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Used Shipping Container Grades NZ

When purchasing used containers, it’s vital to grasp the concept of container grades. These grades help classify the condition and suitability of containers for various applications, whether for storage, transportation, or modification. This guide aims to assist you in selecting the right grade container for your needs.

Factors affecting grade

Used containers are graded by age, overall condition, cosmetic appearance, and structural integrity. Factors like surface rust, dents, and general-purpose wear and tear can affect the grade. The container’s age impacts its condition, which in turn affects functionality and durability. Cosmetic appearance is about visual aspects like dents, scratches, and paint quality. Structural integrity is crucial, ensuring the container is water-tight and safe for its intended use.

Common grading systems 

The shipping container industry employs several grading systems to help buyers understand a container’s condition and suitability. These include:

Grade Description
A Grade container
These are top-quality containers, often new containers or second-hand ones in excellent condition. They are generally free from repairs and maintenance issues, making them a preferred choice for those requiring the best condition container for shipping cargo.
B Grade container
B grade containers may have some cosmetic imperfections but is still in fair quality. They are wind and watertight and suitable for a variety of uses, from transportation to being repurposed as garden sheds.
C Grade container
These containers show more signs of wear and may require some repairs. They are not ideal for shipping but can be excellent for storage or as a DIY project base.
Cargo-worthy containers
This certification ensures that the container is fit for international shipping. Containers with a valid CSC plate are inspected and deemed cargo-worthy, meeting standards on all shipping lines.
Wind and water-tight
These containers are specifically designed to be water-tight and robust against wind, protecting contents from weather elements. They are perfect for storing and transporting non-perishable goods.
These are sold in their current state, generally needing minor repairs or maintenance. They are a budget-friendly option suitable for those requiring basic storage solutions.

Choosing the right grade for your needs

Selecting the appropriate container grade involves considering your budget, the container’s intended use, whether it needs to meet international shipping standards, and your preference for cosmetic appearance or structural integrity.

Tips for choosing used containers

  • It’s advisable to inspect the container in person to check for required repairs.
  • Assess for surface rust and minor dents. Ensure that all doors, locks, and seals are functional.
  • Consulting a professional surveyor can be beneficial for a thorough assessment of the container’s condition.


At SEA Containers, our range includes new and used containers. We offer containers of various grades so you can find what meets your requirements. Contact us today to find the right container for your project, whether it’s for storage, shipping, or DIY.