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How Long Do Shipping Containers Last?

If you’re thinking about investing in on-site storage, there’s probably one main question on your mind: how long do shipping containers last? If well maintained, shipping containers can last 35+ years and still provide reliable, watertight performance. That makes buying a container a solid investment for any business with consistent storage needs.

At TP Trailers & Truck Equipment, we rent and sell both 20-foot and 40-foot storage containers to different businesses across the East Coast. As the go-to storage headquarters, we often answer key questions for our clients about their equipment needs. Read our blog to learn how long shipping containers last, the factors that affect their lifespan, and how you can maintain your container properly.

Average Shipping Container Lifespan

shipping container lifespan

While shipping containers can last for 35 years or more, that is a bit longer than average. We’d estimate that under normal circumstances, an average shipping container lifespan is closer to 25 years.

In order for a shipping container to be of use to you, it needs to be secure and watertight — otherwise it endangers the valuable cargo you’re keeping inside. At TP Trailers & Truck Equipment, we ONLY rent and sell high-quality shipping containers that we back with a guarantee. However, not everyone does — so make sure you know how to inspect used containers.

Being able to get 25 years out of a single piece of equipment makes it very easy to earn a return on investment from your initial purchase. This makes buying a container rather than renting one a smart choice for businesses that will make use of it for the duration of its long lifespan. Learn more about deciding whether to rent or buy a shipping container.

5 Ways to Prolong Shipping Container Life Expectancy

If you’d like to get the most out of your container, maintenance and proper use are crucial. These are the 5 main ways to extend your shipping container lifespan:

  1. Keep a coat of paint on your container — Since rust is one of the main factors that damages containers, you’ll want to keep your storage container covered with paint to deter rust.
  2. Keep the roof clear — Allowing debris to sit on the roof of the container traps excess moisture against it, which can actually cause the container to deteriorate. Keep the roof clear and you’ll extend your shipping container’s lifespan.
  3. Keep the container directly off the ground — Mount your steel storage unit on wooden blocks while in use. Letting the container sit directly on the ground can trap ground moisture against it which can cause the floor to rust and rot.
  4. Keep it well-ventilated — Making sure your container is dry and well-ventilated can ensure that moisture isn’t damaging the siding.
  5. Keep the moving parts lubricated — Making sure that the gaskets, hinges, latches, and locks stay lubricated is necessary to being able to use the container easily for the entire time you own it. Learn how to unlock and open storage container doors.

Keeping up with these simple points of storage container maintenance can mean years added onto the lifespan. While you don’t necessarily need to worry about this if you’re renting a container for a short period of time, if you buy one, it’s important work to do.

Buy Shipping Containers from TP Trailers & Truck Equipment

average shipping container lifespan

Now that you know how long shipping containers last, as well as the average lifespan you can expect, you’re ready to make your purchase.

At TP Trailers & Truck Equipment, we have a wealth of information and expertise earned from decades in the storage industry. Plus, we also boast a large inventory of new and used containers for sale and for rent.

If you’re ready to make a purchase, the first step is to contact our container team for pricing and options. Reach out today to start the conversation!

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