Shipping containers are rugged and durable and last for many years, so they can be used for onsite or offsite storage for your company and not just for shipping. They even work as outside office space when you need something portable or temporary for workers, such as on a construction site. Since using a container for storage or for mobile office space is a bit different than using it for shipping, note a few important tips when you're about to shop, so you know you get a container that works for your storage needs in particular.
Note what was shipped in the container
It's important to note what was shipped in the container because items like furs, foodstuffs, and chemicals can leave behind a very foul odour that you may never be able to remove, no matter what you use to wash the inside of the container. Furs and foodstuffs may also leave behind bacteria, even if the foodstuffs were frozen and the items were all sealed in a wrap of some sort; frozen items can thaw slightly and wraps can have gaps or tears when in a container. If you cannot find out what was shipped in the container before you purchase it, be sure you do an inspection in person to check for odours at least.
Be wary of "one trip" containers
You may assume that a container that was used just once is a good choice, since it won't be as "beaten up" as other containers. However, many "one trip" containers are very lightweight and made of thin aluminium; while aluminium doesn't rust as does steel or another material, it may easily suffer dents and dings that can lead to gaps between walls and connectors. Also, "one trip" containers made of steel may be heavier and more rugged, but the steel may not have been coated with zinc or another protective element just for that one trip; in turn, it may be more prone to rust and corrosion.
Opt for factory paint, not refurbished
A refurbished container may also sound like a good bargain, but the paint used on a container to cover a company logo may be more prone to peeling than the paint used by the factory. A refurbished container may also mean that a coat of paint was used to cover rust or other damage that can easily show up later. If you do find a refurbished container, note what was included in that refurbishing and what repairs were made so you know you're buying a quality product for your storage or office needs.