Make Sure You Read This Before Buying A Used Shipping Container!
When buying a used shipping container, customers often believe that the original shipping companies logo will be left intact. This assumption may prove costly for the end user.
In reality, all used shipping containers need to have the original owners’ (shipping line or leasing company) logo’s removed. This process is referred to as “neutralising”.
Even if heavily discounted, you should never buy a shipping container that has not been neutralised. Worst case scenario, it could result in the container being repossessed by the original owners, resulting in a costly and time consuming legal battle to retrieve your container and any goods therein.
Why do we neutralise a used container?
At Gateway Container Sales, we will always ensure that any used containers have been neutralised prior to sale. As part of our agreement with the various shipping lines and leasing companies who supply us with our used stock, there is a legal requirement for us to remove all identifying markings that link the container with its previous owners. This requirement forms part of our “contract of sale” with our various suppliers.
The neutralising process costs us money, but it protects you as the buyer from any potential issues that may arise in the future.
One of the reasons a shipping line or leasing company uses logo’s on their containers, is for brand recognition. Let’s face it – unless you hadn’t seen a Maersk or PIL logo on a shipping container, you would have no idea which shipping companies are moving freight around the world!
With brand awareness, comes reputation. Shipping companies only advertise their operations when the container is under their control. What the container is being used for after being in service with the shipping line, is beyond that control. Therefore they need to protect their brand by insisting that all retired containers are properly neutralised.
Before the neutralising process.
After the neutralising process.
A true story
Here’s a story doing the rounds…
An online shipping container reseller didn’t neutralise the container before selling it to their customer (some resellers rarely see the containers that they are selling, and in order to cut costs, they don’t undergo the neutralising process).
The customer was happy with the relatively low price, and went on to use it for storage of stock on his business premises.
The problem arose when an employee of the shipping line spotted the container and found that it was no longer under their control. The innocent business owner, who purchased this container in good faith, was then ordered to have the container neutralised at his own expense, or face having the container confiscated. Luckily for the customer, the reseller eventually agreed to cover their costs, but not without a lot of wasted time and undue stress. The reseller was also slapped with a $500 penalty from the shipping line for breach of a contractual obligation.
So, what markings should be on the shipping container?
Used shipping containers should still have a number of markings on them, even after they have been neutralised.
- Container number
- A check digit number
- An ISO code denoting what size / type of container it is
- The maximum gross weight of the container for transport
- The empty weight of the container with no cargo (Tare)
- The maximum weight of its contents
- The maximum volume that can be packed within it
Get in contact today!
At Gateway Container Sales we work extremely hard to conform to the rules around buying and selling shipping containers. Sadly, not all of our competitors will do the same.
For your own peace of mind, before you buy a container, please ask the question, “IS MY CONTAINER GOING TO BE NEUTRALISED?” You may be surprised as to the answers you get (some may even tell you that it is not necessary)… There is only one answer that you should be happy with, “YES!”.
At Gateway Container Sales, you can rest assured that we will not sell a used container without it being neutralised!
Gateway Container Sales has been in the game for over 20 years, so if you want honesty and good old fashioned customer service, you will do well to buy from us. Check out our Google Reviews (4.8 star rating from over 150 reviews. More than any other reseller in the entire country….) Call or email us today to discuss your shipping container needs!