Steel shipping containers are the go-to choice for their durability and security. Learn how you can get your hands on steel containers at the best prices in this blog. Or, click here to find sales offers on steel containers in 2500+ locations globally. 

Steel shipping containers have been used to transport freight for over 50 years! This is due to their supreme longevity, security, mobility, and accessibility. They keep your heavy and fragile cargo safe.

While it’s easy to find steel containers, you can never be too sure that you’re paying the right price. And if you want specialized steel containers, there’s a good chance that your local sourcing network may not have them.

That’s where Container xChange can help you. On our container trading platform, you can choose from 100,000+ containers in 2,500+ locations globally. You can compare multiple offers from vetted sellers, negotiate and make the best deals! 

Want to check out the prices and availability of steel containers in your location? Simply use the public search below, fill in your container requirements and location, and browse through multiple offers from vetted sellers.

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New and used steel shipping containers for sale

Shipping containers come in different conditions. Before buying shipping containers, it’s important to decide on the condition of the container you need. 

If you plan to use containers for a long time, you should opt for a new steel shipping container. New containers last for 15- 20 years. However, they’re more expensive than used containers – with the average cost of a new 40ft shipping container being $3.500. 

But you can always sell your new containers in the second-hand container market later or lease them when not in use. 

If you’re looking for an affordable option, then used steel containers might be right for you. Second-hand containers can last for 8 to 10 years and they’re perfectly fit to ship your cargo safely. You can buy 40ft old containers for as low as $1,500 on our platform.

Want to check out the price difference between new and used containers in your location? Click the banner below to see the price difference and make the best container deals!

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Standard steel shipping containers for sale on xChange 

On the Container xChange trading platform, you can find 12 types of shipping containers in 2,500+ locations globally. Let’s take a look at some of the standard containers available on the platform. 

20ft standard steel shipping container

20ft containers are the most commonly used steel containers for shipping goods. They’re also quite popular due to their small size and are one of the most affordable containers in the market. You can get new 20ft steel containers for $2,000 on average.

20ft steel shipping container

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, then cargo-worthy containers are more suitable for you. You can get second-hand 20ft containers for as low as $900 in some locations on our platform. Click here to check out the prices of 20ft containers in your preferred location.

40ft standard steel shipping container

40ft steel shipping container dimensions give you more container space for your cargo. It is also more cost-effective to buy one 40ft container than choosing two 20ft containers.

40ft steel shipping container

The average price of a cargo-worthy 40ft shipping container is $1,500 to $2,000. Click here to check out the sales offers for 40ft containers in your preferred location! 

40ft HC standard steel shipping container

When compared to standard steel shipping container dimensions, high cube containers give you an extra foot in height. These containers are perfect for transporting light, bulky, or even voluminous cargo.

40ft HC steel shipping container

Want to check out the offers for high cube containers in your location? Simply go to our trading platform and browse through sales offers from 1,700+ vetted sellers. 

Apart from the standard steel containers we’ve discussed so far, you can also find specialized containers on our platform. Click here to check out their prices and sales offers in your location.

What are steel shipping containers used for?

Steel shipping containers are used to transport various types of cargo. This includes gas-based fuels, automobiles, factory parts, and dry and liquid bulk cargo. 

Its rigid structure is known to withstand harsh environments and weather. This will ensure that your cargo arrives safely to its destination with minimal damage.

Here’s a list of benefits of using a steel shipping container:

  • It can withstand resistance and the impact of varying weight loads
  • Steel containers can be stacked on top of one another without buckling
  • These containers are low-maintenance

Thus, steel containers are quite sturdy as they’re made of a special type of steel. Read on to find out more.

What type of steel are shipping containers made of?

Shipping containers are made of Corten steel to make the corrugated wall panels, frames, cargo doors, and cross elements of the container. This type of steel is commonly known as weathering steel. It’s anti-corrosive, has high strength, and comes with longevity, meaning shipping containers can last up to 25 years!

