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How Much Does It Cost To Move A Shipping Container in 2023?

How Much Does It Cost To Move A Shipping Container in 2023?

Are you thinking of transporting a shipping container? You’re not the only one. In 2023, people are increasingly using shipping containers for homes, offices, and even pop-up shops. However, the cost of moving a container can vary greatly.

There are several factors that influence the cost of moving a shipping container such as distance, shipping container price, preparation, and equipment. 

In this article, we’ll explore the various factors that contribute to the cost of moving your shipping container. We’ll explain how these factors contribute to help you budget accurate for your project.

Understanding all these factors can give an accurate estimate of the cost of moving a shipping container.

With careful planning and the right preparation, the process can be stress-free. Embrace the challenge and find creative ways to make the move easier.

Key Takeaways

  • To ensure a smooth and efficient move, consider factors like the size, weight, price of shipping container, and equipment. 
  • Research the cost of each factor before the move to make sure you know the full price ahead of time
  • The average cost to move containers depends on distance (across your property, across the state, country, or around the world. 
  • Choosing the right equipment is essential for moving shipping containers.

Creativity is key when it comes to making the most out of a shipping container. Whether you’re using it for storage, a living space, or something else entirely, think outside the box and find unique ways to utilize it.

What Can You Do With A Shipping Container?

Shipping containers are more versatile than you might think. These metal boxes have become increasingly popular for repurposing into a variety of structures.

From homes and offices to pop-up shops and trendy cafes, these containers have become the epitome of sustainable design and modern architecture.

The process of transforming a shipping container into a functional space starts with designing the structure.

After that, you can purchase the container and handle all aspects of container construction. With some creativity and craftsmanship, you can turn a shipping container into a unique living or working space.

A popular trend is the shipping container home. It’s an affordable way to create a functional living space in your backyard. With some imagination and effort, you can turn a shipping container into a comfortable living space.

The possibilities are endless with a shipping container. You can turn it into an office, a pop-up shop, or even a trendy cafe. Whatever you decide, you’ll be amazed at the transformation a container can undergo.

What To Consider When You Move A Shipping Container?

If you have an interest in repurposing shipping containers, the first step you’d likely do is getting the actual shipping container. Acquiring a shipping container isn’t as simple as buying building materials from the department store. 

Transporting a shipping container is a process that requires careful consideration. Aside from the transport, the container cost also adds to the total price computation. 

There are also other factors that may affect the total cost of shipping, such as:


Weight is an essential factor to consider when it comes to transporting a shipping container. How much you’ll pay to move your container will depend directly on its weight. 

If you’re using a shipping container delivery service, they are likely to charge more for a loaded container than an empty one due to the extra fuel and wear and tear on their vehicle.

When deciding to use a forklift or other machinery to move the container, consider the weight of the container.

Heavier containers, like a 40ft container, require more powerful and thus more expensive machinery. Likewise, a lighter container (i.e., a 20ft container) might not need much powerful machinery to move. 

It may be a good idea to transport an empty container if possible as this will dramatically reduce the weight and could save you a fair amount of money.

Additionally, remember to factor in the weight of any additional equipment – such as a container chassis – when calculating your total transportation costs.


Container size is an important factor to consider when transporting cargo. Moving a 40-foot container will cost more than a 20-foot container due to its larger size and heavier weight. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what your container needs are and plan accordingly.

If you can find a smaller storage container, you will save money in the long run. Transporting multiple containers at the same time can often result in discounts or bulk rates, so it is wise to consider your options carefully. 

Thinking ahead and making the right choice can save you a considerable amount of money.

When it comes to container transportation, size and number should be taken into account. Being smart about your decisions can make a big difference in the overall costs.


Shipping container prices have a significant impact on the overall cost of shipping the containers. The cost of purchasing or leasing containers affects the initial investment required by shipping companies. 

Higher prices can lead to increased expenses for companies and potentially higher rates for customers. Container prices impact supply and availability, potentially causing delays and requiring alternative transport methods.

The condition and quality of containers also affect costs, with newer containers often being more expensive but providing better security and efficiency. 

Fluctuations in container prices are influenced by factors such as international trade and manufacturing costs.

Container prices directly affect shipping costs and must be considered by shipping companies to provide competitive rates and maintain efficient transportation.


