If you plan buying a shipping container for refrigerated storage there are certain things that you need to consider. Whether you plan on purchasing these containers new or used there are several tips and considerations to ensure that your purchase is of a quality product and certified to meet your usage demands.
The most important factors to consider when purchasing a refrigerated storage container are age and condition. If you plan on purchasing a new container solution, the most important factor is the quality of the manufacturer. Age.
Although this is an important factor it is less important than condition. Used containers can have wildly different shipping histories. Some sit in ports for months on end in mild climates. Others have seen thousands of miles through rough terrain or weather in harsh climates.
These differences are plainly seen, but age is not always an identifier of such. Lastly age matters in the realm of international shipping. Any container older than 5 years old, needs to be refurbished and certified by a marine surveyor. This re-certification is generally good for another 24 months of use, before re-certification is needed again. Condition
The condition of any used container is by the more important item on the inspection list to consider. Containers are generally listed into 5 different categories.
Cargo Worthy - new containers with a CSC plate showing a manufacture date within the last 5 years is considered to be still under a cargo worthy distinction. However, if you are purchasing a 2 years old container it is still worthwhile to have another container inspection to ensure it's quality. New containers from a manufacturer will be of the best quality and meet your requirements without any extra inspection than the specification sheet provided.
As-is Containers - provide a great solution for cold storage for small business or extra storage needs. Not generally acceptable for transport or shipping.
Wind & Water Tight Containers - these have been certified to be wind and water tight containers providing optimal protection for cold storage while in transit. This designation for brand new or slightly used containers is generally accepted. If the container is older than 5 years old, this should be rigorously tested to ensure continued seals are not leaking.
> Refurbished Storage Containers - consist of old containers that have been repainted for storage use. Generally these are cheap alternatives that do not stand up to exacting standards for shipping and sometimes are not efficient for cold storage of perishable food items.
> One-Trip Containers - are containers that have only seen one overseas trip, from the manufacturer to their intended destination. These are usually very lightly used and can be a great cost alternative to a brand new container factory direct.
Other issues to look at when purchasing a used container include the working mechanisms of the container. prioritize shipping container The doors, locking mechanisms, hinges, gasket seals, roof and lower sidewall can all take excessive damage in shipping. Ensuring these are in good condition first is a priority.
Lastly the refrigeration unit should be certified by a qualified technician before purchase. Purchasing used refrigerated storage units can be one of the most difficult decisions because of the standards and regulations in place for food safety. By buying a new refrigerated unit, you can avoid any pitfalls.