Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General FAQs for Big Dog Containers? This is a great place to answer some of your out-of-the-gate questions. Contact us anytime if you have more specific questions!

About Shipping Containers

What is the difference between a shipping container, Sea Can, C Can and marine container?

The terms Marine CARGO ContainerSea Can, C Can, Seacan, C-can, ISO Container, cargo or freight container are often used interchangeably to describe a shipping container.

What is the Container ID?

Each shipping container has an ID code composed of 4 letters and 7 digits. This code is defined by a world-wide recognized system, providing international uniform identification for each container.

Big Dog Containers has its own Owner Code (“DOG”) issued by the Bureau of International des Containers, according to ISO Standard 6346 (Freight Containers-coding, identification and marking.)

The container ID code is composed of:

  • Owner Code: three capital letters of the Latin alphabet
  • Equipment Identifier: one capital letter of the Latin alphabet (U for all freight containers)
  • Serial Number: six Arabic numerals, chosen by the owner or operator
  • Check Digit: one Arabic numeral that allows validating the accuracy of the owner prefix and serial number

What do all the numbers and codes marked on a container mean?

You can find all the details about it here:

What is a Surveyed and Certified Container?

Containers must be inspected regularly if they are to be used for international, maritime transportation.  New containers are given a 5-year grace period.  After this grace period they must be inspected by a certified professional, who can validate a container for up to two years.  The purpose of the inspection is to maintain a high level of safety of human life in the transport and handling of containers, and to facilitate the international transport of containers by providing uniform international safety regulations.  You can learn more here.


What can I expect to find on my invoice?

Sale Invoice

We will charge:

  • the agreed price for the shipping containers + applicable taxes
  • Transportation cost if you require us to deliver the shipping container for you.

Shipping Container Rental Invoice

Most of our shipping container rentals are billed in periods or 4 weeks, but we also have other billing cycles available. Please feel free to discuss your preference with us.

On the first invoice of a 4-weeks billing cycle shipping container rental you will be charged for:

  • The first 4 weeks of rental
  • The transportation cost if you require us to deliver the container for you.

If you keep the shipping containers for more than 4 weeks, every time a new rental cycle starts you will receive a new invoice for that period.

Upon return of the shipping container, you will receive a final invoice with:

  • the balance corresponding to the period between the last day of the last paid rental cycle and the day the container was returned.
  • The transportation cost if you require us to pick-up the container for you.
  • Any applicable repair costs.

Note: we might require payment of pick-up transportation at the beginning of the rental. We also ask you to provide a credit card number or otherwise indicate the method of payment that you will be using to pay the recurring rental invoices.

Shipping Container Storage Invoice

If you choose to keep a shipping container you own or one that you rented from us in one of our yards, a fee will the charged for the space on the yard for the period you keep the shipping container there. The billing procedure for shipping container storage is similar to the one described for Rentals.

How can I pay my invoice?

We accept the following payment methods:

  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Electronic deposit
  • WIRE transfer
  • Credit Card (Visa or Master Card – 2% fee applies for purchases of $10,000 or more)

Payment options:

Are Big Dog’s shipping containers duty free?

Yes. We take care of any duty fees associated with the shipping containers we sell. When we purchase a shipping container from outside Canada, we make sure any duty fees are paid out before we sell it.

My business is PST Exempt. Do I have to pay PST on a container that I buy from Big Dog Containers?

It is your responsibility to understand any tax regulations that may govern your business and adhere to them.  If you have determined that your purchase qualifies for PST or any other tax exemption, please make sure we get your PST number or relevant information on file for us to take the tax off your invoice.

Delivery, Warranty & General Questions

What is a New Shipping Container and what is considered a Used Shipping Container?

New Shipping Containers are manufactured in China.  They make a loaded trip to North America, which is why New Containers are often referred to as “One-Trippers.”  Used Shipping Containers come about for a variety of reasons, but by far the most common are due to more goods arriving North America than leaving, and Leasing Companies deciding to sell some of their older containers to make room for new containers.

How will my shipping container be transported and delivered?

You can choose whether you take care of the transportation of the shipping container yourself or you prefer us to deliver or pick up the shipping container for you.

If you decide to pick it up yourself:

We can load in onto your trailer at the shipping container yard. We have container loading machines that can put the shipping container on your trailer and there is no charge for this.

If we are taking care of the transportation for you:

the delivery and pick-up transportation costs will be charged according to the distance to the destination location, the type of truck used and the number of shipping containers delivered in the same run. If we can deliver the container(s) at the carrier’s convenience, he may be able to match up your order with another one to the same area, reducing your delivery rate.

The shipping containers will typically be delivered with a tilt-deck (in Alberta area) or a crane truck (in British Columbia) that will place the container on the ground for you at your site. Please feel free to inquire about the options available to your specific needs.

With the tilt-deck:

The trailer backs up to where you would like the shipping container placed and tilts it into the ground. The truck driver will need 13’ of clearance.

When we use a 40’-long deck, it can ship 2×20’, 1×40’, 4×10’ or any combination that makes 40′ length.

With a hiab crane truck:

The crane pulls up the container from the truck deck and places it on the ground, normally along side the truck. The trucker will need about 20′ to 30′  from the side of the truck or cleared space.

Warranty – What if I am not happy with the shipping container that I receive?

If the shipping container arrives with any damage that had not been cleared in advance, if the shipping container does not fit your space, if you changed your mind for any reason, please give us a call so that we can propose a solution for you.