Price of a shipping container: Complete guide 2024

International Freight Forwarder

Are you wondering how much a shipping container costs in [year]? This complete guide will help you estimate the costs associated with different types of containers, whether new or used.

Learning how to negotiate shipping container prices is key to optimize your transport or purchase projects.

Let’s review the key elements that determine the price of shipping containers and how you can choose a container that meets your specific needs.

  • Factors influencing the price of a shipping container
  • The impact of taxes on the total cost

How much do shipping containers cost?

The price of a shipping container depends on several key factors: size (such as the popular 20 and 40 feet), condition (new or used), supplier, and global market conditions. For example, new containers are generally more expensive than used ones.

According to a report by the International Trade Association, prices can fluctuate based on global demand and production costs. 

Jean Dubois, a maritime logistics expert at Worldgistic, emphasizes:

Transparency on these factors is crucial for an accurate cost estimation.

Price of a 40-foot shipping container

The price of a 40-foot shipping container mostly ranges between 2,000 and 4,500 euros, depending on whether it is new or used. In comparison, a 20-foot container costs around 1,500 to 3,000 euros. 

40-foot containers offer superior storage space, making them ideal for transporting large quantities of goods.

According to a report by Container XChange, the demand for these containers increased by 10% in 2023, influencing prices. 

Marie Leroy, logistics director at Global Freight, shares:

Using 40-foot containers optimizes our transport costs thanks to their increased capacity.

Price of a new shipping container

Buying a new shipping container brings several advantages, including an extended lifespan and quality assurance. 

Prices for new containers vary based on their size and type. For example, a standard 20-foot container generally costs between 3,000 and 5,000 euros, while a 40-foot container can reach 6,000 euros. 

According to manufacturer Maersk, new containers are designed to withstand the most demanding maritime conditions, thus ensuring the safety of transported goods. 

Price of a second-hand shipping container

Opting for a used shipping container is an economical and eco-friendly solution. 

Prices for used containers typically range between 1,500 and 3,000 euros for a 20-foot container and between 2,500 and 4,000 euros for a 40-foot container. These containers are often reused in non-demanding storage or transport projects. 

The company LogisTrans reduced its costs by 30% by choosing used containers for its temporary warehouses. 

Jean-Pierre Martin, a Worldgistic customer, states:

Used containers perfectly met our needs without compromising quality.

What tax applies to a container?

When purchasing or renting a shipping container, several taxes may apply. These include VAT (value-added tax), customs duties, and possibly environmental taxes.

For example, in France, the VAT on the purchase of new containers is 20%. If you buy a new container for 5,000 euros, you will need to add 1,000 euros of VAT, bringing the total cost to 6,000 euros. 

Customs duties vary depending on the origin of the container and its final destination. According to the official French customs website, container imports may be subject to specific customs duties. 

Pierre Durand, a tax expert, advises:

It is crucial to consult with customs services to avoid surprises and optimize costs.

In summary, understanding applicable taxes allows you to better forecast the necessary budget for your shipping container project.

How much does it cost to ship a container?

The costs associated with maritime container transport can vary significantly based on several factors, such as distance, weight, type of container, and chosen route. Transport options include container ships, consolidation, and express freight.

For example, transporting a 20-foot container from France to China can cost between 1,500 and 3,000 euros. For a 40-foot container, prices can range from 2,500 to 4,500 euros. Here is an indicative price grid for container transport:

Container typeDestinationApproximate price
20 feetEurope – Asie1 500 – 3 000 €
40 feetEurope – Asie2 500 – 4 500 €
20 feetEurope – Amérique2 000 – 3 500 €
40 feetEurope – Amérique3 000 – 5 000 €
20 feetEurope – Afrique1 800 – 3 200 €
40 feetEurope – Afrique2 800 – 4 800 €

Maersk, one of the largest maritime transport companies in the world, states:

Rates can also fluctuate based on the season and market conditions. 

A successful case is that of TransLogistics, which optimized its costs by deciding a less expensive alternative route, reducing its transport fees by 20%. For an accurate and tailored estimate, it is recommended to request a personalized quote from recognized transport companies.

Cost of a shipping container for a relocating

Using a shipping container for an international move is becoming increasingly popular due to its cost and flexibility. Prices vary depending on the size of the container and the distance to be covered.

For example, a 20-foot container for a move from Europe to the United States can cost between 3,000 and 6,000 euros, while a 40-foot container can cost between 5,000 and 8,000 euros.

In comparison, a move without a container may involve higher fees for transporting multiple shipments and temporary storage. For example, a family who used a 40-foot container to move from France to Australia saved 25% compared to a move without a container, while ensuring the safety of their belongings.

For an efficient and economical move, we invite you to consult our moving service and our rates on International Moving.

Identify your container needs

You now understand the different aspects that influence the prices of shipping containers, whether for purchase, rental, or transport. This knowledge enables you to make informed decisions to optimize your costs and meet your specific needs.

Have you thought about the logistics of your next export project? Discover how to optimize your supply chain by visiting our other articles on international transport. To learn more and get exclusive offers, visit our dedicated shipping container page and contact our experts today.


Worldgistic is the number one international freight forwarder in Southeast Asia and Europe. With over 15 years of experience and a team of qualified experts, choose Worldgistic!

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