About Boxhub

What is Boxhub?

Boxhub makes it simple, efficient and transparent to buy and sell shipping containers.

Our ambition is to make is as easy to buy a container and have it delivered, as it is to book a hotel online. We aim to provide the best possible customer service for our buyers. At the same time, we make it easy for the container owners to sell containers when they are no longer used in shipping service.

Boxhub is an online platform providing an easy overview of available containers, upfront pricing, automated checkouts, great customer service, and a smooth delivery straight to your door.

We know that most buying decisions are made by online search and many people prefer online customer service. We provide the support of a strong technical and customer service team to answer any questions you might have in relation to your purchase.

How does Boxhub work?

Boxhub is an online platform that makes it possible to buy shipping containers for any purpose without the hassle of calling shipping lines, depots and trucking companies.

Boxhub is extremely simple to use:

  • Search for the container type, size and location you require
  • Choose the right condition depending on your project
  • Add any additional services such as Boxhub delivery or CSC inspections
  • Pay through a secure online payment process
  • Boxhub will send you a purchase confirmation when everything is done
  • Receive your container at your door with Boxhub delivery, or pick up the container yourself at the Seller's container depot

If you need any assistance throughout the process, just reach out to our customer service team and we will be happy to assist you with any questions.

The Containers

What sizes and types are available?

Shipping containers are very standardized and generally come in the following standardized types and sizes:

Types
• Dry
• Reefer (Refrigerated)

Sizes
• 20ft and 40ft standard (8,6ft high)
• 20ft, 40ft, and 45ft high cube (9.6 feet high)

In addition, there are several special sizes incl. 6ft and 10ft containers and the 45ft pallet-wide containers typically used in Europe, as well as 48ft and 54ft containers used in the North American market.

We also have special types such as Open top containers (detachable roof for loading from the top) and Flat rack containers (with no sides, for oversized items).

Should you have other special requirements, such as tank containers, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Can I see pictures of my container before I buy it?

Yes, in most cases this is possible. As an additional service, some of our suppliers are able to offer picture verification and condition reports. These are “add-ons” and will appear as an option when you book.

Boxhub does not facilitate visits to container yards or depots. Most depots do not allow visitors for personal safety reasons, and as containers are normally "stacked", it's often not possible to inspect the specific container on site.

Therefore, the container you purchase will be the “next off the stack”, which is part of the reason why Boxhub can offer low wholesale prices.

Can I select the color?

This depends on the specific situation:

New containers
If you purchase a new container, it will typically have information about the color. So if color and perfect appearance are important to you, a new container might be your best choice.

Used containers
We will always include information about color when available.

In some cases, however we cannot guarantee a specific color as the containers are normally “stacked” in the container depot with other containers meeting the same specific grading criteria. You will receive what is called “next off stack” and in these cases, we cannot guarantee a certain color.

If you are ordering multiple units, we can normally agree with our customers to provide matching units of the same color and from the same supplier.

Do I need any permits for my storage container?

Storage containers generally do not need permissions as they are considered to be temporary installations. However, if you are building a housing unit or similar it is always recommended to check with your local authorities for any approvals and permits required.

You can always reach out to us with any questions and we will be pleased to guide you as well as we can.

Do you guarantee cosmetic appearance?

Used containers will always have some rust and dents & scratches from life at sea. We guarantee that “wind and watertight”, “cargo-worthy” and “new” containers have working doors, and are free from holes in the steel and in the floors.

On the exterior, it is normal that used containers can have some surface rust, faded paint, scratches and dents.
Inside, it is normal that the floor will have some scratches from forklifts and some patches or repairs to the floor.
Containers will usually last for 50 years or more and if a little maintenance such as paint and proper cleaning is applied, you will be able to have full use of the container for a very long time.

Do you provide a quality guarantee?

Yes. For “wind and watertight”, “cargo-worthy” and “new” containers we guarantee that the containers comply with the following upon delivery:
• No holes or leaks (“wind- and watertight”)
• Doors that open and close properly
• Floors are free of holes

No holes or leaks:
Boxhub guarantees that your container is wind- and watertight, including free from holes and leaks.

