The versatility of shipping containers has captured the imagination of businesses and individuals alike. Whether you're planning an eye-catching pop-up store in a bustling urban center like Vancouver, Calgary or Kelowna, or seeking a sturdy base for your remote work project, selecting the right shipping container is crucial. At Secure-Rite, we're dedicated to guiding you through this decision, ensuring your choice aligns seamlessly with your objectives. Discover the essential factors you need to consider when deciding to buy new or used shipping container.

What’s the difference between a new and used shipping container?

A new shipping container is also known as a “one trip unit” which means they have made one trip, usually from Asia with cargo before finding their way to you. Sporting an immaculate paint job in soothing neutral tones, these units are 95% defect-free and are a perfect match for high-visibility areas where appearances matter most.

A more “seasoned” or “used” container has a practical charm to it. While they may not win beauty contests, their integrity remains intact, offering a wind and water-tight sanctuary for your possessions. With anywhere from 10 to 20 years back and forth across the deep blue ocean, used containers tell a story of resilience and functionality.

The decision on whether to buy a new or used shipping container hinges on your aesthetic and functional requirements. While both options serve their purpose admirably, we have developed these checklists to ensure that wherever you buy a shipping container, you are asking the critical questions to avoid any surprises.

Our commitment to quality and service isn't just about meeting expectations; it's about exceeding them, ensuring that every client's vision becomes a reality with the perfect container solution. - David Tyler, Branch Manager Secure-Rite Mobile Storage

New Container Checklist

Before you make a decision, here's what to look for in a new shipping container:

  • Vents for Improved Air Circulation: New containers have more ventilation. 8-12 vents are installed in each new container, keeping the interior fresh while maintaining their watertight integrity.

  • Ease of Use: Are there waist-height handles for effortless access?

  • Protection Against the Elements: Is it certified to be wind, water, and rodent proof, safeguarding your belongings?

  • Convenience Features: Are there ample hooks for securing your items inside?

Used Container Checklist

Our meticulous inspection ensures that each used shipping container meets our high standards. Here’s what we examine:

  • Door Seals: Are they intact, promising a secure closure?
  • Rust Inspection: We look for surface rust but pass over any unit where rust compromises the structure.
  • Watertightness: A peek inside under sunlight can reveal any leaks, a critical step in our evaluation.
  • Accessible and Smooth Door Operation: Used containers may feature handles positioned lower, which may be a bit more difficult to open than the new units. There are a number of door variations and our team is eager to demonstrate the ease with which our doors operate, inviting you to experience the difference firsthand in one of our six yards.
  • Security Additions: Used containers do NOT have a lockbox, we install one at no extra charge, enhancing security for all our clients. Just another reason to work with a team like Secure-Rite.

From achieving a vintage aesthetic in a contemporary retail setting to tailoring a new container into a custom office space, there are a hundreds of ideas to spark your imagination.

We're excited to accompany you on your storage container adventure.


Don’t forget… regardless of whether you decide a new or used container is best for you, it is important to ask if the container you are buying is customs-cleared and duty-paid.  This is required by Canadian law, and yet there is a surprising number of container resellers that don’t adhere to this.  If you have any further questions at all about our checklists or comments, we are happy to discuss these with you.  Please give us a call at: 1.888.861.3955 or learn more about storage containers here.

Secure-Rite – We bring people and portable space together in creative and meaningful ways.


At Secure-Rite, our commitment to excellence in customer service is unwavering. Rated top in our field, we dedicate ourselves to finding the ideal solution for your unique needs. Whether it's the sleek appeal of a new container or the rugged charm of a used one, we're here to ensure your venture into the world of shipping containers is smooth, informed, and absolutely rewarding. Give us a call at 1.888.861.3955, we would love to welcome you to the Secure-Rite Yard nearest you, and help you bring your shipping container vision to life!

Reach out if you need a storage container in Kelowna, or any of our other locations: 
Kelowna | Penticton | Vernon | Vancouver | Calgary | Prince George


Secure-Rite brings people and portable space together in creative and meaningful ways and strives to change the way the world views and uses shipping containers.

Please contact Secure-Rite if you wish to:

Buy a shipping container.
Rent a shipping container.
Build or Modify a shipping container.