The Most Frequently Asked Questions [And Answers] About Renting Shipping Containers

Helping people find the right shipping container rental to meet their needs is the Rent-A-Container mission. 

Part of achieving that goal means answering shipping container rental questions on a regular basis. 

To help you as you shop for rental storage containers, our shipping container experts here at Rent-A-Container have put together this comprehensive list of shipping container rental FAQs. 

These are the most common shipping container rental questions we receive, so keep reading for the answers you need. 

Of course, for personalized help contact Rent-A-Container today.


frequently asked questions about renting shipping containers


Your Shipping Container Rental Questions: Answered

Got questions about renting a shipping container? We have answers. See below.


Should I Rent a Shipping Container or Buy One? How about Rent to Own?

This is one of the most common shipping container rental questions we receive, and for good reason. The answer is complicated and depends on your situation. 

If you know you are going to need the shipping container permanently, then you probably want to buy containers.

But if you have cost restrictions or aren’t sure how long you will need your container for, renting containers may be the better option. These options allow you to get a shipping container now without putting a lot of money down upfront. 

For more information, check out our container rental guide.


How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Shipping Container?

The price of a shipping container rental will vary depending on your needs. For example, some shipping container rental companies will charge more for short-term leases or newer containers.

At Rent-A-Container, our base lease rates are as low as $115 per month. We don’t change rental rates over time, and we don’t do cumbersome long-term shipping container rental contracts. We are all about flexibility to meet your needs.

Here are Rent-A-Container’s starting monthly rental rates for each size and type of shipping container:

  • 20 ft. Wind and Watertight (WWT) container: $115
  • 20 ft. Cargo Worthy (CW) container: $175
  • 40 ft. WWT container: $139
  • 40 ft. High Cube WWT container: $149
  • 40-foot CW container: $159
  • 40-foot High Cube CW container: $250

Need a shipping container at a specific site? Browse available containers on our website, using your zip code to find a shipping container for rent near you.


How Long Are Shipping Container Rental Contracts?

Shipping container rental contracts can range from months to multiple years. Some companies will allow month-to-month container rental contracts after the initial rental period is up, while others are more strict about long-term leases. 

Rent-A-Container allows month-to-month shipping container rentals after a three-month minimum lease period. In a monthly agreement, you can hang on to the container for as long as you would like and be charged at the beginning of each month. When you’re done, we come pick it up.


Do You Need a Permit to Have a Rented Storage Container on Your Property?

This is one of the toughest shipping container rental questions to answer because it depends so heavily on local zoning laws, homeowners’ association rules and state laws. Check with your local government to see if you need a permit for keeping a shipping container on your property.


What Are the Available Sizes for Shipping Container Rentals?

The most common lengths of shipping containers for rent are 20 ft. and 40 ft. A standard container is 8 feet and six inches tall, and a high cube container is a foot taller. 

Some container leasing companies, such as Rent-A-Container, offer additional sizes of containers. We also offer 10 ft. containers and 45 ft. containers for rent.


Can I Rent to Own a Storage Container?

YES! Rent-to-own shipping containers are available, but they are not very common. Rent-A-Container is the industry leader in easy rent to own options. With no credit checks or cumbersome application process, you can checkout in just minutes and have a container delivered on site for the lowest possible amount.


Can I Move My Rented Storage Container from Place to Place?

While shipping and storage containers are meant to be moved with relative ease, doing so does require specialized equipment and can cause damage to the container. Most storage container rentals are meant for on-site, durable, stationary storage. 

While our shipping container rentals are not meant to be moved while on lease, we understand that moving containers is sometimes necessary. 

On a case-by-case basis, Rent-A-Container will sometimes give approval to move a container during a lease. If this is something you are considering, contact our team to discuss it further.


How Do I Rent a Shipping Container?