Doors that open and close properly:
Boxhub guarantees that the doors open and close/seal properly. It is important to ensure that the container is evenly placed on the ground, as otherwise the hinges or door gear might bind. If there is an issue, applying some oil or grease on the hinges often also solves the issue.

Floors are free of holes:
Boxhub guarantees that the floors are free from of holes and ready to be used for storage. A 20ft container is built to transport cargo of 22 metric tonnes (40,000 lbs) and as such have very strong floors. A Wind- and watertight container might have more scratches, gouges and patches than a cargo-worthy container, but will still be suitable for storage.

Make sure to check the condition when you receive your container and inform us immediately of any issues.

If a container, for some reason, does not meet our guaranteed condition we will either:
• Repair the issue on-site within 7 days
• If repair is not possible, provide a replacement unit of the same standard

Do you sell Refrigerated (Reefer) containers?

Yes. We do offer both new and used reefer containers. For new and “cargo-worthy” reefer containers, these can be used for transport with working refrigeration units.

For wind-and-watertight reefers, the refrigeration units are likely not operational. These are, however, still very useful if you need a container that is already insulated.

How are prices determined and how can a 20ft container cost more than a 40ft container sometimes?

The price for new containers ordered directly from the factory is usually quite standardized. A 40ft standard container is ~1.6 x the price of a 20ft standard and a 40ft high cube is ~1.7 x the price of a standard 20ft container. However, when it comes to used containers the logic is not always the same.

Prices of used containers depend on supply and demand and are affected both by local and international factors such as:
• Price of steel
• Labour costs in China
• Shipping Lines’ retirement policies
• Local market demand

40ft high cube containers are generally more common than 20ft and 40ft standard containers as it is generally more economical for shippers to use a 40ft high cube container if they have enough cargo. The majority of goods moving around the world are “low weight, high volume” goods, which fit a 40ft high cube container better than a 20ft. Therefore, you might be lucky to find a 40ft high cube container at almost the same price as a 20ft container.
For even more specialized equipment, such as a used 10ft container or a 20ft high cube, the price might fluctuate even more.

If you have any questions regarding pricing, feel free to reach out and we will be happy to clarify.

Is my container secured for theft?

Containers are constructed to make break ins difficult. For basic security we recommend fitting a padlock on the doors.

For maximum security, we recommend a “lock box” which is a a reinforced steel box attached across the two doors. It would take heavy equipment to break into those doors, which deters most intruders.

What are the shipping container dimensions?

Shipping container dimensions are governed by ISO standards to ensure they can move seamlessly between sea, road, and rail and to guarantee they can be loaded safely both on and below deck on those vessels and be handled by standard cranes and other lifting equipment.

The most standard container dimensions are:

  • Standard containers: 20ft and 40ft long containers of normal height (8.6 ft)
  • High cubes: 20ft, 40ft and 45ft long container with extra height (9.6ft)

Check our guide “understanding shipping container dimensions” for more information on the exact dimensions and weight capcacities, as well as an overview of how much you can typically store in a container.

What can I fit inside a container?

Usually a lot more than people think! We have created a detailed guide to container sizes and dimensions. As a general rule, a standard 20ft container can hold 11-12 “euro pallets” of goods while a 40ft container has space for 24-25 pallets. This roughly equates to the following items;

20ft 40ft
Standard Flat Screens 400 800
Wine bottles 9,600 14,400
Standard Mattresses 200 400
Compact Cars 2 4
Standard moving box 290 950
Euro pallets 12 25

20ft containers are designed to carry heavy cargo such as machinery and heavy commodities, such as sugar, paper, cement, and steel.

40ft containers are designed to carry a lot of volume but lighter goods, such as consumer goods, furniture, cotton, and electronics.

You are always welcome to contact us with any questions regarding containers and what size and condition would be ideal for your needs.

What are shipping containers made of?

