Conex Box vs. Storage Containers – What’s the Difference?

August 5th, 2022


The shipping industry is built on connecting different regions from around the world, so it should come as no surprise that there are some regional differences in what different containers are called.

There’s many different names, from a conex box to a shipping container. But are they all the same thing? While they all provide storage space, there is a distinction between them all. Let’s look at the differences between conex boxes and storage containers.

Header image with the words "conex box versus storage containers"

What is a Conex Box?

A conex box.

A conex box is made of high-quality corrugated steel, also known as corten steel. The name ‘Conex’ stands for the blend of ‘container’ and ‘express. It comes in two standard lengths: 20 feet and 40 feet like other storage containers.

Now that we’ve established the terminology, lets address a few other frequently asked questions about conex boxes:

What are Conex Boxes Used For?

The structure of a conex container allow them to be stacked on top of one another and transported via freight liners. A conex box was initially invented to ship war supplies and goods, but they are now used for a variety of other purposes.

Conex boxes are used for:

  • Shipping goods and products overseas
  • Warehouse storage for perishables and other goods
  • Storage of equipment and tools in homes and other locations
  • Storage solution for a variety of workplaces
  • Container relocation and house renovation
  • Storage of agricultural equipment
  • Bulk document storage in offices
  • Housing and office space alternatives

People enjoy the versatility of the conex container. With these other incentives, they can expand the shipping container uses beyond the traditional purpose.

Are Conex Boxes Waterproof?

A seaworthy conex box is watertight. It has rubber seals around the doors to keep water and other elements out.

Watertight is not the same as waterproof. Waterproof storage containers are water-resistant but may allow water to enter if the container is damaged or used often. By extension, most new conex boxes are watertight and waterproof. While watertight, a cargo container may still not be waterproof but provide dry storage for your belongings or goods.

What are Storage Containers?

A storage container.

A storage container is a box made of corten steel in a standard shape and size that is used to transport goods safely and securely by sea, rail, and road – similar to a conex box.

Reinforced corners enable attachment to other storage containers and anchor points and crane lifting without tearing, even when fully loaded. The base has forklift pockets to allow forklift movement within weight limits.

Are Storage Containers Waterproof?

A Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) plate denotes the fitness of storage container uses to carry cargo at sea.  This plate with data is fixed to freight containers used for intermodal transport, particularly international transport. This is the safety approval plate, which contains the container’s main details. A certified sea-worthy shipping container is required if you need to ship contents or merchandise by sea. You can use a former shipping container as a storage container, with or without modifications, if you need somewhere to store items or equipment.

What are the Differences Between Conex Boxes and Storage Containers

Over the years, the container storage industry has given its products a variety of names. In the eyes of the average customer, but most of these names have become synonyms for one another.

All storage and shipping containers are large, weather-resistant steel boxes used to store and ship cargo across the seas, but different names have been given to them over time. Most of the time, it is likely due to their origin or common usage.

The origin of conex boxes come from the abbreviation of Container Express to “ConEx,” referring to the logistics method. This abbreviation became universal, and these storage containers evolved into modular units that could be stacked in order to store more cargo in one given area.

Other key differences of conex boxes from storage containers:

  • As short as 10 feet long
  • Freight with ease of movement from different transportation types (i.e., ship to trailer truck)

Which Type of Container is Right for Me?

A conex box can be referred to as a container, so even though the utilities of the two containers appear to be similar, the type of container that you choose will depend on your needs. Before making any purchase or rental agreement, thoroughly read the specifications and inspect the prototypes provided by the dealer.

Each unit has its benefits, such as the type of goods they can carry, the space they cover, durability, etc. What’s important is getting the suitable short-term or long-term storage containers to provide the best portable requirements.

Ship it Right with Hale Trailer

Hale Trailer understands that your needs are unique, whether renting or buying a shipping container. To meet your storage needs, we offer a variety of storage options. We understand how important quality, appearance, correct size, and security are to you.

Shipping and trucking industry terms may not feel familiar to everyone. That’s why our team is taking the lead to educate those in the industry or looking to make a shift. By doing the work, we’ve established ourselves to be able to help the industry haul in unison. Our line-up of trailers is ready to hit the road whether you’re looking to rent or purchase. Please browse our selection online or stop by any of our locations to learn more about how we can help you.

All the information on this website – – is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Hale Trailer Brake and Wheel does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website, is strictly at your own risk. Hale Trailer Brake and Wheel will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.