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Shipping containers can be purchased new, used or refurbished. New and used shipping containers come in different stages of wear and tear, whether it may be rusting from the open seas or chipped paint from a one-way trip. Each container has a history to tell, meaning that each container’s condition is unique. There are four major shipping container grades that classify the level of wear and tear a container might have, which makes choosing a used container a little easier.

New “One-Trip”

A one-trip used container is exactly that — a container that was shipped one time with cargo from China and then resold as a “one-trip” product. Its interior will be almost mark-free with a clean floor with no major marks or stains. This type of container is a good fit for you if you want to build a livable space such as a home, an office or a retail space or if you want to make sure that you have the best container out there.


The Cargo worthy (CWO) grade is the second-highest grade of shipping containers. This grade is usually applied to structurally sound containers that are approximately ten years old. These containers are free of holes and major dents, fully functioning, secure, and safe. CWO guarantees a structurally sound shipping container, although it is not guaranteed to be in perfect cosmetic condition. A CSC plate placed on the door certifies that this shipping container has been inspected and is allowed to be used for oversea shipping.

Shipping Container Classification
Shipping Container grades

Wind and Watertight

The wind and watertight grade (WWT) is the third-highest grade for containers. These containers are perfect for storage, although they might not be certified for shipping or exporting materials. WWT promises a structurally sound container, as seen with the “wind and watertight” title, although there are likely a few dents or scratches on the outside.


This grade could mean several things for a shipping container. Containers with this grading have no guarantees, meaning a container can present itself in any condition. They normally have major damages like dents and rust, missing steel sections, damaged doors, and rotten floors. These shipping containers aren’t guaranteed to be suitable for exports, although, with repairs, storage could be possible.

Shipping Container Grades Comparison Table

Conterm_Shipping Container Grades Comparison Table

Refurbished Containers

In addition to the different shipping container grades above, Conterm also offers used refurbished containers. A refurbished container is a used container that has been repaired. The price of our refurbished containers varies depending on the quality and extent of the repairs made. In addition to being repainted, a refurbished container may have had its floor and doors replaced, its insulation redone, and dents and rust removed.

Whether you are looking for a used shipping container or a new shipping container for sale, understanding shipping container grades will help you identify which one may be appropriate for your project. Conterm will help you select the right grade, size, type and container modifications that will best suit your needs and budget. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

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