Hiring Shipping Containers in Australia: What You Need To Know


Are you thinking of renting a shipping container in Australia? Not sure how to go about hiring a cargo container? If your answer to both of these questions is yes, then you have come to the right place. Hiring a shipping container, while it might seem easy and straightforward, is a fairly complex affair as you’ll need to have some basic information about these metal boxes as well as to consider a couple of things before you pull the trigger.

Jump To:
From novelty to dominance

Why should I hire a shipping container?
What should I consider before hiring a shipping container?
Where can I get more information?

From novelty to dominance

They might seem like they have been here for as long as ships have existed, but the concept of standardised shipping containers has only been around since the 50’s. Over the decades that followed, the sea container has grown in popularity to become the preferred shipping solution for the majority of the world’s cargo.

With the growth of globalisation, the shipping container transitioned from a novel item used by military outfits and a handful of organisations around the world to the cornerstone of global trade in under a century. Currently, about 90% of the world’s cargo is transported by sea with 70% of this cargo being containerised.

Why hire a shipping container?

With so many of them being used around the world, it has become relatively easy and cheap to acquire or hire a shipping container anywhere around the world. This has made cargo containers very popular for other uses outside their traditional realm of shipping.

People generally hire shipping containers for short to medium term usage. Some of the things people hire shipping containers for include:

  • Temporary storage: If you need a secure space to store your extra stuff for a while, then a hired shipping container does provide a fantastic option. Containers are suitable for storing a variety of items including vehicles, furniture, tools and equipment, etc. Specially modified containers can also be hired for storing perishables such as food and dangerous goods such as chemicals and explosives.
  • One-off local shipping: Instead of outright buying a cargo container for a one-off shipping operation, it would be more economical to hire one if retrieval is possible once the job is done.
  • Load yourself removals: Looking to move houses or business premises? Hiring a shipping container can make your move easier and more convenient as you can pack and unpack the container at your convenience during and after the move.
  • Factory storage overflows: It’s often cheaper to manufacture in a single large batch than multiple small batches. For large production batches, factories will often require extra storage space which rented shipping containers can provide.
  • Testing before buying. Hiring a shipping container can also be a good way to test if it’s what you need before you commit to purchasing one.

These are just a few examples of why you’d hire a shipping container, but uses for a hired container stretch as far as the imagination can go.

Considerations for hiring a cargo container

You will need to consider a couple of things when you’re hiring a shipping container to ensure that you get the most out of your money and get the most utility out of your hired facility. These considerations are:

Space requirements/availability

Shipping containers come in a variety of sizes i.e. 10ft, 20ft and 40ft. The size of shipping container you hire will depend on the amount of space you require for your stuff/cargo and, of course, the amount of space available to store the container for the duration of time you have it. It’s generally more economical to hire a single large container than several small ones.

So, before committing to a container size, make sure to carefully examine your storage space requirements as well as the room available to keep the container. If storage space for the container is not an issue, then hiring a size bigger when you’re not sure if everything will fit is the way to go.

Duration of hire

To ensure your hire is as cost effective as possible, you’ll need to figure out the duration of time you will require the shipping container for. You don’t want to hire a container for a shorter time than you need it as this would greatly inconvenience you. Likewise, you also wouldn’t want to hire a container for way longer than you need it as this would be uneconomical.

Once you determine the duration of time you want the container for, add a bit more time to cushion yourself just in case something happens and you need to keep the container longer. You could as well get a better deal when your hire duration is longer.

Condition of the container

Shipping containers might be durable, but they’re not indestructible. A damaged container could let in moisture, vermin or burglars which could result in the destruction or loss of stored items. That’s why it is important that you inspect a shipping container carefully before renting it.

Check the entire container including the walls, floor, doors, hinges, locks and the door gaskets/seals to ensure they are in good condition. Also, make sure to check the roof as this is one of the most neglected areas but also one of the most important for the protection of stored items.


While they are designed to be as easy to transport as possible using different modes of transport, shipping containers are still relatively bulky and will require relatively large vehicles to transport and set up. Certain roads aren’t ideal for the size of vehicles used to transport containers which could make delivery nearly impossible.

Make sure you map out the route a container delivery vehicle would use to deliver to you before hiring a shipping container. Also, keep in mind that the closer you are to the supplier of the container the better as this will make logistics easier and cheaper.


Different shipping container suppliers will have different insurance obligations for their clients. In most situations, insurance obligations are left to the client and any damage to the goods stored in the container is the renter’s responsibility. Some companies do, however, provide some type of insurance so make sure to ask about this before you hire a shipping container.

Hiring a cargo container provides you with the flexibility to match the duration of a project to the term of the hire. You get to keep the shipping container for however long you need it and dispose of it quickly when the job is done by simply cancelling your hire arrangement.

For more information visit: https://www.tigercontainers.com/


guide to buying shipping containers in aussie blogpost

Infographic by: https://www.tigercontainers.com

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