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How to Get the Best Prices on Containers in Today’s Volatile Market

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The COVID pandemic created a volatile market and continues to increase costs at every step of the supply chain. Southwest Mobile Storage is doing everything we can to keep our mobile storage and portable office container prices fair.

Our costs to buy shipping containers to increase our rental inventory have increased 250% since last year due to ongoing global supply chain disruptions, inflation and labor shortages. And it keeps rising, so the prices for rental, sale and modified units are increasing too.

COVID shutdowns, natural disasters and other disruptions are creating and worsening delays at ports around the world. When container ships carrying essential products from China or other countries face delays of even a few days, it trickles down to the US, postponing trade by weeks. This creates the appearance of building material and shipping container “shortages.” As a result, shipping rates have quadrupled and new container prices have increased 64%.

The record-high container prices double the period it takes it to see a return on investment when buying new shipping containers. That’s why you’ll see outrageous pricing when you shop around other container rental, sales and modification companies. SMS had foresight of what was coming, so we prepared by stocking up ahead of time.

Now, we can turn containers from our sales inventory into rental units to solve the challenges posed by the “shortage.” While we’ve had to increase pricing to keep up with operation costs, our prices are still considerably lower than what you’ll find at other container companies.

Labor shortages across the world are also driving operation costs up. Shutdowns due to the pandemic in spring 2020 led to the United States losing 22.4 million jobs. While it recovered some of those jobs, there was still a record number of job openings compared to unemployed people in June 2021. Because demand for labor is greater than the supply, wages are higher.

The transportation industry is facing especially deep employment gaps, which contributes to higher delivery prices, making it more expensive to get the containers and building materials we need to do business.

Inflation also contributes to higher pricing when you need to rent, buy or modify containers. It rose 5.4% from August 2020 to August 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index. Gasoline prices alone are up 42% over the last year, increasing the cost of transporting containers from ports to our yards and from our yards to you.

Under the current circumstances, prices can increase daily, or even by the hour. While we face such volatile market conditions, rest assured SMS is making every effort possible to keep our shipping container prices fair, so we can continue to provide you the best value, service and availability.

We always care about what’s in your best interest and during these turbulent times the best to way to assure this is to check pricing often and act on quotes quickly to get the best value possible.

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