4 reasons why renting a shipping container could be a better option than buying one
Shipping containers are more popular than ever, with the demand growing every day. Their popularity stems from the many benefits they offer businesses and the variety of sizes available. Shipping containers provide reliable, safe, mobile storage, they’re a globally recognized way to get goods to business partners and customers, and they even lend themselves to creative business uses (e.g. portable workspaces).
When it comes to adding a shipping container to your business, you have two options – renting or buying. The one that best fits your business depends on the specific needs of your company and your industry, but it seems renting may be more ideal. When you buy a shipping container, the breakeven point typically falls two and a half to three years into ownership. And, even if you plan to use the shipping container longer than three years, the benefits of renting a shipping container could still outweigh the perks of buying for the following four reasons:
#1 Better cash flow and flow-through billing
Purchasing a shipping container involves a significant upfront cost, and it’s only sensible if you need it long-term (i.e. much longer than three years), and you need a large size (40’ or larger). The major expenditure leaves your business strapped for cash, and this could become a huge issue if you don’t have a lot of working capital. On the other hand, renting frees up funds for other areas of your business, and monthly payments can be automated, which makes the whole experience seamless.
Also, for third parties handling this container rental for a client, it’s easy to bill the expense to the client as part of a project – a common practice in construction. With a purchase, the company would then have to rent out the container, which means calculating the rent based on the container’s estimated value and working in factors like depreciation. Renting eliminates this complex headache.
Reduce liability and eliminate maintenance costs
When you rent a shipping container, the owner maintains the liability for any damage caused by the container or done to the container. However, when you purchase the container, all of this responsibility falls on your shoulders.
The owner also maintains responsibility for maintenance and security, which means you won’t have to spend a dime on upkeep. This is huge for a small business, as periodic maintenance can include everything from painting and rust prevention to door and floor repairs.
Increased flexibility with container sizes and transportation
Your business’ needs will change over time and, when you’re renting, your shipping container can change to suit them. You can swap your current container for a size that better accommodates the growing demand of your operations. Essentially, renting a shipping container is a trial period. You aren’t stuck with it; you can determine what works and what doesn’t, and you can keep making adjustments until you’re satisfied.
Additionally, you can trade your shipping container for fresher, newer models as needed, which helps your business maintain an image of professionalism. When you’re done, you can turn it back in. But if you buy a shipping container, you have no room to make changes, and when you no longer need it, you need to find a company that’s willing to buy it back from you.
Renting is cheaper for short-term storage needs
As mentioned above, buying a shipping container involves a large upfront cost, which isn’t worth it if your needs are for two years or less. Renting gives you the flexibility you need, without crippling your business or saddling you with assets that aren’t vital to your success.
No two business days are the same, and you need a storage solution that can shift and change to meet your evolving needs. Renting a shipping container is the most cost-effective and versatile way to handle your responsibilities without making an expensive, and ultimately regretful, decision.