What’s the Difference Between Used and “One Trip” Containers?

February 27, 2019

If you have never purchased, rented, or leased-to-own a shipping container before, it’s easy to get confused with some of the terminology. We’ve covered a few key terms in the past such as Corten Steel, Reefer, and ISO but today we’re here to walk you through the term “one trip” container and how they differ from other shipping containers on our lot.

As we’ve talked about in the past, most containers are built in China and other places outside of the U.S. Because we are such a heavy import nation, we often find that our ports are home to thousands of retired shipping containers. Some are containers that have been used time and time again while others are containers that were retired after their first trip.

So what other differences are there than the obvious age and usage variances? It’s fairly clear that one trip containers are going to be in better shape and have less wear and tear than a used container but there are other key differences to consider:

  1. Lock Boxes. Every new container or one trip container we offer will come equipped with Lock Boxes. These boxes help prevent thieves from prying or picking the lock on the container. Although we can always weld a lock box onto a used container, it will not be a standard inclusion.
  2. Vents. New containers are standard equipped with vents. Vents reduce moisture and humidity inside the container. An added feature that some may overlook.
  3. Industrial Flooring. Newer, one trip containers are going to have stronger, nearly perfect wooden flooring, whereas a good, used container will obviously have quite a bit of wear from being used.
  4. Easy Access. Easy Open Handles that are waist high and easy to use. No worries about awkwardly bending down or prying open your container. These handles make opening and securing a newer container doors seamless.
  5. Paint and condition. The condition of the steel shell of a well used or refurbished shipping container will vary greatly compared to one of our one trip containers that are painted uniformly and will have little to no dings, holes, or patches.


Used Shipping Container VS Refurbished Shipping Container VS One Trip Shipping Container

comparing photos of used 20-foot shipping containers and a one-trip shipping container


We inspect every container we have available to make sure it meets our standards, then we may clean them out a bit, and apply our windtight, watertight guarantee when we can. Here’s more of a break down of what you can expect from our one trip containers vs. our more used and/or refurbished containers.

On our new, one trip containers, you will find that they will no dings or dents,. They will have no surface rust spots – they are brand new. The doors open and seal easily and we can very easily guarantee it will be wind and watertight when it gets delivered to your location. After we have inspected these containers, we give them the seal of our approval. These types of containers are in better shape than most because they have only made one trip; over to us.

Our used containers come in three grades; A, B, and C. They will also vary in color and condition, based on which grade they fall into. Depending on the grade, they may have more dings and dents or surfact rust (Grade C) or less (Grade A). We also guarantee their sealing ability and windtightness. A more used shipping container (B or C) will have a few more dents and dings, with a light or moderate amount of surface rust. These used containers can have anything from zero to multiple patches on them but the doors will still open and seal decently. After inspection, these containers get do not get painted. They are in great shape, but they look like a used container. Customers that purchase these used containers don’t typically mind how they look, only that they are strong and sealable, which they definitely are.


Our refurbished containers get cleaned, patched (if needed), and we guarantee them to be wind and watertight, plus we paint them with a neutral color so they look clean and professional for any setting; whether it’s commercial or residential. They may have dents or dings, but they will look a little nicer, with replaced seals and new paint than an average used shipping container will.

As always, there will be standard perks that all shipping containers share such as ground access and weather resistance. For better results, we obviously recommend that you opt for a one trip container that is in better condition and thus, is more resistant to the elements. If you’d like to learn more about getting your hands on your very own one trip shipping container, give us a call at 855-861-2872. We’d love to talk you through additional customization options such as paint colors, High Cube options, Ramps, Shelves, Racks, and more. Whatever the need, we’re here to help.

Feature Photo by kinsey on Unsplash

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