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Should I Buy or Rent a Storage Container?

When you need a storage container for a job, you have two choices: buy the storage container or rent it. Metal storage containers (also called shipping containers) serve a variety of important yet different storage purposes for several industries. Ultimately, whether you rent or buy your storage container depends on what you need to store and for how long. It’s a more complicated decision than you might realize. We’ve put together this guide to help business owners, site foremen, and project managers decide if they should buy or rent their storage containers to minimize hassle and maximize savings.


Essentially, you lose money paying for a storage container you’re not actively using, which is why rental makes sense for MANY businesses. However, if you have a consistent need for storage — and the ability to transport a container — you will ultimately save a TON of money making the purchase.


storage container rental for retail

Retail stores use containers to store merchandise that can’t be stocked in store yet.

If you’re a store manager or general manager from Target, Walmart or Kmart, rent — don’t buy – your retail storage container. You won’t need nearly as many months of storage as the other businesses we’re profiling. Plus, unlike some construction companies and home builders, you don’t have free access to the heavy equipment to transport containers from site to site.


Although these subcontractors almost always have a need for storage, buying a storage container doesn’t make sense. They often need different sizes of storage units for specific jobs and buying one can actually backfire. For example, if a subcontractor invests in a 40 foot trailer, but the general contractor only allots them 20 feet for storage, they’ll end up needing to rent a 20 foot container anyway.

Another reason that subcontractors should rent their storage containers is that more often than not, they don’t have facilities large enough to store the box (especially if it’s a 40 foot one) when it’s not in use. If you’re a subcontractor, you know extra space is hard to find. Your warehouse is filled with trucks, equipment, and materials that shipped early for your next job — you just don’t have room to store your storage.

storage container for mechanical subcontractors

In addition, renting a storage unit makes sense for specialized contractors because TP Trailers can outfit your container specifically for the demands of each job. We can equip the container with pipe racks if plumbing is going to be installed or we can install shelving if you need to store a selection of electrical components. If you only buy one storage box, you only get it outfitted for one job.

Finally, when you rent a container from TP Trailers, delivery to your site is included in the quote. So is the set-up. If you don’t have the machinery to transport and set up the container, you’ll end up contracting a third party, which can cost you nearly as much as the rental itself.



storage container for construction company

For large enough companies, buying storage containers is a smart financial investment. As a project manager in a construction company that runs multiple jobs simultaneously, you know that you’ll ALWAYS need to arrange for portable storage. Plus, unlike smaller subcontractors, you have access to equipment to transport the container from site to site.

How long do you have to rent before buying becomes cost-effective?

Since larger companies consistently need storage, eventually they will lose money by renting. If you anticipate renting a trailer for more than 18 months, you should buy it instead. That timeframe is when a purchase is the more responsible financial decision.


For most businesses, storage container decisions are made because of length of use and logistics. If you plan to store fertilizer or salt in your storage container, you need to rent. Both salt and fertilizer can corrode the steel of a storage box. If you store either of these materials for several years, you will destroy the container and ruin your investment. However, if you store these materials during a brief period of rental, they will not damage the unit.

Advantages of Renting a Storage Container

  • You don’t pay for a container you’re not using
  • You don’t need to arrange or pay for transport through a third party
  • TP Trailers will place your container correctly in an intelligent position
  • You don’t need to worry about the storage container when not in use
  • You have the versatility to rent either 20 foot or 40 foot containers
  • TP trailers offers shelving specified for the individual job
  • If there is an issue with the container, we take care of it

Advantages of Buying a Storage Container

storage containers for rent

Rent or Buy Your Storage Container from TP Trailers and Truck Equipment

TP Trailers and Truck Equipment both sells and rents containers. When it comes to renting or buying, we offer great prices on both options. Whether you want to rent or buy we have no preference, other than to make sure that you’re doing what’s best for your business. Get in contact with us today to discuss your unique storage needs

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