Shipping containers are made of high-grade COR-TEN Steel. This makes them extremely durable, as COR-TEN steel is specifically made to resist the harsh environment at sea, where containers are constantly exposed to salty seawater.

COR-TEN steel is is a type of weathering steel that resists corrosion and is the standard for shipping containers, steel bridges, and buildings that are exposed to a marine environment.

Shipping containers are constructed with 12 and 14 gauge corrugated steel sides, steel framing, and 1 1/8'' thick marine plywood floors. They are made to endure years of use and handling in the shipping trade. As such, they are very over-engineered for most secondary purposes, such as storage or modification projects.

Orders

Can I cancel my order?

Yes, depending on the stage of the order we will provide a refund of the purchase price according to the following rules:
• Before we have accepted your payment, you can cancel at any time at no cost.
• If we have accepted your payment, but have not yet processed your order, you will also receive a 100% refund (less banking fees).
• If we have already processed your order, we will charge a 10% re-stocking fee and any charges for shipping/trucking/surveys/storage and banking fees are non-refundable. In this case, “processed” means that the container has been made available to you in the depot.

In case you need to cancel, it’s always best to reach out to us immediately and we will do our best to help.

Do you offer discounts if I buy multiple units?

Our prices are already the lowest possible wholesale prices, as we have very little overhead costs and source directly from the closest port. This means that we always pass on savings to our customers in the form of lower prices.

Many of our customers are re-sellers or self-storage companies buying many containers at a time. Our suppliers are willing to offer volume discounts in these cases and we pass these on to our buyers. Contact us to hear if you qualify for a volume discount, we are always pleased to help.

Do you offer financing?

No. However, we do often work with customers who financed their purchases and we can share our experiences with a number of credit providers. Feel free to reach out for guidance.

Is my payment secured?

Absolutely. Online security is non-negotiable and we process all payments through secure 3rd party payment platforms.

We use stripe.com to process all payments. Stripe is the industry leader in online payment processing and more than 100,000 businesses utilize their technology incl. Facebook, SAP, UNICEF and many more.

Please reach out in case you need detailed information about payment security, Stripe or any other questions regarding payment and data security at BoxHub.

Is there additional sales tax on the purchase of a shipping container?

As an online platform BoxHub primarily acts as “broker”, facilitating the sale of containers from the owners to the buyers.

In the USA
In the USA, we will only charge a sales tax in the states where we have an office presence. We do not charge sales tax in states where we do not have a physical location. 


Outside the USA
In the rest of the world all containers are sold exclusive of all taxes. See our terms and conditions for more information.

As tax rules change, we will update our policies in order to comply with all international and national tax rules and regulations.

What are my payment options on Boxhub?

We accept all major credit cards as well as bank transfers.

Delivery

Can I pick up the container myself?

Yes. If you have your own truck (or a preferred trucking provider), you are more than welcome to pick up the container yourself.
We provide you with full pick-up information after payment is processed. You can then access the depot to have your container lifted onto your truck by the depot.

Please note that you are responsible for complying with all safety regulations mandated by the depot and BoxHub cannot be held liable for any damages or issues during the transport.
For maximum convenience select the BoxHub delivery option and have the container delivered straight to your door.

Do I need to check the container at delivery?

Yes. When the container is delivered please inspect it to make sure it fully complies with the specific condition you ordered. For “wind and watertight”, “cargo-worthy”, and “new” containers, we guarantee that the containers comply with the following upon delivery:
• No holes or leaks (“wind- and watertight”)
• Doors that open and close properly
• Floors are free of holes

How to inspect the container:
Check doors: These should be in good working condition. Try and open/close them a few times to make sure that they work. It’s very important that the container is evenly placed on the ground, as otherwise the hinges or door gear might bind. Applying some oil or grease on the hinges often also solves the issue.
Check for holes in the steel: Go inside the container (with doors closed but not locked) and look for any light coming in, which would indicate a small hole. In most cases this can be corrected by applying just a small amount of epoxy.
Check floor for any holes: Inspect the floors and verify that there are no holes in the floor. It is normal for the floor to have scratches and gouges from forklifts lifting cargo in and out. The floor can also have steel patches or other repairs.

