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How to Buy a Container

How to Buy a Container?

MFC Concepts has put together this short guide to help you make an informed purchasing decision.  For further clarifications or additional information, just get in touch – we’re only a call away.


What size do you need?

A container’s size is determined by its length as measured in feet – commonly 20’ (20 foot) and 40’ (40 foot).  Some containers are taller than the standard containers and these are called High Cube.  The three most common types of containers are 20’, 40’ and 40’ High Cube.


Next to a container’s size, you will see a few acronyms – these inform you what type of container it is.  The common types are:

DV          –              Dry Van*

DC          –              Dry Container*

GP          –              General Purpose*

ST           –              Standard*

*all these containers are the same – different manufactures/shipping lines call them by different names

RF           –              Refrigerated (aka Reefer)

OT          –              Open Top

FR           –              Flat Rack

HC          –              High Cube

HQ          –              High Cube

40 ft standard container with floor area and tare weight
A stack of containers at the yard

What condition do you need it in?

Containers will either be ‘new’ or ‘used’.  New containers will usually have been used once in order to get them into the UAE and they may be approximately a year old.  They are still considered new and will be in pristine condition.  New containers are considerably more expensive than used ones and are usually purchased for high-profile conversion jobs or if they are expected to have a long service life.  Used containers will vary in age, but this should not be the main concern.  The condition of a container, which is dependent on how it has been maintained and used, is of greater importance. The condition will determine its grade, which can be anything from ‘A’ (the best) to ‘Scrap’ (the worst).


Will you use the container for shipping?

To use a container for international shipping, it must have a valid CSC plate – this attest to the container’s seaworthiness.

Aerial view of stack of containers in a cargo ship
MFC Cargo Container Concepts location in Dubai

Where is the container now?

Ensure that you check the pickup location of the container.  A collection point further away will add to your cost.  You may also need to pay an additional transport fee if you are collecting it from a different Emirate than the one where you are located. Futher, if a container is located within the port, you may incur additional port charges.


Who are you dealing with?

There are many options for purchase, but we recommend that you go to a licensed and established operator. This is even more important if you are an infrequent or first-time buyer.  Professional operators will be able to offer you a wider range of services, should you need them.

MFC 40 years anniversary logo
Moving forklift lifting container box, loaded into the truck

Is it value-for-money?

Many factors can affect a container’s sales price such as market availability, global price of steel, condition, fabrication quality and location. Take time to make an informed decision and do seek expert advice – we’re just a call away.

Looking for something specific?
Get in touch with our expert team - we're more than happy to help.