trade show shipping containers

When Should You Rent or Buy a Shipping Container for Your Business?

Pop up containers made from conventional shipping containers can serve as temporary pop up cafes, bars, studios, or shops. They’re also used in road shows, and in experiential marketing events where they serve as trade show shipping containers. These containers are often custom-made to suit your product, brand, and business needs. This post provides a brief overview of facts on when it’s appropriate to lease or buy trade show shipping containers for your marketing events.

We often encounter the question of whether to buy or rent a house, car, excavator or any other machinery or service that you may need for the long- or short term. Deciding on whether to lease or buy pop up containers for your business is no different from any other related decisions. Each choice has its merits and demerits.

Here is a review of each option.

When is the buying of custom shipping containers preferable?

1. Customization Needs

Do you want your pop up container to get branded with your company’s logo and colors? Most companies don’t buy generic products for their marketing campaigns. Such companies often prefer branded and custom-made pop-up containers because they reflect the right image of their company. If you need a container built to your specifications, then the buying option is the better choice.

2. Tax Advantage

Buying and holding booth shipping containers can earn you some tax benefits. The 946th publication by the IRS categorizes container pop up units as 7-year tax life property. As such, buying is better than leasing because you can only get the tax benefit if you buy the container.

3. The Length of Marketing Engagements

If you’re running a marketing campaign for a whole year, then renting a pop up customized shipping container may cost you lots of money. The charges that you pay over the lease period may increase your marketing expenses, and the cost may exceed the buying price of such a unit. As such, it’s ideal to buy trade show shipping containers for long-term road shows.

Some marketers may find these reasons to be sound reasons for buying a pop-up container. But are these reasons enough for you to buy one?

When is the leasing of custom shipping containers preferable?

1. Short Term Marketing Engagements

Is your marketing campaign running for a month or two? Do you have enough funds to buy a pop-up container? These are the questions to consider when looking for a pop container to serve your short term marketing campaigns.

Buying such a container for two to three months makes no economic sense because you might not need it after that. As such, it’s ideal to rent a modified shipping container for that period. You can reserve the rest of the funds for other immediate business operations.

2. Trying the Trade Show Shipping Containers before Buying Them.

If you’ve never used pop up containers for any of your business operations, then it would be ideal to do a trial before deciding to buy one. Random buying of untested items may lead to unforeseen losses if such things fail to add value to your business operations. As such, it’s ideal to rent and learn about the intricacies of container pop up units before buying one.

3. Supplement Your Present Container Count

You may have enough trade show shipping containers for a road show this year. But if you’re planning to increase your coverage in the next year, then you may need more containers. To increase your capacity, you can hire a few more containers to supplement the ones that you own.


Whether you’re buying or renting trade show shipping containers, the function and benefits of containers remain the same. But you have to consider your business needs to determine the most appropriate container for your business. You should also consider the size of the container to decide whether it can suit your needs.

Many containers have a height of 9.5 feet and a width of 8 feet. Their length may either be 40 or 20 feet long. So, make a careful choice based on your needs.