Container terms: your complete guide [+why they matter '23] (2023)

Understanding container terms is crucial when choosing the right containers for your needs, whether it's for shipping or storage. In this blog we will describe the different species and conditions so you know exactly what to look for when choosing containers.

If terms like 'WWT', 'worthy cargo' and 'as is' make you scratch your head, you're in the right place. In general, there are 5 standard container conditions: new/food grade, class A, suitable for cargo,WWT (wind and waterproof)and how it is. Choosing the right container condition will depend on your specific needs.

If you already know what state you need, you may have run into another hurdle: acquiring equipment in a specific state, inprices adapted to your budget.Fortunately, we have the perfect solution for you.

We are Container xChange, an online container marketplace for buying and renting containers of all types and sizes. We have over 50,000 high quality containers available in over 2,500 unique locations. Thanks to this, you won't have any problems finding exactly the containers you are looking for, anywhere in the world on our platform.

Curious to know how our market works? Check it now! Just enter the type of container you're looking for and your location to browse and compare container deals today.


How important is the condition of shipping containers?

When purchasing containers, understanding terms and classifications is essential for several reasons. Now let's discuss some of the most important ones.

Adequacy:First, different states of containers are better suited for specific purposes. For example, if you're transporting expensive cargo, you probably won't need a container that has transported toxic waste or chemicals in the past.

In this case, you must choosenew container. For food, always choose a food-grade shipping container to keep the product clean.

If you wantstorage containerson the other hand, you won't need shiny new equipment. In that case,used containerswhich are watertight and have a solid construction, will perfectly fulfill their task at a much more affordable price than new containers.

Conformity:Containers must comply with a series of regulations established byInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO)to be considered fit for shipment. Understanding the conditions required for specific applications is critical to avoiding fines and penalties.

Bargaining power:Knowing container terms and what to look out for can also help you negotiate a fair price.purchase of shipping containers. On the Container xChange platform, you can, for example, negotiate container prices directly with the supplier. So if you see that a used container needs some repairs before it can be shipped, you can lower the price.

And if you want a second opinion, you can even arrange one.inspectorto check the status before making a final decision. Knowing what to expect from your chosen container condition will help you avoid overpaying for containers. What's more, you'll be sure to receive equipment of the highest quality.

From food quality to as-is condition: an overview of different container conditions

Before we go into detail about the condition of each container, let's take a quick look at the main differences between new/food equipment, freighters, WWT, and the state they are in.

new/grocerysuitable for transportWWTHow it is
Windproof and waterproofThenThenThennot guaranteed
suitable for exportThenThenwith repairsNO
suitable for storageThenThenThenwith repairs
Dents and scratchesSmall dents and scratches are acceptable.Visible dents, scratches and surface rustDents, repairs and surface rust are acceptable.Significant dents, scratches, and rust are acceptable.
Body paintfresh inkfaded, acceptablefaded, acceptablefaded, acceptable
The port is operationalThenThenThennot guaranteed
floors without holesThenThenThennot guaranteed

Now that you know the basics, let's take a closer look at each condition and what it's best suited for, so you can decide which container state you need.

Brand new/food grade container

As we mentioned earlier, if you are transporting food, the containers you choose must not previously contain chemicals or toxic products.

Although food is normally packaged in bags and does not come into direct contact with the container, all edible products must be transported in new food contact containers/containers to avoid unnecessary risk of contamination. You are also unlikely to run over customers if you are transporting food in a container that is not suitable for food.

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Here's what you can expect from your new food-grade container:

  • The highest quality containers on the market
  • Structurally efficient, no dents or scratches
  • All scratches on the container body less than 2mm deep
  • Valid includedCSC (Convention for the Security of Containers) plaque.
  • Completely sealed, with zero natural light visibility from inside the container when closed
  • No toxic material has been transported in the container in the past
  • Meets all standards for safe food transport

grade A container

They are new, refurbished or used containers. They have only minimal rust and dents and are completely sealed. Class A containers are perfect for transporting cargo as they are in excellent condition. This is what a class A container looks like:

  • Doors, floor and fences in good condition
  • Structurally solid, strong and robust
  • Meets IICL5 standards
  • Has a valid CSC card
  • The interior is almost without traces
  • Minimal surface rust

A container suitable for transporting cargo

In short, worthy cargo (CW) means that the ocean container is considered suitable for carrying the cargo. So if you have cargo to haul and you don't mind keeping your container shiny as new, the right cargo handling equipment will do the trick. Also, it is much cheaper than new containers.

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Here's what you can expect:

  • Valid CSC plate
  • Interior at least 50% free of marks, with some scuffs, scratches and light surface rust
  • Floors may be stained, scored or show small delamination
  • Corrosion and dents most common possible
  • Probably went through a previous repair
  • Perfect for cargo transport

IICL Container

The IICL container meets the standards and specifications established byInstitute of International Container Lessors (IICL).It is a global trade association representing companies that lease containers and related equipment.

Here are the IICL container properties:

  • Structurally sound, moldings, walls, roof, doors and door seals all in excellent condition
  • Completely sealed to prevent wind, water and moisture from entering the container
  • Floors in good condition with minimal wear, tear and corrosion
  • Conforms to IMO standards
  • Perfect for cargo transport

Are you interested in renting marine containers at the best prices and from reliable suppliers?At xChange Container, rent now containers of all types and sizes.

