Container trading is a complex yet highly profitable shipping business involving multiple players. Read this blog to learn how containers are bought and sold in the market today. Or, click here to learn how to trade containers to maximize profits in 2500+ locations globally.

The business of buying and selling containers is six decades old. But in this short time, container trading has revolutionized global trade. And even created new economic opportunities all across the world.  

But the process of trading is not simple. The trading industry is highly dependent on networking and manual processes. You’ll find it surprising to know that traders spend most of their time building networks to leverage any buying or selling opportunities. 

As you can guess, profits are not always guaranteed. Especially, when the industry is so fragmented with hardly any price transparency. But all that changes when you buy and sell containers on online marketplaces like Container xChange.  

On our neutral trading platform, you can expand your network by connecting with 1500+ buyers and sellers in 2500+ locations worldwide. Receive offers on containers, compare the prices, and choose the ones that meet your budgetary requirement the best. 

Try the public search below to see sales offers or buying demands in your location and browse through multiple offers!

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What is container trading?

Container trading is an integral part of modern container logistics. It sounds simple: One party sells containers and another buys them. But it’s not as simple as it might sound. There are many shipping players that buy and sell containers. And the end users form a very small fraction of the buyers. So if the end users are not buying the containers, then who are actually traders selling to?  

To put it simply, buying containers is mostly about building a container fleet for leasing out containers. And selling containers is mostly about earning profits or liquidating assets in the re-selling markets. Let’s learn more about this in the next section.

Shipping members involved in container trading

As known by now, container trading involves a number of shipping players. Here are the most common parties in trading.

Manufacturing companies

Container manufacturers are companies that build shipping containers from scratch. It’s important to remember that manufacturers are different from suppliers. Suppliers source and acquire quality containers from manufacturers. Whereas, manufacturers actually create the boxes from raw materials. 

Currently, shipping container manufacturers in China dominate the global manufacturing market. However, container manufacturers in India have also been rapidly expanding in recent years and a few manufacturers have also made it to the list of top container manufacturers in the world.

Container leasing companies

Container leasing companies form the primary customers of container manufacturers. These companies buy containers in very big quantities and then lease or sell them. These companies act as container suppliers. Find out the top container leasing companies here

Carriers and shipping companies 

Carriers and shipping lines own very big fleets of containers. They also buy containers from manufacturers. But trading is a very small part of their business. 

Carriers sometimes sell their used containers to a few big container traders to manage their fleet. Read more about the top 10 shipping companies here.

Container traders

The main business of container traders is to buy and sell shipping containersA big container trader has a well-established network of buyers in many countries. Whereas, a mid-sized container trader specializes in trading in just a few locations. 

Want to know how you can expand your container trading business globally too? Talk to our experts on how you can connect with 1500+ vetted shipping companies globally.  


NVOCCs are ocean carriers that transport your cargo without operating any vessels. They buy space from vessel-operating common carriers (VOCC) and resell it to shippers. For ease of doing their business, NVOCCs sometimes operate their own container fleet between the ports they offer their services. And hence, they buy containers from suppliers and traders to sustain their business. 

Individuals and end users

People might also be interested in buying a container. Many times it’s for recycling purposes or long-time storage. They form only a small fraction of container buyers in the shipping industry. 

How container trading works 

For many years, container trading has been something you did manually. As a container trader, you would depend on having a big personal network, existing partnerships, and industry experience. At times, you’d even need online research skills.

Let’s go over how container trading works traditionally. Let’s imagine that you’re a medium-sized container trading company. You urgently need to buy containers in Rotterdam. So how do you do that?

  • You decide what container type you want to buy.
  • You decide on a budget for those containers. The estimates are based on earlier prices or market knowledge.
  • Then, you check the availability of that container type in your area. You do that by searching online, sending out emails, and calling around in your network.
  • When you’ve found a seller who has containers you’re interested in, you look for their contact details and negotiate details.
  • Last but not least, you finalize the purchase legally.

The traditional way of container trading is quite tedious and time-consuming. Read the next section to see how you can make container trading more efficient and increase your profits.

