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Shipping Container vs. Metal Shed: Which One Should You Choose?
Sep 2023

Shipping Container vs. Metal Shed: Which One Should You Choose?

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It can be difficult to decide between a shipping container or a metal shed for your business. There are many factors to consider, including cost, versatility, and set-up time. Fortunately, this article will help you understand the pros and cons of each storage method and help you decide which is best for you.

Total Area

A 20-foot shipping container has 160 square feet and 1156 cubic feet of available space. If you are using the shipping container to store equipment, this is ample space for hand tools and gas-powered equipment. If you are more interested in using a shipping container for an office or break room, this is still more than enough space.

The total area available to be used in a metal shed, however, is completely dependent on the size of the shed. Of course, you can buy a shed that is suited to your unique requirements.


One of the biggest benefits of a shipping container is that it is already built. This means that when you decide on a location for it, the only setup you need to do is level the ground. If you only need it temporarily, renting is a great decision.

Renting a shipping container adds to its convenience. However, if you’re more interested in purchasing a shipping container, we also do that at Sigma Container Corporation.

One of the major drawbacks of a metal shed is that because it is built on a foundation, it cannot be used in a temporary way as well as a shipping container can. That being said, both shipping containers and metal sheds can be used on a more permanent basis. A metal shed is difficult to rent because it requires a foundation specifically for the structure.


As they are purposely built to transport and safeguard expensive cargo, shipping containers are famous for their strength, durability, and security. After all, they are designed to have thousands of pounds stacked on top of them. They also have robust and secure doors that can be locked.

Regarding metal sheds, depending on the style of shed you purchase, the overlapping panels can be compromised. However, today, many metal sheds are built with security in mind.


On this front, the shipping container wins again. Since it is designed to be moved, it is easy for you to change its location and actually make that happen quite quickly. Conversely, a metal shed cannot easily be moved once it has been built because it is built upon a foundation.

That being said, it is possible to move a metal shed. Still, that would require building a new foundation in the new location, and you may need to disassemble the shed to move it. In the end, it would be much faster to move a shipping container than it would be to move a metal shed.


Shipping containers are an excellent way to store equipment, tools, or even house break rooms, first aid rooms, and offices. Due to their exceptional security, you can be certain that you are storing your equipment in a safe way.

Metal sheds can be used in the same way, but they do not have the versatility of shipping containers.

The Pros and Cons of Shipping Containers and Metal Sheds

For a quick rundown of the upsides and downsides in shipping containers and metal sheds, keep reading below:

Pros of a Shipping Container

  • Shipping containers are easy to set up because they are pre-built.
  • Designed to protect expensive cargo, shipping containers are a very sturdy and durable way to secure your assets.
  • Shipping containers are famous for their ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Thus, they are an excellent way to ensure your tools and equipment (and even paperwork if you use it as an office) are protected from the elements.
  • Due to their mobility, security, and shape, shipping containers are extremely versatile. You can use them for everything from equipment storage to a break room. Additionally, if you decide to rent a shipping container, you have the added versatility of only using it when you need it, and having it delivered directly to you.
  • Shipping containers have longer lifespans than metal sheds (over 25 years vs. 10 years, respectively).
  • Sigma Container Corporation sells containers at a reasonable and affordable cost.

Cons of Shipping Containers

  • Shipping containers can be expensive to purchase from other companies, which is why it may be a good decision to rent yours. This can dramatically reduce the cost. We will even deliver the container to where you need it and remove it when you’re finished. This makes the process simple, affordable, and fast.

Pros of Metal Sheds

  • Depending on the size, materials, and type of foundation you build, metal sheds can have a low initial cost. However, it should be noted that you get what you pay for. If you buy a small and cheap metal shed, it will not offer you the same utility as a more robust and expensive one.

Cons of Metal Sheds

  • If you buy a metal shed with many connected metal panels, you may have to contend with leaks and openings. This is not the case for all metal sheds but is certainly something you should consider before purchasing.
  • Depending on the requirements of your metal shed, it can be costly and time-consuming to build the foundation.
  • While some metal sheds come pre-built, many have to be assembled. If you buy one that needs to be assembled, it can be difficult and time-consuming to do so.


There are many things to consider when deciding between a shipping container and a metal shed. Ultimately, it comes down to what you need it for and how much money you are willing to spend. In our opinion, a shipping container is a far better system. A shipping container allows you the versatility of use, security, and ease of setup to make it superior.

It can also be a much more affordable choice. Deciding to rent a shipping container brings you even more benefits because we will deliver the shipping container directly to you and remove it as soon as you are done. As you are renting monthly, you can use it for as long or as short a time as you like.

For more information about shipping containers for rent or purchase, call Sigma Container Corporation at 1-877-225-7762 or contact us here.