Understanding Shipping Container Grading

In the world of shipping containers, not all units are created equal. To distinguish between containers of varying quality, a grading system has been established, making it easier to identify the condition and suitability of each container. At 1st Containers, we exclusively handle high-quality containers, ensuring that our stock meets stringent standards for transportability. While different suppliers may have slight variations in their grading systems, there is a general standard that applies universally. In this article, we’ll delve into the shipping container grading system and elucidate what each grade signifies. Understanding these grades is crucial when purchasing or selling shipping containers, as they directly impact the container’s value and asking price, ensuring fair transactions and avoiding overpayment or underpayment.

New Build/One-Trip

A “one-trip” shipping container denotes a unit that has been utilised for a single voyage to ferry cargo from its manufacturer to its final destination. Typically, these containers boast excellent condition, having only undergone one journey. They are structurally robust, watertight, and exhibit minimal wear and tear. Equipped with standard features like 14 vents, waist-height handles, easy-opening doors, and a lockbox, one-trip containers offer optimal functionality and aesthetics.


The CSC plate serves as an informative panel affixed to the side of a shipping container, providing details regarding its manufacturing, load capacity, and other important information. A container designated as “CSC-plated” possesses a valid CSC plate, indicating that it has undergone inspection and quality assurance by a regulatory body within the shipping container industry. This certification permits the container to be utilized for shipping purposes for up to 12 months following the issue date. Conversely, containers lacking a valid CSC plate are ineligible for shipping, rendering them less versatile and valuable in comparison.

WWT (Wind & Watertight)

Containers labeled with a WWT rating, denoting “Wind and Watertight,” are typically over eight years old but maintain the ability to shield their contents from environmental elements. These containers exhibit no discernible holes, cracks, or significant structural flaws. The WWT category may be further subdivided into grades, often ranging from A to C. A-grade containers boast exceptional condition, with minimal damage or rust. Conversely, B-grade containers exhibit slightly more wear and tear, including noticeable damage or rust, though they remain suitable for storage purposes. C-grade containers necessitate inspection and repairs before being deemed fit for shipping applications.


While the shipping container grading system provides a useful framework for understanding the condition and quality of containers, it’s important to remember that each container is unique, and variations can exist even within the same grade. As such, we highly encourage our customers to request photos of the specific container they’re interested in before making a purchase. This allows you to visually assess the condition and ensure it meets your requirements.

Additionally, we extend an open invitation for you to visit any of our depots to personally inspect the container before finalising your purchase. We believe in transparency and want to ensure that you’re fully satisfied with your container investment.

Our team is here to assist you every step of the way, providing all the information and support you need to make an informed decision. Feel free to contact us below.