your search by location and even set a maximum radius for your search in order to get results for sellers only in your vicinity. You can then contact the dealers and make inquiries about the containers you want to purchase.


Gumtree is another site you can check for shipping containers on sale in your area. The website is a classified ads directory and you visit your country’s version of the website to find dealers and their contact.


Alibaba is China’s version of Amazon. Since China is one of the leading manufacturers of shipping containers in the world, it makes sense to check out this site if you are looking to buy containers. However, Alibaba mostly lists new containers for sale. Thus, you might want to look elsewhere if you are looking for used containers.

Also, since most of the manufacturers on Alibaba are based in China, shipping a container into your country from China might be a bit expensive. Thus, Alibaba isn’t really a recommended choice unless buying containers in bulk.

One point to keep in mind when searching for shipping containers online is to look for dealers rather than specific containers. So even if you want to buy 40′ Shipping Containers, you might have a hard time finding that specific container. But if you find a reliable dealer first, you can simply get in touch and ask about the specific container of your choice.

Read here for a detailed guide on buying shipping containers offline or online.


Finally, if your online search does not yield favorable results (which are quite unlikely) you can always fall back to a more traditional option and try to find sellers offline. Traditional yellow pages, local business directories or even local shipping docks are some of the options you can explore. But in most cases by the time you are done exploring your online options, you should be able to find a dealer around you.

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