WWT Container

A container is windproof and waterproof as long as no wind or water can penetrate through the roof, walls or doors. This container is suitable for transporting cargo according to TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers), UIC (International Union of Railways) and CSC criteria. It is also called "class C" container or cargo container 2.

WWT containers are an inexpensive storage option as they protect goods from wind, rain and excessive moisture and are much less expensive than new containers.

With a WWT container, you can expect the following:

  • Valid CSC plate
  • Extensive marks, corrosion and scratches on container body
  • Marked floors, moderate stratification
  • It likely underwent several repairs during its lifetime.
  • Will show obvious signs of wear and tear

Does one or more of these container conditions sound like a perfect fit for your needs? Excellent! It's time to safely find the containers you need at prices you'll love at xChange. Click on the banner today to take a look at our platform and learn all about how to buy containers with the conditions you need today.

The container as is

Containers as-is are damaged containers that have been withdrawn from use in the shipping industry and are often not even suitable for storage. These containers often have significant damage to the roof, walls and floors.

You'll also find broken seals, hard-to-open doors, and structural damage. If you are looking for containers for purposes other than transport or storage, such as offices or swimming pools, choose what it is. They are likely to be very inexpensive - but be prepared to spend some money to get them fixed.

How to keep shipping containers in good condition

It's one thing to buy containers that are in good condition, but you also need to make sure they stay that way. Here are some tips to keep your boxes in top shape and use them for as long as possible.

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Regular inspections:regular inspectionshelp you stay on toprenovationbefore they turn into serious problems. They also ensure that their containers always meet safety regulations – you don't want to face hefty fines if your equipment is declared unfit for shipment at the port.

Regular inspections play a key role in ensuring your equipment is covered. Failure to meet inspection requirements may result in your claims being rejected.

Frequent repairs:As we mentioned above, doing minor repairs regularly is a smart solution and prevents problems from becoming intractable. This is because problems like holes and rust can drastically get worse over time and will require more resources and money to fix.

Leaving minor problems behind can also compromise the security of containers, leading to possible damage to the cargo – which again can be very costly.

Store and charge on level surfaces:Shipping containers of all types should always be stored on a level surface. Thanks to this, the items will not move and damage the walls of the container, preventing the containers from tipping over or bending during loading.

Lubricate the door and hinges:Making sure yourcontainer doorand the hinges are oiled to help keep them in good condition. Lubrication allows the door to run smoothly and effortlessly and prevents friction that can lead to excessive wear.

We often service cold rooms:if you haverefrigerated containersservice and maintenance are even more important than with ordinary containers. Refrigerated warehouses are equipped with complex machinery, the repair of which can be very expensive. Therefore, it is better to spend money on regular service and maintenance than to spend a fortune on solving serious problems.

Also, I domajor repairsin your cold storage means your containers will be out of order for a while and you will lose business.

Buy shipping containers on xChange in 4 easy steps

Now you know all about the different container conditions and what each condition is best suited for. What is the next? Of course, find the containers you need quickly and easily! Now we will walk you through the simple steps to buy shipping containers on the Container xChange platform.

Decide your criteria

In addition to the state of the container, you also need to determinecontainer typeand the size you need. Also, before you start browsing, know what price you are willing to pay.

with ourinsights platform, you can get up-to-date pricing data for over 180 locations anytime, day or night. This allows you to make informed decisions every time you trade.

look for deals

Once you know exactly what you're looking for, it's time to hop on the Container xChange trading platform and start finding the containers you need. You can browse and compare various offers to make sure you choose the best offer for your budget.

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complete the transaction

Once you've found an offer you like, it's time to contact the vendor directly to discuss the details. Not happy with the price? You can trade to make sure you are 100% comfortable with the amount you withdraw.

make secure payments

After everything is finalized, there is only one thing left to do: make the payment. Fortunately, you can safely do this on the platform itself using the toolxchange wallet.

Want to start finding containers in the condition you need right away? So what are you waiting for?Browse everything from new, cargo-worthy containers to WWT now at affordable prices.

Get the best prices on containers in different conditions at Container xChange

Ready to buy containers in the conditions you need, at prices that fit your budget? Then Container xChange is the perfect online solution for you. Here are just some of the benefits you can expect as a member:

  • More than 50,000 containers in more than 2,500 locations
  • 100% secure payments
  • proven partners
  • 0% commission and no hidden fees

So how to start? It's so simple! Simply click below to sign up for a free trading platform demo today and have the opportunity to ask any pressing questions you may have. You will find high quality containers from reliable suppliers in no time.

Container Terms: FAQ

What is a Container Inspection Checklist?

The ISO inspection checklist is used to assess the structural integrity of a shipping container. If a container passes ISO inspection, it is considered suitable for transporting cargo across the ocean. This inspection helps prevent damaged and unsafe containers from leaving ports of shipment.

What is a cargo container?

The cargo container has a solid construction and has no holes or large dents. It must also be completely windproof and waterproof. All transport containers must have a CSC plaque confirming that they have a security certificate for cargo transport.

What is a Standard Shipping Container?

A standard shipping container, also called a dry container, is used to transport dry goods such as cereal, clothing, paper and electronics. Standard shipping containers come in three main sizes: 20ft, 40ft and 40ft cube height.


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Container terms: your complete guide [+why they matter '23]


Find out why container terms matter. As well as how to choose the state and class that best suits your needs and budget.

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