Complete Guide To Choosing A Shipping Container

Why Buy A Shipping Container in the UK?

Purchasing a shipping container can be a significant investment for both individuals and businesses. Whether you're looking to buy a container for storage, transportation, or conversion into a unique space, understanding the various factors involved in choosing the right container is crucial.

In this complete guide to choosing a shipping container, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision. From size and condition to the specific needs of your project, we'll help you navigate the process of finding the perfect container. If you’re searching for containers for sale in Scotland and North East England, this guide is tailored to your needs.

40′ HCOT Doors

Understanding Different Types of Shipping Containers

General Purpose Containers

General purpose containers are the most commonly used type. They come in various sizes, typically 20 feet and 40 feet in length, and are used for general purposes such as storage and transportation of goods. These containers are made from durable steel, making them suitable for long-term use.

High Cube Containers

High cube containers are similar to standard containers but offer extra 1 foot of internal height. This makes them ideal for storing larger or bulkier items. If you need more vertical space for your storage or conversion project, high cube containers are an excellent option.

20' New Dark Blue Tri-Door Through Shipping Containers

Full Side Access Containers

Full side access containers are specialised shipping containers designed with doors along the full length of one side, allowing for easier loading and unloading of oversized or awkwardly shaped items. This design provides greater accessibility compared to standard containers, which only have doors at one end. 

Open Top Containers

Open top containers have a removable roof, allowing for the easy loading of oversized items that wouldn’t fit through the doors of a standard container. They are particularly useful in the construction and heavy machinery industries.

20' New Dark Blue EODU 1

Determining the Right Size

When considering shipping containers for sale in Scotland and North East England, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is the size. The most common sizes are 20’ and 40’ containers. 

20’ Containers

A 20’ container is ideal for smaller storage needs or when space is limited. These containers are easier to transport and manoeuvre, making them a popular choice for individual buyers and small businesses.

40’ Containers

For larger storage requirements, a 40’ container provides ample space. These containers are often used by businesses that need to store or transport a significant amount of goods. They are also a great option for conversion projects, such as creating container homes or offices.

40ft GP New Green-4

Evaluating Container Condition

When purchasing a shipping container, the condition is a critical factor to consider. Containers come in various conditions, from brand new to used. Here’s a breakdown of the different conditions you might encounter:

New Containers

New containers, often referred to as “one-trip” containers, have only been used once, for a single shipment to the UK from China. These containers are in excellent condition, free from significant wear and tear, and are the best choice if you need a container that looks and performs like new.

Used Containers

Used containers are more affordable but come with varying degrees of wear. It’s essential to inspect used containers thoroughly for any signs of rust, dents, or structural damage. Used containers are graded based on their condition:

  • Grade A: Wear and tear with minor damage, suitable for storage. 
  • Grade B: Significant wear and tear and damage, best for projects where appearance is not a concern.
Maersk Container Ship arriving into port

Considering Delivery and Placement

Before purchasing a shipping container, it’s essential to consider how you will transport and place the container at your site. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


Ensure that the supplier can deliver the container to your location. Check if there are any additional costs for delivery and if they have the necessary equipment to handle the container safely.

At Container Sales (UK) Ltd we can deliver your chosen shipping containers to a location that suits you and will advise on any delivery costs involved, simply just get in touch and chat to one of our helpful team!

Site Preparation

Prepare the site where the container will be placed. This includes ensuring the ground is level and stable, and that there is enough space for the container and any necessary equipment to manoeuvre. If you’re placing the container on soft ground, consider using a foundation of concrete, railway sleepers or gravel to prevent sinking.

Colourful Shipping Containers

Customisation Options

Shipping containers can be customised to meet specific needs. At Container Sales (UK) Ltd we do not offer customisation services, however we have put together some common customisation options you can consider after you have made a shipping container purchase from us:

  • Doors and Windows: Adding doors and windows can transform a container into a functional space, such as an office or workshop.
  • Insulation: Insulating a container is essential if you plan to use it as a living or working space, particularly in colder climates.
  • Electrical and Plumbing: For containers converted into living spaces or offices, installing electrical wiring and plumbing is crucial.
  • Painting: A fresh coat of paint can improve the container’s appearance and provide additional protection against the elements.
  • Interior Finishing: Adding walls, flooring, and ceilings can make the interior more comfortable and suitable for habitation.

Choosing Container Sales (UK) Ltd

When looking for containers for sale in Scotland and North East England, choosing a reputable supplier like Container Sales (UK) Ltd. is crucial. Here are some tips to help you choose the right supplier:

Research and Reviews

Look for suppliers with positive reviews and testimonials. At Container Sales (UK) Ltd we boast a strong reputation in the industry, supported by numerous satisfied customers. Don’t hesitate to ask for references from previous customers to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision.


Ensure that the supplier offers high-quality containers. Container Sales (UK) Ltd. is known for providing top-notch products.

Customer Service

Excellent customer service is essential. At Container Sales (UK) Ltd we are known for being responsive, are willing to answer all of your questions, and provide support throughout the buying process. By choosing Container Sales (UK) Ltd, you can be confident in the quality of your purchase and the support you will receive.



Choosing the right shipping container involves careful consideration of various factors, including type, size, condition, and customisation options. By understanding your specific needs and researching suppliers, you can find the perfect container for your project. 

If you’re searching for containers for sale in Scotland and North East England, this guide provides the essential information to help you make an informed decision. Investing time in selecting the right container will ensure that you get the most value and functionality for your investment.

Whether you require a single shipping container, or multiple containers, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Container Sales (UK) Ltd. We are always happy to help!