June 8, 2013

Factors in Container Rental Rates

If you only need a container for a short period of time then renting is the prefect option for you. You can typically rent 20 foot containers for $50 – $80 per month and 40 foot containers for $90 – $120 per month, these rates will vary based on any number of things, we’ll look at some of the reasons here and hopefully provide you some leverage for negotiation. That said, don’t forget to negotiate, the worst they can say is say is “no.” In the northern part of the country construction activities are very cyclical in nature. Construction begins to get active in the early spring and steadily increases to a fever pitch in the summer. Building tends to level off in the late summer and it slows way down with the onset of winter. Since so many shipping containers are rented for storage of construction materials and tools, container rentals tend to be very plentiful in the north during the fall and winter months and sometimes a little harder to find in the heat of the season.  As you can see the laws of supply and demand begin to emerge as rental prices tend to be lower in the cold months and higher in the warm months. Construction cycles are not as big a factor in the south as the activity remains constant but supply and demand can be driven by more unpredictable events like a hurricane striking a region. Individuals and businesses will need to store goods and valuables as they make repairs. Often, their insurance is paying for the rental, they just need a container and money is not as much of a consideration so rental rates may reflect that.
The condition of the containers also dictates the rental rates. A “rusty but trusty” unit will not command the rate that a single crossing (new) or cargo worthy unit will. If you need to store valuables like your furnishings or some documents then you will want to look for a good single crossing or cargo worthy unit to rent. Conversely if you just need to store some tires or keep some roofing materials from walking off of your job site then a wind and weather tight or “as-is” unit may work just fine and will be less expensive to rent. Credit worthiness also plays a factor in the rental rate quoted. Money costs money, if the rental company has reason to believe they are going to have to chase down the rent every month then they may charge more than they would for an established customer. Paying the full term or a large portion of it up front will normally get their attention in both available equipment and rental rates. Unless the rental company offers to apply some of the rent proceeds towards the purchase price as a standard operating practice don’t request that option. It confuses bookkeeping for them, especially for the larger companies and they will either raise the rental rate or raise the purchase price in order to accommodate the bean counters at the corporate headquarters. Containers can be rented at any number of places, light duty fiberglass, plastic and light gauge steel units made for residential moving are available from places like PODS and Pack Rat. For heavy-duty applications you can find ISO shipping containers at most national and regional companies that rent mobile offices. Rentals can also be found at companies that specialize in selling and renting containers like Containers4Sale.com as well as companies that sell and rent commercial grade trailers and construction equipment. A s Google search will help you find local companies that will rent and sell shipping containers.