Shipping Container Grades

20' shipping container

New (also known as “One Trip”) Shipping Containers:

Conex containers sold in North America classified as ‘new’ have actually been used once for shipping, now more commonly called “one trip”. 

Roughly ninety five percent of the world’s supply of new conex containers are manufactured in China. The export companies load the containers with various materials and then transport them via cargo ship from China to the United States. A large volume of good being exported out of China creates a constant demand for empty shipping containers, which are essentially used as a type of packaging.

Using new shipping containers filled with Chinese goods reduces the cost of shipping with a percentage of the cost being borne by the end consumers in the countries of import.

Since the container has traveled only a single trip by sea, the new conex boxes are essentially still in flawless condition upon arrival at their destination. After an 8,000 mile transit the exterior of the container may suffer a few minor marks, scratches and possibly some dents from the loading and transport process. When external appearance and durability are most important, selecting a “new” one trip container may be the best option for you.

Each new / one trip shipping container is sold with a 10 year factory warranty.


Cargo Worthy (CWO) Shipping Containers:

If you need a container to ship via cargo ship to any location outside of North America, this will require purchasing a Cargo Worthy grade container. Also commonly referred to as “sea worthy”, this grade of used containers are structurally sound and likely between 8 to 15 years old.

In order to be shipped, the shipping lines need your container to be inspected and certified by a qualified surveyor before to being approved and loaded for shipping. If you need this, AmericanConex can setup the inspection for you for the price of $149. AmericanConex guarantees that if you purchase a CWS grade (or new one trip) container from our suppliers, the container will certainly pass the inspection.

If you need more information on shipping container inspection and certification click here.


shipping containers for sale in Baltimore
shipping containers for sale WWT

Wind and Water Tight (WWT) Shipping Containers:

Known in the industry as “A grade”, these used containers are for the more budget sensitive buyer who needs a used container for home storage use. These A grade containers are usually 12 to 15 years old and have been decommissioned by shipping companies after years of use in shipping cargo internationally.

The condition may be described as “well used” with numerous, exterior scratches, dents and possibly existing surface rust. The container floor will have normal wear and tear and some containers may have had wall section repairs. The containers have been inspected at the shipping depots to ensure that they’re still wind and water tight. This basically means there are no holes in the walls or roof and the doors properly seal and prevent water entry.

While these shipping containers can no longer be certified for shipping by cargo ship, they’re ideal for repurposing as home storage, local transport or construction use. WWT containers have to have passed an inspection that approves them as structurally sound. Because the containers may be stacked up to eight containers high at the depots, they must be evaluated as structurally sound. WWT sales comprise approximately 60% of our overall container sales. You may need to perform some initial maintenance on these WWT containers to ready them for your specific use.


American Conex Does Not Sell:

American Conex doesn’t sell used containers classified as B grade or AS-IS. These units have been damaged and sold based on how many hours are calculated in order to restore the container to usable condition.

A good rule of thumb is is “Buyer beware”. Different container resellers may pick up these more heavily damaged containers and refurbish them. If you buy a refurbished container, there is a risk that you are buying a rust damaged conex container concealed by an application of new paint.