‘Off-hire containers’ mean multiple things in the shipping industry. Read this blog to learn different meanings of the term. Also, learn how you can earn by leasing your container for one-way use and selling them on an off-hire basis on xChange.

In this blog, you’ll learn:

  • An off-hire container is a container nearing the end of its leasing period
  • Off-hire container trading deals are also called ‘Gate-Buy’
  • In off-hire trading deals, the container is sold in the end location of the leasing contract.
  • Buyers save trucking costs in off-hire container deals.
  • Sellers save depot costs in off-hire container deals
  • How to maximize earnings by using xChange’s leasing and trading combo

Learn & trade containers

If you’re a seasoned shipping industry player, then there are good chances you have come across the word ‘off-hire’. But if you’re new to the shipping industry, then the term ‘off-hire container’ can leave you confused. You must be wondering if it’s yet another container-type?

In fact, ‘off-hire container’ has grown to become one such word with multiple meanings in the shipping lingo. It all really boils down to who you’re talking to and in what situation. In this blog, we’ll try to understand what it means in leasing and trading and how you can make the most of it.

Whether you’re involved in leasing, buying, or selling containers, xChange offers you a platform to deal containers in 2500+ locations globally. And yes, you can also get ‘off-hire containers’ on our online marketplace. All you’ve to do is log in, make a request, and find interested and vetted partners to do business with. All this at price points that suit you!

Want to unlock our coveted network to find your perfect deal on containers? Click on the banner below to learn more.

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What does ‘off-hire’ mean in shipping?

Let’s get one thing straight, an ‘off-hire container’ is not a container-type. ‘Off-hire’ refers to a particular stage of the container within a leasing deal lifecycle.

An off-hire container is usually a container at the end of its leasing period. Pretty simple, right? Well, yes, but the confusion arrives when you hear about off-hire container deals in trading.

Now, you must be wondering why container sellers and buyers are talking about off-hire containers? It’s because they’re involved in trading containers nearing their leasing period.

We’ll get to that shortly. But first, let’s understand the meaning of what off-hire containers are in leasing.

Off-hire container in container leasing

containers in a yard

You must know that in container leasing, a container owner (lessor) leases out their container to the container user (lessee) for a leasing period. Now whether it’s a master lease, long-term lease, short-term lease, or a one-way lease, the containers at the end of their leasing period are called off-hire containers.

So if you hear something like “Where will you deliver the off-hire containers?” from a leasing company, it simply means where will you return the containers you’d rented.

Most commonly, you’ll find leasing companies using the term off-hire containers in the context of conducting off-hire surveys. Let’s quickly go over what these surveys are.

Off-hire container surveys

A container goes through various levels of inspections in different stages of a deal. This inspection is referred to as a container survey. And the inspection carried out after the container is returned to its owner is referred to as an off-hire survey. In this stage, the container is your ‘off-hire container’.

The lessor carries out the off-hire survey to check if there’s any damage to the container outside the agreed leasing terms.

To know more about how surveys can save you from disputes, head over to this blog to learn all about container surveys. Or our members can just cut to the chase and book container surveys on our platform.

Just click on the ‘Request Survey’ button on the xChange dashboard and get your boxes surveyed at nominal fees. Click on the banner below to learn more.

Request off-hire survey

Off-hire container in container trading

You’ll be surprised to know that ‘off-hire’ is a very common term in container trading. You know by now that an off-hire container is a container nearing the end of its leasing period. The same container becomes an off-hire container in trading if it’s sold at this stage of its deal.

Let’s understand this with an example.

For instance, you’ve leased a container for one-way shipping from Shanghai (China) to Savannah (the US). It’s aboard a container vessel. Now, while your container is on its way to the port of Savannah, you get an interested buyer for the box at the drop-off location. If you sell the box to the buyer while it’s on its way (nearing the end of its leasing period), the container becomes an ‘off-hire container’ between you (the seller) and the buyer.

So essentially, ‘off-hire’ in trading refers to a kind of trading deal, in which you sell the container while it’s rented out. Hence, this container becomes an off-hire container.

In trading companies’ lingo, such deals are also referred to as ‘Gate-Buy’. This is because the container gets bought ‘the moment it gates in’ at the specified container depot.

Now, you must be wondering why do people buy and sell containers off-hire? Well, there are overwhelming benefits for both buyers and sellers in such deals. Let’s take a quick look.

Benefits of off-hire container for buyers

Usually, when you buy a container, you’ve to arrange to move it from the seller’s depot to where you need them. Imagine you’re already spending the big bucks on buying containers and now you also have to spend on trucking. It’s going to be a pricey affair!

trucking at a depot

And yet, buyers comply because that’s how the industry works. But with off-hire containers, you can completely save on such trucking costs. Here’s how.

