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Choosing A Suitable Shipping Container

Tuesday, 16th March 2010
When looking to buy a shipping container there will be lots for sale from various companies. What is not always made clear is that they come in a variety of conditions. It cannot always be taken for granted that the unit will be wind and watertight unless you specifically ask for that specification. Generally most reputable companies will state which condition their equipment is being offered in. On occasions it may not be necessary to pay a premium for a repaired container when your storage needs are fairly basic. For example a recycling company in London, looking to store tyres, plastic or scrap will not necessarily need a box in wind and watertight condition. If they are just looking to keep their yard tidy and be able to lock something away then working, lockable, doors may be the only requirement. In this instance a saving can be made by explaining your use to the depot selling the unit and reap the benefit of buying a cheap container. If however your goods need to be kept dry as well as secure, such as in self storage, then a wind and watertight box will be the way to go. Here any holes, splits or cuts will have been repaired and the doors free and easy. Beware though of rogue companies offering units in wind and watertight condition where holes or splits are only covered in tape and painted over, known as “flashband” repairs. Where possible ask to visit the depots stocks and choose a container for yourself. Some depots in London will offer graded containers “A”, “B” or “C.” Grade “A” containers will usually be in the best cosmetic condition and “C” usually unrepaired, in the same condition as the depot bought it. If you intend to use your container for shipping then it must be in cargoworthy condition and have a valid CSC plate or ACEP sticker. These ACEP (approved continuous examination programme) stickers can only be fitted by an approved container storage and repair depot or inspector. Ignore this requirement at your peril as many shipping lines will not accept equipment without them.

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