In choosing a shipping / storage container, many of our clients have a specific usage for it in mind. For example, a construction firm asked our sales department for an open-side 40ft container so they could load pipes and machinery through the side that opens. Another example is when a farm owner asked our team for a 40ft double door container for easier access to the items loaded in first.

Although many clients have a clear usage for our containers, some need more guidance in deciding which container size best meets their needs. We put together a list of considerations to take into account when making this decision.

– Space. A great starting point to choosing a 20-foot instead of a 40-foot container is the shipping container delivery section on our website. It paints a realistic image of the space requirements to have the container delivered as the clearance required for delivery is much larger than the container itself. Many job sites have space constraints and having the 120’ of straight-line clearance simply isn’t possible. In those situations, we recommend 20ft containers or even 10ft units to fit your need. Other times, if a 40ft is a must, the client can arrange for a crane to drop the container in place. To read more about our container delivery requirements, visit the link

– Time. Sometimes our clients have assignments outside of their usual geographical area that do not span a long period of time. In those situations, we recommend renting a container instead of purchasing one. This is more cost efficient and convenient for them. For example, we have had landscapers use our rental containers to complete work in a different municipality and the company rented a 20ft container, loaded it with gear, and had it relocated several times during the summer for more convenience. What constitutes a short assignment however, is entirely up to the client and the industry they are in.

– Money. Some clients prefer to maintain their operating costs down and opt-in for container rentals instead of purchases. Other clients prefer to retain the container as an investment value – they would buy the container, use it for several months / years and then sell once it is no longer of use to them. Assuming the condition of the container does not change significantly over time, prices only vary slightly.

– Appearance. For the most part, the difference between new and used containers is largely appearance. Used shipping containers have minor surface rust and it’s not uncommon for them to have minor dents and surface rust. Despite that, all used containers are inspected to be weather-sealed, with functional doors and solid flooring. New containers on the other hand, are built more sustainably, have long-lasting factory paint jobs, and less wear & tear. They also have a better door opening / closing mechanism that is much easier to operate – new ATS containers have one long locking door bar handle placed higher up, instead of two handles placed lower on the container, thus giving you more leverage to open and close the doors.

We give our customers the confidence that when they buy a used shipping container from us, they buy a quality item. We invite our customers to come in and check out our container selection at any of our yards across Canada and to pick out a container they like. If you have any questions, you can always reach us by telephone at 1 866 493 4863 or by email at