What to Look for in a Commercial Shipping Container Rental

If you’re looking to outfit your business or home project with extra storage, you might be wondering what to look for in a commercial shipping container rental.

When renting a shipping container, there are many things to consider and these things can sometimes also determine pricing.

What to Look for in a Commercial Shipping Container Rental

In this article, we’ll discuss what you should look for in a commercial shipping container rental.

What to Look for in a Commercial Shipping Container Rental


So, what should you look for in a commercial shipping container rental?

There are 4 considerations we will look at:

  • Container sizes
  • Portability
  • Damage
  • Security

Let’s get started!


Container sizes

When we talk about shipping container sizes, we’re speaking about the considered standard sizes of shipping containers. These sizes are:

  • 10’ containers, which are 10’ x 8’ x 8.5. These containers can hold about 80 square feet or 680 cubic feet.
  • 20’ containers, which are 20’ x 8’ x ‘8.5. These containers are able to hold about 160 square feet or 1,360 cubic feet.
  • 40’ containers, which are 40’ x 8’ x 8’5. These containers hold around 320 square feet or 2,270 cubic feet.

While these are standard sizes, they aren’t the only sizes that you can choose from. We’ll talk about these types of containers later.

For most business and home projects, these standard sizes will usually work. One of the most popular is the 20’ shipping container.

Commercial Shipping Container Rental from Southwest Mobile Storage

When looking at commercial shipping container rentals, the container size is an important factor in pricing.

How do you decide which size is right for you?

It really depends on your particular project. For instance, if you need a storage container, the number of items you have will determine your size.



One of the things that make ISO steel containers so popular is their portability.

Containers can be moved from location to location, which makes them great for projects that need to be used for multiple situations.

An example of this would be a retail business with several locations.

Retail businesses often use storage containers for excess inventory, whether it’s current or new products.

Because these containers can be moved, store owners can deliver their excess inventory to another one of their locations.

Construction sites are another example, with a long history of using storage containers.

Commercial Shipping Container Rental on Construction Site

Shipping containers have not only been used for equipment and tool storage, but workers are also used for mobile offices.

Mobile offices, in particular, are helpful when your employees are unable to work out of the main office building.

This gives employees the sense of an office environment without the need to rent out another building.



Whenever you rent or buy any product, one of the first things you should do is to check the item for any damage.

This is true for commercial shipping container rentals, especially when looking at used or as-is containers.

Shipping container grades are what suppliers and providers use when purchasing and selling ISO steel containers and Conex boxes.

Shipping Container Security
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Container grades look at how many miles a container has gone, its age, any repair history, and any damage.

When renting storage containers, make sure you look for these signs of damage:

  • Rust
  • Cracks
  • Leaks
  • Broken locks



Speaking of broken locks, you’ll want to make sure that your shipping container is secure. It may surprise you to learn that shipping containers do come with some standard locks.

It’s actually a good idea to give your container additional security to keep your items secure. We have an ultimate guide that goes over container security you can check out.

Southwest Mobile Storage storage container

One of the things we discuss in the guide is the range of different security locks you can get for your container rental.

This includes:

  • Slide Bolt System
  • Code protected locks
  • Lockboxes

While it depends on what your plans or project dictates, shipping container security should always be a consideration.

This is especially true for projects that use containers for cargotecture or buildings with shipping containers as their materials.

What if I Need to Purchase a Commercial Shipping Container?


So far, we’ve looked at different container sizes, portability, damage that a Conex box might have, and container security when it comes to a commercial shipping container rental.

But what if you need to purchase a commercial shipping container?

There are many reasons why you may need to purchase your shipping container.

Shipping containers have evolved to be more than just cargo transport. Now, containers can be used for many things, including:

A great example of this would be a retailer using a container for storage and then wanting to convert that container into a pop-up shop in order to sell their inventory.

Concession Stand Pop Up Shop

This is called customization or modification.

Customizing and modifying a container can be basic and simple, such as just adding doors or windows to a container.

Or it can be as intricate as cargotecture, the concept of using a shipping container as an alternative to traditional building materials.

In this case, when looking at commercial shipping container rental providers, you should also ensure that they have an option to purchase containers.

Many providers or suppliers will have the option to purchase containers, if you find that your project will take longer than a few months or a few years.

Some companies will also allow you to purchase a container that you are currently renting, should you discover you will need it for a longer time period.

The rule of thumb between renting and purchasing a commercial shipping container is:

  • If using for less than a year, then renting is the best way to go
  • If your project will take two years or more to finish, the better option is to purchase the container

In this article, we look at several things to look for in a commercial shipping container rental. These are just a few considerations to keep in mind.

Be advised that for all of the things mentioned here may impact the price point for your rental.

When choosing a shipping container provider, make sure you look for rental and leasing prices, as well as delivery and pick-up expenses and any other fees.

Southwest Mobile Storage offers both container rentals and sales, with professional and experienced experts and incredible customer service.

If you need a shipping container for your project, look no further than Southwest Mobile Storage! Get in contact with us at 800.686.9114 or use the contact form below.


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