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Iron Ranch Containers
FAQ’s

You have questions about storage containers, we have answers!

At Iron Ranch Containers, we have customers asking us questions every day about our products and how our services work. We have compiled a list of the questions we hear most frequently to save you the time of contacting us directly for a question that many people have asked before you. If your question isn’t answered here, please feel free to email us or give us a call and we will be happy to help you out!

How much do your shipping containers cost?

Our used storage containers usually vary in price from about $1500 to $4500, depending on the size of the container you want. Delivery costs vary based on your location, of course. If you want modifications on your storage container, these will also be calculated into the price. The best way to get a solid estimate of how much you will pay for your shipping container from Iron Ranch Containers is to talk to us and tell us what you want!

How long can I expect my storage container to last?

Again, this depends on how it’s going to be used. You can plan on getting about 20 years of good use out of a used storage container, even with bad weather conditions. If you aren’t going to be transporting your storage container and are going to be letting it sit flat, it will last you even longer than that.

Do you sell your storage containers As Is?

Our used storage containers will often show some cosmetic wear. The paint tends to get scratched a bit as they are used, and we do not fix this unless you specifically request it. Our used storage containers are NEVER sold with any structural damage or anything that requires repair to be usable.

Do you offer customization?

We can do custom paint jobs for the exterior, and any modifications you may want for the exterior and interior. Common modifications that we are asked to do include custom doors and windows for storage containers that are going to be used as offices or shelters. Interior modifications can be as simple as shelves and partitions, or as complex as wiring, plumbing, insulation, drywall, lighting, and bathroom installation.

How will you deliver my shipping container?

Our driver will back in to the spot where you want it located, tilt the chassis of the trailer, and slowly slide the container onto the ground. We need about three times the length of the container open to be able to deliver it, and at least 12 feet in width to ensure safe delivery.

What preparation do I need to do for my delivery site?

We can deliver onto any stable level surface, including concrete, gravel, and pavement. We can also deliver onto bare ground or grass as long as the ground is hard enough to be able to maneuver our truck. Please be aware that if you have your storage container delivered onto grass, it will kill the grass under it and our truck will likely make ruts when we deliver and pick it up. We are not responsible for landscaping damage if you have us deliver a storage container to a grassy area.

How long do I have to rent your storage containers?

Our minimum rental contract is 1 month. You are, of course, welcome to rent our storage containers for as long as you want them. We do not have a maximum rental period, though we may swap out your storage container for another so that we can do maintenance on it.

What is a one-trip container?

A one-trip container is one that was manufactured at an overseas location, often somewhere in Asia. It transports goods from Asia to the US, and the container is then sold to Storage Container Sacramento rather than being sent back to continue transporting goods. They are like new, and usually only have a few scratches to show for their single trip of use.

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… however we can sometimes get a handful of colors (blue, yellow, red, green, maroon, etc.) if a certain shipping line has excess capacity in your market.

You can always have your container painted, and that usually takes a week or two and price varies by market (it’s also only seasonally available in some markets, and not available at all in others).


The one time we can guarantee a color is when you order a one-trip container new from the factory. We can then have the unit painted with your color request at the factory (delivery takes 90-120 days for custom color units).

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 Railbox Consulting, you’re buying a shipping container at wholesale. We help you navigate the process of purchasing a used shipping container directly from the cargo pool.

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. Railbox Consulting doesn’t have sales reps on staff, 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. Railbox Consulting 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.

What’s an “A Grade” container?

A lot of our competitors use grades like “A Grade, B Grade, etc.” 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. A “B Grade” unit is going to be an older more beat up box.

If you hear “A Grade” you can safely translate it to WWT. Most of the retail companies only buy boxes after they are past their useful life as a shipping container… Iron Ranch Containers helps you source containers directly from the cargo pool. Usually the retail companies are trying to sell their “A Grade” boxes for almost as much as we can wholesale one-trip containers for. And Iron Ranch Container’s WWT prices are usually among the lowest prices in the market (because they are based on currently market rates and lean wholesale margins).

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

That depends on where you take delivery. Iron Ranch Containers primarily acts as a broker, helping customers buy shipping containers from intermodal depots. We only charge sales tax in South  Florida where we have an office.

We do not charge sales tax in states where we don’t have a physical location. We also do not charge sales tax if the buyer is tax-exempt (form must be provided to Iron Ranch Containers prior to purchase, please contact us if you believe your purchase should be tax exempt).

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

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 Iron Ranch Containers 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.

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% of the original purchase price.

Neither you nor Iron Ranch Container 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.

How should I prepare the site for delivery?

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. Iron Ranch Containers does not provide blocks, so please make sure you have your site ready at delivery.

Do you sell refrigerated or insulated units?

We can locate refrigerated/insulated units. Please be aware the process takes a little longer, and the cost is usually $3,000-$5,000 more than dry containers by market.

We’re not refrigerated container experts, but we can leverage our relationships with shipping lines to purchase those types of units if that’s what our customers need.

Do you sell 45’, 48’ or 53’ containers?

We can locate larger boxes than 40’s, but customers are responsible for their own trucking of larger units. Pricing for 45’, 48’ and 53’ boxes tend to be between 20%-50% more than one trip 40’ high cube containers (all 45’, 48’ and 53’ containers are high cubes).

Do you sell 10’ containers?

Shipping containers usually come in TEU’s or “twenty-foot equivalent units” so we offer 20’ and 40’ containers. 10’ containers are usually custom built or made from cutting down a 20’ container. Because of that they tend to run somewhere between the price of a one-trip 20’ and a one-trip 40’ container in your market.

10’ containers are not a cost-effective alternative to 20’s, but if you don’t have room for a 20’ container, we can find you a 10’ box.

What if I have a question that wasn’t answered in the FAQ?

Contact us if we weren’t able to answer your question in the FAQ, we’re always happy to help.f use.

If you have any questions, just give us a call!

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