Finding competitive shipping container prices in South Africa is more than just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity. Especially if you’re shipping goods often. In this blog, we’ll give you the lowdown on equipment prices, plus how to find container deals that tick all of your boxes.

Container xChange is an online container marketplace for container trading and leasing. We’ve got 10,000+ containers available, in over 2,500 locations around the globe. We provide a space where users and suppliers can connect with each other to safely network and transact containers.

On our platform, all prices are stated upfront. So you can compare offers, and make sure you get the price that works for you. What’s more, all deals are negotiable, and you can speak directly to container owners. No complications, no middlemen.

Why not try out our trading public search right now, to find out just how easy it is to get container offers near you? It’s simple: just type in your location, and the container type you’re looking for. Then press ‘search’, to see all available offers within your criteria, in no time at all.

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Shipping container prices South Africa

Picture the scene. You’ve got a shipment you’d like to move internationally. Now you need a container to ship the cargo off in. The first step? Find out how much shipping containers will cost you. If you don’t, container prices can easily start to eat up your budget, leaving you with a little left over for other important business operations.

Luckily, we’re here to help you out with prices for containers in South Africa. So that you can check the prices and plan your operations accordingly. Let’s take a look at the prices for 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft HC containers in various cities now:

Location 20ft container 40ft container 40ft HC container
Cape Town US $2,100 US $2,250 US $2,549
Johannesburg US $2,088 US $2,746 US $3,002
Durban US $2,385 US $2,385 US $2,952

Want to find out more about the container types we have available on xChange? Learn more about container types, uses, and prices here.

What determines shipping container prices in South Africa?

There are many factors that influence container prices in general. These include size, container condition and type, location of equipment, and the market situation. 

Whilst all of these are important, location is one of the most crucial factors in determining container prices. Some areas are in surplus, and others in deficit, depending on the current market situation. This affects the demand for containers, and thus, the price you’ll pay.

What factors influence container prices

So how can you keep up to date with current trends in the market, in various locations around the world? We’ll tell you exactly how in the next section. 

Get real-time container prices in South Africa

Now that you’ve had a look at the container prices in various locations in South Africa, you might be wondering how you can access up-to-date container prices regularly.  We’ve got the perfect solution for you!

Welcome to xChange Insights, where you can check out current container prices in over 180 locations around the globe, at any time of day or night. 

So how does it work? On Insights, data is updated daily, so simply log in, choose the container type and location, and find the latest market prices. 


What’s more, you’ll be able to keep an eye on price trends to see the cheapest location to buy containers in. Not to mention the most lucrative areas to sell equipment in, in order to make a profit. What could be more useful?

You’ll also find all of the latest Container xChange reports on Insights, so you can keep up to date with all of the important developments in the container logistics industry. 

Want to experience the Insights platform for yourself? Try Insights for free today.

New & used shipping containers for sale in South Africa

We touched upon container conditions above, as well as how this affects the price you’ll pay. So let’s learn a little more about these now, and which one best suits your needs. 

On Container xChange, we offer containers of various conditions. If you want the best of the best, it makes sense to go for an A-Grade or one-trip container. These have a CSC plate (certifying they’re safe to carry cargo), and are usually pretty new. They won’t have been damaged or repaired, and will be free from dents and rust. 

However, if you’re shipping goods that aren’t particularly delicate, a near-new container is most- ikely not necessary. Plus, it’s going to be a lot more expensive than a used container. 

If you simply want something that’s completely sealed, you can opt for a cargo-worthy or wind and watertight container. Both of these have CSC plates (so you can rest-assured they won’t let the elements in). They’re also heaps cheaper than new containers, but for a much lower price. And they’ll still do the trick. 

The choice is completely yours. On xChange, we’ve one-trip, cargo-worthy and WWT containers, so take your pick. 

Shipping containers South Africa: Types, uses and dimensions

If you’re shipping dry goods, you’ll be needing a standard shipping container. There are 3 main sizes of dry containers: 20ft, 40ft and 40ft HCs

It’s important to work out the weight and dimensions of your cargo before choosing the container size you need. Keep this in mind as you look at the below equipment available in South Africa. 

20ft standard shipping container

Standard 20ft containers are extremely popular and for good reason! They’re compact and lightweight but can pack in a lot of cargo. 

20ft containers are easy to move around and are ideal for intermodal transportation (via ships, trucks, and trains). If you don’t have too much cargo to ship, a 20ft should more than satisfy your needs. 

Check out the measurements for a standard 20ft below to make sure your cargo will fit into this nifty container size.

Measurements 20ft dry container
Internal length 5.9m / 19.4ft
Internal width 2.3m / 7.8ft
Internal height 2.3m / 7.8ft
Tare weight 2,300kg / 5,071.5 lbs
Payload capacity 25,000kg / 55,126.9 lbs
Cubic capacity 33.2 m3 / 1,172 cu ft

40ft standard shipping container

40ft shipping containers are the older siblings of the 20ft container. Perhaps, you’ve checked out the measurements of the 20ft and realized your cargo just won’t fit? Don’t sweat, the 40ft has double the capacity and usually costs only around 30% more than the 20ft. It’s a no-brainer!