When you have verified that the container lives up to the standard, no further action is required. If there are any issues with the container at delivery, reach out to us immediately and we will do our best to solve the issue.

Do I need to prepare my site for delivery?

Yes. Check our Delivery Guide for detailed information on how to take delivery of your container.

The main thing is to ensure that the truck has enough space to maneuver. As a rule of thumb our drivers require 60ft of extra space for roll-off trucks and 40ft for tilt-bed trucks. This means that for a 40ft container requires 100ft of space to maneuver.

Please note that if the driver is not able to safely deliver at your site, delivery will then be made on the nearest available site or a 10% re-stocking fee will be charged.

We want to make sure you have no issues, so please let us know if you have any questions with regards to delivery so we can help you best possible.

How much space does the driver need at delivery?

As a rule of thumb our drivers require 60ft of extra space for roll-off trucks and 40ft of additional space for tilt-bed trucks.

Also make sure to have at least 10ft of width and 14ft of clearance height for the truck to maneuver. When the container is tipped off, the “peak height” will be around 16ft, so make sure that there is enough clearance for this at the delivery spot

For more information see our detailed “delivery guide” and just reach out if you have any questions regarding delivery.

I bought a container from Boxhub for a house move – can you help with the transportation to my new home?

No. We do not offer pure transportation or moving services. Some of our trucking partners, however, provide this service. Feel free to reach out for recommendations.

Special delivery requirements

If you have special delivery requirements we will likely be able to arrange e.g. a HIAB truck or other types of cranes. Reach out if your site does not meet the requirements specified in our delivery guide.

Which types of trucks will do the delivery?

We deliver on either “tilt-bed” or “roll-off” trucks. If you have your own crane, we can also arrange delivery on flat-bed trucks.

Do arrange crane deliveries if my site is difficult to access

If you have special delivery requirements we will likely be able to arrange e.g. a HIAB truck or other types of cranes. Reach out if your site does not meet the requirements specified in our delivery guide.

What if the driver cannot deliver to my site?

It is your responsibility that the driver can safely deliver the container on your site. Please make sure to read our “Delivery Guide” closely and make sure your site is ready and complies with the requirements listed in the guide. If you have any questions regarding delivery, please contact us in advance to make sure delivery is possible.

In case the driver is not able to offload the container at your preferred delivery site, the driver will offload the container at the nearest possible spot. If you at this point reject the delivery, we will refund you the purchase price (less a 10% re-stacking fee payable to the container depot) and any shipping/trucking/surveys/storage and banking fees already incurred.
Please contact us if you have any questions and we will be pleased to assist.

What's the best surface to place a storage container?

It’s very important that the surface is even. This ensures that the doors open and close properly. It is also recommended that containers are placed on dry and hard surfaces. We recommend concrete, asphalt, wooden blocks, railroad ties, or gravel.

Container conditions

"Cargo-worthy" and "wind and watertight" are both used container grades, but what is the difference?

Cargo-worthy
A cargo-worthy container lives up to all requirements for international shipping and exports. This includes the ability to pass a CSC inspection which certifies that it can safely carry the cargo-weight it’s intended for, as well as safely being stacked and transported onboard container ships. If you are buying a container for export, you will need a cargo-worthy container.

Wind and watertight
All wind-and watertight containers can be repaired to “cargo-worthy” condition, but sometimes it is not economical for the shipping lines to do so. These units will have fully functioning doors that open and close/seal properly. They will likely have more cosmetic issues and the flooring might be more worn out, but are still very suitable for static storage purposes or for modification projects.

How do I chose which condition is best for my need?

Whether to buy a New, Cargo-worthy or Wind and watertight container depends on what you will need it for. Please check our guide “understanding container grading for more information.

Is there a global standard for grading used containers?

At BoxHub, we fully understand that “container grading” can be confusing, as there is no global standard for grading used container conditions at this time.

