multiple trucks and containers prepared for travel

What Are the Different Types, Sizes, and Prices for Storage Containers?

Construction projects frequently use storage containers to keep building materials, excess inventory, equipment, and machinery secure to deter theft or unauthorized actions. Project managers interested in acquiring storage containers for their site will find various sizes, costs, and other differences. For some, this begs the question: what are the different storage container sizes, and how do I choose the right one?

The best storage container to rent can depend on factors such as the cost of storage container options, your budget, project site size, and the items you want stored. Here’s what to keep in mind about finding the correct storage container for your project’s needs. 

What Is a Storage Container?


Storage containers are large metal boxes primarily used for transporting and storing goods. When regular warehouses or buildings aren’t a practical or available storage solution, storage containers offer portable and secure solutions. They are typically made of steel and come in several standardized dimensions. 

In construction, storage containers make transporting materials, equipment, and other goods to the project site easier. These containers can be loaded onto trucks and ships for local and international transportation. They are then unloaded onto the project site and used as storage for unused materials and equipment. 

What Are the Different Storage Container Sizes?


What are the different storage container sizes available? Storage containers come in various standard sizes to accommodate different storage needs. There’s also the option to order customized storage containers, which are a bit more expensive than standard sizing. 

The right storage container size for your construction site depends on the volume of items you need to store, the available space at your location, and your budget. Here are some of the different storage container sizes commonly available and their standard dimensions:

10-Foot Storage Containers

Dimensions: 10 feet (L) x 8 feet (W) x 8 feet (H) 

These are compact units that offer the smallest storage solutions for construction projects. They are best for storing small quantities of building materials, tools, or inventory. Despite being compact, 10-foot storage containers can still hold a surprising amount of items and are particularly suitable for residential construction projects.

20-Foot Storage Containers

Dimensions: 20 feet (L) x 8 feet (W) x 8 feet 6 inches (H) 

The most common storage container size in various industries, the 20-foot container provides a generous amount of space while remaining relatively easy to transport and maneuver by trucks. These containers can accommodate construction projects to store tools and materials on-site securely.

40-Foot Storage Containers

Dimensions: 40 feet (L) x 8 feet (W) x 8 feet 6 inches (H) 

If you require a larger storage capacity, 40-foot containers are an excellent choice. These containers offer twice the space of a 20-foot unit, making them the more practical solution for project sites that need larger storage solutions. These are also used in larger construction sites needing on-site storage of larger equipment and supplies.

Custom Sizes

Many manufacturers offer custom-sized containers for sites that require custom sizes to meet specific storage requirements. These units can be designed and constructed to fit unique dimensions, allowing for optimized storage solutions. However, custom-sized containers may require longer lead times and incur additional costs due to the manufacturing and design processes involved.

a man and woman surrounded by multiple containers

How Much Do Storage Containers Cost?


Determining the cost of a storage container can depend on factors such as size, material, and quality. Some factors that affect cost include:

  • Size: Larger containers cost more than smaller units. If you don’t need the space of a large container, you could save on costs by opting for a smaller size. Custom sizes are likely to cost more than standard-size containers.
  • Materials: Storage containers are made with steel; better quality steel means higher durability and cost. The cost of steel can also impact market prices.
  • Quality: The quality of your container can affect durability and versatility in the long run, so units with better quality tend to cost more. Some containers may also have additional security and handling features that ensure the safety of your items during storage and transportation.
  • New vs. Old: Instead of buying brand-new storage containers, you can purchase old ones from logistics, industrial, and construction companies. Old containers are cheaper, but you must double-check their condition to determine if the low price is worth the risk.
  • Container Designs: Besides the grading system used to determine quality, they can also be categorized into different designs. These can affect their cost for their ability to withstand weather, light, and the rough conditions of project sites. 

If you plan to buy a 20-foot container, expect to shell out anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500. Larger 40-foot containers would cost your construction business between $2,500 and $4,500. Remember that you must also deal with transportation, haulage, and storing your containers when not used. 

Alternatively, you can buy used shipping containers instead. It’s relatively cheaper, but it depends on the type of used container available for purchase. A standard 20-foot container can range from $1,300 to $2,600. However, there may be dents, rust, and visible signs of wear. 

For cost-effective storage container price solutions, you can rent your containers instead. The cost of renting is a fraction of the cost of buying. Renting a 20-foot container, for example, starts at $40 per day or $190 monthly. 

What Are the Different Storage Container Designs?


There are various types of shipping containers available on the market. While a basic dry storage container is suitable for most construction sites’ equipment and building materials, some operations may require particular types of containers. These are the different types and their estimated prices:

  • Dry: These standard steel storage containers protect goods against rain and direct sun exposure. However, it doesn’t provide any temperature control. These have the basic prices for storage containers as listed above.
  • Reefers: Also known as refrigerated containers, they have temperature controls that are often needed for transporting perishable goods. They are rarely used in construction and are the most expensive at $18,000 per unit.
  • Flat Rack: These units have walls on the front and back, but their longer sides are open. This is best for transporting large equipment that can’t fit into standard-sized containers, but it doesn’t provide security against theft (unless the equipment is strapped) and weather. One unit costs around $6,000.
  • Open Top: These storage containers have all walls as a standard dry container except for the top. These are best for transporting items with height constraints, such as large machinery. However, these offer little coverage against weather conditions. One brand-new unit starts at $4,900.
  • Open Side: These containers look similar to a standard dry container. However, on top of the cargo doors on one end, one of their longer sides has side doors that allow maximum access to the container’s space. Often used as a shed or for goods where the standard cargo doors may not be practical. Its prices are similar to those of dry containers. 

Find Cost-Effective Transportation and Storage Solutions with National Dispatching


Storage containers come in various forms to suit the different needs of industries. Moreover, the prices vary depending on the size, material, and additional features. It is essential to carefully assess your requirements and budget before selecting the most suitable storage container. National Dispatching is happy to recommend the right solution for your operations if you’re unsure whether to rent a standard 20-foot or larger 40-foot container. 

With our years of experience as a heavy construction equipment rental company, we understand the demanding nature of your project site. We have assisted countless projects across the United States with our equipment, storage containers, and more. Book our storage containers for your worksite today, or get in touch with us for more information. 

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