A 40ft container can also be used to transport machinery and larger items that wouldn’t fit into a 20ft container.

Thinking of using 40fts for your cargo needs? Take a look at the below measurements to make sure the 40ft fits the bill.

Measurements 40ft dry containers
Internal length 12.03m / 39.5ft
Internal width 2.3m / 7.9ft
Internal height 2.3m / 7.9ft
Tare weight 3,750kg / 8,268.8 lbs
Payload capacity 27,600kg / 61,200 lbs
Cubic capacity 67,7 cu m / 2,389 cu ft

40ft HC standard shipping container

40ft HC shipping container

The 40ft high cube container is another popular standard container type. This container is the same width and length as the standard 40ft, but with an extra foot of height. The extra space can come in handy if your cargo doesn’t quite squeeze into a standard 40ft, or if you’re transporting taller, or oddly-shaped cargo. 

Again, make sure your goods will fit by checking out the dimensions and capacity of the high cube container here.

Measurements 40ft HC dry container
Internal length 12.03m / 39.5ft
Internal width 2.4m / 7.9ft
Internal height 2.70m / 8.10ft
Tare weight 3,900kg / 8,598 lbs
Payload capacity 28,600kg / 63,052 lbs
Cubic capacity 76.3m3 / 2,694.5 cu ft

Besides standard containers, there are also a number of special containers available on the Container xChange platform. This includes the reefers, tank containers, flat racks and double doors.

If you’re interested in getting special containers, we’ve got all kinds on xChange. Want to learn more? Why not sign up for a for a free demo to learn all about how you can get containers of various types easily on our platform

Shipping container prices in South Africa: Renting vs buying

So you’ve thought about the type, size and condition of the containers you’ll need for shipping. Great! There’s one more question you should ask yourself before you start looking for equipment: Should I rent or buy? It’s always good to know what your options are, so let’s check out some of the main differences below. 

If you’re planning on shipping goods often, buying containers is definitely the way to go. Plus, you can always sell them again and make a profit by selling them in locations with high-demand, using our Insights. What’s not to like?

If the containers belong to you, you can also modify them in any way you need to. So if it’s freedom and a good investment you’re after, go ahead and get buying

Had a look at the differences and feel like leasing might suit you better? Check out this blog to learn more about one-way leasing on Container xChange. 

How to buy shipping containers

If you’ve made your decision to start purchasing containers, well done! We’ll take you through the simple steps to getting them on the xChange platform now. 

Once you’re a member, it’s quick and easy to find the equipment you’re looking for, whenever you need it. 

First things first, decide on the containers you want. Then, simply enter the type and location into the trading search bar to get started. You’ll find a list of available offers that suit your criteria in just seconds. 

Container manufacturers China

Next, compare deals to find the offer that best fits your needs. Once you’ve found the containers you want, start negotiating directly with the seller on the platform. You should agree to a deal only when you’re 100% happy with the price, as well as all terms and conditions. 

Then, make all payments directly on xChange, using the xChange wallet. Here, you can rest assured all payments are completely safe and secure. Plus, you’ll receive just one monthly invoice, making managing and tracking your finances simple and straightforward, at last!

Finally, arrange transportation for your containers on our Ocean Freight Marketplace to get them to where you need them to go. And ta-da, you’re all set! Easy, wasn’t it?

Get containers at competitive prices on Container xChange

And that’s a wrap. We hope you’ve got all of the information you need in order to make smart container buying decisions. 

Sign up as a member on Container xChange to start trading containers at prices you’ll love, and enjoy these perks…

Make 100% safe payments

If you’ve been scammed or ripped off in the past, we understand why you’d worry about safe payments. Luckily, all payments on Container xChange are completely secure. What’s more, our dedicated customer service team is here to make sure things run smoothly for you at all times.

No commission on deals

Did we mention that we charge 0% commission on all of our container deals? So you don’t have to worry about those pesky hidden fees piling up. The price you agree upon is the price you’ll pay, no additional surprises.

Use our trusted partner network

We have a network of over 1,500 trusted partners just waiting to work with you. Each and every member of xChange goes through a mandatory background check. So you can relax, knowing that every member you trade with is vetted, pre-approved, and completely reliable.

10,000+ containers to choose from

If you struggle to find the container type and size you’re looking for through your current sourcing channels, it’s time to take a deep breath. Things are looking up for you. On xChange, we’ve got 10,000+ containers of all types and sizes available. Plus, there are over 2,500 unique locations to choose from. 

It sounds good, right? So why not get started right away? Click below to sign up for your free demo with one of our friendly experts. Learn all about how you can get the containers you need, at competitive prices in South Africa.

How much does a shipping container cost in South Africa?

A shipping container in South Africa will cost you between US $ 2,000 and US $ 3,000. Container prices depend on the condition of the container, the location, the size, as well as the container type.

How much is a 40ft shipping container in South Africa?

A 40ft shipping container in South Africa is around US $ 2,250 in Cape Town, in Johannesburg, about US $ 2,746, and in Durban, US $ 2,385.

How much is a 20ft shipping container in South Africa?

A 20ft shipping container in South Africa is about US $ 2,100 in Cape Town, US $ 2,088 in Johannesburg, and US $ 2,385 in Durban.