To make it as simple as possible for you to buy a container, BoxHub works with the most common system and offers only four easy to understand container standards:
• New
• Cargo-worthy
• Wind-and-watertight
• As-is

These are the standards most commonly used in the industry and understood by all our suppliers.

See our guide to understanding container grades for more details. If you have any questions about what you can expect when selecting one of the container grades, please do not hesitate to reach out.

At BoxHub we work with industry bodies like the NPSA and CTIA to establish a global standard which will help make the industry even more transparent in the future.

Which “condition grades” do you offer?

Boxhub conditions
Our containers come in four different categories:

New
Also called “one-trip” containers. These containers have taken only one trip from the factory with cargo. This is the best quality on the market and ready for any purpose, whether transporting cargo or modification. You should select this option if an as-new cosmetic appearance is important, or you need the container for your shipping or transport fleet.

Cargo-worthy
This means that the container condition meets the requirements for transporting cargo. These containers are CSC certified, allowing them to be used for shipping. These containers will be ideal for most purposes, both transportation storage and modifications, especially for converting into housing as the floors are generally in a good condition. You should select this option if you need a high-quality container that can be used for any purpose.

Wind and watertight
This is a term used for containers that are not necessarily repaired to a safe structural condition to transport cargo, but remain wind and water tight. You should chose these if you need a container for storage or modification, but do not need it to transport cargo.

As-is
These units can be damaged, and in need of repairs to be re-used. You should select these if you are building a pop-up bar, festival stall or other structures where no heavy loading is required.

Issues with your order

My container arrived damaged – what to do?

In the rare case that your container does not live up to our quality guarantee, we are here to assist.

We guarantee that “wind-and watertight” containers arrive with:
• No holes or leaks (wind and watertight)
• Doors that open and close properly
• Floors are free of holes

If the container arrives damaged and does not live up to the condition you purchased, we are here to help.

After you have inspected the containers, please document the damage and send it to us. We will then either:
• Repair the issue on-site within 7 days
• If repair is not possible, provide a replacement unit of the same standard

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the condition standard prior to ordering. Used containers will always have some rust and dents and the flooring might have been repaired with patches.

However, if there is a hole in the steel or in the floor or the doors don’t open or close properly, the condition is not acceptable and you need to give us a call immediately.

We have very good relationships with our suppliers, so issues with the condition are very rare. However, if they do arise we will do our best to resolve the situation.

The container arrived but I don’t want it – What should I do?

You can refuse delivery of the container for whatever reason. In this case, we will refund you the purchase price (less a 10% re-stocking fee) and any shipping/ trucking/surveys/storage and banking fees already incurred.

If the container arrives damaged or not in accordance with the condition grade you purchased, we are here to help. After you have inspected the container, please document the damage and send this to us via e-mail. We will then either:
• Repair the issue on-site within 7 days
• If repair is not possible, provide a replacement unit of the same standard

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the condition standard prior to ordering. Used containers will always have some rust and dents and the flooring might have been repaired with patches.

However, if there is a hole in the steel or in the floor or the doors don’t open or close properly, this is not acceptable and you need to give us a call immediately.

We have very good relationships with our suppliers, so issues with the condition are very rare. However, if they do arise give us a call immediately and we will do our best to resolve the situation.

The doors don’t open or close properly – what should I do?

In most cases, issues with doors that bind or are difficult to open and close are due to the surface. The container should be placed on a hard and even surface.

If the container is placed on an uneven surface or heavily loaded to one side, this might cause it to bend slightly which will make the door frame uneven. It’s a good idea to place the container on wooden blocks at the corner posts to even the door frame. Also, applying lubrication oil or grease on the hinges periodically is a good way to keep the doors in shape.

If you order a wind and watertight container and the doors do not work properly at delivery, you are covered by our condition guarantee. In this case, we will either:

  • Repair the issue on-site within 7 days
  • If repair is not possible, provide a replacement unit of the same standard

This happens very rarely, but contact us immediately so we can assist you.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I have my container painted?

Yes. Painting your container is a great option if you prefer a “new” look and a consistent appearance of all your containers. Reach out to us and we can guide you to which paint options are most suitable for your needs and which suppliers can assist you.