When you’re buying an off-hire container, the seller arranges the delivery of the container to your depot. They’ll simply ask the lessee of the container to hand it over at your depot’s address. This way, you save the trucking costs of transporting the container from the port to your depot.

In fact, buying an off-hire container gives you more control over the box. Since the container reaches your depot — your turf, you’ve got more freedom to conduct surveys and repairs. The costs of these same services would be higher in somebody else’s depot.

If these benefits ring a bell with you, then hop on our platform to buy off-hire containers today. On xChange, you’ll find over 1000+ container owners and users. Simply connect with a seller willing to sell containers off-hire, negotiate with them, and book deals in a matter of a few clicks.

Our transparent and user-friendly dashboard makes it happen for you. We have 10,000+ containers available in 2,500+ locations on our platform. Want to see container availability in your location? Just enter your details, including the location and container type, and hit the search button to find containers near you!

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Benefits of off-hire container for sellers

If you’re selling containers, you’re required to store them in depots for the buyer to collect them. This means you’ll have to shell out money to rent the depot space. And honestly, they don’t come cheap!

But if you’re selling off-hire containers, you can easily save money on depots. We’ll tell you how.

Since the containers are on a lease while they’re on the way, you can simply ask the lessee to deliver the containers directly to the buyer’s depot. This way, you don’t have to arrange temporary storage in depots — saving you hefty depot costs.

In fact, you can also use this to your advantage to make money. Since you’re delivering directly to your buyer’s depot, you no longer have to sign depot contracts. So, you can start scaling up and selling containers in locations globally without worrying about depot costs. Make way into the markets for free that were inaccessible or too expensive to enter before.

Interested in selling your containers? Click on the banner below to find buyers in 2500+ locations today.

Find container buyers for trading

Let’s head over to the next section to find out how you can maximize your earnings with off-hire containers.

Earn maximum profit by combining leasing & trading of off-hire container

The reason why off-hire containers have become so popular in the shipping industry is that they’re a highly lucrative investment. Especially, if you play your cards right.

As a container owner, you know you’ll make money if you’re leasing or selling your container. But if you combine leasing and selling, then you’ll end up making much more. Let’s see how container owners are doing this on xChange.

As you know, xChange has both leasing and trading platforms. You can simply go on both these platforms, make your containers available, find vetted lessees/buyers, and earn money safely and surely.

Now, to make money on off-hire containers, container owners follow these steps to maximize their earnings.

Maximize revenue by leasing and trading off-hire containers

  • Step 1: Members use our trading platform to buy containers from a location with high pick-up charges (e.g. Shanghai).
  • Step 2: The container owner then uses our leasing platform to one-way lease out the container to a location with a high container price (e.g. Savannah).
  • Step 3: While the container is on the way, the container owner again uses the trading platform to sell the container at its destination location (Savannah).

This way, the container owner not only recovers the amount they spent on buying the container. But also earns via leasing and then eventually selling. 

There are many such routes on which you can make money by combining leasing and selling. And our online container marketplace, with 1000+ members in 2500+ locations, will have you find lessees and buyers easily.  

Want to know more about how you can use xChange to make profits? Or do you want to check out more such routes? Click on the banner below to get all your questions answered by our experts. 

Maximize your profits

Why choose xChange to get an off-hire container?

You know now how our members are using xChange for off-hire container deals. Our leasing and trading platforms offer complete transparency over container availability, prices, and peer reviews. With only vetted members on our platforms, xChange has emerged to be one of the most trustworthy online platforms for dealing containers worldwide.

But what makes off-hire container deals really easy on xChange is our cost and time-efficient platform. Time is the key with such deals. It’s all about how quickly you’re able to find containers, lessors, and buyers on your route. Our leasing and trading platforms make it possible for you to find all these in mere minutes!

Buy a container on a trading platform, lease it out on a leasing platform, and sell it on trading again. You can do this in 2500+ locations in the world from the comfort of your computer screen. And you get all this without paying us any commission.

Interested to know more? You can click on the banner below to see the leasing and trading platforms in action. Our experts will answer all your questions and may even give you money-making tips on off-hire containers. Try it out now!

Get best leasing and trading deals on containers

Off-hire container: FAQ

Can containers be rented?

Yes, you can rent a container for short-term, long-term, and one-time use. You can rent containers from container leasing companies or online on xChange.

What is off-hire in shipping?

Off-hire has a different meaning in the shipping industry. In container logistics, off-hire refers to a stage of the container leasing deal when the container's leasing period is about to end.

What is an off-hire survey?

The inspection carried out after the container is returned to its owner is referred to as an off-hire survey. The lessor carries out the off-hire survey to check if there’s any damage to the container outside the agreed leasing terms.

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