How to buy containers at best prices

At Container xChange, we’ve made the process of trading containers more efficient. Our trading platform is an all-in-one solution for all your container trading needs. On our trading platform, you can go beyond your local sourcing channels and trade with members beyond your network. Once you enter your requirements, including the location and equipment type, you’ll receive offers from multiple sellers in one dashboard. This way, you get market price transparency at your location.

Container trading marketplace

And most importantly, you get to compare the offers and choose the one that fits your budget the best. So, be assured to find shipping containers of all types at the best price in the market. 

And that’s not it. You can further bring down the price by negotiating directly with the sellers. The best part is that you have full control over the process. And all the 1500+ members are vetted — so you get only genuine offers, on your own terms!

Read our step-by-step guide on how you can buy shipping containers at best prices, or talk to our experts to start trading containers in 2500+ locations.

How to sell containers at profitable places? 

There are advantages for the sellers as well. Usually, small to mid-sized container-selling companies are limited to only specific regions. The lack of budget to expand to another location makes it nearly impossible to find new customers. Especially, when the demand is saturated in their location, the traders begin to experience losses rather than profits. Our trading platform solves this issue very easily.

On xChange, you can expand your container-selling business without setting up any additional infrastructure. On our online trading platform, you can find 1500+ buyers in 2500+ locations. This way, you connect with more buyers from all over the world. You earn a bigger audience for your business by putting your name out there for traders all around the globe. It’s one of the most lucrative ways of finding new customers without investing in business development. 

The best part is you get assured payment. Since all the members have undergone strict background checks, be assured to only find trusted partners. Our xChange digital wallet ensures that you not only get paid but also get paid on time!

Read our detailed guide on how to sell your shipping containers online or simply click the banner below to check out buying demands or sales offers in your location. Our experts will guide you on how to make the most profits while trading containers on our platform!

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Use Insights for better container trading decisions 

Since container trading involves a lot of money, it’s only natural to want to earn good profits on transactions. This can easily be done if you’re aware of the real-time container prices. But container prices fluctuate regularly and depend on a variety of factors like location or container type. 

One easy way to track container prices is to use xChange Insights. With this tool, you get current container prices in 110+ locations globally. All you’ve to do is submit your location and the container type. 

For example, the current container price for a 40ft container in cargo-worthy condition in Denver is around $3000. The same container will cost you around $1700 in Chicago. Now you can buy containers in Chicago for a lower price and sell them in Dever for a profit. This way you’re marking a profit of $1300 simply because you’re aware of the current market prices and the best locations to buy and sell containers! 

Want to see the prices of containers in your locations? Click here to check out the prices and get a free demo of the tool.

Top 10 container trading companies on xChange

At xChange, we give you complete transparency over who you are dealing with. Here is a small list out of 1500+ vetted members that you can trade with on xChange. You can check out each member’s company profile, see their reviews and choose the company you want to work with. Some of them even have active trading offers on the platform!

CR Container Trading GmbH

CR Container trading

Founded in 2014, CR Container Trading GmbH is active all over the globe. The company trades in both new and old containers with some of the market’s biggest and most influential companies. The core business of CR Container Trading GmbH is the purchase and sale of containers of all types, as well as renting and positioning them worldwide.

Learn more about CR Container Trading GmbH


Shang Turn Container Trade Co Ltd

Container trading companies

Shang Turn Container Trade Co Ltd (STC) is a newly established container trading company. The company is located in Macau and sells containers all over the world. Their major business scope is to provide used and new containers in China, the US, and Canada.

Learn more about Shang Turn Container Trade


CSI Container Services International

Container trading companies

CSI is a container service company that is active in buying, selling and one-way lease of new and used containers. The company was founded in 2011 and has built an extensive and diverse national and international network of customers, partners and vendors. 

Learn more about CSI Container Services


Samskip Multimodal B.V.

Container trading companies

Samskip is a Dutch company headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands and was founded in 1990. Since then Samskip has consistently grown and extended its network in 35 countries. With offices in 24 countries across Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia, the company offers transportation by land, sea, rail and air – focusing on cost-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly solutions.