Distance is a major factor when it comes to pricing out a container move. The cost of transporting a shipping container can vary widely depending on the distance it needs to travel. Most shipping companies charge a fee based on the miles the container has to go.

For shorter moves, like simply transporting a container across town, the cost will be significantly lower than for longer hauls, such as across an ocean or from coast to coast.

When preparing for a long-distance move, it’s important to factor in these shipping costs. The further your cargo needs to go, the more expensive the final bill will be. This is just something that comes with a long haul, so it’s best to be prepared for higher charges.

Here’s a thorough breakdown of how distance influences the amount you need to pay to move a shipping container. 

Average Cost To Move Containers By Distance

Whether you need to move it across your property, transport it across the city, or even send it across the country or internationally, each journey has its own cost per mile taken.

Let’s explore these scenarios and how they can affect your budget.

Moving a Shipping Container Across Your Property

The moving cost of a shipping container across your property can be simple and cost-effective when done with the help of a crane. 

For less than $1,000, you can have your container relocated safely and with minimal damage to your lawn. This is a great deal, especially when compared to the cost of moving a container over longer distances.

Using a truck to move a container across your property is not recommended. Doing so can cause damage to your property and put people in unnecessary danger.

Professional container companies have the specialized equipment needed for these operations and offer competitive rates. The cost of moving a container is minor in comparison to the potential damage or injuries that could occur.

When it comes to moving your belongings within the confines of your property, it is worth the extra money to ensure safety and preserve the aesthetics of your land. Investing in a crane and the necessary services is money well spent.

Moving a Shipping Container Across the City

Moving a heavy shipping container through a congested city is a complex task that comes with a lot of costs and considerations. The setup fee for this type of transportation is usually under $1,000. After that, expect to pay between $2 and $5 per mile to move the container.

The amount of time this process takes depends on the distance and the traffic conditions. It’s important to factor this into your moving budget since the hauling company will charge based on these variables.

Planning ahead is key when it comes to transporting a container. Carefully assessing every step involved will help to manage the total cost of the move.

Take the time to understand the costs and complexities associated with moving a shipping container across the city so you can plan a successful and cost-effective move.

Moving a Shipping Container Across the State

Moving a shipping container across state lines can be a daunting task. It’s important to be aware of the costs involved when budgeting for your move.

The cost of the container itself can vary depending on the distance, but typically a moving company will charge around $1,000 plus an additional $2 to $5 per mile.

For long-distance moves, these costs can quickly add up. Keep this in mind when calculating the total cost of your move.

Even a short trip across the state can be expensive, so it’s important to plan ahead and account for all potential expenses.

Shipping a container is not just a matter of moving it within the same city. The cost of transporting it across the state can be significant. Therefore, it is essential to factor in this cost when budgeting for your move.

Moving a Shipping Container Across the Country

Moving a shipping container across the country requires careful planning and consideration. Finding the right shipping broker is key; they will identify the best possible companies to move your container.

The cost of shipping is dependent on several factors including distance, current container shipping rates, and the specific conditions of the transport.

The cost of shipping a container is estimated to range from $1,500 to $4,500. There is no single answer when it comes to the cost of moving a shipping container, as it depends on the broker and the circumstances surrounding the move.

When planning to move a container, factors such as distance, current container shipping rates, and the specific conditions of the transport should be taken into account.

With the right shipping broker, you can rest assured that you will get the best possible companies to handle your move and that the cost of shipping will remain within your budget.

Moving a Shipping Container Across the World

International freight brokerages specialize in navigating the complicated regulations and logistics of moving cargo boxes around the world. 

International shipping companies can help you get your container on a ship headed to your desired destination and arrange for the necessary hauling.

Keep in mind, however, that the cost of international container shipping can be quite high. Rates vary greatly, so it’s wise to get an individual quote from your freight broker before making any decisions.

Shipping a container overseas can be a daunting task, but hiring an experienced freight brokerage can make the process much smoother. With their expertise, you can rest assured that your precious belongings will be safely and securely moved to their final destination.

How to Prepare Your Shipping Container for Transport

Preparing your shipping container for transport is a key step in safeguarding your investment. When you choose the right container for your needs, you can be sure that it will arrive in good condition.