When considering steel shipping containers, the quality of materials used is a critical factor. High-grade steel ensures resistance to weather and wear, making these containers a robust choice. By examining shipping containers for sale, you can find units constructed from the finest materials, providing peace of mind during storage and transportation of cargo.

9 Components of steel shipping containers

Steel containers are made up of unique and high-quality components. These components contribute to its long-lasting durability.

Steel shipping container anatomy

Corner casting and posts

Corner castings are strengthened corners for shipping containers that commonly feature twist-locks. These corner castings and posts are sturdy enough to be attached to cranes even while they are carrying a full shipment of cargo.


Most of the ISO steel shipping containers have vents that let air flow in and out. This component helps with temperature regulation and moisture control. Typically, vents are made with the same type of Corten steel as the containers.

Cross members

Also known as beams, cross members support steel container floors by “crossing” from side to side. Cross members create extra space between the ground and the flooring. This prevents moisture from affecting the floor of the shipping container.

Cargo doors and headers

Most steel shipping containers have movable cargo doors split down the middle to form two separate doors. These container doors are strong and contain one or more different locking mechanisms.


Steel containers, crafted to be transported from place to place, will contain two forklift pockets or slots. These components allow forklifts to pick up shipping containers and move them around.

Twist locks

Any steel container designed to be connected to others will have twist locks. These locks can safely fasten shipping containers to other containers or other anchor points.


The majority of steel shipping containers will have durable flooring made of one or more materials. Floorings are commonly treated with insecticides and other protective coatings. As a result, container floorings last for a long time and don’t suffer from insect or rodent damage.

Security seals

Many shipping containers have security seals to ensure optimal security. These components are often color-coded and numbered. Plus you can combine security seals with standard locking mechanisms for added protection.

CSC plate

A CSC plate certifies that a shipping container complies with certain construction and design requirements. You can find this plate on either the interior or exterior of the steel container.

How much does a steel shipping container cost? 

Before buying steel shipping containers, it’s important to know the container prices so you can make the best deals. Take a look at the table below to get the average prices of 40ft cargo-worthy steel shipping containers in various locations. 

40ft (cargo-worthy) container prices

Location Price
USA $2,528
China $1,657
India $1,424
Europe $1,727
UAE $2,251

As you can see, the prices of containers vary from one location to another – the lowest being in India. It will make more sense for you to buy steel containers from India than from places like the USA. This way you’ll save $1,000 on your container deal!

However, the pricing of containers keeps changing and depends on a variety of factors. One easy way to keep track of real-time container prices so you can make the best deals is through xChange Insights. 

On Insights, you can access container prices in 180+ locations globally. By accessing real-time prices you can

  • Calculate your potential costs and profits
  • Make a good deal even in a new market
  • Gain competitive advantage and negotiate with power

Want to know more about Insights and how it can benefit your business? Click here to schedule a free demo today! 

Buy steel shipping containers at best prices on xChange

Now that you know how you can access container prices, it’s time to see how you can use the xChange platform to make the best container deals. 

With xChange, you can:

  • Find steel shipping container offers in 2,500+ locations.
  • Connect and network with 1,700+ trustworthy vetted partner
  • Get real-time pricing through xChange Insights 
  • Safely manage all your transactions in one place with the xChange wallet

And the best part? You can get all these benefits with no hidden costs and 0% commission.

We aim to help you find the perfect box that meets your requirements at the best price! Want to know more about our platform? Simply click on the banner below to get a free demo on how to find steel containers in your location. Our experts will answer your questions and guide you through all the steps. Give it a try now!

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Steel shipping containers: Common FAQs

How much is a steel container?

A steel container costs anywhere between $2,273 to $3,956 USD. The price is dependent on the size, age, location, and availability of the steel container.

How thick is the steel on a shipping container?

The steel on a shipping container’s walls are roughly 0.075 inches thick. The frame, pillars, and rails are about 0.187 inches thick.

How much is a 40ft steel shipping container?

A 40ft steel shipping container costs roughly $3,343 to $3,956 in the US. The price of 40ft steel shipping containers is influenced by age, location, and availability.