Learn more about Samskip Multimodal B.V.


Active Containers

Container trading companies

Active Container specializes in buying and selling cabotage and reefer containers. The company is active in the Netherlands and Europe. And also in other countries such as the Russian Federation, Oekraïn, Belorussia, Baltic States, Kazakhstan and the African continent.

Learn more about Active Containers


RSL Container Lines

Container trading companies

As an international freight forwarder, the company provides logistical support services by air, sea and land – supported by warehousing and distribution services. They offer services by carefully selecting the right overseas partners to work with. The main objective of RSL is to provide cost-effective, reliable, speedy and quality support to their clients. The company currently has multiple trading offers on the platform. Click the button below to check them out.

Learn more about RSL Container Lines


Logic Shipping & Trading ApS

Container trading companies

Logic Shipping & Trading ApS was formed in 2014 and is based in Denmark. The company is set up as an NVOCC using its own containers. The main focus is on container transport but it’s also involved in container trading. The company also has several active sales offers on the xChange platform! 

Learn more about Logic Shipping & Trading ApS


Oceanbox Containers

Container trading companies

OCEANBOX is a customer-focused shipping container provider. They supply and deliver shipping equipment worldwide with an aim to balance sustainability in global equipment resources. The company has been a member of xChange since 2018 and has acquired a rating of 4.6 stars since then.

Learn more about Oceanbox Containers Ltd


Titan Med S.a.r.l.

Container trading companies

Founded in 1987, Titan is a worldwide supplier of shipping containers. The company has been a member of Container xChange since 2018 and has acquired a rating of 4.5 stars.

Learn more about Titan Med S.a.r.l


Sogese S.R.L

Container trading companies

Sogese SRL is a trading and leasing company based in Italy that uses xChange to reposition and sell containers. The company has been a member of the platform since 2018 and has a rating of 4.8 stars. 

Here’s what Sogese S.R.L has to say about using the xChange platform: 

“xChange has given us proper support to improve our reputation on an international basis. The trading platform is also a good channel to promote our stock. And a good opportunity for us to understand the prices all over the world.”

Do you also want to connect with these vetted companies and expand your network worldwide? Click the banner below and connect with 1500+ vetted shipping companies globally.

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Market overview container trading 

Container trading is crucial to the sustainability of the shipping industry. The buying and selling of shipping containers maintains the resilience of the logistics industry – even in the face of disruptions. In fact, the global pool of shipping containers increased by 13% to almost 50 million TEUs in 2021 and now there’s a surplus of shipping containers. 

And while earlier, the container manufacturing industry was dominated by China, gradually, other countries have also started container manufacturing like India, Japan and USA. 

Similarly, despite the global supply chain wanting to reduce dependency on China, the country’s major sea ports are opening new container shipping routes this year to expand capacity, enhance foreign trade and increase market share. Read our latest “Where are all the containers” report to find out more and keep up to date with the latest industry development. 

Buy & sell containers commission free on xChange

Container xChange is the all-in-one container trading platform that you’ve been waiting for. We have 50,000+ containers located across 2,500+ unique locations at your disposal. Just browse through the offers and trade containers – at 0% commission. 

Our platform allows you to connect with 2500+ vetted buyers and sellers – allowing you to expand your container trading business without investing much in business development. Our dedicated Customer Service team makes sure that your container operations go smoothly. And that your payments are completely secure through the xChange wallet. 

Want to see how xChange platform can help you expand your business? Simply click the banner below and get a free tour of our platform today!

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Container trading: Common FAQs

Are containers a good investment?

Yes, investing in shipping containers is a good decision. You can make profits by container trading or by leasing your containers when not in use.

How do you make money selling shipping containers?

One of the profitable ways of making money selling shipping containers is by making them available in locations with high demand. This way, you can sell your boxes at a higher price.

How to earn profits through container trading?

Simply put, to earn profits in container trading, you can buy containers from where prices are low and sell them in locations where prices are high.