Once the container is delivered, check it carefully for any damages. Make sure your items remain safe and secure during transit.

Ensure the load is distributed evenly throughout the container. An unbalanced load can cause instability during transportation.

Finding a quality container in good condition can save you time and money. Investing in a careful preparation of your shipping container helps to avoid any unwanted surprises down the line.

Here are some steps you can keep in mind.

Achieve the Proper Weight

When shipping containers, it’s important to achieve the proper weight. Going over the weight limit can result in extra costs and surcharges. To avoid this, it’s crucial to weigh the container before loading it.

Weigh the container when it’s empty first, and then record the weight of each item. This way, you can keep track of the total weight and ensure that the limit is not exceeded. 

If you bought a 20ft shipping container, the average weight should be around 1,800 to 2,200 kilograms (4,000 to 4,850 pounds). This weight includes the container’s structure, doors, and flooring. 

On average, an empty 40-foot shipping container weighs between 3,800 and 4,500 kilograms (8,380 and 9,920 pounds).

If you are shipping multiple containers, be sure to repeat this process for each one.

Although this may seem tedious, by taking these measures, you can be sure that your containers meet the weight requirements. This will help you avoid any additional costs when shipping the container. 

Secure Items

Moving a shipping container from one country to another can be costly if items are not secured properly. This is because careless securing can lead to serious damage and lost items.

To avoid unnecessary expenses, it is important to secure items carefully.

Take the time needed for every item, particularly those that are heavy. Don’t rush the process! When you hire someone to move your container, they will charge additional fees such as insurance against damages. This makes proper securing both practical and economical.

Pay particular attention to fragile items. Don’t let heartbreak be the result of your move. Properly secure items with the right materials and techniques to ensure they reach their destination in one piece. 

Make an Inventory List

Make a detailed list of all items to be moved, as this will help you keep track of everything and minimize the risk of losing items.

Thorough preparation is key to reducing the cost of moving a container. Shop around for the best rates from reliable movers, and make sure to get all the details of the cost upfront – including the mile to transport a shipping container. This will help you budget for the move and avoid paying extra for a single container.

Organizing your inventory is also important in order to save time and money. Keep a meticulous list of items and make sure they are packed properly.

This will help keep the cost of transporting a shipping container down and ensure that everything arrives safely.

Equipment Needed to Move Your Container

When it comes to relocating your shipping container, the right equipment is essential. You have several options to choose from, depending on the weight and size of your container.

No matter which piece of equipment you choose, it’s important to ensure it meets your specific needs. A reliable, well-maintained machine will make the moving process much smoother and safer.

Container Gantry Crane

Container gantry cranes are a powerful force in the shipping industry. These huge machines are designed to move containers with speed and accuracy. They are highly stable and can handle heavy loads with ease.

When it comes to transporting goods around the world, gantry cranes play a key role. Whether it’s one container or several, they can lift and move the load quickly and safely.

They can place containers on top of each other without causing any damage to the contents inside. This is important when moving delicate items.

If you need to move containers, trust the reliability of gantry cranes. They are the perfect solution for successful transportation.


A standard crane is a popular way to move shipping containers. It can be a cost-effective solution for relocating cargo, as it doesn’t require extensive effort to secure the items.

The crane hooks onto the container base and keeps it steady throughout the move. This makes the process easier and more efficient.

Using a crane is a great way to get an estimate. To get an accurate figure, contact rental companies and discuss your specific needs and location.

Standard cranes are used in many areas, from warehouses to construction sites. They are reliable pieces of machinery that help make the relocation process much easier and more efficient.

Truck Mounted Crane

Truck-mounted cranes offer a cost-effective option for short-distance container movement. They can quickly and efficiently transport empty containers.

However, it is important to consider certain limitations. These include weight restrictions and a limited range of movement. Before deciding to use a truck-mounted crane, it is crucial to be aware of these restrictions.

The cost of using a truck-mounted crane to move a container is likely to vary depending on factors such as distance and duration.

On average, prices could range from around $200 to $500 per hour. Note that these figures are only estimates and the actual cost may differ depending on your location and service provider.

Container Chassis

A dedicated container chassis is a great option for businesses that need to transport a shipping container. It provides convenience and flexibility. The container can be loaded directly onto the chassis, without the need for a crane, saving both time and money.

