Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Unfortunately intermodal depots are busy places and most of the containers stacked up are being used for cargo. When you buy a used shipping container from our company, we act as a broker and source a container directly from global intermodal equipment providers.

For used containers we are able to allow the customer to request their color, however we can offer beige and grey color options for One Trip containers. If you’re ordering multiple units, we can usually guarantee matching units (upon request, based on availability).

Exporting a container is far more complex than buying one.  We highly recommend all customers who need to use their container for export work with a freight forwarder first… and then reach out to us to buy the container about a week or two before you plan to pick it up.

We also recommend that your freight forwarder coordinate all of the trucking.  Because we offer ground level delivery, and can’t move loaded containers, you’ll likely need a crane to load your container onto the chassis when the truck comes to pick it up.  A simpler option is to work with your freight forwarder to arrange a hauler to drop the container on a chassis so you won’t need a crane to load it onto the trailer later.


We do not move loaded containers under any circumstance. If you need moving services, we suggest contact a week before

We do not move containers we did not sell/rent. If you need an existing container moved, we recommend working with a local heavy haul company or heavy duty wrecking/towing company.

Because the containers are stacked at the intermodal depot, we cannot obtain photos or guarantee a specific unit. The depots are storing empty shipping containers for shipping lines and intermodal equipment providers. When we place an order for our customers, they pick the next container off the stack that meets their criteria.

The shipping containers we sell come directly from the intermodal depot, and because depots are so busy they don’t have the ability to let customers select from a wide variety of container options. Additionally, not every container in the stack is for sale (over 95% of containers at depots are not available for sale and are still being used for cargo).

Unfortunately, this means that we’re unable to allow customers to pick a specific container. We do guarantee every container we sell, and do our best to set realistic expectations as to what your container might look like.

Intermodal depots are extremely busy places, and 95%+ of container traffic at depots is cargo related. Unless you have specific business to attend to at the depot, they don’t want you there. Trucking yards make for poor shopping malls, and depots aren’t set up to cater to individual shipping container buyers.

We won’t know what depot your container is coming out of until we get release information, and most depots won’t let you into the yard unless you have a release, so we don’t recommend going to the depot unless you’re handling your own pick-up.

We’re happy to load your truck at the depot if you have the proper equipment to safely transport a shipping container (if you don’t have a truck capable of safely hauling a container, we can help you with delivery).

After purchase, we will provide you with a release number and pick-up information. You can then go to the intermodal depot on the release and have the container loaded on your truck.

Please be aware you are required to comply with all DOT and OSHA rules while at the intermodal depot and Arcelor Container Sales cannot be liable for any issues during transport. 

We need 40′ of additional space for tilt-bed trucks, and 60′ of extra space for roll-off trucks.  Visit the About Delivery page to learn more.

Plan on having at least 12′ of width to fit the truck and 13’6″ of clearance height (when the container is tipped off the back, plan on a peak height of around 16′).


A lot of our competitors use grades like “A Grade” but that’s a bit misleading, we think. If you call the big national rental companies and they tell you they can sell you an “A Grade” box that just means a container that is wind/water tight and may or may not have been painted since they bought it. Or maybe it’s got less rust than you’d normally expect on an average WWT grade unit.  

Either way, it’s a grading system totally based on opinion and we’ve seen a lot of variability as to what people call “A Grade” around the country. If you hear “A Grade” you can safely translate it to “WWT” condition.

Similar to one trip containers, used containers have their doors closed with minimal air circulation for 99%+ of their existence.

It’s not uncommon for a container to have a lingering odor, and it can usually be resolved by opening the doors and letting it air out (industrial strength odor neutralizers also help, and can be purchased at most hardware stores).

If you’ve ever been in a semi-trailer, your container will probably smell similar to the inside of a semi-trailer.

That depends on where you take delivery.  Arcelor Container Sales primarily acts as a broker, helping customers buy shipping containers from international logistics providers with equipment in local intermodal depots. At this time we charge sales tax in about half of the markets we service, however that can change at any time.

We do not charge sales tax if the buyer is tax-exempt (form must be provided to Arcelor Container Sales prior to purchase, please contact us if you believe your purchase should be tax exempt). Please note that Agriculture Exemptions are not applicable, and a valid sales tax exemption certificate must be provided.

We make every effort to comply with local and national tax laws, so please note that this may change at some point.

The customer has the right to refuse delivery if for some reason the container does not meet the criteria requested at purchase. Our goal is to give you a realistic idea of what you’re getting up front. We will send you sample photos and read about the process before purchasing a container for the first time.

If the container is rejected because the truck cannot safely drop the container exactly where you wanted it, the customer will be charged for trucking as well as a re-stock fee of 15% (when applicable).

Neither you nor Arcelor Container Sales wants the container to be rejected at delivery. Please make sure you check out the sample photos and have a full understanding of what you’re getting before you purchase for the first time.

If you’ve looked at everything on the site, and you’re still not sure, give us a Text. We’re always happy to help.

Check out the video and information on the About Delivery page for an overview and the delivery process.

The most important thing is to have enough room for the truck to drop the container. 20’ containers require 75’ of space (20’ for the box and 55’ for the truck), while 40’ containers require 120’ of space (40’ for the box and 80’ for the truck when full extended at delivery).

If a 20’ container is delivered on a semi (for instance if multiple 20’s are being delivered on the same truck) please account for the additional space.

If delivery is rejected due to the driver being unable to safely back into the location, the customer will be charged for trucking plus a re-stock fee of 15%, so please make sure you have adequate space at your location.

The location also needs to be level. You can either lay concrete or gravel, or you can place railroad ties or blocks capable of supporting the container. A good rule of thumb on railroad ties or blocks is to have on under each end and then additional blocks every 10’ or so (depending on your surface area).

A level surface is crucial to doors lining up, so blocks are a good idea to have in place. Arcelor Container Sales does not provide blocks, so please make sure you have your site ready at delivery.

Yes But Due to limited inventory availability and the complexity of managing delivery of 48′ and 53′ containers, we do  offer them for sale or rent on Commands .

We offer a 5% volume discount for multi-unit orders that’s calculated at checkout. We can offer deeper discounts for customers who plan to purchase more than 10 shipping containers at a time. If you’d like pricing for a large volume order fill our contact Form.

Used container pricing is driven mainly by local supply, and 40′ shipping containers are a far more common size than 20′ shipping containers…

Because containers are a byproduct of shipping, the containers that move the most cargo tend to be the most widely used.  So 40′ shipping containers (standard and high cube) are the most common used container length and tend to be less expensive per square foot than 20′ shipping containers.

Depending on supply, sometimes used 40′ shipping containers can even be the same price or lower in cost than 20′ shipping containers (however, usually 20′ shipping containers are a few hundred dollars cheaper than 40′ shipping containers).

Contact us if we weren’t able to answer your question in the FAQ, we’re always happy to help.