Container brokers can save you time in sourcing containers. However, traditional container brokers are known to take huge cuts in deals, making them expensive. Read this blog to find out how you can source containers on xChange without paying any commission.   

For long, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, and shippers would source containers without the help of digitization. And the shipping industry has survived for several decades. However, it’s a highly manual and tedious process. A process that involves manually sourcing affordable containers in desired locations, searching for partners, vetting, and negotiating. An important task, but also a very time-consuming one. 

Essentially, without digitization, this process can take weeks, if not months. And we all know that time is of the essence in the shipping industry.

That’s why, we developed an online container marketplace that allows you to connect with 1500+ vetted members across the globe. This omits the need for any middlemen or brokers, saving you money on container deals. 

Want to see how? Try our public search below and see for yourself how easy it’s to find boxes across the world with just a few clicks. All you need to do is enter your pick-up and drop-off locations, and hit the search button. You can then take your pick from a list of containers, suppliers, and current leasing rates!

Please select a location.
Please select a location.

Who is a container broker?

Wondering who exactly is a container broker? Are they the same as a freight broker? In this rather complex industry, container brokers and freight brokers each have their own roles to fulfill. So no, they’re not the same.

A container broker acts on behalf of freight forwarders, NVOCCs, and shippers to source and lease containers. Often, they act as the lessor or lessee of containers.

Whereas, freight brokers act as an intermediary between shippers and carriers to help shippers get their loads covered at better prices. 

Now that we essentially know who a container broker is, let’s unpack their specific role in the industry.

Role of shipping container brokers

Let’s understand the role of container brokers by looking at how they work. Let’s say you have a requirement of specialized containers. Initially, you’ll reach out to your own personal network of container suppliers. If you don’t find the containers or favorable deals, you’ll reach out to a container broker to help you lease or buy  equipment. You’ll need to explain to the broker the type of cargo you want to ship and your equipment requirements. Along with that, you’ll also need to specify your budget and shipment locations.

Once that’s done, your broker will begin the hunt for your ideal container. They do this by reaching out to their existing network and shortlisting potential partners. Typically, container brokers also negotiate leasing rates on your behalf. 

container broker

It seems easy to assign the task of finding containers to brokers. But there are also downsides of hiring them. Read the next section to find out more. 

The downside of hiring a container broker

Shippers, freight forwarders, and NVOCCs have been using container brokers to source one-way containers for years. But as with many other things, there are also downsides. 

When using a broker, the prices are often higher and there’s no way to know if extra charges have been added to the final price, due to a lack of transparency.

Did you know: Container brokerage fees will cost you anywhere between $100 to $500? And this range is set to increase if you require more containers. Also, container availability on a busy route will hike the brokerage fees.

Additionally, you won’t receive comparisons on prices and conditions. Obtaining process support is another issue not covered in the broker’s services. You’ll be on your own dealing with payments, tracking containers, insurance, and having depots ready.

Hiring a container broker doesn’t sound as appealing as it did before, right? That’s why we’re here to introduce to you a 100% transparent online container marketplace that takes care of all your container needs. Read on to see how our platform is different from a traditional container broker.

Container xChange vs traditional container brokers

Container xChange is an online container marketplace that enables you to buy, lease, and sell containers in 2500+ locations. On our platform, you can directly deal with container users and owners (without any broker), with 100% price transparency and no hidden costs. Plus, you can do that without paying us any commission!  

Take a look at the table below to find out why our platform is better than traditional brokers.

Container brokers Container xChange
Focus Container brokers usually have a regional focus. Giving them a solid network at a regional level. Container xChange has an international focus. Resulting in a worldwide network, with container at 2500+ locations only a click away.
Scalability There’s a low level of scalability when using container brokers. Due to the regional focus it’s difficult to expand to other markets. The limited personal network reduces the ability of making changes in the container fleet. There’s a high level of scalability on the platform. You can at any time increase or decrease the number of containers available. As well as expanding to other markets because of the international network.
Transparency Non-transparent concerning pricing, extra charges and finding partners. High level of transparency throughout the platform. You know who you work with and you know the prices.
Process support With a broker, you, yourself have to figure out the payment handling, track the different containers and find insurance. All that involves time-consuming email correspondences back and forth At xChange you’ll find process support when it comes to vetting process, payment handling, tracking service, container surveying, and container insurance.

As you can see, our platform is not only a 100% transparent marketplace but a solution to simplifying your container logistics. From helping you source containers at the best possible prices to handling your payments and insuring your boxes. We’re here to support you through the entire process.

Want to know more about our marketplace? Just click the banner below and let our experts give you a demo of the platform. 

Container broker

How to buy or lease containers at no commission

Now that you know about the hefty fees that container brokers charge–it’s time to understand exactly how our platform works so you can avoid them. 

On our platform, you can easily lease, buy or sell containers at 0% commission. If you’re not sure if you should lease or buy containers, check out this blog post

Now let’s take a look at our leasing platform first.

Lease shipper-owned containers (SOCs) on your desired route

Most traditional brokers are only able to source carrier-owned containers (COCs) from their regional network. COCs are popular for standard shipments on stretches with high cargo flow. For example, Shanghai to Los Angeles or Hamburg to Singapore.

However, on stretches where the final destination isn’t a lucrative positioning for the carrier, the prices of COCs go up.

Apart from surcharges on freight rates, it won’t take much for COC containers to become an expensive ordeal for you. And if they’re stuck at the ports or with customs, you’ll have to pay a lot of money. More precisely, the carrier will charge you demurrage & detention charges.

That’s why, SOCs are becoming more and more popular among market players. They are a great substitute if you’re looking to cut expenses and regain control over your logistical operations.

[Want to know more about the difference between SOCs and COCs? Check out this blog post]

On Container xChange, you can easily source SOC containers at the best rates. By simply stating your requirements like container pickup and drop-off location, you’ll be presented with multiple offers to choose from. All from vetted suppliers and with negotiable terms. By omitting the broker in the process, you’ll end up saving money in leasing deals! 

Want to check out leasing offers in your desired route? Then click here and select the best deals now.

Buy & sell containers at the best price

If you’re planning on using containers frequently and for a long time, it’s better to buy the container instead. This way, you don’t have to worry about sourcing containers whenever your clients have a shipment. 

Pro tip: You can even lease your containers when not in use or sell them later at a profitable location. Check out how one of our members, Grunsky Trading Company, maximized their profits by doing exactly this

Container xChange allows you to connect with 1500+ vetted members in 2500+ locations globally. After filling in your requirements like container type and location, you can choose the best deals from a wide range of options. Plus, you can connect directly with the seller and negotiate better prices. 

We understand it can be risky to deal with new partners, that’s why you can make payments through the xChange wallet. This way, you can ensure that your money is safe and keep track of all your payments in one place. 

All this at 0% commission! So why rely on brokers who charge you hefty fees when you can get better prices right here? Get the boxes you need at a price that matches your budget. Simply click on the banner below to get in touch with our experts today.

container broker

Container broker: Common FAQs

Who is a container broker?

A container broker acts on behalf of freight forwarders, NVOCCs, and shippers to source and lease containers. Often, they act as the lessor or lessee of containers.

How do container brokers get paid?

Container brokers get a commission on every shipping deal they arrange. It’s anywhere between $100 to $500. This fee range is set to increase if you require more containers. The container availability on a particular route can also impact brokerage fees.

What are the pros and cons of hiring a container broker?

Container brokers can save you time in container deals. But they take huge cuts, and this commission is set to increase if you require more containers. Moreover, you can’t know if extra broker charges have been added to the final price, due to a lack of transparency.