Shipping Container Conditions Grades – Uses

Shipping Container Conditions, what are the grades and what does it indicate ?

Shipping Container Conditions

The state of a shipping container, like everything else, can change over the life cycle of a container, which does not last forever. But how long can the same container supply people with goods and how long can the container have? Although there is no universal grading system for the state of shipping containers and there is a lot of confusion with various abbreviations (WWT, CW, IICL, etc.), shipping companies use the structure and aesthetics of containers for grading. Both of these factors can be considered independently of other factors, for example. Containers may be structurally sound for shipping purposes, but may appear unsightly due to rust, paint deterioration, or many small dents. This means that you cannot always compare two WWT containers, even if both companies classify the containers by grade A, B, or C.

Some of the most common uses of new and used shipping containers are workshops, homes, carports, cabins, off-grid living spaces, medical centers, information kiosks, toolhouses, home additions, homes or workplaces. Office space, guesthouses, hotels, etc. – and of course cargo movement. Consider the following when purchasing a container: First, it is wise to consider the past life of future shipping containers. Was it used to carry nuclear waste, biohazard, toxic chemicals, alien spacecraft, or garbage? You may be trading, is this what you want? An additional question could be “how many trips did you make?” Short and frequent trips mean more wear from loading and unloading, or “where you moved the most”. From the cost of tanned Australia to the freezing cold regions near the Arctic and Antarctica, constant changes in frigid temperatures can cause dramatic elemental damage such as rust and warpage of corrugated steel.

Various container conditions: shipping container life cycle

China produces more than 90% of the world’s marine containers, which is definitely not a coincidence. Export-oriented countries have low labor costs and are not only large steel recyclers, but also play an important strategic role in the life cycle of shipping containers aimed at maximizing usage time. .. In most cases, new shipping containers manufactured in China will be loaded and shipped to destinations such as the United States and Europe for sale. These containers are so-called “one-trip” containers that are sold when they arrive at their destination. Sold as a new container with only minor defects in a single use. This approach to container sales extends the life cycle by preventing containers from being used from the date of manufacture and shipped empty at high shipping costs.

Upon arrival at the destination, one trip old container will be sold and used by the purchaser (usually a carrier, NVOCC, shipping company, etc.). Containers are rarely with the original purchaser, as resale is often done many times. As long as the container is classified as worthy of cargo, resale is often done multiple times in business-to-business transactions, primarily through networks or contacts.

The life of a container depends on several factors, including where the container is used and how much damage it has. For example, harsh climates and minor damage can promote rust and significantly reduce lifespan. In a hurry to generalize, containers are freight-worthy and will be used for transportation for about 10 to 15 years. When a container is no longer the subject of freight transportation and transportation, innovative and creative individuals can purchase the container for reinvention outside the industry. Alternatively, the steel in the container can be recycled.

As-is from food grade: Overview of various container conditions


New – “One trip”Container
Cargo WorthyWWTAs-is
Wind & watertightYes- guaranteedYes- guaranteedYes- guaranteedNot guaranteed
Floor free of holesYes- guaranteedYes- guaranteedYes- guaranteedNot guaranteed
Doors fully functioningYes- guaranteedYes- guaranteedYes- guaranteedNot guaranteed
Suitable for storageYesYesYesWith repairs
Suitable for exportsYesYesOnly with repairsNo
Suitable for modificationsYesYesYesYes, with repairs
PaintFresh paintFaded paint acceptableFaded paint acceptableFaded paint acceptable
Dents & scratchesMinor dents & scratches acceptableSome dents, repairs and surface rust acceptableMany dents, repairs and surface rust acceptableSignificant dents acceptable
Floors appearanceLike newSome scratches, gouges and patches acceptableMany scratches, gouges and patches acceptableMany scratches, gouges and patches acceptable and potential holes
Best condition availableGood condition, still meets all requirements for shippingNot ready for shipping, but perfect for storage

F-Food Grade Container / New

Food grade container

Food transportation sets specific requirements for shipping containers, such as never carrying toxic chemicals or products. Food is packed in bags and is not in direct contact with the container, but the means of transportation must be a food grade container to avoid the risk of unnecessary contamination.

  • Structural condition is IICL5 and must have a valid CSC plate
  • Best internal cleanliness and scratches should not exceed 2mm depth
  • When the door is closed, it is waterproof and you cannot see the sunlight from the inside
  • Do not carry toxic chemicals or products
  • Food grade quality / import standards are primarily governed by the government

Grade A container

  • New, refurbished or used containers
  • Less rust and dents
  • Wind and water are tight (WWT)
  • Doors, floors and seals are in excellent condition
  • Structural condition is IICL5 and must have a valid CSC plate
  • The interior should be almost mark-free
  • Minimal surface rust

Shipping Container Conditions – Grade B (CW, cargo value)

Cargo-worthy container

Freight-worthy: CW means that the condition of the shipping container is considered suitable for freight transportation based on CSC standards. Another criterion is that the container meets all the criteria set in the original specification. This usually also means that the container has a valid CSC. This is the safety approval plate required for containers used for international shipping.

At least WWT or IICL5 and valid CSC plate

Used containers fall into this category

The interior is at least 50% mark-free with some scratches, scratches and slight surface rust.

The floor may become dirty or have marks, resulting in slight delamination.

Externally, there may be more common corrosion and dents

The container may have previously undergone minor repairs

Shipping Container Conditions – Grade C (WWT, strong wind and water)

Grade C container

In short, CW means that the condition of the shipping container is considered suitable for freight transportation under TIR / UIC / CSC standards. Another criterion is that the container meets all the criteria set in the original specification. This usually also means that the container has a valid CSC. This is the safety approval plate required for containers used for international shipping.

  • Often referred to as wind and watertight or cargo worthy 2
  • Extensive marking, corrosion, scratches
  • The floor is marked and may have moderate delamination
  • Some previous repairs
  • Most common and cheapest
  • Can show wear and tear
  • Commonly used storage container
  • Can be used for transportation, but requires a valid CSC plate
  • The state of the container is the same

As is container condition

Damaged containers that are not used in the transportation industry and may not be usable for storage. They can have most of the roof or wall damage, damaged floors, bad seals, difficult-to-open doors, or structural damage.

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