Saving Green by Going Green: Selling and Buying Used Shipping Containers

Recycling is a common theme in the workplace today – it cuts down on waste and is better for the environment and lowers costs for companies that employ third parties to transport refuse off site, among other advantages. Selling a gently used item is another way to incorporate recycling into the workplace, and can reap benefits for the environment as well as your company

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Selling used of refurbished equipment, such as shipping containers, is a good practice all around. Because many shipping containers are manufactured to last over time, normal everyday wear and tear will not impact its capacity for shipment, freight, warehouse storage, or mobility. Many new collapsible receptacles, totes, bins, and pallets will obtain dents, nicks, scuffs, and scrapes in the little time they are being used, performing just as well without these blemishes.

Those made from plastic are especially ideal for resale, since they are easy to maintain, can be cleaned and sterilized effortlessly, and are not as heavy as their metal counterparts, making them less costly to transport to the buyer. In addition to plastic, metal and wire shipping containers are also perfect for recycling. As they are also designed to last for many years, metal and wire containers can be more expensive than plastic. In turn, selling used metal bins and other types of receptacles can be profitable for both the seller and the buyer – the seller offsets some of the original costs, while the buyer saves money by purchasing a used vessel.

Wood shipping containers, such as pallets or gaylord components, can also be resold. Again, the reseller and buyer are saving money by acquiring secondhand materials. But, with wood, there are resounding disadvantages that are worth further consideration. Wood will crack, splinter, and warp over time, rendering them hazardous or altogether unusable. Wood is also very difficult to keep clean and sterilize, since it absorbs almost anything it comes in contact with, including liquids, odors, and bacteria. Unless wooden items are newer, have not seen much use, or are being scrapped, they are not the best container to sell or buy used.

Many reputable companies sell used shipping containers over the Internet. Online sellers, just like traditional suppliers and retailers, will provide photographs and detailed descriptions of the items for resale, such as dimensions, condition issues, and pricing information. Some online companies act as a third party between the seller and the purchaser, so make sure that the company has a reasonable payment processing policy; that way, the money is held until each party is satisfied with their side of the transaction.

Companies also post advertisements locally. When selling locally, personal inspection is as simple as driving to the seller’s place of business. Shipment and delivery of the recycled container is minimized, especially if the seller is located nearby. And, you may be able to negotiate or barter an agreement since details are being handled on a more personal level.

Selling used shipping containers are a great way to reduce inventory economically and ethically. Not only are you saving money for your business, you are also helping the environment and reducing waste. With several companies now offering used containers online, as well as regionally, there are more places to find used and refurbished shipping containers than ever before, making it even easier to help the environment and your company’s bottom line.

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