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Renting a container? Here’s what you need to know…

October 25, 2018
1,484 Views

According to Container Intermodal Trading (CIT), public awareness about the benefits of renting a container for various uses, for both businesses and individuals, has increased recently.

However, there are some things to be aware of prior to contacting a reputable container company, suggests Kashief Schroeder, co-founder and director of CIT. He notes the following:

Specify the intent for the container(s)
First, provide a comprehensive specification to the container company regarding the use for which it is intended.

“A container is far more than just an empty shell to be used for storage. For example, there are specific containers suitable for goods that need to be transported or stored at specific temperatures.

“Remember that a container company also needs to protect itself against the possibility of being held liable for any damages or spoils for whatever is going to be stored in the container, so a reputable container company is going to need as much information as possible,” states Schroeder.

Expect a credit check
Containers are an enormous expense for companies that rent them out as part of their services, and many container companies have incurred significant losses when individuals have simply disappeared without a trace (and they were therefore unable to get the container back).

“For this reason, container companies often run credit checks on prospective customers to see if there are any red flags. It is also far easier to put a container company at ease if it is rented through an existing business, as the company can be assured that it will be able to contact the renter in case there are any issues with outstanding payments,” Schroeder adds.

Containers can be custom made
“Containers for long term-rent can also be custom made at a minimal extra cost,” Schroeder enthuses. “After providing a wish list, renters are often surprised at the affordability of this option.”

Careful who you rent from
Schroeder further says that one should do proper research on the container company of choice.

“Make sure that it has been around for a while. Look for reviews of other people’s experiences with the company. Also check if the company has verified and credible social media pages, as this will show if it is actively engaging with customers that way, and of course what others have to say about it.”

The final destination – is it suitable for a container?
Finally, make sure the container company is able to transport the container to where it is needed. If the container is being rented for special storage, make sure that there is space available at the desired premises and that it is in a secure environment. Be sure to read the fine print in the agreement. Take care of the container while renting it to avoid incurring expenses for damage.

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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