Webmail : sales@west-globalcontainers.com

What are you looking for?

Find answers and solutions to common containers issues. If you cant find an answer, contact us and we will be happy to help.
Please call our office at +1(530) 413-8565 or email us with your question

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pick a color?

The most common question we get is, “can I pick a color” and the answer is: sort of, sometimes. Because we’re essentially getting the next container off the stack at the intermodal depot that meets the criteria you requested, we can’t select a color… For used containers we are unable to allow the customer to request their color, however we can offer beige and grey colour options for One Trip containers. If you’re ordering multiple units, we can usually guarantee matching units (upon request, based on availability).

We recommend pressure washing and painting used containers after delivery.

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

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 are happy to provide a cargo worthy (CWO) container, as well as coordinate a CSC survey at the depot prior to your hauler picking up the container (learn more about CSC surveys here)

Do you move loaded containers?

We do not move loaded containers under any circumstance.

If you need moving services, we suggest calling companies like PODS.

I already have a container, can you move it?

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.

Can I look at the shipping container before I buy it?

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 just get the next container off the stack that meets their criteria.

We help our customers buy containers from the depot, the same way the big national storage container companies buy their boxes. When you buy through Western Container Sales, you’re buying a shipping container at wholesale, pulled directly from cargo circulation. We help you navigate the process of purchasing a used shipping container directly from the cargo pool.

What's the Difference Between CWO & WWT

Watch the Video on the FAQ page for more info.

Western Container Sales uses the shipping container grades that are used by shipping lines. CWO means “cargo-worthy” and that a container can pass a CSC inspection to be stacked and transported on a cargo ship.

WWT means “wind/water tight” with working doors that seal. A CWO box is also “wind and water tight” but a WWT box can no longer be certified for shipment (without repair). WWT boxes are more likely to have cosmetic issues simply due to their age, but all WWT containers can be repaired to CWO status.

“One trip” containers are “cargo-worthy” containers that were manufactured within the last 1-2 calendar years and generally have little to no cosmetic issues (maybe a few dings/dents and scraped paint from being stacked, but that’s it).

Do you offer financing?

Western Container Sales has partnered with Bread to offer our customers the opportunity to finance their purchase.  Please Note: all financing decisions are handled by Bread and any inquiries as to credit approval, etc. should be directed to Bread.  Bread is an independent company and not affiliated with Western Container Sales other than in our partnership to provide our customers with a third party option for financing their purchase.

Learn more about how to pay over time using bread here.

What’s an “A Grade” container?

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.

I bought a one trip container and it has a strong paint smell… how do I make it go away?

One trip containers sometimes have a paint or chemical smell because they’ve had their doors closed for 99% of the time since being built.

If you buy a one trip container and it has a paint smell, we recommend leaving the doors open for a few days to let it air out. If you’re still having issues after that, give us a call… but letting the container air out usually does the trick.

I'm having a tough time opening and closing my doors...

The biggest issue with tough doors is an uneven door frame.  If the ground underneath the door frame is uneven, or the container is loaded heavy to one side, or on a surface that causes it to bend or twist, the doors won’t open and close properly.

Container doors are built to be open and closed when the container is sitting squarely on a chassis.  Over the course of 20′ or 40′, it’s possible for a container to twist just enough for the door frame to be out of whack.

Placing wood blocks under the door frame at the corner posts is the best way to solve that problem before it starts.  You can also use an industrial lubricant on the hinges and work the doors back and forth for a few minutes to loosen them up…

 

 

 

What are the shipping container dimensions?

Not sure what the difference between a high cube and a standard container is? Check out this chart for interior and exterior dimensions as well as weights and capacity by size.

 

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Do you sell refrigerated or insulated units?

We do not offer the sale of refrigerated containers due to the inconsistency and limited availability of the used inventory for sale.  

 

Can I visit the intermodal depot?

Intermodal depots are extremely busy places, and 90%+ of container traffic at depots is cargo related.  Unless you have specific business to attend to at the depot, we don’t recommend visiting.

Customers who are picking up their own equipment will be provided with a release number and depot information… however unless you have a release number already we recommend waiting to visit the depot.

Can I pick up the container myself?

If you have the proper equipment to safely transport a shipping container, our preferred option is for the customer to pick-up their own box.

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 Western Container Sales cannot be liable for any issues during transport.

If you don’t have a truck capable of safely hauling a container, we can help you with delivery.

How secure is the online payment?

We take your online security seriously. All payment processing happens on secure third party sites like Stripe, Bread, or Shopify’s Payment Gateway (credit cards used in the Shopify portal are processed by Shopify Payments, which is powered by Stripe, and credit card payments for rentals are processed by Stripe). Western Container Sales uses these third party sites because they are industry leaders in eCommerce transactions. Stripe is trusted by companies like Pinterest and lyft for processing online payments. 

Beyond the payment, our site is validated with the high level SSL encryption. Because all of our payment processing is managed by third parties, Western Container Sales doesn’t keep complete information regarding your credit card or payment method (only enough to identify your transaction). Our goal is to ensure a high level of transaction security for all of our customers.

How much room is needed at delivery?

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.

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Plan on having at least 10′ 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′).

What’s the difference between your “wind and water tight” box and the one the big national company quoted me for $1,000 more?

Probably nothing. Maybe paint…

There are several large national companies selling used shipping containers. The keyword there is selling. Western Container Sales doesn’t pay our sales team direct commission on sales, nor do we have an executive management team requiring us to mark-up equipment 50% or more.

We run lean, and pass the savings to our customers. Western Container Sales leverages our relationships with intermodal equipment providers and shipping lines to find the best used shipping container prices in each market, then we add a wholesale mark-up. That’s it.

I have a used container with an odor, how can I get rid of it?

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.

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

That depends on where you take delivery.  Western 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 Western 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.

What if when the container isn’t what I expected when it gets here?

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. Check out our 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 Western 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 call. We’re always happy to help.

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

How should I prepare the site for delivery?

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 60’ of space (20’ for the box and 40’ for the truck), while 40’ containers require 100’ of space (40’ for the box and 60’ for the truck).

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. Western Container Sales does not provide blocks, so please make sure you have your site ready at delivery.

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

Do shipping containers have titles?

Because containers are generally considered a by-product of trade, they are not titled.  In order to move a container, you’ll always need a trailer (which will require a title and vehicle registration), but the container itself does not require title or registration in the United States.

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

Why are 10' containers so expensive?

You can’t fit a lot of cargo in a 10′ container, so they’re not a commonly used size for shipping companies.  10’s are usually only used for custom projects and are very uncommon.

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