In addition to being easy to use, a container chassis offers flexibility. For example, if you only need to move your cargo a short distance, there’s no need to rent a crane for the whole day. This eliminates the need to pay for extra time or labor.

The advantages of investing in a container chassis are clear. It saves time and money by eliminating the need for extra equipment.

With its convenience and flexibility, a container chassis is the perfect solution for businesses looking to transport a shipping container. 

Tilt Bed Trailer Side Loader / Lifter

A tilt bed trailer side loader/lifter can be a great addition for businesses that frequently transport goods. It eliminates the need to manually lift cargo, making it much easier to transport even small and light items.

The bed is designed to tilt, allowing the container to be loaded up onto it and then flattened back down. This process can save time and effort when transporting shipping containers.

However, not all containers are suitable for this type of loading. Generally, it works best with small and empty containers, as they will be light enough to handle.

The cost of using this service will depend on various factors, such as distance, size of the container, and the rates of the service provider.

To get the best price for your shipping container transportation, always request quotes from multiple providers.


A forklift can be an incredibly useful tool when dealing with small, empty containers. It can lift and transport them over short distances with ease, saving you both time and money.

Especially when moving a container within a limited space, a forklift is the best choice. Its flexibility and efficiency can be a great asset.

In terms of cost, the price of forklift services, including operator fees, can range from $100 to $200 per hour, depending on the current market and economic conditions in your area.

These prices may fluctuate, so it’s important to keep an eye out for changes. Nevertheless, forklift services can be a great way to quickly and easily move containers around.

Hydraulic Lifting Jack

Hydraulic lifting jacks are a powerful tool for transporting heavy cargo. These devices are essentially portable forklifts, capable of lifting and moving large shipping containers with ease.

Many containers have specially designed brackets that make it possible to maneuver them using two jacks.

However, it’s important to consider safety regulations and certification requirements when planning to transport a shipping container.

Costs will vary depending on the distance and complexity of the job, so it’s important to factor this into your budget.

Using hydraulic jacks for cargo transport can be a great way to save time and money. Following the proper safety and certification protocols can enjoy a hassle-free experience with the power to lift and move hefty cargo.

Mechanical Lifting Jack

Using a mechanical lifting jack to move lightweight, empty containers can be convenient, but it comes with serious risks.

If the weight of the container exceeds the jack’s limit, it can be incredibly dangerous. Very few mechanical lifts can handle the weight of a steel shipping container, so it’s not recommended to use them for such a heavy load.

On the other hand, if you need to move a small, empty container a few inches, a mechanical lifting jack may be the solution.

Before using the jack, however, make sure to double-check the weight limit and set up the jack correctly. Improper use or overloading can lead to disastrous results.

Safety should always come first when dealing with heavy objects such as shipping containers. Taking the necessary precautions and using the right equipment for the job is the best way to ensure a safe and successful move.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the legal requirements or permits needed to ship a container?

Transporting a shipping container requires various permits depending on the local regulations. Please check all local laws to make sure all necessary requirements are met and to avoid any complications.

Transportation permits may be required to move the container, as well as zoning permits for placement. If the container is being moved internationally, customs documentation may also need to be secured.

Are there any specific insurance policies needed for moving shipping containers?

Yes, you’ll need specific insurance when moving shipping containers. Cargo insurance is essential to cover any goods inside the container, while liability insurance is important in case of any damage during transport.

How long does it typically take to transport a shipping container from one place to another?

The time it takes depends on a variety of factors. Distance, mode of transport, and logistics all influence the duration of the move. On average, it could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Can I transport a shipping container on my own? Or do I need to hire a professional?

If you are considering transporting a shipping container on your own, you must understand the risks and complications involved. It’s not as easy as simply driving it from one place to another.

You need to have the right lifting equipment, as well as the knowledge of proper safety protocols to avoid any accidents.

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Container Home Hub is not a shipping container home construction company. While we do our best to make sure our information is accurate, please contact a professional shipping container home builder for information. Container Home Hub is also a blog and does not independently sell shipping container houses and/or shipping container house plans. Container Home Hub currently uses advertisements from a third-party advertising site in addition to occasional affiliate links.