Are Shipping Containers Used More Than Once – 2024 Guide


If you have seen rows and rows of shipping containers in TV series and movies, you must have wondered if they can be reused. As a business owner going into the shipping business, understanding the functionality and usability of shipping containers is extremely important in factoring in the costs.

Shipping containers are used for heavy transportation via sea routes. They usually have cargo from a single client but can also have cargo from multiple businesses if it is not in a large quantity. Made with durability in mind so it is natural that shipping companies would want to reuse them when it comes to overseas transportation. In this article, we will try to answer the question if shipping containers are used and about their general life expectancy.

Life Expectancy of a Shipping Container


If you know the life expectancy of a container, you will be able to answer whether or not it is used in the overseas shipping business. Let us tell you that generally a container is used for about 15 years on end before retiring or being repurposed for another use. If they are re-purposed or reused in some other manner, containers can even double in their life expectancy. You can get more details from a reliable Shipping Container wholesaler.

Are They Used More Than Once?


Based on the grades and the level of damage this sustain after one trip, shipping containers can be used for more than one time. While some are specifically made for one trip, others can be used for several years depending on the type of material being used for their construction. Here are the different types:

The one trip shipping container is used only once and is exposed to a lot of damage in that one trip.

The Premium grade is great for about 2 to 8 years and keeps on functioning optimiling during this time If employed multiple times.

There is a general purpose container which can be used multiple times by doing constant repairs depending on the damage. It has the lowest cost of all the grades.

Grade A shipping containers can be used even after 8 years have passed as they do not have a lot of corrosion to damage their structural integrity.

There are Grade B and Refurbished levels of shipping containers available but neither of them are eligible for being used for overseas shipping purposes. Knowing all of these grades is important if one is looking to repurpose shipping containers.

The Takeaway

So to answer your question, some shipping containers can be used more than once depending on their grade and the damage to their structural integrity. One needs to understand the life expectancy of shipping containers in general to make the best use of them. From both a business and an environmental perspective, re-purposing and repairing them for different uses after overseas shipping is the best approach. Different grades of containers are used for different purposes and will also have different costs.