Buying Your Shipping & Storage Containers in Bulk (Wholesale)

Many new businesses start by buying only the number of shipping and storage containers they need – usually in groups of one to three. And while this might work as a way to cut down on short-term costs, we’re here to talk about the biggest savings associated with finding new and used shipping containers for sale cheap by buying in bulk or wholesale.

We know how tempting it is to take the cheapest route possible when starting out a business endeavor in order to save on expenses, but running a successful business is about a lot more than saving on costs. Smart decision making and planning are huge factors that will influence how any business operates, and it comes down to even the most minor details, which just may happen to be shipping containers. After all, if you cannot afford to adequately transport your goods and sustain a profit, then your business will reap the negative effects. 

Let’s break down exactly why this is a smart budget decision and why you ought to start buying your cargo containers in bulk to find the cheapest pricing options.

bright colored shipping containers sitting on some grass.

There are many significant factors to think about before buying shipping containers in bulk. Ensure the containers are suited to the needs of your business and that the company you purchase from is reputable before doing anything.

Benefits of Finding Bulk Shipping Containers For Sale

There are many reasons why you should consider buying shipping containers in bulk for your company. Whether you’re in construction, agriculture, education, or simply love having a slew of shipping containers at your disposal for home use, let’s break down the benefits associated with bulk purchasing steel containers.

Lower Rates/Costs Per Container

Like in almost any industry, bulk shipping containers can usually be purchased at a lower cost per container. Think of how when you shop at wholesale retailers and purchase product in bulk, that products tends to be significantly cheaper than that same product purchased individually. Buying a dozen 20’ shipping containers in a single purchase will likely be cheaper overall than buying a dozen 20’ shipping containers individually over several months, despite the fact that you are technically going to end up with the same number of shipping containers either way.  

It may not seem like there should be such a drastic difference in price when it comes to purchasing one or several shipping containers at a time, but many companies take this approach on purpose due to its positive influence on their business. The reason for the difference in rates between bulk and individual containers results from shipping container companies incentivizing larger purchases as they can reduce their own margins and still produce a comfortable profit margin. 

If you know that the needs of your business will eventually warrant the use of several shipping containers, and you do not foresee any problems that will negatively impact your business, then it will behoove you to stay ahead of the game by purchasing the number of shipping and storage containers you know you will need. Even if your estimation is off and you need to buy more, you will ultimately save money buy bundling your purchases and buying in bulk. 

Lower Overall Shipping Costs

You’ll also likely experience lower overall shipping costs across your business if you buy your containers in bulk. If you are a smaller business with limited financial resources to pull from, it is a smart business decision to purchase essential materials like shipping containers at once so that you can get the best rate on shipping possible. This will save you money in the long run and means that you do not have to continuously afford shipping costs in the future for every new shipping container you want to purchase. 

Discounts on both bulk goods and shipping costs are much more likely when you find bulk shipping containers for sale from a dealer or wholesaler. The company that supplies the containers might give you a discount to transport bulk containers compared to transporting one container at a time on account of various factors in play, from a logistical perspective to saved transportation money. One container delivery trip of a dozen containers is much cheaper to plan and execute than twelve individual containers that need twelve separate, scheduled deliveries and logistics plans over a year.

Pro Tip: If you buy shipping containers as a form of shipping vessel, some companies utilize the shipping containers they buy in bulk to transport goods as they’re being delivered. While this takes a considerable amount of more planning and involves working closely with a shipping container delivery company to supervise the process and ensure goods are properly loaded, this can help you earn back some of the money you spend on the shipping containers. 

Either way, lower costs across the board are something that customers of any size or in any industry can certainly get behind.

Potential Deals On Upgrades 

While there is no guarantee that you will score anything extra aside from savings when buying in bulk, there is always the chance that a seller who is looking to rid themselves of excess stock may work with you on possible upgrades and customizations for a far better value than normal. 

Keep in mind that wholesale retailers who regularly sell bulk goods have a timeline in which they would like to get rid of their goods. They are a business like any other, and it is not beneficial for them to sit on too much product for a long time. If you do business with a wholesale company that really wants to unload some of their stock, you may be able to work in extra deals and upgrades to enhance the value of your money. 

No Wait Times That Might Impact Your Schedule

There’s another important benefit to buying containers in bulk: you won’t have to wait for delivery for individual containers over an extended period. Shipping containers are delivered fairly promptly, but there are times when you’ll wish you had another container on site. Skip the total number of waiting days in a year for your shipping container delivery by buying all the containers you need, now.

