When looking for a shipping container manufacturer, make sure that the company is ISO certified. Without these standards your container will not be serviced properly at ports worldwide, and may not fit properly on truck or rail beds for land travel.
ISO standards will also assure that these units will fit as expected into your planned building project.
You can obtain an ISO manufacturer listing free at globalspec.com. It lists 38 ISO-qualified manufacturers of containers and fittings. Most are U.S. companies located primarily in coastal communities. Some of the manufacturers on the list will sell both new and used equipment; some will also lease containers.
The National Portable Container Association website has a directory of members by country, state or region. The list at npsa-us.org will help you locate the closest dealers for leasing or renting containers, arranging for international or national shipping, or providing custom fittings.
It is important to locate a shipping container manufacturer or leasing agency as close to your location as possible, because transportation costs add up quickly.
The manufacturer you choose may specialize in certain container sizes and offer certain customized details. Most commonly, the manufacturers will offer ISO standard sizes of 20 and 40 feet. The containers should be waterproof, rustproof, painted with marine quality paint to meet your specifications, and otherwise fitted out to meet your needs. Welding is extremely important and can make the difference between a quality product and one that is sub-par. A high quality container should retain most of its value for a long time.
You can find a shipping container manufacturer who outfits containers for major military logistical uses. Some manufacturers are actively seeking customers for new uses, such as for emergency relief supply depots for organizations like the Red Cross, and for emergency housing. Some have prepackaged small office boxes that can be set up with little outside help. Included in these packages are insulation, heat and cooling, electrical, flooring, and basic office built-ins such as drafting tables.