Here is how renting a shipping container works with most companies: 

  1. You call the supplier or meet with a representative
  2. You wait for a price quote
  3. You and the supplier discuss shipping container rental terms
  4. Once agreed and purchased, you arrange for the delivery and pickup

At Rent-A-Container, we like to approach the shipping container rental process a little differently. 

With Rent-A-Container:

  1. You browse our website:
    1. Find the right container rental for you
    2. Get an instant price
    3. Put it in your cart
    4. Fill out less than a minute’s worth of documentation
  2. Pick your container up or have us help get it delivered to you — we will do what it takes to make the process easy and transparent for you.

Of course, if you need assistance or want help throughout the process, our team is available to guide you over the phone.


How Can I Find Shipping Containers for Rent Near Me?

Many shipping container suppliers maintain depots at ports and similar industrial areas in major cities around the world. The typical process involves contacting the closest supplier and asking what they have available.

Rent-A-Container’s website can save a lot of time when it comes to finding a container for rent near you. 

Simply enter your ZIP code, and our online shipping container store will present results that are closest to you. 

Still on the fence about renting vs. buying a shipping container? Learn more about the advantages to renting a shipping container.


Can I Modify a Rented Shipping Container? 

You will need explicit approval to modify a rented shipping container. 

Think of your container rental like a rental car — it needs to be in standard condition for the next person who rents it, so permanent changes are usually not allowed.


Which Type of Shipping Container Should I Rent? 

Which type of shipping container you should rent again will depend on your unique needs. Think of what you need to store and then learn 20-foot shipping container capacity, 40-foot capacity and so on. Consider the height of the items you want to store to decide whether you need a standard or high cube container.


Can I Rent an Insulated Shipping Container?

Yes. Insulated shipping containers are commonly available for rent at most full-service container rental companies.


Are Shipping Container Rentals Waterproof?

Not all shipping containers are waterproof, but many of the newer rental containers that have rubber seals around the doors can withstand water exposure. 

When you are renting a shipping container that needs to be waterproof, specify that you are looking for a WWT container.


Are Shipping Containers Secure?

With sturdy steel exteriors and doors that can easily be locked, shipping containers are one of the most secure storage solutions available.


Do I Need a Shipping Container That Is ‘Cargo Worthy’?

“Cargo Worthy” (CW) is a shipping container designation certified by the International Convention for Safe Containers

Whether you need a CW rental container will depend on what you intend to store inside of it. These containers tend to hold up better to stacking and weather exposure.


What Are Some Hidden Fees and Costs of Renting a Shipping Container?

Outside of the monthly cost to rent the shipping container, at Rent-A-Container, you only pay a delivery fee, pickup fee and tax upon receiving the container. Everything is disclosed ahead of time!


How Long Does Shipping Container Delivery Take?

One of the most common shipping container rental questions we get at Rent-A-Container is about how long it will take to deliver the container. 

The answer varies from container company to container company, but the period is going to depend primarily on your location in reference to the location of the container.

When you are renting a container, we understand you want it as soon as possible. That’s why we typically deliver containers within seven to 10 business days. If you need something quicker, contact our team and we will do what we can to accommodate you.


How Are Rental Storage Containers Delivered?

Rented storage containers can be delivered to you via tilt-bed trucks, tilt-bed trailers or flatbed trucks. Which mode of shipping container delivery the container supplier uses will likely depend on the size of the container you rented.


How Do I Prepare a Site for My Rented Shipping Container?

Preparing a site for a shipping container will require different steps depending on the individual site you have chosen. Generally, you will want to follow these steps:

  • Choose a hard and dry surface
  • Make sure the site is level and flat
  • Remove any obstacles leading up to the space that would prevent the delivery driver from reaching it

For more information, check out Rent-A-Container’s shipping container site preparation guide.


Got More Shipping Container Rental Questions? Call Rent-A-Container

The above questions about shipping container rentals cover the basics, but if you need more information or would like to rent a shipping container, reach out to Rent-A-Container. Our shipping container experts are always here to help. 

Give us a call at (800) 880-7061 or fill out our online contact form.

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