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Home » Shipping Containers » Renting or Buying Shipping Containers for Freight Forwarding? Which is Best?

Renting or Buying Shipping Containers for Freight Forwarding? Which is Best?

Should You Rent or Buy Shipping Containers for Freight Forwarding?

When considering international freight forwarding for any purpose, there are many decisions that need to be made. Whether importing or exporting stock for business purposes or moving house overseas, making the right decisions is vital.

The point may come where you consider shipping containers for sale vs renting a shipping container.

Which is the best option?

How an international shipping service works.

When shipping goods overseas, a set fee for the rental of a shipping container is commonly included in the price.

Renting a returnable container in this way lets you use the container for a certain amount of time;

  • An amount of time to load your goods and transport the container to the port.
  • The time that is taken to ship from the port of origin to the destination port.
  • After offboarding from the ship, a certain amount of time to get to the end destination and then return the container to the shipping line who owns it.

If the cargo container is not returned to the shipping provider before the deadline, additional fees will be charged. These are known as demurrage fees and can easily be in the order of $60 per day (per 20ft container) the container is overdue.

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The decision to rent or buy will be based upon a number of factors.

Rent or buy a shipping container

To rent or buy a shipping container?

Shipping containers for sale or to rent?

Firstly, ask yourself these questions to help clarify which option will be most suitable.

  • Where is the final destination for the delivery? Is it far from the port? How long could it be expected to take to get there (and back)?
  • How long will the goods take to be unloaded from the container?
  • Can any delays be expected with transportation after offboarding from the ship? For example, these can be due to;
    • Conflict in road or rail transportation scheduling.
    • Unstable political situations in the country of destination or other country en-route.
    • Weather conditions based upon time of year.

If a variety of these factors will cause a delay in returning the cargo container to the shipping line, it may be cost-effective to purchase the container outright.

The financial decision will, of course, be weighed on other factors;

  • Do you want or need a shipping container?
  • If you purchase a container, do you have the space to store it?
  • If your owned cargo container is overseas, how will you get it back?

Support with international freight forwarding.

For assistance in making the right freight forwarding decisions, speak with us at SPLS. As freight forwarders with decades of experience, we will help you through all the options and develop an effective shipping plan for you.