What To Keep In Mind Before You Buy Shipping Containers in Bulk 

Getting shipping containers in bulk is absolutely a smart idea, but how exactly can you do it? And how do you make sure you go about it in a way that gets you the cheapest prices and best deals out there? There are a few things to keep in mind before you decide to purchase any amount of shipping containers. For the best prices on bulk container purchases to what you need to know for your safety as a buyer, it is important to consider a few things first. 

Check out our guide on how to buy shipping containers.

Local Dealers

You can check out local dealers that are geographically close to your business’s location. This will cut down on shipping time, but you may not get the best bang for your buck in terms of overall price or discounts. 

On the plus side, buying containers in bulk from a local dealer or shipping container company means you can probably investigate the container yourself before making a purchase (more on this below). Choosing to buy from a local business also means that your money stays in the area and helps support people in communities near you. Local companies help bring job opportunities to the area and contribute to a steady economy, which means more people buying things from other local businesses like yours. 

Wholesalers and Tier 1 Shipping Container Suppliers

You can alternatively contact shipping container wholesalers and supply companies. These are essentially the first stop for shipping containers after they’ve been manufactured and retired from the international shipping industry. Buying from a supplier allows you to get containers in bulk for extremely discounted prices.

However, we always encourage people to do their research to make sure you don’t get sold bad containers and that the containers you purchase are exactly what you need. This isn’t to say that wholesalers or shipping container suppliers will deliberately give you containers that don’t suit your needs, but you’ll appreciate a company that provides high-quality customer service.

If a company is willing to offer bulk pricing to help provide you with cheaper shipping containers, be sure to ask about their minimum threshold of containers to qualify for special pricing. 

For instance, they may not be willing to sell five shipping containers or fewer. Some companies might only sell shipping containers in bulk amounts of over 10 or 15 containers at a time. Simply ask the experienced representative from the company you wish to work with.

Check Shipping Containers for Faults

No matter which source you go with, it’s important to get a condition guarantee before making a bulk purchase. Even at a discount, a single bulk container purchase is always more expensive than buying a single container of any quality level.

Be sure to get an agreement on the condition to ensure that the company you are working with will make things right if an issue comes up. Things happen, but you don’t want to be left without recourse.

New vs Used Shipping Containers

If you have decided on a local company or wholesale business to purchase your bulk order of shipping containers from, the next decision you have to make is whether to get new or used containers. How you plan to use the containers will influence the decision you make, as both new and old containers have advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind before purchasing. 

The first and most obvious benefit of used containers comes from the cheaper price, but you sacrifice appearance and there may be some weathered parts. Using used containers for storage and transportation purposes should not be a big deal at all since the appearance of the container ultimately does not matter. 

When it comes to new shipping containers, the biggest drawback will most likely be the price, which will be higher than that of used, old containers. And while you may want to always go with used containers to save on costs, consider what you are using your containers for and whether the appearance will have an effect on the outcome. If you want to use a shipping container as a part of a home, restaurant, pool, or a similar structure, then you probably do not want to be looking at dents and blemishes. In those instances, it would be better to purchase a new shipping container entirely. 

A shipping container being use as a small home.

In order to be most satisfied with your order, you need to find companies that can work with your needs and supply you with quality shipping containers that you can depend on for any job.

Check a Seller’s Reputation Before Buying Cheap Bulk Containers

It’s also a good idea to check on the reputation of a given cargo container seller before making a purchase. This goes double for wholesalers, as they may be more interested in offloading big shipments of containers to whoever they can rather than taking the time to perform a quality check on each of their containers for the benefit of the customer. 

You can do this by checking online sources or review sites, or by asking around in the shipping container industry. See if fellow businesses have had good experiences with certain wholesalers or local dealers, then take their advice into account when deciding who you want to do business with. If you have a personal connection with a professional colleague or even a friend or relative who has experience with a seller, see what they have to say since they are a source you can depend on for honest feedback. 

Try to veer away from immediately jumping on bulk shipping container deals from random wholesalers whom you have no knowledge or prior experience of. It is no secret that scoring good bargains and deals is a hard temptation to resist since a majority of businesses depend on shipping containers to function and make money, but taking the extra time to conduct basic research and verify that the seller is legitimate is a part of the process that you cannot risk skipping. 

Find Shipping Containers For Sale in Bulk with Rent-A-Container

All in all, you should start buying your shipping containers in bulk as soon as possible to cut down on overall costs and to make sure your business always has enough shipping containers for you and your clients’ needs. While the price might be higher upfront, you’ll save money in the long run.

At Rent-A-Container, we help make sure you always get the best prices on new and used shipping containers. We also guarantee the condition of our containers and will make things right if an issue comes up. Check out our price match guarantee and start shopping today by clicking the button below. We find containers closest to you to help cut down on your overall price.