Can I visit the container depot?

BoxHub does not facilitate visits to container yards or depots. Most depots do not allow visitors for personal safety reasons. Also, the containers are usually stacked and therefore likely unavailable for direct inspection before they are sold.

The container you purchase will be the “next off the stack”. This is part of the reason why BoxHub can offer low wholesale prices.

After payment has been processed, we will send a “release confirmation” informing you when and where your container is available for pick-up. If you chose BoxHub delivery we will deliver the container straight to your door, or you can pick-up the container if you have your own transport solution.

Does BoxHub modify containers?

No, but many of our customers and partners are professional container modification companies. We are happy to recommend the best companies in your area. Just contact us on [email protected] or via chat and we will be pleased to help.

Does BoxHub offer special discounts to re-sellers?

Yes. We appreciate the important role that traders and re-sellers play in the industry for bulk purchase.

If you buy multiple containers, you will have access to the same discounts you normally get from the shipping lines and leasing companies. Chances are we will have access to a larger network of suppliers enabling you to get the best possible deal through BoxHub.

Reach out to us directly to discuss opportunities.

How do I maintain my container?

Containers are made of COR-TEN/ Weathering steel which is extremely durable and meant to withstand the harsh environment at sea. They therefore require very little maintenance.

We recommend giving the door hinges some oil or grease from time to time as well as cleaning the floors and walls. To keep the exterior looking new we recommend painting, especially if there are areas that are scratched or dented.

I couldn’t find the answer to my question in this FAQ

Give us a call or write to us on [email protected]. We look forward to assisting with any questions you might have.

I need to export my container, can you help with that?

No, although our “Cargo-worthy” and "New" containers are well-suited for export, BoxHub does not facilitate shipping.

If you want to use your container for exporting (or shipping) you will need either a “Cargo-worthy” or “New” container. Boxhub can provide a CSC survey prior to pick-up. In this case, you are ensured that the container lives up to the requirements for international shipping.

It’s important that you make sure that you use the right trucking provider if you are buying a container for export, as it needs to be lifted on a chassis for transportation to the port.

Give us a call if you have questions with regards to the best delivery options.

I want to build a container home – does BoxHub do that?

Using shipping containers for housing projects is a great idea and a proven concept. BoxHub, however, does not offer modification services.

We do have access to some of the world’s top architects and construction companies that can help realize your project. Get in touch and we will try to assist you as well as we can.

Also check our guides and blog posts for inspiration on exciting container modification projects around the world, including summer houses, pop-up restaurants, and container swimming pools.

What benefits does BoxHub offer to Re-sellers?

BoxHub works as an additional sales channel for you, helping to reach new customers in new markets. Customers we reach through investing in direct sales and online marketing, so you don’t have to.

You can also use BoxHub to get access to better and cheaper supply of new and used containers. Our suppliers often provide special volume discounts which we can then pass on to traders and re-sellers.

Give us a call to discuss how we can help you sell more containers and get access to cheaper supply.

What is a CSC Survey?

If you need to use your container for shipping or export, you need the container to be CSC certified. This is done by a certified 3rd party inspector who checks the container and certifies that it lives up to the safety standards required for international shipping.
CSC is the International “Convention for Safe Containers” established by the IMO in 1972. The convention establishes uniform international safety regulations and requires all containers to be fitted with a CSC plate. The CSC plate includes information on:

• Identification number
• Date of manufacture
• Weight capacity
• Stacking capabilities

All our "New" containers come with valid CSC plates. For cargo-worthy containers, add CSC inspection as an extra service and you are ready to use the container for shipping or export. BoxHub work with independent certified 3rd party CSC inspectors to ensure the highest level of trust.
With the inspection completed, you have confirmation that the container is approved as a Shipper-Owned Container (SOC) and you are ready to ship it globally.

Who owned my container before?

All containers have a so-called BIC identification number starting with 4 letters.

For example, if the identification number starts with MSCU it is a container from Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). Check your container number on www.bic-code.org).